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Russian Literature and the Big Society

It comes as something of a relief to learn that the Observer’s story about the government linking research council funding to the study of the Big Society turns out to be exaggerated, but given that our funding is at the mercy of the AHRC’s decisions about research themes, which in turn are dictated by their need to persuade the government that the research they fund is socially useful and gives value for money, I’m not sure it actually makes much difference. But perhaps Russianists need not despair – after all, we know a thing or two about research in the service of state propaganda. So, with that in mind, a couple of ideas for literary research projects:

Defenestrating Old Ladies: A Kharmsian Approach to the Pensions Crisis

Promoting Family Values in the Big Society: The Brothers Karamazov

Cost Savings in the Criminal Justice System: Learning from Shalamov’s Kolyma Tales

A Sholokhovian Analysis of Research Funding: The Don Flows Down to the AHRC

Tolstoy’s Kreutzer Sonata: An Argument for Ending All Arts Funding?

Entrepreneurship in Action: Gogol’s Dead Souls


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  1. Sarah

     /  March 31, 2011

    I’m extremely glad that I stumbled upon this site. I studied Russian literature as an undergraduate and am now on to a Master’s in Semiotics at the University of Tartu, so I’m always glad to find a new resource. Please keep writing!

  2. Thank you! Coincidentally, I’ve been reading the Tartu semioticians in the last few weeks, and will probably be writing about that soon…

  3. Sarah, these are wonderful titles. We’ll know who to blame if the THE reports that one of these projects has been awarded a grant and three research assistants…

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