Comradely objects – Q&A with Yulia Karpova

Posted by Rebecca Mortimer - Monday, 18 May 2020


How would you like someone who has read your book to sum it up in one sentence?

A story of diverse objects, personalities, ideas and hopes and that shaped, or failed to shape, the material world late Soviet socialism.

What book in your field has inspired you the most?

Christina Kiaer, Imagine No Possessions: The Socialist Objects of Russian Constructivism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005.

Which writing process do you use (computer, longhand, dictate, other)?

Computer and longhand.

Why did you choose to publish with MUP?

I liked the series Studies in design and Material Culture.

What are you working on now?

I am starting a new research project entitled “The Aesthetics of Biopolitics: Design for Reproductive Healthcare in Denmark and Russia, 1920s-90s”.

If you could go back and give yourself once piece of advice when starting out on this project, what would it be?

“No day without writing at least a sentence”

If you could have been the author of any book, what would it be and why?

It would be a book about design for modern reproductive care in Europe. I believe that the spheres of gynaecology, obstetrics and sexual health need more discussion in humanities and social sciences, with the use of feminist optics.

What other genres do you enjoy reading?

I like reading books in art history, anthropology, gender and sexuality studies and medical humanities, especially the history of endocrinology, as well as feminist novels and campus novels.

Which authors (academic and not) would you invite to a dinner party?

Writers Dorthe Nors and Sally Rooney, fellow scholars (including anthropologists art, architecture and design historians) Ioana Macrea-Toma, Christina Kiaer, Anna Bronovitskaia, Serguei Oushakine, Birgitte Beck Pristed, Olga Gurova, Jakob Ladegaard, Kjetil Fallan, Vladimir Paperny, Marsha Siefert, Karl Hall, Irina Sandomirskaja, Nadia Plungian, Angelina Lucento, Olga Kazakova, Daria Bocharnikova, Tom Cubbin, Nikita Balagurov, Kirill Chunikhin, Filip Herza, Pavel Vasiliev, Anton Kotenko, Dmitrii Kozlov, Ekaterina Kalemeneva, Kristian Handberg, Michael Kjaer, Vera Smirnova, Julia Tulovsky, Mie Mortensen, Triin Jerlei, Anders Kurg, Mari Laanemets, Iliana Veinberga, Maja and Reuben Fowkes, and probably more…









Comradely objects is available to buy now, read a sample chapter here.

Yulia Karpova is assistant archivist at Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives, Budapest.


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