Collection : Culture and Society after Socialism

The formerly socialist world represents one of the fastest growing and theoretically challenging areas in the humanities and social sciences. A decade after perestroika, it is possible to begin to chart the topography of a diverse realm of new scholarship, built on the theoretical and methodological foundations of cross-disciplinary work. Culture and Society after Socialism, a series edited by Bruce Grant and Nancy Ries, looks to present the very best of this body of writing.

Providing close-up perspectives on the lived experience of socialism and its aftermath, this series advances innovative work that fundamentally rethinks the cultural projects of socialist states and their outcomes. Through detailed readings of historical and cultural contexts, these works bridge the study of power systems and cosmologies, material practices and social meanings, political economies and the mythic forces that sustain them.

Series Editors

Bruce Grant is Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University.

Nancy Ries is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Colgate University.

Note: This series has completed its roster of titles and is no longer seeking submissions.

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Border Work
Spatial Lives of the State in Rural Central Asia
Madeleine Reeves
Through an ethnography of social and spatial practice at the limits of the state, this book explores the contested work of producing and policing “territorial integrity” when significant stretches of new international borders remain to be conclusively demarcated or effectively policed.



Not Quite Shamans
Spirit Worlds and Political Lives in Northern Mongolia
Morten Axel Pedersen
An ethnography of recent societal transformations in Mongolia and their impact on local belief systems.



The Old Faith and the Russian Land
A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals
Douglas Rogers
The Old Faith and the Russian Land is a historical ethnography that charts the ebbs and flows of ethical practice in a small Russian town, Sepych, over three centuries.



Needed by Nobody
Homelessness and Humanness in Post-Socialist Russia
Tova Höjdestrand
This book offers a nuanced portrait of homelessness in St. Petersburg. Based on ethnographic work at railway stations, soup kitchens, and other places where the homeless gather, it describes the material and mental world of this marginalized population.



The Captive and the Gift
Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus
Bruce Grant
The Caucasus region of Eurasia, wedged in between the Black and Caspian Seas, encompasses the modern territories of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, as well as the troubled republic of Chechnya in southern Russia. A site of invasion, conquest, and...



The Patriotism of Despair
Nation, War, and Loss in Russia
Serguei Alex. Oushakine
Examines the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, graphically described in spray paint by a graffiti artist in Barnaul: "We have no Motherland." Once socialism disappeared as a way of understanding the world, what replaced it in people's minds?



Overkill
Sex and Violence in Contemporary Russian Popular Culture
Eliot Borenstein
Borenstein argues that the popular cultural products consumed in the post-perestroika era were more than just diversions; they allowed Russians to indulge their despair over economic woes and everyday threats.



Communities of the Converted
Ukrainians and Global Evangelism
Catherine Wanner
After decades of official atheism, a religious renaissance swept through much of the former Soviet Union beginning in the late 1980s. The Calvinist-like austerity and fundamentalist ethos that had evolved among sequestered and frequently persecuted...



How Russia Really Works
The Informal Practices That Shaped Post-Soviet Politics and Business
Alena V. Ledeneva
Ledeneva explores practices in politics, business, media, and the legal sphere in Russia in the 1990s.



Defending the Border
Identity, Religion, and Modernity in the Republic of Georgia
Mathijs Pelkmans
This book, one of the first in English about everyday life in the Republic of Georgia, describes how people construct identity in a rapidly changing border region.



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