Svetlana Sirotinina

Geopoetics and Regionalism in Contemporary Russian Literature as in the Case of the Urals


Doctoral Candidate

Address Habelschwerdter Allee 45
Room JK 33/136
14195 Berlin
Email svetlana.sirotinina@fu-berlin.de

Svetlana Sirotinina studied German studies at Perm State University and German as a foreign language at the University of Kassel, provided with a DAAD fellowship. After finishing her diploma with the thesis on the image of an author in the novels of Max Frisсh, she taught German language at the University of Perm. She holds a master degree in sociolinguistics and anthropology from European University in St. Petersburg. During her studies, Svetlana worked as a project assistant at the Center for German and European Studies in St. Petersburg. She wrote her second master thesis in Eastern European Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, which was dedicated to the "local text" in the novels of Alexei Ivanov.

After her graduation, she worked as a translator and project assistant for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). She is registered as a sworn translator at Berlin courts and notaries.

Since October 2013 Svetlana is a PhD student at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School.

2015 (summer term): Regional Topographies in Russian Literature of the late 19th-21st Centuries: the Urals and Siberia (Humboldt University of Berlin, Slavic studies)

The last two decades in Russia have seen several attempts to challenge the binary opposition of centre and periphery which is so characteristic for the hegemonic territorial order of the country. This paradigm shift is referred to with the concepts of decentralization, provincialization and regionalization. As part of this general trend, the city of Perm and the region of the Urals are newly valorised. The PhD Project analyses the region’s changing and multi-facetted representation in prose and cultural discourse: Perm is seen as a remote back country of Russia as well as a retreat for its ‚national substance’; it becomes a symbol for social uprooting and alienation in the course of Soviet modernization while it’s region supposedly conserved nature in its sublime form; the Urals are conceptualized as a place of the mingling of tribes and cultures on the boarder of Europe and Asia and as a mining civilization.

The PhD Project is situated within the context of research, dedicated to the relation of literature and space, among others the theory of geopoetics and historical geo-culturology.

One of its main challenges is confronting Russian and ‚Western’ paradigms of thought.

On the one hand we have the model of the „local text“, set within the tradition of Tartu-Moscow School of Semiotics, on the other hand the theories of post colonialism and its critics.

Co-authored with Catriona Kelly. “’I Didn’t Understand, but it was Funny’: Late Soviet Festivals and their Impact on Children“. Russian Anthropology After the Collapse of Communism. London, New York: Routledge, 2012, 103-129.

Co-authored with Nina Weller. “Heimatsuche und Raumaneignung bei Aleksandr Iličevskij und Aleksej Ivanov“ [Search for Home and Space Appropriation in the work of Aleksandr Ilichevskii and Aleksei Ivanov]. Wiener Slawistischer Almanach, Sonderband 79: Die nicht mehr neuen Menschen. Russische Filme und Romane der Jahrtausendwende. München: Sagner, 2012, 111-142.

Co-authored with Irina Bukharkina. “Kommunikativnye osobennosti onlajn-diskussii na primere seminara ,Učastie v Internete – sravnenie zapadnoevropejskich i vostočnoevropejskich stran’“ [Some Communicative Characteristics of an Online-Discussion featured in the Seminar “Internet Participation – Comparison between West and East European Countries“] Kommunikative Besonderheiten einer Online-Diskussion am Beispiel des Seminars an der Freien Universität Berlin „Partizipation im Internet – Ein Ost-West-Vergleich“]. Nomen est omen. Sbornik statej k 60-letiju Nikolaja Borisoviča Vachtina. Sankt-Peterburg: Evropejskij universitet v Sankt-Peterburge, 2010, 73-91.

 Co-authored with Matthias Meindl. "Theodor Adorno, Fairy Tales and ‘Rusalka’” (“Rusalka” Roundtable, #4). Art Margins: Contemporary Central & East European Visual Culture, 2009. http://www.artmargins.com/index.php/matthias-meindl-and-svetlana-sirotinina-theodor-adorno-fairy-tales-and-qrusalkaq [last access: 10.10.2015]

“Reprezentacija zapadnogo i vostočnogo Berlina v nemeckojazyčnych putevoditeljach do ob’edinenija Germanii” [Representation of East and West Berlin in German Guide-Books Before German Reunification]. Putevoditel’ kak semiotičeskij ob’ekt. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, 2008, 263-280.

“The Moscow Station, St. Petersburg: Between ‘Europe’ and the Russia of the Tsars”. National Identity in Russia from 1961: Traditions and Deterritorialisation. Newsletter 2 (November), 2008, 7-11. 

Conference Papers and Presentations

“Postcolonial and regional perspective on Aleksei Ivanov’s novel Serdce Parmy”. Junges Forum Slavistische Literaturwissenschaft, April 2, 2016.

“Berlin and the ‘Local Text’ from the Perspective of an Exile: Mikhail Osorgin’s Critiques and Memoirs”. 1st Humboldt-Princeton Conference Шарлottengrad. The Berlin (Meta)text of Slavic literatures and cultures. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Slavic Department, November 6, 2015.

“Ot Rusi k Rossii: obras Urala v proiekte Alekseia Ivanova Khrebet Rossii“. [From Rus to Russia: the Image of the Urals in Aleksei Ivanov’s Chrebet Rossii]. Conference Patriotism, grazhdanstvennost‘, nacionalism: politicheskie koncepty v sovremennoi massovoi kul’ture [Patriotism, active citizenship, nationalism: political concepts in the modern mass culture]. Perm, Russia, June 27, 2015.

“Aleksei Ivanov and the Matrix of the Urals”. Graduate Student Conference in Slavic Languages and Literatures Dumpster Diving. On the limited resources of culture, Princeton University, October 17, 2014.

Co-organizer (in cooperation with Christoph Sauer) of the Panel “The Emplacement of World Literature” at the Graduate Student Conference Schlegel Studientage, Freie Universität Berlin, October 9, 2014.