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“Bear and Russia”. Special issue of journal “Labyrinth”

“Bear and Russia”

Special issue of journal “Labyrinth”


The Center for Ethnic and Nationalism Studies at Ivanovo State University as well as the electronic journal “Labyrinth: A Journal of Social and Humanitarian Studies” invite scholars to contribute to the collection “Bear and Russia”.

The bear symbol, one of the most ancient and mysterious in the world history, has been associated with Russia for several centuries. As an allegory of the country, it has a significant impact on attitudes of foreigners towards Russia and Russians. The image of bear widely circulates also in Russian culture, especially in the post-Soviet period, when it pretends to being an unofficial symbol of the nation.

How deeply is the bear as a metaphor of Russia rooted in the world history? What meanings does the “Russian Bear” receive in Russian and foreign cultures? How does the bear symbol influence the international security? How is the “Russian Bear” utilized in the symbolic politics of contemporary Russia? Is the “Russian Bear” a part of the “myth-symbol complex” of the Russian culture or is it a case of the “invention of traditions”?

In searching answers to these questions the participants of the project “ ’The Russian Bear’: History, Semiotics, and Politics” have organized a few workshops and published a number of studies, including ‘Russkii Medved’: Istoriia, Semiotika, Politika / Oleg Riabov, Andrzej de Lazari (Eds.). Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 2012. In 2013 the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding publishes a monograph by Andrzej de Lazari, Oleg Riabov and Magdalena Żakowska Europa i Niedźwiedź (Wizerunek Rosji-niedźwiedzia w kulturach europejskich).

We invite scholars to submit the articles till May 31, 2013 on the themes as follows:


The articles will be published in a special issue of the journal “Labyrinth”. The length of the article should comprise from 20 000 to 30 000 characters. Languages of the volume are Russian or English. Guide instruction  for the authors is on the web-site of the “Labyrinth”.


Guest editors of the special issue

Oleg Riabov, Professor at Ivanovo State University

Andrzej de Lazari, Professor at University of Lodz


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