1st Edition

Coloniality, Nationality, Modernity A Postcolonial View on Baltic Cultures under Soviet Rule

Edited By Epp Annus Copyright 2018
    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    Soviet postcolonial studies is an emerging field of critical inquiry, with its locus of interest in colonial aspects of the Soviet experience in the USSR and beyond. The articles in this collection offer a postcolonial perspective on Baltic societies and cultures – that is, a perspective sensitive to the effects of Soviet colonialism. The colonial situation is typically sustained by the help of colonial discourses which carry the pathos of progress and civilization. In Soviet colonial discourse, the pathos of progress is presented in terms of communist value systems, which developed certain principles of the European Enlightenment and rearticulated them through Soviet ideology.

    This collection explores the establishment of Soviet colonial power structures, but also strategic continuities between Soviet and Tsarist rule and the legacy of Soviet colonialism in post-Soviet Baltics. Soviet norms and rules, imposed upon the Baltic borderlands, produced new forms of transculturation, gave birth to new cultural ‘authenticities,’ and developed complex entanglements of colonial, modern and national impulses.

    Analyses of colonial patterns in Soviet and post-Soviet Baltic societies helps bring us closer to understanding the Soviet legacy in the former Soviet borderlands and in present-day Russia.

    The chapters were originally published in a special issue of the Journal of Baltic Studies.


    Between arts and politics: A postcolonial view on Baltic cultures of the Soviet era

    Epp Annus

    1. Comparing colonial differences: Baltic literary cultures as agencies of Europe’s internal others

    Benedikts Kalnačs

    2. Postcolonial theory as a means to understand Estonian art history

    Jaak Kangilaski

    3. The Sovietization of Lithuania after WWII: modernization, transculturation, and the lettered city

    Violeta Davoliūtė

    4. Orientalism, otherness, and the Soviet empire: travelogues by Latvian writers of the Soviet period

    Maija Burima

    5. Bourgeoisie as internal orient in the Soviet Lithuanian literature: Roses Are Red by A. Bieliauskas, 1959

    Rasa Balockaite

    6. Post-colonial folk dancing: reflections on the impact of stage folk dance style on traditional folk dance variation in Soviet and post-Soviet Estonia

    Sille Kapper

    7. Estonian nationalism through the postcolonial lens

    Piret Peiker

    8. Can postcolonial theory help explain Latvian politics of integration? Reflections on contemporary Latvia as a postcolonial society

    Deniss Hanovs


    Epp Annus is a lecturer at Ohio State University and a senior researcher with the Estonian Literature Museum. She is the author of Soviet Postcolonial Studies: A View from the Western Borderlands (Routledge, 2018).