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Catalog Archive / Spring 2018

Russian Performances
Word, Object, Action
Edited by Julie A. Buckler, Julie A. Cassiday, and Boris Wolfson

Performance as a lens for viewing Russian culture

Throughout its modern history, Russia has seen a succession of highly performative social acts that play out prominently in the public sphere. This innovative volume brings the fields of performance studies and Russian studies into dialog for the first time and shows that performance is a vital means for understanding Russia's culture from the reign of Peter the Great to the era of Putin. These twenty-seven essays encompass a diverse range of topics, from dance and classical music to live poetry and from viral video to public jubilees and political protest. As a whole they comprise an integrated, compelling intervention in Russian studies.

Challenging the primacy of the written word in this field, the volume fosters a larger intellectual community informed by theories and practices of performance from anthropology, art history, dance studies, film studies, cultural and social history, literary studies, musicology, political science, theater studies, and sociology.


Julie Buckler is the Samuel Hazzard Cross Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. She is the author of the award-winning books Mapping St. Petersburg and The Literary Lorgnette.

Julie Cassiday is a professor of Russian at Williams College and the author of The Enemy on Trial.

Boris Wolfson is an associate professor of Russian at Amherst College and the author of Self and Theater in Stalin's Russia.



“A milestone in Russian studies. Offers rich, diverse insights into the performative dimension of Russian society through the centuries, demonstrating that artistic forms and social formations not only mean something but do something.”
—Andreas Schönle, Queen Mary University of London

“This important collection restores Russian thought, theater, and dance to the disciplinary conversation about performance. The result is revelatory: a new form of performance studies emerges, one more philosophical, theatrical, and literary than what we have known. A welcome addition to a changing field.”
—Martin Puchner, author of The Drama of Ideas



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Russian Performances

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August 2018
LC: 2017048367 PN
304 pp. 6 x 9
26 b/w illus.

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Cloth $79.95 S
ISBN 9780299318307
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