In Marx's Shadow
Knowledge, Power, and Intellectuals in Eastern Europe and Russia
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About the author
Costica Bradatan is assistant professor in the Honors College at Texas Tech University. Serguei Alex Oushakine is assistant professor of Slavic Languages and Literature and associate faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University.
Despite its key role in the intellectual shaping of state socialism, Communist ideas are often dismissed as mere propaganda or as a rhetorical exercise aimed at advancing socialist intellectuals on their way to power. By drawing attention to unknown and unexplored areas, trends and ways of thinking under socialism, the volume examines Eastern Europe and Russian histories of intellectual movements inspired - negatively as well as positively - by Communist arguments and dogmas. Through an interdisciplinary dialogue, the collection demonstrates how various bodies of theoretical knowledge (philosophical, social, political, aesthetic, even theological) were used not only to justify dominant political views, but also to frame oppositional and nonofficial discourses and practices. The examination of the underlying structures of Communism as an intellectual project provides convincing evidence for questioning a dominant approach that routinely frames the post-Communist intellectual development as a 'revival' or, at least, as a 'return' of the repressed intellectual traditions. As the book shows, the logic of a radical break, suggested by this approach, is in contradiction with historical evidence: a significant number of philosophical, theoretical and ideological debates in post-Communist world are in fact the logical continuation of intellectual conversations and confrontations initiated long before 1989.
; March 2010
302 pages; ISBN 9780739136263Read online
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Title: In Marx's Shadow
Author: Costica Bradatan; Serguei Oushakine; Clemena Antonova; Aurelian Craiutu; Mikhail Epstein; Elena Gapova; Letitia Guran; Ivars Ijabs; Natasa Kovacevic; Jeffrey Murer; Veronika Tuckerova; Vladimir Tismaneanu; Maria Todorova
Chapter 1 Introduction
Part 2 I. The Sickle, the Hammer and the Typewriter
Chapter 3 1) Ideas against Ideocracy: The Platonic Drama of Russian Thought
Chapter 4 2) Asking for More: Finding Utopia in the Critical Sociology of the Budapest School and the Praxis Movement
Chapter 5 3) Aesthetics: a Modus Vivendi in East Central Europe?
Chapter 6 4) Changing Perceptions of Pavel Florensky in Russian and Soviet Scholarship
Part 7 II. Heretics
Chapter 8 5) The Totalitarian Languages of Utopia and Dystopia: Fidelius and Havel
Chapter 9 6) Martyrdom and Philosophy. The Case of Jan Patocka
Chapter 10 7) Anti-Communist Orientalism: Shifting Boundaries of Europe in Dissident Writing
Part 11 III. In Search of a (New) Mission
Chapter 12 8) Vitality Rediscovered: Theorizing Post-Soviet Ethnicity in Russia
Chapter 13 9) Balkanism and postcolonilaism or on the Beauty of the Airplane View
Chapter 14 10) Anxious Intellectuals: Framing the Nation as a class in Belarus
Part 15 IV. Reinventing Hope
Chapter 16 11) The Demise of Leninism and the Future of Liberal Values
Chapter 17 12) "Politics of Authenticity" and/or Civil Society
Chapter 18 13) Mihai Sora: A Philosopher of Dialogue and Hope
In the press
The variety of views informing this book makes for a rewarding read. The fact that they are often at methodological, if not political, loggerheads increases rather than diminishes its attractiveness. Just as much can be learned from different treatments of the same subject, so there is, for western scholars, ample reason to appreciate the advancement in our terms of discussion brought about by the addition of scholars from the former socialist states to our conferences, publishing outlets, and universities. Where we once ambled about the arid ideoscape of Cold War categories and, then, neoliberal simplicities such as “democratization” and “institution building,” we now engage with richer, more promising, and certainly more challenging ways of thought introduced in no small measure by those who used to be over there.