THE BODY OF THINGS: Gender, Material Culture and Design in (Post)Soviet Russia

An interdisciplinary conference, Aarhus University, Denmark, March 8-9 2018

25.01.2018 | Signe Bram

Dato tor 08 mar fre 09 mar
Tid 13:30    17:00
Sted Aarhus University, Richard Mortensen Stuen, Studenternes Hus, build. 1422 - Fredrik Nielsens Vej 2, 8000 Aarhus C

Mikhail Kopylkov, “Pink Dress and Autumn Coat,” chamotte, salts, glazes, metal, 1976

The conference is a part of the research program “Cultural Transformations” at the School of Communication and Culture and the research program in Global Studies at the School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University.






8 March 2018, Thursday

13:30-14:00                                                      Get to think: Welcome and conference opening  
14.00 - 15.00   Keynote talk by Anke Hennig, University of the Arts Berlin and Central Saint Martins College, London. The Speculative Design of Gender - Revolutionary, Soviet and Post-Soviet Dimensions
15:15 - 16:45  

Panel 1: Women as Designers and Producers

Chair: Yulia Karpova, Aarhus University

  • A new wave of women: the formation of a professional identity by women designers in the USSR in the 1960-80s. Alyona Sokolnikova, Moscow Design Museum and British Higher School of Art and Design, Moscow
  • A Gender of Russian ‘Folk’: the Gender Dimension of Traditional Arts and Crafts Production. Varvara Kobyshcha, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow
  • Runway collections and competition in Soviet fashion market.” Iuliia Papushina, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Perm
17:00 - 18:00     Keynote talk by Graham H. Roberts, Université Paris Nanterre. Queering the Stitch: Fashion, Masculinity and the Post-Socialist Body

9 March 2018, Friday

9.00 - 10.30                                                             

Panel 2: Embodied Labor and DIY

Chair: Olga Gurova, Aalborg University  

  • His hands are golden!’: Russian Masculinities and Technical Expertise in the Post-Soviet Era. Marina Yusupova, Newcastle University 
  • Red DIY: Soviet Menstrual Innovations and the Moral Supremacy of Socialism. Pavel Vasilyev, The Polonsky Academy for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
  • The narratives of hardship and glory: gender dimensions of stoneworking in Northwestern Russia. Anna Varfolomeeva, Central European University, Budapest 
11.00 - 12.00      Keynote talk by Christina Kiaer, Northwestern University: Revolution Every Day: Early Soviet Posters and the Propagandizing of Women
12:00- 13:00   Lunch break  

Materialities of Soviet (Post-)Avant-Garde

Chair: Birgitte Beck Pristed, Aarhus University  

  • From the Earth to the Sky: evolution of women’s images in Vera Mukhina’s art. Elena Yushkova, independent scholar
  • Repetition And Difference: Avant-Garde Heritage In The Belarusian Poster Of 60-70-s. Alla Pigalskaya, European Humanities University, Vilnius
  • The Soviet Underground outcrops: a Transitional Field of Contemporary Art in Early Post-Soviet Press. Margarita Kuleva, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow 
15.00 - 16.00          

Panel 3: Soviet Everyday Materialism

Chair: Jeremy Morris, Aarhus University  

  • Pleated Byt: The faktura of everyday life from Soviet agitational textiles to Irina Nakhova’s surface installations. Gabriella Ferrari, Princeton University
  • Sincerity in the Material World: Iurii Trifonov Confronts Consumerism. Benjamin Sutcliffe, Miami University 
16.15 - 17.00            Final discussion  



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 700913