Working across film, television, multimedia art, and fashion studies, Tatiana Efremova explores the relationship between cultural memory and embodiment in contemporary Russian culture. Her first book project, provisionally titled Beyond Nostalgia: Remediating the Soviet Body in Russian Culture under Putin, probes the gendered body as a productive analytical tool for understanding post-Soviet engagement with the Soviet past. The project puts the scholarship on post-Soviet nostalgia in dialogue with the discourses of embodiment that take place within visual and film studies, gender studies, and performance studies in order to rethink the significance of repetition lying at the core of nostalgic appeal. Approaching repetition as a constitutive element of the production of gender, the study demonstrates how nostalgic reinventions of the Soviet body negotiate gender and nationhood in contemporary melodrama, fashion a visual niche for projecting models of queerness in streetwear clothing, capitalize on transgression in multimedia experiment Dau, and serve as a vehicle of protest in radical performance art by Pussy Riot. The project reveals how post-Soviet nostalgia exceeds the mere idea of longing for the Soviet past and provides critiques of the present through negotiating the relationship between the gendered subject and the post-Soviet state. Finally, the work considers the role and function of nostalgic sensibility for the contemporary moment marked by the recent military invasion of Ukraine. This last section examines the latest instances of weaponizing the nostalgic imagination for cultural protest and concludes with an exploration of a desire for mourning, a desire which bears potential to help the nostalgic subject process the demise of the Soviet project and transgress its own post-Soviet condition. At Harriman, Tatiana will be working on the book manuscript, as well as running a video podcast on contemporary post-Soviet culture.
Tatiana EfremovaMellon Teaching Fellow at the Harriman Institute, Lecturer in Slavic Languages
Tatiana Efremova received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, with emphasis in Slavic Studies and a minor in film, at New York University in 2022. Her work has appeared in the academic journals Digital Icons, Kinokultura, and Senses of Cinema. She has also written on contemporary Russian culture for the online Moscow-based platform The Village.
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