Sergey Toymentsev close up with an ocean background

The Eurasian Studies Seminar presents…. "Mnemonic Hybrids in a Hybrid Regime: Remembering the Soviet Past in Putin's Russia"

Sergey Toymentsev, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

Many scholars argue that a key feature of Putin's Russia is the re-legitimization of the Soviet past, especially the glorification of successes including the victory in the Second World War. One consequence of this, they contend, is the prevention of full democratization. Dr. Toymentsev, on the contrary, argues that the memorialization of the Soviet past is much more complex, with traumatic facts such as the gulag not being suppressed, with the result that the past is both condemned and glorified at the same time. In his talk Dr. Toymentsev examines the ambivalent nature of the memorialization of the Soviet past in a range of media, including history textbooks, films, television programs and novels, and concludes that the contradictory attitude to the Soviet past is entirely in step with the hybrid nature of the current regime.