"Coming Home": On Dislocation and Memory in Several Women's Autobiographical Texts

Natasha Kolchevska, University of New Mexico

Women often write about experiences of dislocation, and there is ample material in the Soviet and post-Soviet contexts to legitimize its claim to being one of the twentieth century's major social and cultural paradigms. In my paper, I will examine the relationship between the experience of physical displacement and the construction of cultural identity and history. As my primary texts I will use the memoirs of Evgenija Ginzburg, Elena Bonner, Nina Berberova, and Marija Arbatova. I intend to look at the definitions of and tensions between "us" and "them," notions of cultural community, the different agendas that are joined in overlapping historical and cultural spaces, and the double move that these authors make between recording absence/loss and inscribing presence.