Celebrity and Glamour in Contemporary Russia: Shocking Chic, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Celebrity and Glamour in Contemporary Russia

Shocking Chic, 1st Edition

Edited by Helena Goscilo, Vlad Strukov


300 pages

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This is the first book to explore the phenomenon of glamour and celebrity in contemporary Russian culture, ranging across media forms, disciplinary boundaries and modes of inquiry, with particular emphasis on the media personality.

The book demonstrates how the process of ‘celebrification’ in Russia coincides with the dizzying pace of social change and economic transformation, the latter enabling an unprecedented fascination with glamour and its requisite extravagance; how in the 1990s and 2000s, celebrities - such as film or television stars - moved away from their home medium to become celebrities straddling various media; and how celebrity is a symbol manipulated by the dominant culture and embraced by the masses. It examines the primacy of the visual in celebrity construction and its dominance over the verbal, alongside the interdisciplinary, cross-media, post-Soviet landscape of today’s fame culture.

Taking into account both general tendencies and individual celebrities, including pop-diva Alla Pugacheva and ex-President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the book analyses the internal dynamics of the institutions involved in the production, marketing, and maintenance of celebrities, as well as the larger cultural context and the imperatives that drive Russian society’s romance with glamour and celebrity.


'A lively, sweeping overview of celebrity in the past decade in Russia, the volume includes not only consistent critical insight into the symbols and signifiers of excess and lack in mass culture but also a number of entertaining visuals. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.' - A. J. DeBlasio, CHOICE (August 2011)

Celebrity and Glamour is remarkably coherent due to its authors’ collective reliance on Chris Rojek’s theorizing and classification of celebrities as well as their familiarity with each other’s essays.’ - Larissa Rudova, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema

‘Celebrity and Glamour is a valuable academic study of the new ideology of glamour that celebrates the triumph of capitalism in modern Russia. Written in a lively and engaging style, this volume could also provide an enjoyable reading experience for the interested non-academic reader. For those who teach courses on post-Soviet Russian culture, this book is a blessing and a long-awaited sequel to Consuming Russia: Popular Culture, Sex, and Society Since Gorbachev, edited by Adele Baker.' - Larissa Rudova, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema

'In Russian Studies, glamour is the new black. This phenomenon, so central a feature of Putin’s reign, has begun to attract scholarly interest both in Russia itself and in the West. But what exactly is the purpose of glamour in Russia? This question lies at the heart of this, the first book-length study of Russian glamour and its related concept, celebrity. As such, it is an especially welcome addition to the growing literature on twenty-fi rst-century Russia. […] the avowed aim of this volume is to lay the foundations for future research into what Goscilo herself describes as ‘the two most important cultural signifiers of Putin’s era’ (p. 22). There can be no doubt that this excellent volume succeeds admirably in this aim.'Graham H. Roberts, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, published in Slavonica Vol. 18 No. 1, April, 2012, pp. 75 – 76

Table of Contents

Dedication List of illustrations List of contributors Acknowledgements Preface Introduction Part I The Art of Politics, and the Politics of Art 1. The Ultimate Celebrity: VVP as VIP Objet d’Art - Helena Goscilo 2. The Mistress of Moscow: a Case of Corporate Celebrity - Michelle Kuhn Part II Prosaic Glamour 3. Akunin’s Secret and Fandorin’s Luck: Postmodern Celebrity in Post-Soviet Russia - Brian James Baer and Nadezhda Korchagina 4. Glamour à la Oksana Robski - Tatiana Mikhailova Part III Mediating Glamour: Film, Estrada, and New Media Stars 5. Fatherland, Family, and Faith: The Power of Nikita Mikhalkov’s Celebrity - Stephen M. Norris 6. "Much Ado and Nothing:" Mikhail Zadornov as a Celebrity of Russian Comedy - Oxana Poberejnaia 7. Russian Internet Stars: Gizmos, Geeks, and Glory - Vlad Strukov Part IV Gendered Sounds and Screams of Stardom 8. Feminism à la Russe? Pugacheva-Orbakaite’s Celebrity Construction through Family Bonds - Olga Partan 9. Elevating Verka Serdiuchka: A Star-Study in Excess Performativity - Jeremy Morris Part V Moscow Snobbery: From ‘High’ Art to Haute Cuisine 10. Zurab Tsereteli’s Exegi Monumentum, Luzhkov’s Largesse, and the Collateral Rewards of Animosity - Helena Goscilo 11. Hot Prospekts: Dining in the New Moscow - Darra Goldstein

About the Editors

Helena Goscilo is Professor and Chair of Slavic at the Ohio State University, USA. Her recent publications include (as co-editor) Preserving Petersburg: History, Memory, Nostalgia and Cinepaternity: Fathers and Sons in Soviet and Post-Soviet Film.

Vlad Strukov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Russian, and the Centre for World Cinemas, at the University of Leeds, UK. He is the founding editor of Digital Icons: Studies of Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media.

About the Series

BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, research-level work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Russian & Former Soviet Union
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General