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AIAS Fellows' Seminar: Kirill Postoutenko, AIAS Fellow

Totalitarian Routines: On Everyday Grounds of Undemocratic Activities

Info about event


Monday 24 October 2016,  at 14:15 - 16:15


The AIAS Auditorium, Building 1632, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, 8000 Aarhus C


Totalitarian regimes are commonly described as exceptional states (Giorgio Agamben) ruled by extreme heroes/villains (Karl Schmitt/ Robert Tucker) and sustained by outrageous actions (Richard Pipes/Daniel Goldhagen). While this may be partially true, it is hard to believe that all relevant social systems, actors and practices in Soviet Union, Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy were extraordinary. Drawing upon systems theory and ethno-methodology, the talk argues that such seemingly unusual “totalitarian” activities as the leaders’ ample use of discursive manipulation or the followers’ incessant applauding to the leaders can be based upon ordinary communicative routines performed by general public on a daily basis.



Shot bio

Kirill Postoutenko is Professor and Senior Fellow at AIAS; he is also a Docent in Russian literature and culture at the University of Helsinki. Prior to his arrival to Aarhus, he has held research and teaching appointments at the Universities of Munich and  Constance (Germany), Columbia University and University of Southern California (USA), IEA and ENS/Rue d’Ulm (France), Queen Mary, University of London (UK) and University of the Basque Country (Spain). He is an author and editor of 6 books and 80 articles devoted to the history of Russian poetry and literary criticism, social history of identity, history of media in communication ion Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

Kirill Postoutenko's project at AIAS

What is a Fellows' Seminar?

The AIAS Fellows' Seminar is a session of seminars held by the AIAS fellow or by other speakers proposed by the fellows. In each seminar, one fellow will present and discuss his/her current research and research project, closing off with a question and discussion session.

All seminars are held in English and open to the public. Registration to the seminar is not necessary.  Read more about the AIAS Fellows' Seminar here.