Catastrophe and Revolution: The (Post)Socialist Studies Group

Marcos Cisneros
UC Berkeley

Christina Novakov-Ritchey
World Arts and Cultures/Dance
UC Los Angeles

The (Post)socialist Studies Group focuses on new possibilities for socialism and postsocialism as a global analytic, disrupting the Western characterization of postsocialism as a regional issue. The experiences of those living in postsocialist states give us a critical window into how communities confront the upheaval of political apocalypse and how people continue radical political work in impossible material conditions. At a conjuncture defined by environmental, epidemiological, political, and economic catastrophe, our ability to imagine alternatives to the present is not a luxury—it is a necessity for survival. This working group brings together graduate students from six UC campuses and seven different disciplines in the humanities and humanistic social sciences to theorize (post)socialism as a global resource for imagining alternatives—political, cultural, economic, etc.—to our present. The group aims to complicate Western-centric perspectives of (post)socialism, develop postsocialist pedagogical strategies, and think collaboratively about postsocialism as an interdisciplinary methodology. Complementing this intellectual work, the group is also aggregating the multimedia outputs of its members on a public digital platform dedicated to an unsettling of postsocialist studies and disciplinary boundaries. This platform features writing, podcasts, webinars, art, and media content from participants and their research collaborators abroad.