Reeta Kangas

Art History, Musicology and Media Studies

ORCID identifier

Areas of expertise
Soviet Union; Russia; Russian art; Soviet art; propaganda; Russian propaganda tradition; Soviet propaganda; propaganda art; visual propaganda; animals in Russian and Soviet culture; animals as cultural objects;


I finished my PhD in Russian studies at the University of Turku in 2017. My dissertation examined animal symbolism and its functions in the Soviet Kukryniksy trio’s political cartoons from the Cold War era. Before my PhD, I completed my Master’s degree in Russian studies at the University of Turku and an MPhil degree in Russian studies at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. During my free time, I like to participate in a variety of activities, including but not limited to running, reading, gaming, knitting and analogue photography – especially with old Soviet cameras.


My research in general is interdisciplinary by nature. My research interests include Russian and Soviet art, political art, propaganda (especially visual propaganda), human-animal studies, frame theory, as well as the interplay of the visual with the textual in art, e.g. political cartoons and comics. My research focuses on how visual art is used to influence the audience’s worldviews and strengthen a state’s “official” narrative, as well as how cultural artefacts strengthen certain frames that the audience uses to think about the world. I am also especially interested in the use of animal symbolism in art and how it influences the ways in which humans perceive animals.


main teaching expertise is in Soviet propaganda, especially visual propaganda,
as well as Russian and Soviet art.


Last updated on 2023-12-07 at 12:05