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Framing, Walking, and Reimagining Landscapes in a Post-Soviet St. Petersburg: Cultural Heritage, Cinema, and Identity

Hwang, Kiun (2020) Framing, Walking, and Reimagining Landscapes in a Post-Soviet St. Petersburg: Cultural Heritage, Cinema, and Identity. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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St. Petersburg’s image and identity have long been determined by its geographical location and socio-cultural foreignness. But St. Petersburg’s three centuries have matured its material authenticity, recognizable tableaux and unique urban narratives, chiefly the Petersburg Text. The three of these, intertwined in their formation and development, created a distinctive place-identity. The aura arising from this distinctiveness functioned as a marketable code not only for St. Petersburg’s heritage industry, but also for a future-oriented engagement with post-Soviet hypercapitalism.
Reflecting on both up-to-date scholarship and the actual cityscapes themselves, my dissertation will focus on the imaginative landscapes in the historic center of St. Petersburg in the post-Soviet society in terms of how they retrieve and reclaim the imperial heritage, its aesthetics, and mythologies, and in terms of the relationships toward images and identities of urban landscapes, proposed or desired by individuals, collectives, authorities, and developers.
One purpose of this dissertation is to challenge Toporov’s mythopoetic space, based on dualism, and to reveal the urban heterogeneity and complexity in the new connections the city has made with the imperial past, when a new identity was required for the transitional period of the 1990s, the period of stabilization of the 2000s, and the rising political and international vulnerabilities of the early 2010s. The dissertation scrutinizes individual cases in the post-Soviet period, selected for their ability to showcase the aesthetic and narrative policies that spurred discursive responses from visitors and residents: the Hermitage Museum; the Dostoevskii Memorial Apartment and its walking tour; Sokurov’s and Balabanov’s cinematic spaces; the architecture projects of the second stage of the Mariinskii Theater and the Okhta Center; public art and memorials. Each case reveals internal dynamics in creating a new aesthetics and a sensorium of its community. In exploring their internal dynamics, the dissertation relies on Bennett and Duncan’s theoretical principle of museums, rooted on Foucault’s discipline of the gaze, and on de Certeau and Lefebvre’s re-claiming of the city space by human mobility.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hwang, Kiunkih12@pitt.edukih12
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCondee, Nancycondee@pitt.educondee
Committee MemberBirnbaum, Daviddjbpitt@pitt.edudjbpitt
Committee MemberPadunov, Vladimirpadunov@pitt.edupadunov
Committee MemberMrinalini, Rajagopalanmrr55@pitt.edumrr55
Date: 16 January 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 November 2019
Approval Date: 16 January 2020
Submission Date: 6 December 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 267
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: Petersburg text, museum, place-identity, post-Soviet, monuments, commemorative plaques, Balabanov, Sokurov, Dostoevskii, Mariinskii Theater, Okhta Center
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2020 18:42
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2020 18:42


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