Michael S. Gorham, 2023–24 | National Humanities Center

Michael S. Gorham (NHC Fellow, 2023–24)

Project Title

Networking Putinism: The Rhetoric of Power in the Digital Age

Archie K. Davis Fellowship; NEH Fellowship, 2023–24

Professor of Russian Studies, University of Florida

Michael S. Gorham is professor of Russian studies at the University of Florida. He received his PhD in Slavic languages and literatures from Stanford University and served for 12 years as associate editor, in charge of literature and culture, at Russian Review, one of the field’s top three peer-reviewed journals internationally. Gorham is the author of two award-winning books on language, culture, and politics: After Newspeak: Language Culture and Politics in Russia from Gorbachev to Putin (Cornell University Press, 2014) and Speaking in Soviet Tongues: Language Culture and the Politics of Voice in Revolutionary Russia (Northern Illinois University Press, 2003). In addition to two coedited volumes, Digital Russia: The Language, Culture, and Politics of New Media Communication (with Ingunn Lunde and Martin Paulsen, Routledge, 2014), and a special issue of Zeitschrift für Slavische Philologie dedicated to “The Culture and Politics of Verbal Prohibition in Putin’s Russia,” he has recently published articles devoted to the political and rhetorical impact of trolls, hackers, blogging bureaucrats, tweeting presidents, dictators on Instagram, Alexey Navalny on YouTube, and the rhetorical strategies of Putin propagandists in Russia’s war on Ukraine. Gorham has given numerous invited public lectures on the politics of the Russian Internet and social media, served as a regular contributor to the Oxford Analytica Daily Brief on matters relating to Russian Internet policy, and has given several interviews to public radio about Russian politics in general.

Selected Publications

After Newspeak

  • Gorham, Michael S. “Beyond a World with One Master: The Rhetorical Dimensions of Putin’s ‘Sovereign Internet’.” In Transnational Russian Studies, edited by Andy Byford, Connor Doak, and Stephen Hutchings, 266–82. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press, 2019.
  • Gorham, Michael S. “When Soft Power Hardens: The Formation and Fracturing of Putin’s ‘Russian World’.” In Global Russian Cultures, edited by Kevin M. F. Platt, 185–20. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2019.
  • Gorham, Michael S. “Humpty Dumpty and the Troll Factory: Varieties of Verbal Subversion on the Russian-Language Internet.” Zeitschrift für Slavische Philologie 73, no. 1 (2017): 79–103.
  • Gorham, Michael S. After Newspeak: Language Culture and Politics in Russia from Gorbachev to Putin. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014.
  • Gorham, Michael S., Ingunn Lunde, and Martin Paulsen, eds. Digital Russia: The Language, Culture, and Politics of New Media Communication. London: Routledge, 2014.
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