The post-Soviet cultural experience presents a fascinating case study: what is new in the post-Soviet cultural landscape is the radical return of the repressed old. Revival (vozrozhdenie) and “our heritage” (nashe nasledie) are key concepts for the articulation of post-Soviet cultural identity. Russian Orthodox Church is a goldmine for contemporary heritage discourse, which aims to fashion for the new century a continuous tradition out of fragments of the rediscovered past. But the religious renaissance of the turn of the twenty-first century is not so much about faith as about culture.
Katia Dianina is associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures at University of Virginia. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 2002. Her research centers on Russian cultural politics in imperial and Post-Soviet periods. Her publications appeared in Slavic Review, The Russian Review, SEEJ, and Journal of European Studies, among others. Her first book, When Art Makes News: Writing Culture and Identity in Imperial Russia (2013), was awarded the AATSEEL prize for the Best Book in Literary and Cultural Studies. She is currently working on a new monograph devoted to the restoration of imperial heritage in post-Soviet Russia.