Call for Book Chapters: Nostalgia, and Anxiety in the Visual and Performing Arts: Russia, Eastern, and Central Europe

Editor: Tetyana Dzyadevych (New College of Florida) 

Submission deadlineMay 1st, 2021: for abstracts (300 words), October 1st, 2021: for the articles (6000 – 8000 words, excluding bibliography)

About the book:

Svetlana Boym’s influential monograph The Future of Nostalgia (2001) been prophetic in predicting that the discourse of nostalgia would play a prominent role in studies of post-Soviet society. In the last several decades, the idea of nostalgia has been deployed across disciplines and been a recurring topic of scholarly interest. Boym’s definition of nostalgia as a longing for a home that does not exist or has never existed[1] has been widely cited by many scholars working on the different implications of nostalgia in the post-Soviet world. The rapid technological changes, feelings of rootlessness, anxiety, and longing for some metaphysical ‘home’ have given the discourse of nostalgia a new global relevance.  Katarzyna Niemeyer (2014) writes about the “nostalgia boom” and the role of media in promoting it. Ryan Lizardi (2013) focuses on contemporary mass media's role in shaping individual memories and creating mediated nostalgia. 

Because of this widespread interest, a new collection of scholarly articles dedicated to inquiry about nostalgia becomes important. This collection aims to interrogate nostalgia from the perspective of form(s) rather than content. We propose to investigate how the experience of nostalgia impacts the form(s) assumed by contemporary visual and performing arts. We want to examine how nostalgia is manifested in the artistic aesthetic of such works as well as the political significance of such an aesthetic frame. The premise of this collection is that in the case of Russian and Central and Eastern Europe nostalgic longing results from the dissatisfaction and anxiety of our current situation and from the need to recreate a “comforting” imaginary wherein things “might be better.” Nostalgia discourse is frequently accompanied by feelings of resentment toward and anxiety about cultural and political underrepresentation on the global stage. In contemporary works of art, it often moves artists to reach out for aesthetic models drawn from an imagined political “golden age,” an age before the current political “paradise lost.”

The proposed collection will gather articles connecting these political causes of nostalgia with their consequences in the aesthetics of visual and performative art in Russia and the countries of the former Eastern bloc. Possible themes of inquiry may include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Nostalgia aesthetics in theater/ballet/opera

- Nostalgia aesthetics in film and TV production 

- Nostalgia in visual arts (fine arts, photography)

- Nostalgia in advertising

- Nostalgia in commemoration practices and cultural politics of monument

- Nostalgia and contemporary pop-culture

Submissions Procedure:

Your text should be written in English (American), original, not previously published. Citation in Chicago Manual Style Please, first submit your abstract by May 1st, 2021 articulating your study's main ideas and your argument. If you are selected for publication, the first drafts of the articles are expected by October 1st, 2021.

When the book proposal is submitted, it will have the status ‘under consideration.’ If the book proposal is accepted, then a contract will be issued to signal the publisher’s commitment to the project, but until peer review concludes successfully (which Vernon Press will arrange for), publication cannot be guaranteed.

Our Tentative Timeline:

 May 1st, 2021 - abstracts (300 words) due/ June 1st, 2021, you will receive a notification about the results of the selection process.

 October 1st, 2021 - papers (6000 – 8000 words, excluding bibliography) due.

 February 1st, 2022 - feedback from peer reviewers due.

 April 1st, 2022 - final papers due.

About the Editors:

Tetyana Dzyadevych is a Visiting Professor of Russian Studies at New College of Florida. Dr. Dzyadevych holds both a Ph.D. in Slavic Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago and another Ph.D. in Eastern Slavic Studies from Maria Curie-Sklodowska University of Lublin, Poland. She teaches the Russian language, literature, and culture, focusing on the 20th and 21st centuries. Her research interests: Eastern European literatures and cultures of the 20th and 21st centuries; cinema, visual art and pop-culture; political art activism; postcolonialism, and feminism.

About the Publisher

Vernon Press is an independent publisher of scholarly books in the social sciences and humanities. We value pluralism, intellectual diversity, and openness. 

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees.

  [1] Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia (New York: Basic Books, 2001), XIII.

This proposal is due on May 1st 2021.

Page last updated on February 9th 2021. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.