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.


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.