Brown Bag Biography: Helena Goscila

March 28, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Mānoa Campus, Kuykendall 409A

“Biography on the Body: Decoding Soviet Prison Tattoos”

Helena Goscilo, Chair of the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at The Ohio State University

Within the long and complex history of body marking, Soviet prisoners’ tattoos occupied a unique position. They constituted a linguistic system comprising images, acronyms, and words that summarized the biographies and general attitudes of the incarcerated. Only fellow prisoners could decode these sui generis bodily texts. With the aid of PowerPoint we shall analyze some of these tattoos.

Helena Goscilo is Professor of Slavic at the Ohio State University, where she earlier served as Departmental Chair. Her publications range from articles on fashion, music, art, graphics, celebrities, film, and literature to books on contemporary Russian culture. Most recently she has co-edited a collection on Russian Aviation, Space Flight, and Visual Culture (Routledge 2017) and a cluster of articles on the St. Petersburg artistic movement called Neoacademism (2019). Currently she is working on a monograph titled Graphic Ideology: From Stalin to Yeltsin and a volume on contemporary Polish film.

Ticket Information
Free and Open to the Public

Event Sponsor
The Center for Biographical Research and the Russian Department at UHM, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Janet Graham, (808) 956-3774,,

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