Alexei Yurchak

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Yurchak received his Ph.D. in cultural and linguistic anthropology from Duke University in 1997 (after having received a graduate degree in physics from Russia). His interests and areas of expertise include Soviet history and the processes of post-socialist transformation in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; political institutions and ideologies in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia; political philosophy and language philosophy; the interface between language/discourse and power; comparative studies of communism and capitalism anthropology of media; visual anthropology; experimental artistic scenes (especially, Russia and the United States); urban geography; and anthropology of space. He is a professor in the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology, as well as an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

He is particularly interested in the analysis of how ideologies (political, cultural, national, market, etc.) are projected on and work through language and what methods of discourse analysis social scientists can use to unpack their discursive power. He is concerned with the cultural shifts brought forth by the collapse of the Soviet ideology, state institutions and centralized economic principles, and the formation of socialist and post-socialist identities and subject positions.