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Location & Connections

 

Visiting Fellows 2013-2014

Helena Goscilo, Department of Slavic & East European Languages & Cultures, The Ohio State University, USA

“Graphic Ideology: The Soviet Poster from Stalin to Yeltsin”
(15 February-15 April 2014)

Goscilo


Biography:
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Helena Goscilo received her early education in England at Rugby Grammar School, her BA from Queens College in New York, and her graduate degrees from Indiana University. After teaching many years in the Slavic Department at the University of Pittsburgh, in 2009 she accepted a position as Professor and Chair of Slavic at the Ohio State University, which she currently holds. Most of her scholarship in recent years has focused on gender and culture in Russia, with an emphasis on the contemporary period, though she has published on 18th, 19th, and 20th -century culture, the topics ranging across art, music, graphics, gesture, gender politics, celebrity studies, and film. Her volumes in the last five years include Gender and National Identity in 20th Century Russian Culture (2006; with Andrea Lanoux), Preserving Petersburg: History, Memory, Nostalgia (2008; with Stephen Norris), Cinepaternity: Fathers and Sons in Soviet and Post-Soviet Film (2010; with Yana Hashamova), Celebrity and Glamour in Contemporary Russia: Shocking Chic (2011; with Vlad Strukov), Putin as Celebrity and Cultural Icon (2012), and Embracing Arms: Cultural Representations of Slavic and Balkan Women in War (2012; with Yana Hashamova). Currently she is working with Vlad Strukov on a collection of articles on the visual depiction of Russian/Soviet aviation.

Abstract of current research:
Titled Graphic Ideology: The Soviet Poster from Stalin to Yeltsin, my envisioned book offers a comprehensive analysis of the poster from the 1930s through the 1980s as a genre ideally suited to the state’s imperative of molding Soviet identity and everyday values while propagating the political ideology that fueled them. The study strongly argues for the indivisibility of aesthetics and ideology across all categories of poster—whether iconic images of Stalin, visuals inseparable from propaganda campaigns, advertisements for consumer goods, or announcements of cultural events. Key questions inevitably raised by my presiding thesis include the following: What was the precise nature of state supervision of poster production throughout its history? How did individual graphic artists negotiate between a mandatory ideology and their artistic convictions? In which category of poster were they particularly successful, and why?

                            
Email: goscilo[at]gmail.com


Academic hosts: Sanna Turoma and Saara Ratilainen