On Friday, May 3, 2024. NOG PhD member Petar Odak will defend his PhD project.

Odak’s dissertation traces and analyses the affective, ghostly presences of state socialist pasts of twentieth-century Europe. He focuses on these presences within the vast field of experience economy, by analysing immersive museums, performative practices of historical re-enactment, and architectural remains. Odak looked into the bodily aspects of several case studies, and put them next to certain psychological mechanisms and political practices of emotions like nostalgia, hope, and fear. By analysing these aspects, this project detects and traces ambivalence as the fundamental affective attitude toward a relatively recent socialist past. According to Odak, the affective curatorial and performative practices he is looking into belong to the broader context of affective capitalism. These practices are not only commodifying the past to profit from its market value: they are also deeply invested in the political present, relying on the affective consumer-oriented trends of experience economy in order to frame possible political futures.

Theoretically, the dissertation is grounded in the theories and concepts developed within gender studies (affect theory and queer theory, embodiment, and performance studies), as well as psychoanalysis.

Petar Odak is writing his PhD as a joint degree between Utrecht University and Central European University (Vienna).

Details PhD Defense
Date: Friday, May 3, 2024
Time: 16.15-17:15 hrs
Location: Senate Hall, Utrecht University Hall
Title: Feeling Socialism Again: Affective Ambivalences of Socialist Legacies in the Context of the Experience Economy
Supervisors: UU: Rosemarie Buikema & domi Olivieri, CEU: Eszter Timar