LK/Seminar: Post-Colonial and Post-Soviet Entanglements WS 2022/23

TU Dresden | Wintersemester 2022 / 2023

LK/Seminar: Post-Colonial and Post-Soviet Entanglements WS 2022/23

Instructors: Prof. Dr. Nikita Dhawan ( and Prof. Dr. Lindenberger (

Language: English

Wednesdays (6): 16.40-18.10

Office hours: by email by appointment

Tutor: Natalia Fomina (email: and Linda Fleck (

Room: hybrid (online and GER/54/U)


First session: 12.10.2022




„The War in Ukraine Is a Colonial War” – this is the succinct interpretation by Timothy Snyder, one of the leading historians of 20th Century Eastern Europa, of the brutal aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which started on 24th February 2022 (The New Yorker, 29.04.2022). Russia’s autocratic leader, Wladimir Putin, is rather outspoken about his aim to restore a “defunct” Empire’s might and glory through the violent submission of non-Russian peoples at Russia’s periphery. While the imperialist nature of both the Tsarist monarchy and the Soviet Union throughout the 20th century are undisputed in scholarship, efforts to understand Soviet and Post-soviet spheres as ‘colonial’ and ‘post-colonial’, are still uncommon. Conversely the Eurasian ‘space’ with all its inner diversity and complexity barely figures in the geopolitics of ‘mainstream’ post-colonial critique.

Following-up on last semester’s reading course “Post-Colonial and Post-Shoah readings” and their intertwined bearings on memory politics, this lecture course sets out to explore the mutual entanglements of (post-)colonial and (post-)soviet studies. This will involve engaging with the historiography of the Soviet project as an imperial endeavor, its – by and large unacknowledged – colonialist implications from the outset, as well as with its critique as colonial and post-colonial ideology and practice in recent international scholarship. Since this is an emerging field of study, the reading course will be partly exploratory, and the readings will be supplemented with invited speakers with pertinent expertise on the intersection of Soviet and colonial studies.

The syllabus will include readings from different disciplinary backgrounds including philosophy, history and social sciences. Participants are expected and given opportunity to opt for exam requirements according to the regulations of their respective fields (in history, or in political science, or other).

High level of English proficiency not essential. Maximum number of participants is 24: 12 from history and 12 from political science (in OPAL, please register only under your respective subject).

Exam requirements vary according to the subject area. You will receive more information in the first session. 

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