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Maliye Banniye Chteniia

International conference "Maliye Banniye Chteniia – 2015" (58-60 Galernaya Street).

It has become a commonplace in war studies in the West to point out that war experience often blocks symbolic capacities of those who have been exposed or directly involved in military operations. Studies of war memoirs or fiction written by soldiers tend to emphasize the fragmented quality of the language, the unruly state of syntaxes, and the non-linear narrative constructions. Despite a very long tradition of war history and literary studies of war-related narratives, the scholarship that focuses on the symbolic consequences of war experience in Russia is surprisingly limited. 

Our panel aims at bridging this gap by analyzing poetic and narrative legacies of various Russian wars. By looking at texts created by participants of military campaigns (from the First World War to the Chechen War), we want to explore two main themes. The first one has to do with the organizing effect of language. Through a diachronic analysis, we will attempt to understand the historical evolution of poetic forms, rhetorical conventions, and narrative templates through which war atrocities were expressed, memorized, and/or repressed. The second aspect is extra-narrative. By linking language structures and poetic forms with contemporary theories of trauma and representation, we will try to explore the affective functions that veterans’ strategies of symbolic representation of their war experience might have. To put it simply, the panel will bring together two crucial approaches to the studying of war: the exploration of discursive evidence will be done vis-à-vis the analysis of affective regimes that these discursive evidence is aimed to evoke.

24-25 april

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