Kirill Postoutenko

Professor, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University and University of Helsinki, Finland.

During his AIAS Cofund Senior Fellowship, Professor Kirill Postoutenko will be working on the project "“Beasts” vs. “Supermen”: Asymmetrical Mapping of Conceptual Landscapes in Bolshevik Russia, Nazi Germany and ‘New Deal’- United States".

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

Contact information on Kirill Postoutenko

Project description

The proposed project for the first time tracks down the specific roles and functions of asymmetrical concepts, looking at both media messages and population feedbacks in two “totalitarian” (Soviet Union, Nazi Germany) and one “democratic” (‘New Deal’-United States) countries in 1933-1939. The special attention is paid to the links between asymmetrical concepts and socio-political asymmetries:  the preliminary analysis shows that 20th century totalitarian regimes resort to the most drastic conceptual asymmetries - from ‘Übermenschen’ vs. ‘Untermenschen’ to ‘Bolsheviks’ vs. ’mad dogs’ – in proportion to the ossification of their organizational and communicative hierarchies. Besides, the interplays between mainstream conceptual asymmetries and other forms of semantic manipulation (such as deictic references to time and space) are looked at closely: a sample of the late Nazi rhetoric shows how ‘Jewish parasites’ are steadily excluded from ‘tomorrow’ - year after year.