Avant-Garde Post–: Radical Poetics after the Soviet Union

Literature and Culture Seminar
Event Format
In person
CGIS South, S354, 1730 Cambridge St

Contemporary poetry around the world has witnessed a proliferation of new forms and uses in the past two decades. From Cairo to Kyiv, from street slogans to Black Twitter, poetry has reemerged as a powerful and agile technology for political subjectivization and the conjuring of new collectivities. It is a radically revitalized Russian—or more accurately, Russophone—dissident poetry that is the subject of Avant-Garde Post–: Radical Poetics after the Soviet Union. Marijeta Bozovic studies the work of a group of experimental poets united by their overt political engagement and explicitly Marxist orientation. They occupy a fraught position in post-socialist time and space, pitched against Putin-era Russian culture and politics and “Western” formations alike. Bozovic conceptualizes this circle of Russian, Jewish, Ukrainian, and Georgian poets as the contemporary Russian-language avant-garde: hence the use of prefixes in my title, which gestures at the temporal paradoxes of a revived futurism. She argues that contemporary Russian-language poets seek in the legacies of historical avant-gardes an undetonated alternative to both the neoliberal global present and to the discredited institutionalized left of the Communist Party.

Refreshments will be provided. 


Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University


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