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Popular music in the Post-Soviet sphere: Analysing current trends

The workshop titled “Popular music in the Post-Soviet sphere: Analysing current trends” aims to carve out the main contributions currently being made by scholars to studies of Post-Soviet popular music in the 21st century.

Popular music studies, investigating both the sounds, lyrics, performance and wider practices and cultures of popular music, is a large and vibrant research area. However, popular music produced in the Post-Soviet sphere, by artists associated with the Post-Soviet sphere, consumed by listeners in the Post-Soviet sphere/diaspora, or thematising Post-Soviet topics has not been the focus of much research in comparison to Western European and Anglo-American popular music. This is all the more surprising as Estrada, Russkii Shanson, Pop/Popsa, Rock, EDM and Rap/Hip Hop are major genres in Post-Soviet countries with large quantities of music produced, performed and listened to.

This workshop invites scholars working on the topic Post-Soviet popular music in musicology, ethnomusicology, sociology, music education, media studies, gender studies, cultural studies and other relevant disciplines to submit abstracts relating to the following themes:

  • Nationalism and politics in Post-Soviet popular music and popular music culture.
  • Gender, sexuality and feminism in Post-Soviet popular music and popular music culture.
  • Ethnicity/race and minorities in Post-Soviet popular music and popular music culture.
  • Social media and mediatisation in relation to popular music in the Post-Soviet countries and diaspora.
  • Analysis of artists and genres of current importance in Post-Soviet popular music.
  • Decolonialisation, (national) independence movements and conflict in Post-Soviet popular music.
  • Youth, social protest movements and popular music culture in the Post-Soviet sphere.

We welcome your abstract (250 words) and a short biography (100 words) in English before the 31st of March, 2020. Send it to: and indicate the workshop title in the e-mail subject line.


Scholars conducting popular music studies concerned with the Post-Soviet sphere in any discipline in Europe, Central Asia and other parts of the world are welcome. There will be a limited amount of travel scholarships. Indicate if you are applying for a travel scholarship including travel and one night’s accommodation, stating clearly your reasons for applying for the travel scholarships and listing the approximate costs of travel.

The most relevant abstracts in relation to the themes listed above will be selected for presentation. Scholars with an accepted abstract that are not able to travel can discuss long distance presenting with the organiser. The main language of the workshop will be English. Scholars wanting to present in another language can discuss their options with the organiser.

We also welcome participants not presenting, if you are interested in participating without presenting please contact the organiser.

Organiser: Ann Werner, Södertörn University, Sweden (

Organising committee (in alphabetic order):

Maria Brock, Cardiff University, UK
Ekaterina Kalinina, Jönköping University, Sweden
Irina Seits, Södertörn University, Sweden
David-Emil Wickström, Popakademie Baden-Württemberg - University of Popular Music and Music Business, Germany

12.00—13.00: A light lunch, arrivals, setting up

13.00—13.15: Welcome, Ann Werner

13.15—14.45: Popular music, poetry and politics

Joanna Zienkiewicz: Feminist Popular Music in Poland: Post-Soviet Context and Authenticity

Olga Nikolaeva: ‘Ambitious, bombastic, incredibly pretentious…’: Shortparis and their place in contemporary Russian music

Ekaterina Ganskaya: ‘Our rock is pure poetry’: towards identity shaping process in Russian rock community

15.00—17.00: Belarusian pop today

Yngvar Steinholt: Harmony, Static Noise, or Noisy Static? Attali, Belarusian Popular Music, and Lukashenka’s Lasting Power Hegemony.

Arve Hansen: Maidan, Minsk, Moscow: Geopolitics and Contemporary Belarusian Music, post-2014

David-Emil Wickström: Remains of the Musical Empire – the VIA Legacy in Contemporary post-Soviet Popular Music

Andrei Rogatchevski: Songs About Lukashenka

Dinner together combined with listening session

Details will be included in the final version of the programme.

In the listening session each participant (voluntary, not compulsory) brings and plays one or two songs they think are interesting and ​briefly comment on them.

9..00—10.00: Queer, camp, gay

Maria Brock: Queering the diskoteka: from 90s liberation to neo-camp in Russian popular music

Polina Kislitsyna: Lesbian Images in Post-Soviet Popular Music and Their Reflections in Russian Female Non-Heterosexual Biographies

10.00—10.20: Coffee break

10.20—11.20: The other of post-soviet music?

Bjarne Isaksen: Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest

Pekka Gronow: New sounds from Ufa, Kazan and Cheboksary

11.30—13.00: Pop music and beyond

Ondřej Daniel: “Raz raz raz, eto hardbass”: Masculinity, (self-)exoticization, and class mimicry

Ann Werner: Post-soviet femininity and success: Nyusha’s artist persona

Ingrid M. Tolstad: Conflicted musical spheres: Negotiating “the sound of the West” in Swedo-Russian pop musical collaborations

13.00 —14.00: Last words and future plans

The last hour is a work-shop discussion about applications and publications. All interested are welcome.

Tid och plats

04 februari 12:00 - 05 februari 14:00


Room MA 796, CBEES, Södertörn University, Campus Flemingsberg, hitta hit


Arrangeras av

The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) and the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University



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