Maksim Hanukai

Position title: Resident Fellow (2023-2024)

Pronouns: He/him

Assistant Professor, German, Nordic, and Slavic+, UW–Madison

This is a headshot of Maksim Hanukai.

Zones of Indistinction: Cultural Biopolitics after Communism

“Zones of Indistinction” explores the intersection of contemporary Russian culture and biopolitics. The past decade especially has seen a biopolitical shift in Russian political discourse and practices, including government interventions into the spheres of sexuality and reproduction, the introduction of new surveillance mechanisms in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the adoption of biological metaphors to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The management of “life” has become a central part of the Kremlin’s authoritarian politics and an important nexus of political conflict. My study will contribute to emerging scholarship on Russian biopolitics by investigating the longer cultural history of this shift. Case studies will include works of fiction and documentary literature, theatrical productions and performance actions, immersive film projects and experiments in communal living, collective rituals and practices of radical care.

Maksim Hanukai is Assistant Professor of Russian at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is the author of Tragic Encounters: Pushkin and European Romanticism (University of Wisconsin Press, 2023) and the co-editor of New Russian Drama: An Anthology (Columbia University Press, 2019). His articles have appeared in The Slavic Review, Russian Literature, TDR/The Drama Review, and Ulbandus (among other places). His research interests include Russian Romanticism, Russian theater and performance, and contemporary Russian culture.