This talk is based on Borenstein's forthcoming book Plots against Russia: Conspiracy and Fantasy after Socialism, is a study of the role of paranoid fantasy in contemporary Russian political discourse and culture. Rather than simply to respond to every conspiracy theory that makes the news, or to assume that conspiracy is somehow an exclusively Russian disorder, Plots against Russia is an examination of the frameworks that have allowed conspiracy to flourish. In particular, by devoting careful attention to less immediately legible genres of popular fiction, to Internet fan communities, and to a variety of recent political and philosophical tracts, [he] will show that some of the more extreme manifestations of conspiratorial thought in the contemporary Russian media owe their prominence (and relative coherence) to these very phenomena that were only recently dismissed as the irrelevant fringe.
Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures
Teaching Beyond the Classroom (College of Arts and Letters)
Kellogg Institute for International Studies