Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, San Francisco, November 2019

My abstract for the ASEEES Convention in San Francisco 2019 was accepted and presentation scheduled. Unfortunately, as of now, I do not know if I can attend due to my visa delay about which I wrote on my Tumblr wierdmirrors.

I want to share the title and abstract of my future presentation, however.

Title: “Affects of (Im)Mobility in the Remembrance of the Soviet Sublime: Staying in a Siberian Village.”

Abstract: This work investigates mobility and moving that people conduct in agential and affective infrastructures in the rural industrial Eastern Siberia. How do people make decisions regarding their mobility and what conditions these decisions? While literature and the public habitually assume that precarious actors stay put in post-industrial places because they lack resources to move for better opportunities, this work uses ethnographic methods to demonstrate that the sensorium of staying is better explained by people’s desire for a separate state—a microsovereignty—as well as by the affinity to the Soviet sublime, the lack of want to submit to the official government and absence of desire to enter the regimes of the ordinary available elsewhere.

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My presentation is scheduled to take place at “Promises of Infrastructure” panel(s). The title of the panels evokes (perhaps a little bit too closely) the title of the book “The promise of infrastructure” by Nikhil Anand, Akhil Gupta, and Hannah Appel that came out in 2018. But they were not the first to use this phrase either.

I think the “promise(s) of infrastructure(s)” nicely encapsulates the tangible, phenomenal side, which is the materiality of infrastructure, and affective, noumenal, and, if you wish, feelings-related, desires-hopes-dreams-and-fantasies-related side of infrastructural and technological development.

The panel, which is planned to happen in two separate sessions, involves a lot of Sibirianists, so this is going to be a loss for me if by that time I will still not be able to attend.

Great Expectations

Because I received the Global Research Fellowship, I am planning and actively preparing for my final fieldwork research for the dissertation during the summer of 2018 and possibly beyond. I am planning, as of yet, to depart the USA in the early May.

By that time, my new book Antropologia povsednevnosti (The Anthropology of the Everydayness), forthcoming from Noocratia (Noocracy) publishing house in Moscow, should be out. (I should still proofread it and to send the publisher my wishes regarding the cover.) The publisher, Stanislav Ivanov, known by the Russian reading public under the pseudonym Zoran Pitich, is planning a small presentation of the book in the Tsiolkovsky bookstore in Moscow.

I will go then, in June, to Siberia for my final round of fieldwork for the dissertation. I am going, from what it looks now, to linger in Siberia throughout the fall semester of 2018; I am very much looking forward to the extended period of fieldwork.

In December, I will be back to the States for the ASEEES 50th annual convention in Boston. I participate in a roundtable on Russian literature and gender that Olia Breininger and Susanna Weygandt organize. Additionally, or perhaps most importantly, I should say, I am going to present on a panel that Alexandra Simonova and I are putting together. Our panel is titled Politics of Belonging for Hybrid Identities: in the Shadow of the Soviet Sublime, and I am going to give a presentation titled “Affective Infrastructures and Mobility: the Soviet Sublime, post-Soviet Concrete, and post-post-Soviet Recursion.”

As for the American Anthropological Association gathering, I will likely record a video, as the AAA gathers in November, and to arrange a Skype presentation from a Siberian village… will be difficult. For the AAA, Rick Smith and I are currently putting together the panel The Apocalypse Я Us.

Let’s see if everything I am thinking about will come to fruition. I am currently working on several writing projects: one is a rest from the other, and the other is a rest from the third. I have to write and read all the time, and I discovered the way to be on top of each of these things. You cannot spend 12 hours a day on each of them anyway. Therefore, you can rotate them and refresh one of them with the ideas that come to you while you are working on another.

Meanwhile, I have updated my website with visual essays–please check them out; I have American Dream and Abandoned Mansion posted, the fruits of my restless roaming through Texas.

 

In the photo: a stream flowing into the Angara River that I snapped in 2006