Conspiracy Culture: Post-Soviet Paranoia and the Russian Imagination

By Keith A. Livers

© 2020

Contemporary Russia stands apart as one of the most prolific generators of conspiracy theories and paranoid rhetoric. Conspiracy Culture traces the roots of the phenomenon within the sphere of culture and history, examining the long arc of Russian paranoia from the present moment back to earlier nineteenth-century sources, such as Dostoevsky’s anti-nihilist novel Demons.

Conspiracy Culture examines the use of conspiracy tropes by contemporary Russian authors and filmmakers including the postmodernist writer Viktor Pelevin, the conservative author and pundit Aleksandr Prokhanov, and the popular director Timur Bekmambetov. It also explores paranoia as an instrument within contemporary Russian political rhetoric, as well as in pseudo-historical works. What stands out is the manner in which popular paranoia is utilized to express broadly shared fears not only of a long-standing anti-Russian conspiracy undertaken by the West, but also about the destruction of the country’s cultural and spiritual capital within this imagined "Russophobic" plot.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 1.1in x 9.1in
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SKU# SP006440

  • PUBLISHED SEP 2020

    From: $56.25

    Regular Price: $75.00

    ISBN 9781487507374
  • PUBLISHED OCT 2020

    From: $56.25

    Regular Price: $75.00

Quick Overview

This book examines the uses of conspiracy tropes in post-Soviet culture, providing the first systematic, in-depth analysis of Russia’s most "paranoid" contemporary authors.

Conspiracy Culture: Post-Soviet Paranoia and the Russian Imagination

By Keith A. Livers

© 2020

Contemporary Russia stands apart as one of the most prolific generators of conspiracy theories and paranoid rhetoric. Conspiracy Culture traces the roots of the phenomenon within the sphere of culture and history, examining the long arc of Russian paranoia from the present moment back to earlier nineteenth-century sources, such as Dostoevsky’s anti-nihilist novel Demons.

Conspiracy Culture examines the use of conspiracy tropes by contemporary Russian authors and filmmakers including the postmodernist writer Viktor Pelevin, the conservative author and pundit Aleksandr Prokhanov, and the popular director Timur Bekmambetov. It also explores paranoia as an instrument within contemporary Russian political rhetoric, as well as in pseudo-historical works. What stands out is the manner in which popular paranoia is utilized to express broadly shared fears not only of a long-standing anti-Russian conspiracy undertaken by the West, but also about the destruction of the country’s cultural and spiritual capital within this imagined "Russophobic" plot.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 1.1in x 9.1in
  • Reviews

    "Convincingly contextualizing Russian conspiracy narratives within wider, global tendencies, Conspiracy Culture also explores the hidden anxieties underlying American conspiratorial thought regarding Russia's influence on US politics. In doing so, Keith A. Livers avoids stereotypical characterizations of Russians as having a unique proclivity for the conspiracy mindset."


    Boris Noordenbos, Department of Literary and Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam

    "Conspiracy Culture broadens the focus of conspiracy studies to encompass the most prolific producers of contemporary paranoid narratives in Russia."


    Henrietta Mondry, Department of Russian, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

    "Conspiracy Culture is an engaging, original, and insightful investigation into this burgeoning field of conspiracy studies, one that contributes in significant ways to our understanding of post-Soviet society as well as of current global challenges and power struggles."


    Sofya Khagi, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan
  • Author Information

    Keith A. Livers is an associate professor in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgments

    Introduction: The Anti-Russian Conspiracy

    1. From Vampire Capitalism to Enlightened Selfhood: Viktor Pelevin’s (Anti)-Conspiracy Novels

    2. The Great Anti-Russian Plot: Aleksandr Prokhanov’s Conspiracy Novels of the 2000s

    3. Timur Bekmambetov’s Night and Day Watch: Russia’s Secret Others

    4. From the “Dulles Plan” to Pussy Riot: Conspiracy Theories in Today’s Russia

    Conclusion: Mr. Putin and Comrade Trump

    Bibliography

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