Rupture: When Things Fall Apart Call for Abstracts by The Russian Review

We were warned, repeatedly. But on February 24, 2022, the vast majority of Ukrainians, Russians, and the rest of the world was stunned. Not only by the Russian invasion of Ukraine but also by how rapidly the order of things can radically change and crumble. In response, we are devoting a special issue of The Russian Review to the theme of Rupture: When Things Fall Apart. By “rupture” we imagine a sudden rift in historical time but also a spatial dis- and relocation that manifests in the fragmentation of regions and world areas as political units and subjects of knowledge. The peoples of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia have had recurrent experiences with socio-political and historical rupture, and our field has done extensive work on previous ruptures, most notably 1917 and 1991, years of rupture that “shook” and reconfigured the world.

These ruptures are often accompanied by violence and brutality, with the physical destruction of lives and the very ground of former life.  But they are also accompanied by a vertiginous sense of free fall and disorientation, with a sense of being launched on a journey with no signposts and no destination that raises the most fundamental questions. One of the most jarring aspects of rupture is how quickly everyday life adapts –  even under hellish conditions – and settles into a new normal. Even so, nothing can be taken for granted and everything needs to be reexamined.

The Russian Review invites scholars in our field to draw on their expertise to reflect on the experience of rupture in history, literature, the arts and media, society, politics, social and individual psychologies in order to illuminate the loss and trauma, the uncertainty and the possibility that rupture entails at the moment/site of rupture and beyond.  

The essays should bring past or ongoing research to bear on reflections about the present rupture to expand and interpret contemporary debates. Hoping to transcend the limitations of the news cycle, we are seeking research and knowledge-based thought pieces that probe the deeper historical, artistic, epistemological, experiential, and existential facets of rupture, as well as the fundamental debates and changes underway in the field of Russian Studies.

To be considered for the special issue, please send an abstract of approximately 500 words outlining your approach, sources, and argument or perspective to by Sept. 1, 2022. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified soon after and will be expected to submit a complete essay manuscript (max. 5,000 words, including endnotes) by December 15, 2022. The cluster will then go through a dual review process by the editorial collegium and an external blind review.