Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin; Organizers: Matthias Schwartz (Leibniz Center) and Dirk Uffelmann (University of Passau)
Venue: Berlin, Germany
Proposals by: 31.03.2019
From its beginning the Soviet Union was a project of substantial reshaping of gender relations. A central goal of Soviet politics was to encourage women to undertake paid work. In transferring practically all economic and social power to the state, customary gender roles of men as breadwinners and patriarchs were challenged. Starting with war communism through forced industrialization and collectivization to compulsory military service, socialist workers and peasants were tied to the modern disciplinary power as never before. On the assembly line as well as in the Gulag camp, new Soviet subjectivities were forged that challenged hitherto known figurations of peasant menfolk, sacred fools, patriarchic family fathers, and aristocratic dandies.
In cultural, literary, and media studies, the scarce research on Eastern European and (post-)socialist masculinities (Wöll 2016) has so far been centered around propagandistic figurations such as the „great family“ and tempered socialist heroes (Clark 1981), highlighting how the Soviet man was (un-)made in the Stalin period (Kaganovsky 2008) or tracing his genealogy up to the body politics of the current Russian President Putin (Goscilo 2011) and his image of „hypermasculinity“ (Wood 2016). When scholarly investigations are focused on everyday practices, they are predominantly devoted to psychological, sociological, and historical questions (Oushakine 2002), situating their approaches conceptually within the paradigm of „hegemonic masculinity“ (Connell 1995) and postulating a certain „crisis of manliness“ (Kon 2009). Studies on divergent (homosexual, subcultural, etc.) … read more and source (Web).