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Digital Selves: Embodiment and Subjectivity in New Media Cultures in Eastern Europe and Eurasia

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Join us to celebrate the launch of a special issue of the journal Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media. The issue, “Digital Selves: Embodiment and Subjectivity in New Media Cultures in Eastern Europe and Eurasia,” is available in open access at digitalicons.org

This issue considers the role of the physical and sensory body in relation to social identities and minority advocacy in regional digital culture. Engaging conversations in disability studies, queer studies, and feminist studies, the articles in the issue consider gender, disability, and LGBTQ identity as both embodied and online.

The launch will feature brief presentations by participating authors on civilians at war in Ukraine, the assemblage of vibrant disability counterpublics on the Russophone internet, contestations around concepts of ethnicity and heritage in Russia’s border regions through digital music online, queer stories of coming out in Russia and anti-homophobia protest in Poland. With an overview of the project from co-editors of the special issue Cassandra Hartblay and Tatiana Klepikova and a response from the Harriman Institute postdoctoral fellow and member of the Digital Icons editorial team Daria Ezerova.

 

Speakers

Tatiana Klepikova, postdoctoral fellow at the Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto
Cassandra Hartblay, director, Centre for Global Disability Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough
Philippa Mullins, PhD candidate in the Social Policy Department, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Svetlana Borodina, Mellon Teaching Fellow, Harriman Institute and Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, Columbia University
Alisa Sopova, PhD candidate in the Anthropology Department of Princeton University
Anya Shatilova, Ph.D. candidate in the Ethnomusicology program at Wesleyan University
Clinton Glenn, PhD candidate in Communication Studies at McGill University
Ela Przybyło, assistant professor in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Illinois State University
Daria Ezerova, Mellon Teaching Fellow, Harriman Institute and Lecturer in Slavic Languages, Columbia University

 

Biographies

Tatiana Klepikova is an Arts and Science Postdoctoral Fellow at the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. She studied Slavic, Anglophone, and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures in Yaroslavl (Russia) and Passau (Germany). Her work is focused on contemporary Russian and Soviet literature and the arts, literary articulations of privacy in the Soviet era, gender and sexuality in Eastern Europe, queer theater and drama, publics and citizenship in the digital age, and digital body and posthumanism. She is co-editor of several edited collections, including Outside the “Comfort Zone”: Private and Public Spheres in Late Socialist Europe (De Gruyter, 2020) and editor and translator of Contemporary Queer Plays by Russian Playwrights (forthcoming with Bloomsbury Methuen Drama).
Author of Editorial — Issue 21Bodyminds Online: Digitally Mediated Selves in Regional Cultural Context

 

Cassandra Hartblay is Assistant Professor in the Department of Health & Society and Director of the Centre for Global Disability Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough, as well as a member of the University of Toronto graduate faculty in the Department of Anthropology and the Centre for European, Russian & Eurasian Studies. She is author of I WAS NEVER ALONE or Oporniki: An Ethnographic Play on Disability in Russia (University of Toronto Press 2020), and her scholarship has appeared in American Ethnologist, Disability Studies Quarterly, among other publications.
Author of Editorial — Issue 21Bodyminds Online: Digitally Mediated Selves in Regional Cultural Context

 

Philippa Mullins is a PhD candidate at the Social Policy Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her research investigates disability organizing in Russia. It explores how the depoliticization of disability both creates opportunity and restricts action in a context where the dominantly legitimized role of civil society is depoliticized.
Author of “But We Are Always at Home’: Disability and Collective Identity Construction on Runet”

 

Svetlana Borodina is a Mellon Teaching Fellow at the Harriman Institute and Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology, Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rice University in 2020. She also holds graduate certificates in Critical and Cultural Theory and in the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Her recent publication ‘Unfixing Blindness: Retinal Implants and Negotiations of Abilities in Postsocialist Russia’ appeared in Remaking the Human: Cosmetic Technologies of Body Repair, Reshape and Replacement, a volume edited by Chiara Pusetti and Alvaro Jarrín (2021).

Author of “On Making Presence: Blind Authors’ Digital Storytelling in Russia

Alisa Sopova is a doctoral candidate at the Anthropology Department of Princeton University. She holds a BA in journalism from Moscow State University and an MA in Regional Studies from Harvard University. Her research interests focus on the production of resilience in the civilian communities in the war zone in Eastern Ukraine. Born and raised in Donetsk, currently the capital of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, she engages with her own community as a scholar and a journalist. She seeks to investigate the specifics of everyday life in the environment of military conflict and adjustments and coping mechanisms employed by its residents in order to recreate the normality of their livelihoods.

Author of “Visuals and the Invisible in the ‘Forgotten’ War in Ukraine: Combating Clichés of War Photography through Social Media”

 

Anya Shatilova is a Ph.D. candidate in the Ethnomusicology program at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT, United States). Her research interests include various musical and sound practices in contemporary and Imperial Russia as well as dissemination of Russian traditional instrumental music outside the country. Anya received a BM in Music Performance from St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts (Russia), MM in Musicology from the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA, United States), and MA in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT, United States).

 

Clinton Glenn is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. His dissertation research examines the material urban fabric of the three Baltic capitals, Tallinn (Estonia), Rīga (Latvia), and Vilnius (Lithuania), through an exploration of LGBT pride marches under the banner of Baltic Pride. His dissertation research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the European Union Development Fund through the Archimedes Foundation/Estonia, and the Education Exchanges Support Foundation of Lithuania. His work has been featured in esse: art + opinionsUnmediatedSynoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image StudiesLambda Nordica, and SQS: The Journal of Finnish Queer Studies.
Author of ‘Я – ГЕЙ! (I am gay!)’: Russian Coming Out Video Narratives on YouTube

 

Ela Przybyło is Assistant Professor in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Illinois State University. She is the author of Asexual Erotics: Intimate Readings of Compulsory Sexuality (Ohio State University Press, 2019) and editor of On the Politics of Ugliness (Palgrave, 2018), as well as many peer-reviewed articles and chapters including in such journals as Feminist FormationsGLQFeminism & Psychology, and Radical Teacher. Ela is a founding and managing editor of the intersectional, peer-reviewed, open access journal Feral Feminisms, which is committed to equitable knowledge making and sharing  (www.feralfeminisms.com). Find her online at: https://przybyloela.wordpress.com/.

Author of Rainbow Mary and the Perceived Threat of LGBTQ+ Bodies in Poland

Daria Ezerova is a Mellon Teaching Fellow at the Harriman Institute and Lecturer in Slavic Languages at Columbia University. She specializes in twentieth-century and contemporary Russian culture and society with a focus on ideology, theories of space, and Putin-era literature and cinema. She received her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale University in 2018. Her book project Derelict Futures: The Spaces of Socialism in Russian Literature and Film, 1991-2012 examines how political power shaped the representation of space and time after the collapse of the USSR. Before coming to the Harriman Institute, Dr. Ezerova was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian Studies at Davidson College.

 

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