Catriona Kelly approaches “period zapoya” through cinema


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On May 13, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia and the Tisch School of the Arts welcomed Catriona Kelly for the last colloquium of the Spring 2016 semester, entitled “Period zapoya: Alcohol and Cinema during the Brezhnev Era.” Kelly, who is a Professor of Russian at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the British Academy, was introduced by Eliot Borenstein, Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University. The former president of Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) and a prolific writer, Kelly spoke briefly about her ongoing project – a book on the Soviet cine underground, a history of film in Leningrad during the post-Stalin era.

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Panel on Russian-Ukrainian conflict urges constructive dialogue and a global perspective


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On May 4, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia and the NYU Russian Club held a panel discussion entitled “Beyond Political Games,” dedicated to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict from the historic and cultural point of view. Panelists included Yanni Kotsonis, Director of the Jordan Center, Lucan Way, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, and Peter Zalmayev, Director of the Eurasia Democracy Initiative. The panel was introduced by Rossen Djagalov, Assistant Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at NYU. “In my experience, [this is a topic] that doesn’t really encourage meaningful dialogue for the most part, which is precisely why it’s important,” Djagalov said.

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Evgeny Finkel applies Tocqueville to the 1861 and 1905 Russian reforms


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On May 6, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Evgeny Finkel, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, for a lecture titled “Tocqueville Warning: Reform and Rebellion in Imperial Russia.” During the event Finkel presented the findings of a joint project with Scott Gehlbach, Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, devoted to the seeming contradiction between reforms as a preservation mechanism for autocracies and the unrest that such reforms create in weak states.

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Slavic literary scholar Michael Holquist negotiates the many “Bakhtins”


Slavic literary scholar Michael Holquist negotiates the many “Bakhtins”

On May 2, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Slavic literary scholar Michael Holquist for a lecture entitled “On a Footnote in Bakhtin.” Holquist, Professor Emeritus of Comparative and Slavic Literature at Yale and a Senior Fellow at Columbia University, was introduced by Ilya Kliger, Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at NYU. “You are all to a greater or smaller extent familiar with Professor Holquist’s incredibly broad ranging work, scholarly, pedagogical and – on behalf of a profession which I hope he will permit me to designate with its frequently forgotten, but proper name – philology,” Kliger said.

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Sergey Sokolov traces the history of republicanism in Russia’s political thought


Sokolov. Republicanism

On April 29, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Sergey Sokolov for a lecture on “The Emergence of Republicanism in Russia (18th – early 19th c.): from Historical Writings and Literature to Politics.” Sokolov, an Associate Professor at Ural Federal University, was introduced by Ilya Kliger, Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at NYU.

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Philippa Hetherington explores anti-trafficking rhetoric in a Soviet and global context


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On April 22, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Philippa Hetherington from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London for a session of the Spring 2016 Colloquium Series. The event, titled “Between Moscow, Geneva and Shanghai: the Traffic in Women of Russian Origin and the League of Nations’ Global Governmentalities, 1920-1937,” gave Hetherington the opportunity to discuss a paper devoted to the interaction between the League of Nations and the lives of Russian and Soviet female migrants in the interwar period. In many cases, this relationship led to anti-trafficking campaigns in order to rescue women of Russian origin engaged in prostitution in China.

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Evgeny Dobrenko examines the “Cold War” through socialist realist ideology


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On April 15, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Evgeny Dobrenko for a lecture entitled “Soviet Cold War Imagination.” Dobrenko, head of the department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield and an April Fellow at the Jordan Center, was introduced by Rossen Djagalov, Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at NYU. His presentation focused on the Stalinist years of the Cold War, as a unique period charting the transformation of the Soviet Union from outcast to superpower in the postwar bipolar world.

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Anindita Banerjee speaks on Aelita, Queen of Mars in Radiant Futures keynote speech


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On April 8, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia hosted a conference entitled “Radiant Futures: Russian Fantasy and Science Fiction.” After the first panel, NYU Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies Eliot Borenstein introduced keynote speaker Anindita Banerjee. “If we think of our conference and our field in terms of science fiction, then she is Queen of Mars, our Aelita,” Borenstein said. Banerjee, a professor of comparative literature at Cornell University, centered her talk on Aelita, Queen of Mars, a 1924 Soviet silent film directed by Yakov Protazanov based on Alexei Tolstoy’s eponymous novel.

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“Radiant Futures” conference brings Soviet science fiction and fantasy out of the periphery


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On April 8, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia hosted a conference entitled “Radiant Futures: Russian Fantasy and Science Fiction.” The conference was convened by Eliot Borenstein, Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies and Collegiate Professor at New York University, and it featured a varied lineup of speakers from the literary field. In his introduction, Borenstein said that the idea behind the conference was to gather a group of people who have been thinking about nauchnaya fantastika (scientific fantasy) from a scholarly and non-scholarly perspective, particularly given the peripheral role this genre usually plays in the academic context.

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Ilya Matveev reflects on the Russian economic crisis


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On April 4, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Ilya Matveev from the European University in St. Petersburg for a lecture titled “Austerity and nationalist mobilization: reflections on the Russian crisis.” Rossen Djagalov, Assistant Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at NYU, introduced Matveev by highlighting his multiple contributions to Russia’s intellectual and social life. Matveev is the editor of OpenLeft.Ru, a member of the PS Lab research group, a lecturer in political theory at the North-West Institute of Management (Petersburg), and an activist in the University Solidarity trade union.

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No Pussy, No Riot


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Nadya Tolokonnikova has occupied yet another church. The building in question, in New York’s uber-gentrified neighborhood of Williamsburg, has been repurposed for private use and is the Pussy Riot member’s abode of choice during her visit to the city. This time, no one will ask her to leave or accuse her of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.”

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Yanni Kotsonis shares the value of babushka stories at NESEEES


Yanni Kotsonis. Babushka and the Sewing Machine

On April 2, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia hosted the 37th Annual Meeting of the North East Slavic, East European and Eurasian Conference (NESEEES, a regional conference of ASEEES). Panel discussions were held throughout the day, with scholars at the junior and senior level, as well as graduate and undergraduate students, to present their work. After being introduced by the Executive Director of NESEEES Susan Smith-Peter, NESEEES President and Jordan Center Director Yanni Kotsonis provided the keynote address, entitled “Babushka and the Sewing Machine, and Other Instructive Fails during My Travels in Russia.”

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Edward Cohn explores “prophylactic policing” in the Soviet Baltics


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On April 1, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Edward Cohn for a colloquium on “A Soviet Theory of Broken Windows: Policing and the KGB’s Struggle With the Baltic States.” Cohn, Associate Professor of History and chair of the Russian, Central, and Eastern European Studies concentration at Grinnell College, was introduced by Arturas Rozenas, Assistant Professor of Politics at NYU. The presentation and discussion focused on a paper that will become part of a larger research project on Soviet strategies of policing in the Baltics.

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