Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES)
My educational background is as interdisciplinary as my research. After graduating with a BA in Russian Studies from the University of Bristol, I went on to receive an MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology form the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). My doctoral studies took me to the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, where I defended my thesis in 2015. My dissertation Moments of Russianness : locating national identification in discourse investigated national identification by applying psychosocial methodology to discourses produced in Russia during the era of ‘Putinism’ (2000- ). Since then I have held a teaching fellowship at the LSE and a research fellowship at the Department of Psychosocial Studies (Birkbeck).
Broadly speaking, my research is located at the interstices of the humanities and social sciences, and evaluates the psychosocial dynamics of transitional and post-transitional societies focusing on the former Eastern Bloc, and the former GDR and Russia in particular. Previous publications have reflected on the role of negative affect in reactions to the case of Pussy Riot, the status of memory objects and ‘museums of the everyday’ in the proliferation of post-socialist nostalgia in East Germany, and on the critical potential of irony.
My postdoctoral research project here at Södertörn, Cinematic Identification and Uses of the Past, will examine the impact of cinema on subjective representations of history, using the example of Russian and German films that speak of the (recent) socialist past. It seeks to analyse whether cinematic images help activate particular modes of identification with the nation via fantasmatic processes ,and asks whether films are better equipped to provide an answer to questions about the nature of the past. If such images do have significance beyond that of giving visual shape to otherwise fragmented visions, then it opens up further potential for mythologisation and instrumentalisation. Researching the significance and potential primacy of the visual register is perhaps especially pertinent now as it is often assumed that we have fully entered a hyperreal age.