WelcomeWelcome to this site. My name is Ellen Rutten. I am Professor of Literature and Chair of the Department of Russian & Slavic Studies at the University of Amsterdam. At the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, I founded and co-coordinate two research collectives called Digital Emotions and Literature of the 21st Century. I also act as editor-in-chief of the Elsevier periodical Russian Literature. My research interests include post-Soviet literature and art, (Russian and global) aesthetics and design, social media, and Soviet memory. I very much enjoy studying all that deals with the imperfect, the wonky, and the non-polished.
Projects & publications
At the Dutch State University of Groningen, I obtained my BA, MA, and PhD. My dissertation dealt with political gender metaphors in Russian culture (in literary and philosophical texts as well as political cartoons and tattoos). In postdoc projects at the Universities of Cambridge and Bergen, I explored post-Soviet writing, arts, and new media. In Bergen, I also led a HERA project on what, in this book, our team called 'web wars': discussions of the Soviet past in social media. My Cambridge findings evolved into the book Sincerity after Communism, which came out at Yale University Press in January 2017.
Pictures by Ksenia Galiaeva, site built by Mykola Makhortykh.
Current researchPhotos & site
In 2015, I started a so-called VIDI project, funded by the Netherlands Scientific Organization, on Sublime Imperfections (click here for our site and for our blog). In this project, two PhD students and I explore practices that frame imperfection as hallmark for the authentic or sublime, in response to drastic social and technological changes (ranging from torn jeans and handwritten signs to glitch art). I teach classes and supervise student theses on the same topic, but also on, say, new media literary forms, 21st-century literary studies, and, at Amsterdam's at Amsterdam's Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, on Russia.
On these and related topics that have my academic interest -- whether they be Putin on panties, Ostalgic trash design, or Vasilii Grossman's war prose -- you find details on this site. Under media I share recent media contributions on social media, creative production and consumption, and on Russia; and in this YouTube clip I discuss my interest in the imperfect as creative asset. For questions or for PhD proposals, please feel free to contact me via email.