Boris Lanin

Boris Lanin is Professor of Russian Literature at the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts – GITIS, Moscow.

He graduated with honors from Baku Slavic University in 1983, and received his Candidate of Philology Degree in 1990 in Moscow. After obtaining his Doctorate in Philology from Moscow Pedagogical University in 1994, Boris Lanin became Senior Research Fellow, then Professor and Chair of Reading Pedagogy in the Academy of Education of Russia, Moscow. From 1997 to 2018 he has compiled some dozen textbooks in literature for the secondary schools and universities. They are widely used in the Russian Federation, with almost a million copies having been sold to date.

Boris Lanin served as a visiting professor at the Kennan Institute and later at the Woodrow Wilson International Cenr (Washington, DC), at Institute d’études avancées de Paris, at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study – Johan Peter Falck Fellowship (Uppsala), at Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg (Greifswald), at the Stanford,  Bath (UK), Waseda-Tokyo, Hokkaido, Kobe, Saitama universities. In 2018 he was a National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of New York, Potsdam. Lanin is a member of the Scientific Board of Study Center Vasilij Grossman, Turin. He publishes extensively on SF utopian literature, Jewish Russian Literature, and Russian. His work is published in eight languages.

Research project: Anti-Utopia in Post-Soviet Slavic Literatures: Social Structures, Borders and Identities

This project is a study on the social and cultural roles of utopian and anti-utopian trends in Slavic literatures after collapse of the Soviet Union, and their roots in Russian culture.

The corpus of relevant texts of his research project includes more than 90 Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian books written in utopian/anti-utopian discourse.

The point of departure is a hypothesis that various modern writers use the utopian/anti-utopian genre as a channel to express their visions and scenarios of the future that cannot be expressed in any other way. Russia now is heading towards Orwellian dystopian reality. A new boom of anti-utopias has emerged in Russia. Mass anti-utopia, which functions as a social subconsciousness, begins to play role of Freudian couch, where the fears and neuroses of contemporary intellectuals are poured out.

Dates of stay: 01 October 2020 - 31 July 2021