What is the relationship between “things” and “thingism”? How do material possessions function in early Soviet years? Marsel Khamitov’s paper is really interesting. Perhaps he will be able to discuss asynchronously?
Do things make us happy? How did things function back in the day? And now?
2 thoughts on “Things and Thingism”
Thank you very much Angela!
It would be truly interesting to consider things in different periods of Russian/Soviet cultural history through the perspective of “happiness”, as it was discussed in the brilliant keynote lecture yesterday. I guess that in the early 1920s, which I am particularly interested in, the very term “happiness” was replaced in the official discourse by less “personal” utropian mission of the New Communist World construction, which demanded the radical reconceptualization of material things that surround us. Thus, as I tried to demonstrate in my paper, things were reconsidered as objects that have their own “ideological consciousness” and thereby can participate in the world-construction. Yet it would be fascinating to look further and to see how gradually the everyday material world (“byt”) returned to Soviet life in its conventional forms, and how things became the objects and agents of “happiness” again.
Great answer. This is the kind of conversations I had hoped we might have on this blog. I absolutely agree that looking at the changing attitudes toward byt and objects in it across the Soviet short century is a productive endeavor. Thank you.