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H20-MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions

Soviet Ellipses: Omissions as Techniques of Border Transgression in Photography, Literature, and Everyday Life

Tildelt: kr 2,2 mill.






2021 - 2023


Soviet Ellipses: Omissions as Techniques of Border Transgression in Photography, Literature, and Everyday Life

This research action at the University of Oslo (UiO) deals with the creation and representation of ellipses (i.e. conscious omissions) in Soviet photography, literature, and everyday life. It sets out from the premise that the accumulation of omission practices during Soviet times (1917–1991) did not occur by accident, but rather served as a subversive strategy to undermine political repressions and the restriction of expression, which had been dominating the Soviet society for so long. The main objective of the action is to demonstrate how ellipses function as techniques that challenge (constructed symbolic) borders in order to reframe our understanding of cultural (counter) practices within Soviet society. By bringing together Literary Studies, Border Studies, Image Theory, Cultural Semiotics, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) the project will examine the making, the accumulation, the function, and the creative power of ellipses with regard to different types of media and in a diachronic and comparative scope. The action thus comprises of (1) the development of a methodological model to analyse how ellipses function as creative techniques aiming to transgress different forms of (constructed symbolic) borders; (2) the subsequent theoretical investigation, interpretation, systematization, and comparison of ellipses in terms of production, representation, and border crossings by means of the model in addition to their contextualization and visualization by means of a digital map. The action draws on broad ranging resources and an interdisciplinary research environment at UiO’s Faculty of Humanities and includes a secondment at Humboldt University of Berlin (HU). The research and training activities, the collaboration with the supervisors and with experts from multiple fields at UiO and HU, and the multi-layered implementation will enable me to enhance my academic profile significantly and will thus be pivotal in order to secure a successful career in academia.


H20-MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions