In present-day public discourse, concerns about the sincerity of individuals, institutions, and cultural objects thrive. To what extent does the philanthropy of Zuckerberg and other Internet billionnaires spring from sincere social commitment, and to what extent does it boil down to mere commerce-driven media manipulation? Do Danish arthouse films signal a move away from postmodern sarcasm to a cinematographic “neo-sincerity” or is full-fledged sincerity today impossible in art? Is opposition blogger Aleksei Navalny driven by genuine political engagement, is he introducing a public “new sincerity” that is primarily career driven, or is he doing both at the same time? Prof. Dr. E. Rutten studies the cultural practice of a 'new sincerity' in literature, media, art, design, fashion, film, and architecture -- as a global practice, but with special attention for post-communist Russia.
Ellen Rutten (1975) is Full Professor of Literature, with a special focus on Slavic Literatures, at the University of Amsterdam and leader of the research project Sublime Imperfections: Creative Interventions in Post-1989 Europe, which is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Rutten is author of Unattainable Bride Russia (Northwestern University Press, 2010), Memory, Conflict and New Media (Routledge, 2013, with Julie Fedor and Vera Zvereva) and Sincerity After Communism (in print). She is co-founder and was editor (2008-2015) of new-media journal Digital Icons. From January 2016 onwards, Rutten is editor-in-chief of the journal Russian Literature.