Healing the Socialist Body: TV and the "Human Factor"
Dr Bohdan ShumylovychCenter for Urban History
Library of Center for Urban History
During the urban seminar, Bohdan Shumylovych will present a brief description and structure of his forthcoming book on television in the Ukrainian SSR. This history will not cover all regional studios and their differences, nor will it be told only from the perspective of Kyiv. Instead, the author will try to combine the history of Lviv (or more broadly, western Ukrainian) television with the more general history of the formation of Ukrainian media in the context of the development of the European imagination.
This project looks at Ukrainian media as institutions and institutionalized imagination, focusing on such phenomena as cultural policy during the Cold War and folklore as an embodiment of national politics within the socialist empire. During the seminar, we will take a closer look at the phenomenon of Anatoliy Kashpirovsky's television programs, who became a "television doctor" thanks to Ukrainian television. These experiments became possible in the context of the political restructuring initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev, which led to the collapse of the USSR. Together, we will try to think about whether Kashpirovsky's treatment sessions were a way of deception, collective delusion, or a media experiment. How to interpret such historical facts and what theoretical explanation can they contain? Were Kashpirovsky's sessions an indicator of the transformation of television into a public sphere in the Ukrainian SSR, or would such an assumption be too hasty? These and other questions will be discussed during the seminar.
The seminar will be held in the format of a workshop, to which researchers are invited to discuss research projects, projects at various stages of development, and completed researches that are being prepared for publication.
Participation in the city seminar requires preliminary reading and discussion of the researcher's text. If you would like to join the seminar, please email Yelyzaveta Bobrova ([email protected]) and we will send you the materials in advance.
Together, we will try to think about whether Kashpirovsky's treatment sessions were a way of deception, collective delusion, or a media experiment.
Cover Image: Kyiv-Moscow teleconference, a participant in a Moscow studio holds a glass of boiling water and does not feel pain, being in a trance under the influence of Kashpirovsky's TV view from Kyiv