Bringing together scholars from Russia, the United States and Europe, this collection of essays is the first to explore the slippery phenomenon of post-Soviet nostalgia by studying it as a discursive practice serving a wide variety of ideological agendas. The authors demonstrate how feelings of loss and displacement in post-Soviet Russia are turned into effective tools of state building and national mobilization, as well as into weapons for local resistance and the assertion of individual autonomy. Drawing on novels, memoirs, documentaries, photographs and Soviet commodities, Post-Soviet Nostalgia is an invaluable resource for historians, literary scholars and anthropologists interested in how Russia comes to terms with its Soviet past.

chapter |17 pages


The Many Practices of Post-Soviet Nostalgia: Affect, Appropriation, Contestation

part I|68 pages


chapter 1|17 pages

Journeying to the Golden Spaces of Childhood

Nostalgic Longing in the Online Community The USSR Our Motherland Through the Visual Image of the Soviet Toy

chapter 2|32 pages

Second-Hand Nostalgia

On Charms and Spells of the Soviet Trukhliashechka

chapter 3|17 pages

Village Voice

Peasant Nostalgia in Recent Oral History

part II|67 pages


chapter 4|26 pages

Longing for Fear and Darkness

“Oppositional Grassroots Stalinism” in the 1970s–1980s and Its Influence on Legitimizing Political Elites in Today’s Russia 1

chapter 6|21 pages

To Be Continued

Post-Soviet Nostalgia in Sergei Miroshnichenko’s Time-Lapse Documentary Series Born in the USSR

part III|80 pages


chapter 7|26 pages

Under the Sign of Nostalgia

The Cultural Revolution in Perm and Its Narrative Representations

chapter 8|20 pages

Nostalgia Inside Out

Re-Addressing Post-Soviet Loss in Andrei Astvatsaturov’s Novels

chapter 9|21 pages

“Perestroika and the 1990s—Those Were the Best Years of My Life!”

Nostalgia for the Post-Soviet Limbo

chapter |11 pages


After Nostalgia: A Backward Glance at a Backward Glance