Digital Poetry and Politics Talk

November 16, 2016

"Don’t Stop Reading": Boris Khersonskii’s Digital Poetry and Politics

Wednesday, November 16 from 4:00-6:00pm in the Hall of Graduate Studies, room 221

Anti-Russian sentiments have been almost omnipresent in the new Ukraine since February 2014. Similar discourses occur on multiple levels: in everyday oral communications about the war in Eastern Ukraine, in popular marketing, or in the anti-Russian yet Russian-language comments on the military campaign in Eastern Ukraine that prominent Russophone poets of Ukraine publish on the Internet.

This talk addresses the performative contradiction inherent in a Russian-language-based “Russophobic” discourse. Russian-language poetry from Ukraine seems to be especially suitable for reflecting, investigating, staging or deconstructing the apparent performative contradiction of “Russophone Russophobia.” This staging of performative contradictions will be explored with special reference to the recent work of Odesa poet Boris Khersonskii, who, on his poetic blogs on Facebook and LiveJournal, often ironically stages the performative tension inherent in “Russophobia” expressed in Russian.

The investigation of Khersonskii’s poetic politics also leads to a methodological conclusion about the application of digital methods to born-digital literary material. Both the analysis of Khersonskii’s digital poetry and his own explicit media ethics inform a moderate approach to digital humanities.

All are welcome to attend!


Dirk Uffelmann is a Professor of Slavic Literatures and Cultures at the University of Passau.

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