Going Online, Going Global: The Pandemic Meetings of a Russophone Book Club

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Going Online, Going Global: The Pandemic Meetings of a Russophone Book Club

Image courtesy of Ekaterina Barinova (2021) 

The Waterstones Russian Book Club (WRBC) is the largest Russophone book club in Britain. In the pre-pandemic era, the book club members used to meet once per month at the Waterstones Piccadilly to discuss contemporary Russian literature, but following the announcement of the lockdown in Britain in March 2020, they decided to go online for the first time. This article explores the transition of the WRBC from an offline to an online setting, as well as its effect on the mission of the book club and the members’ reading identities. Drawing on interviews with participants and online observations, I argue that the digital practices introduced during the pandemic led to the formation of a hybrid shared reading paradigm, enhanced the transnational character of the WRBC, and laid the foundations for the creation of a global Russophone reading community.

To cite this item:

Theocharis A (2021) Going online, going global: The Pandemic meetings of a Russophone book club. The Garage Journal: Studies in Art, Museums & Culture, 02: 37-58. DOI: 10.35074/GJ.2021.79.21.003

Published: 12.04.2021

Publication type: Article