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Territory and Empire in Early Soviet Poetry

Thorsen, Elise (2016) Territory and Empire in Early Soviet Poetry. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The Soviet state-building project of the 1920s and 1930s faced a number of challenges, among then reconceiving of the vast Eurasian territory and geographic relations seized from the Russian Empire as a new country. This dissertation takes as its goal the description of how civic poets sought to create a coherent sense of imagined community in which geographic and ethnic diversity was organized and enhanced by socialist ideology. As this poetic project developed over two decades, a consistent tension emerged between two positions. One, there is the necessity of constituting an imagined community that can account for the dynamism of the early Soviet decades; for example, the implicit boundaries of that community change radically over time. Two, there is a countervailing suspicion that such an imagined community will perpetuate the legacies of Russian empire and global colonialism.
The methodology of this dissertation is close to the texts themselves. These include Maiakovskii’s Soviet work, the Center of Literary Constructivists, the literary brigades of the Five-Year Plans, and works dedicated to the dramatic rescue of the Cheliuskinites in 1934. In these poems, which consciously grapple with problems of geography, the prosodic and intertextual organization of space offers a basis for understanding the conceptual position of the lyric subject. This lays the groundwork for inquiry into the shifting potential roles for the civically-minded poet, and into the possibility of a community of citizens to which he could belong.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Thorsen, Eliseenthorsen@pitt.eduENT70000-0001-9599-3583
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCondee, Nancycondee@pitt.eduCONDEE
Committee MemberBirnbaum, Daviddjbpitt@pitt.eduDJBPITT
Committee MemberHalle, Randallrhalle@pitt.eduRHALLE
Committee MemberKukulin,
Committee MemberPadunov, Vladimirpadunov@pitt.eduPADUNOV
Committee MemberPlatt, Jonathanjbplatt@pitt.eduJBPLATT
Date: 15 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 18 March 2016
Approval Date: 15 June 2016
Submission Date: 3 April 2016
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 329
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Slavic Languages and Literatures
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Soviet Union, Russia, Russian poetry, prosody, empire, territory, imagined geographies, imagined community, Maiakovskii, Sel'vinskii
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2016 21:27
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 05:15


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