Viktor Tsoi, Rock & Roll, and the Soviet State

Viktor Tsoi, Rock & Roll, and the Soviet State

Thursday, September 22, 2022 - Saturday, September 24, 2022

Free Event

The University of Rochester’s Humanities Project, Viktor Tsoi, Rock & Roll, and the Soviet State: 30 Years since the Death of the USSR’s Ultimate Rock Icon (Tsoifest) is a three-day international conference that focuses on the cultural legacy of Viktor Tsoi, the Soviet Union’s most influential and enduring rock star. The goal of this symposium is to evaluate the role that Viktor Tsoi and rock music in general played in the collapse of the Soviet state and to educate UR students, faculty, and the community at large about the nature and power of popular music in the late Soviet period. Tsoifest will feature two academic panels, a keynote address, two film screenings with director Q&A, a roundtable discussion, and an evening musical performance by a UR alumni Viktor Tsoi tribute band Kino Proby. Leading scholars of late Soviet culture as well as Tsoi’s close associates and collaborators will attempt to establish a discourse of Tsoi’s cultural significance and national mythology from the perspectives of musicology, sociology, history, performance, media, and film studies. Tsoi’s position as an emblem of the collapse of the Soviet Union sheds light on the ways his legacy is reinterpreted and reimagined within Russia’s contemporary sociopolitical environment, probing the cultural mechanisms that have contributed to an increase in nationalist and increasingly isolationist attitudes in Russia in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

Sponsored by the Humanities Project, a program of the University of Rochester Humanities Center and co-sponsored by the departments of Modern Languages & Cultures, Music, History, the Russian Program, Visual & Cultural Studies, and the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester.

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