This seminar is based on Dr. Simonson’s postdoctoral research project focusing on the representation of China in several Soviet Lithuanian children’s magazines and newspapers. The speaker will elaborate on the nature and challenges of examining the unexpectedly vast amount of primary material and dwell on the current political challenges of working with the Soviet period sources. Dr. Simonson’s research project intends to uncover the complexities of Soviet Lithuanian children’s visual culture. It would reveal, among other things, the representations of Chinese history, culture, and people, in the context of related research on children’s literature, theatre and film, linking with Soviet ideology and geopolitical interests underlying the “fraternity of peoples”. It would also offer possible hypotheses with regard to the origins of present-day manifestations of racism. The research is developed at the intersection of ideologised Soviet children’s culture and postcolonial theory.
About the Speaker
Dr. Karina Simonson is an Art Historian and interdisciplinary scholar focusing on cultural connections between the Baltics and Global South in the 20th and 21st centuries. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Vilnius Academy of Arts, working on her first monograph provisionally titled, Representations of Africa and Asia in Soviet Lithuanian Children’s Visual Culture (1945-1990): Origins, Influences, Circulation and After-Effects. She also teaches a unique course titled, Africa and Asia Encounters: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives at the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies in Vilnius University. Her main research interests include the cultural production of the Eastern European African diaspora, Africa and Asia cultural connections, South African Jewish history and culture, questions of academic positionality, cultural appropriations, and race and racism in the Baltics. Dr. Simonson holds an MFA from the University of Cape Town and a PhD in Art History and Criticism from the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute.
About the Chair
Dr. Hemant Adlakha is Vice-Chairperson, Honorary Fellow of the ICS, and an Associate Professor at the Centre for Chinese and South East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Dr. Adlakha’s areas of research include political and foreign policy discourse in the PRC and modern Chinese Literature and Culture. He is a member of the International Editorial Committee, International Society for Lu Xun Studies, Seoul (ROK). His articles have appeared in China Report, The Diplomat, Japan Times, Encyclopaedia of Race and Racism, 2nd Edition, Washington etc. His co-translation of Lu Xun’s prose poetry collection from Chinese into Hindi has been published by the NBT in November 2019.
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