Anastasia Gordienko's interests lie in the intersection of Russian and Ukrainian politics, history, culture, and identity. Her monograph Outlaw Music in Russia: The Rise of an Unlikely Genre (The University of Wisconsin Press, 2023) explores a paradoxical quid pro quo synergy among Russian criminal music, the shanson, and Putin’s politics.
Dr. Gordienko’s secondary interest embraces the issue of collective remembering: her ongoing empirical study, “Memories of the Past” (Pamiatʹ proshlogo), investigates the role of collective memory in Ukrainian and Russian national self-identity and intergenerational transmission of memories for these nations.
RSSS 102 – Elementary Russian II
For the student with some knowledge of Russian.
RSSS 320 – Criminal Russia: From Rasputin to Putin
In contemporary Russia -- marked by extreme inequality; political prosecutions; government discrimination against racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities; extensive corruption, and prisoners' human rights violations -- the illegal has permeated the legal. "Criminal Russia" centers on the concept of power, and specifically, on the process of its consolidation and application by legitimate and illicit structures, and on the effect these processes have on different populations. To do this, the course begins with considering the influence of crime on the government in imperial Russia and the nation's fascination with a glorified criminal archetype. Then, moving to the more recent period, "Criminal Russia" explores the oppressive nature of the Soviet state, realized in unlawful mass incarcerations into Gulags; the interweaving of the criminal code into Russian politics; the rise and (alleged) fall of the Russian mafia; the country's penitentiary system as a reflection of societal power verticals and the collective sense of right and wrong; and the paradoxical place of the criminal culture within the national consciousness. Upon completing the course, students will be able: (1) to critically analyze issues of power (and power abuse) by the state and by its shadow using various disciplinary approaches, (2) to address issues of freedom, oppression, incarceration, and human rights, in Russia and elsewhere, and (3) to explain how counter cultures subvert dominant ideologies.