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Entangled Soviet and Central Asian Discourses on Gender, Youth, and Consumption, 1955-1985 • Kathryn Dooley (Harvard University)
October 13, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
In the decades after World War II, Soviet Central Asia became home to a nascent consumer culture fueled by the consumption of a wide array of traditional-style goods, Soviet-produced novelties, and global imports. The Soviet state’s fear of a rising tide of consumer acquisitiveness and “bourgeois” mentalities created a situation in which Central Asian tradition and ethno-cultural specificity could be reframed as potentially healthy influences, bolstering Soviet values in their struggle against excessive consumerism and dissolute youth culture. This presentation will look at discussion in the Uzbek- and Kyrgyz-language satirical press that influenced central and local discourses on gender, ethnicity, and generational differences, providing a back door through which elements of Central Asian “traditionalism” could permeate the Soviet public sphere in the region.
Kathryn Dooley is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at Harvard University. She specializes in the history of Soviet Central Asia, with a focus on consumption, gender, and social and cultural dimensions of nationality in the region. Her dissertation, based on research in Tashkent, Bishkek, and Moscow, is titled “Socialist Commodities, Central Asian Styles: Ethnicity and Consumer Culture in Soviet Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, 1945-1985.”
The Carolina Seminar: Russia and Its Emipres, East and West is co-sponsored by the Carolina Seminar Program, the UNC Department of History, and the Duke Council for European Studies. Please note that the participants will give an overview of their projects, but will not read a formal paper. Instead, papers or book chapters will be posted here ahead of time for those who are interested in attending and participating in the discussion.