Putin’s Political Rhetoric on the War in Ukraine (with Riccardo Nicolosi)
December 4 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
In this talk, Professor Nicolosi will analyze the political discourse on the war against Ukraine in today’s Russia with a focus on Putin’s rhetoric. He argues that this discourse is based on a paranoid interpretation of history, in which two main elements are of key significance: a sense of deep resentment and discursive practices of reenactment. At the same time, both these elements are evidence of a very particular perception of temporality in Putin’s Russia, where the past, interpreted in a conspiratorial way, determines the perception of the present and the future. Importantly, this discourse owes its internal coherence to the fact that it functions in the same way as conspiracy theories: nourished by strong emotions, it produces a fundamental semiotic clarity in its interpretation of global history, whereby any particular events are not seen as contingent, but always as having significance in the context of the narrative thus constructed. This is why this discourse is therefore not falsifiable.
Riccardo Nicolosi is a Professor of Slavic Literatures at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. He previously taught at the Universities of Konstanz (as an Assistant Professor), Bonn (as a Senior Lecturer), and Bochum (as an Associate Professor). His research focuses on the literatures and cultures of Russia/Soviet Union and South Eastern Europe (Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia) from 18th – 21st centuries. Riccardo Nicolosi is the author of “St. Petersburg Panegyric Literature in 18th-Century Russia” (2009) and “Degeneration. Literature and Psychiatry in Late 19th-Century Russia” (2019), both published in German and Russian. He is currently completing a project on early Soviet adventure literature and working on a book on the war rhetoric of Putin and Zelensky.