Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Alexei Yurchak -- Lenin's Two Bodies: The Hidden Science of Communist Sovereignty

Friday, February 25, 2011

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

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"Lenin's Two Bodies: The Hidden Science of Communist Sovereignty," with Alexei Yurchak, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.

Alexei Yurchak is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and an affiliated professor in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies in that university.

He received his Ph.D. in cultural and linguistic anthropology from Duke University in 1997 (after having received a graduate degree in physics from Russia). Some of his interests and areas of expertise include: political institutions and ideologies in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia; the processes of post-socialist transformation; the interface between language, discourse and power; comparative studies of socialism and liberalism; anthropology of art and aesthetics; urban geography and anthropology of space.

He is the author of Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation (Princeton, 2006), which won the 2007 Vucinich Book Prize for the most important contribution to Russian, Eurasian, and East European studies from AAASS. He is currently working on a book that focuses on the project of continuously preserving Lenin’s body in the Mausoleum, a peculiar branch of biomedical science that emerged around that project, a unique form of “Leninist sovereignty” to which this political and scientific project was linked, and the current fate of this project.

Cosponsored by the Watson Institute, the Department of History, the Slavic Studies Department, and the Mellon Workshop on Postsocialist Eurasia.

Location: Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street.