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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Covers North American scholarship on East-Central Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet Union. Contains bibliographic records for journal articles, books and book chapters, book reviews, dissertations, online resources, and selected government publications.
Socialist Fun by Gleb TsipurskyMost narratives depict Soviet Cold War cultural activities and youth groups as drab and dreary, militant and politicized. In this study Gleb Tsipursky challenges these stereotypes in a revealing portrayal of Soviet youth and state-sponsored popular culture. Tsipursky provides a fresh and original examination of the Kremlin's paramount effort to shape young lives, consumption, popular culture, and to build an emotional community--all against the backdrop of Cold War struggles to win hearts and minds both at home and abroad.
Publication Date: 2016-04-26
Overkill by Eliot BorensteinPerestroika and the end of the Soviet Union transformed every aspect of life in Russia, and as hope began to give way to pessimism, popular culture came to reflect the anxiety and despair felt by more and more Russians. Borenstein argues that the popular cultural products consumed in the post-perestroika era were more than just diversions; they allowed Russians to indulge their despair over economic woes and everyday threats.
Publication Date: 2007-11-08
The Socialist Sixties by Anne E. Gorsuch; Diane P. Koenker (Editor)In this volume socialist societies in the Second World (the Soviet Union, East European countries, and Cuba) are the springboard for exploring global interconnections and cultural cross-pollination between communist and capitalist countries and within the communist world. Themes explored include flows of people and media; the emergence of a flourishing youth culture; sharing of songs, films, and personal experiences through tourism and international festivals; and the rise of a socialist consumer culture and an esthetics of modernity.
The Library has a rich collection of scholarship on Slavic and Eastern European film, as well as a large collection of films in the catalog and available to stream via Kanopy. The books, journals, and resources linked below will get you started. Be sure to search the catalog for resources on cinema of the specific countries you are interested in.
This work maps the rich, varied cinema of Eastern Europe, Russia and the former USSR. Over 200 entries cover a varitey of topics spanning a century of endeavour and turbulent history from Czech animation to Soviet montage. It includes entries on actors and directors and key figures like Eisenstein.
Cinema of the Other Europe: The Industry and Artistry of East Central European Film is a comprehensive study of the cinematic traditions of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia from 1945 to the present day, exploring the major schools of filmmaking and the main stages of development across the region during the period of state socialism up until the end of the Cold War, as well as more recent transformations post-1989.
Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 studies the shifts in the dynamics between film production, exhibition, and reception in Eastern bloc countries as they moved from state-sponsored systems toward the free market. This volume also addresses the strategies employed for preserving national cinemas and cultures through an analysis of films from the Czech and Slovak republics, the former German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslavia.
You can find Eastern European comics in the Library catalog best by doing a general subject search for "comic books, strips, etc." or "graphic novels" and then using the menu at the right to filter by country, region, or language. Use the links below to find more Eastern European comics on the web.
José Alaniz explores the problematic publication history of komiks--an art form much-maligned as "bourgeois" mass diversion before, during, and after the collapse of the USSR--with an emphasis on the last twenty years.
"Often overlooked by American readers, Eastern Europe produces a wide array of comic books in a dazzling variation of styles, a portion of which are accessible to English-speaking audiences. Yes, some (perhaps many) of them are in direct response to the area’s fraught and unstable history. They are vital works of journalism, highlighting dark, uncomfortable truths. But others seem to be moving towards a cautiously brighter, stranger, more whimsical future. Both are represented in this list and none of them will disappoint the lucky reader who picks them up."
An in-depth history of Bulgarian comics from the international comic store Lambiek in Amsterdam. Search Comiclopedia for biographies of over 13,000 comics writers and artists from around the world.
The Russian punk band Pussy Riot has made international headlines with their protests against Putin's regime, resulting in beatings, arrests, imprisonment of band members. The full documentary Pussy Riot: The Movement (previewed below) is available to stream for free via Kanopy. Check out the other resources below to learn more about popular music in Eastern Europe.
This book explores popular music in Eastern Europe during the period of state socialism, in countries such as Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Czechoslovakia, the GDR, Estonia and Albania. It discusses the policy concerning music, the greatest Eastern European stars, such as Karel Gott, Czesaw Niemen and Omega, as well as DJs and the music press.
After the Soviet Union fell, hip hop became popular in urban environments in the region, but it has often been stigmatized as inauthentic, due to an apparent lack of connection to African American historical roots and black identity. Originally strongly influenced by aesthetics from the US, hip hop in Central and Eastern Europe has gradually developed unique, local trajectories, a number of which are showcased in this volume.
While engaging with the works of literary predecessors from Rebecca West to Chekhov and the nineteenth-century French aristocrat the Marquis de Custine, Nicolay explores the past and future of punk rock culture in the postcommunist world.
Learn more about the history of Slavic fantasy with this essay on Russian "Fantastica," originally published in the Australian journal "The Mentor." A keyword search for "fantastika" in the Library catalog returns mainly Russian language results.
In response to the profound changes in Soviet society in recent years, the author considers the demise of Soviet literature and the emergence of its Russian progeny through the prism of the writers' engagement with fantasy.
Russian Science Fiction
Science fiction in Russia has origins in the 18th century, with a tradition of utopian and dystopian fiction, and eventually grew into an extensive literature in the late 19th and 20th centuries, encompassing both literature and film. You can read an overview in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, here.
We Modern People by Anindita BanerjeeScience fiction emerged in Russia considerably earlier than its English version and instantly became the hallmark of Russian modernity. We Modern People investigates why science fiction appeared here, on the margins of Europe, before the genre had even been named, and what it meant for people who lived under conditions that Leon Trotsky famously described as "combined and uneven development."