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Gender and Sexualities in (post)Soviet/ (post)Socialist Music, Theater and Visual Arts

aprill 19 - aprill 20

Date: April 19-20, 2017
Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn, Tatari 13, C105 and A404
Artis Cinema, Estonia pst 9
Programme director: Hannaliisa Uusma

1-2 ECTS

This international, interdisciplinary seminar, hosted by the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and GSCSA, will seek to explore performativity and representations of gender and sexuality in music, theatre and visual arts before and after the fall of Iron Curtain but also in (post)Socialist area in general. The list will be updated, but we are already very pleased to announce that the keynote speakers of the seminar are:

Stephen Amico is Associate Professor of Music, The Grieg Academy, University of Bergen, Norway. He is author and editor of several publications on post-Soviet popular music and sexuality, including the book Roll Over, Tchaikovsky!: Russian Popular Music and Post-Soviet Homosexuality (New Perspectives on Gender in Music) (University of Illinois Press)2015.

Tiina Pursiainen Rosenberg is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Stockholm University. She is the former rector of the University of the Arts Helsinki and has previously been a professor of gender studies at Stockholm University and at Lund University.

Yngvar B. Steinholt is Associate Professor of Russian Culture and Literature at the University of Tromsø, Norway. He has published numerous articles and books on popular music in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia, as well as on art activism, protest culture and contemporary Russian society. Among the other influential publications, Steinholt is also co-author of the book Punk in Russia: Cultural mutation from the ‘useless’ to the ‘moronic’ (Routledge), 2014.

Harry Liivrand is Estonian art historian and curator of numerous important exhibitions which, inter alia, are covering marginalised topic of gay sensibility in post-Soviet Estonian art. He is author and editor of numerous fascinating publications about art, history, music and opera. Liivrand was 2011–2016 appointed as Estonian cultural attaché in Berlin. Currently, Liivrand is a visiting lecturer of Estonian Academy of Music and Theater, as well as a Head Specialist of Research and Communication at the Academic Library of Tallinn University.

Rebeka Põldsam is Estonian art critic and curator-project manager at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia. Her academic focus at the Estonian Art Academy and Goldsmiths College, but also as a curator and art critic, has been on representations of sexual minorities and post-Soviet gender representations in Estonian and Eastern European contemporary art.

Terje Toomistu is Estonian documentary filmmaker and anthropologist, whose works often draw from various cross-cultural processes, queer realities and subjectivities, and cultural memory. At the moment she is working on a documentary film about distinctive hippie movement, the psychedelic underground in the Soviet Union.

The aim of this seminar is to gather doctoral and postdoctoral students to represent their individual researches. With this seminar we hope to foster interdisciplinary dialogues between those researching gender in different fields of (post)Soviet and (post)Socialists aesthetics with a view to establishing international collaborations in the future between researchers.

We welcome submissions particularly from (but not limited to) those doctoral students looking at gender and performativity in (post)Soviet/Socialist music, theater and visual arts working in the fields such as:
● (Post)Soviet aesthetics
● Musicology
● Visual art studies (incl. design and fashion studies)
● Theater studies
● Feminist theory
● Queer approaches
● Critical studies on men and masculinities
● Media, film and communication
● Cultural studies



Wednesday, 19 April

EAMT, Room C105

10.30                          Welcome coffee (on the 2nd floor)           

11.00                          Opening words

11.15-12.45                Stephen Amico

How to Do Things with Theory: Queerness, Cultural Authority, and Post-Soviet Popular Music

12.45-14.00                LUNCH

14.00-15.30                Rebeka Põldsam

Tulips and Carnations – Representations of post-Soviet Gender Subjectivities in Estonian Contemporary Art

15.30-16.00                COFFEE BREAK

16.00-17.30                Yngvar B. Steinholt

1. Invisible Unmissable: Russian Punk’s Mothers of Invention” (The role of women in Russian punk communities, based on fieldwork in 2009-11)

2. “Painting the Void: Psychopathology in Ianka Diagileva’s Poetry” (Diagileva and her poem about depression)


19.00                           Documentary film evening in Artis cinema (Kino Artis)

I Don’t Believe in Anarchy (dir. Natalia Chumakova and Anna Tsyrlina, 2014)

Introduction and discussion: Hannaliisa Uusma

More information about the film: https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/marc-bennetts/film-review-‘i-don’t-believe-in-an   archy’-dir-natalia-chumakova-and-anna-tsyr


Thursday,  20 April

EAMT, Room A404 (Organ Hall)

09.30                          Welcome coffee (on the 4th floor)

10.00-11.30                Tiina Pursiainen Rosenberg

Is All Said and Done? Performing Genders on the Contemporary Stage

11.30 -12.15               Harry Liivrand

About Gaysensibility in post-Soviet Estonian Art, Especially in the 1990ies

12.15-13.15                LUNCH

13.15-15.45                Presentations of doctoral students and young researchers (10 min. presentation and 15 min discussion).

15.45-16.00                COFFEE BREAK

16.00-17.15                Terje Toomistu

Toward the Imaginary Elsewhere: The Performative Power of the Soviet Hippies



We invite doctoral and MA students to present their own research (every student has 10 minutes for presentation and 15 minutes for discussion). The interested students shall send a short abstract to hannaliisa.uusma@gmail.com. Presentations must be delivered in English.

The final registration deadline is April, 10. The interested participants should send an introductory email to hannaliisa.uusma@gmail.com. Students who are not members of GSCSA are required to add a short CV to specify their education and research interests.


Upon full participation in the study programme and presentation of a 10-minute talk or a 3 000-word essay a participant will be awarded 2 ECTS points. Please submit your essay on the topic of gender and sexuality in postsoviet music/ film/ theatre/ visual arts to doktorikool@ema.edu.ee, deadline is 08.05.2017. Upon full participation (but without the presentation or essay) in the study program a participant will be awarded 1 ECTS. Please let us know if you wish to obtain credit points by sending an e-mail and your ID-number to doktorikool@ema.edu.ee.

Participation in the course is free of charge. The GSCSA will reimburse the travel and accommodation expenses of its registered members.


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This event is organised by the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts, supported by the ASTRA project of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (European Union, European Regional Development Fund).


aprill 19
aprill 20