A Walk With(out) Svetlana


I write this homage to Svetlana Boym from afar. The news of Svetlana’s passing found me, as many of her friends, too abruptly and too far to pay our homage in person today. Mourning her at a distance is restless and isolating; it makes her death seem unreal.

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Cold Snap (Part II): Russian Film after Leviathan

10 Sorokin

An auteurist orientation, therefore, is neither good nor bad, but it is certainly mismatched to an industry—especially during periods of robust growth—in which so-called “spectators’ cinema” [zritel’skoe kino] is in higher demand by producers.

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Teaching Race in Russia: Some Conclusions


I was giving the students a brief biography of Lorde and as soon as I said the phrase “black lesbian Feminist,” their eyes opened really wide. I don’t know if their reaction was to Lorde’s identity or to the fact that I was discussing it openly.

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Welcome to Ukrainian 101


Even as our textbook rejects so-called “Russified” grammar structures and vocabulary, it does not offer the word “zhid” as a proper term for “Jew.” I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who uses the term “zhid” as their go-to example of Ukrainian linguistic oppression. Ukrainians who lament the Russification of their language still use the term “yevrei.”

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Assistant Secretary Rose discusses arms control in US-Russia relations


On April 29, 2015, the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed the Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Frank A. Rose, for an informal conversation about US-Russia relations, with particular attention to arms control, missile defense and space security. As Director of the Jordan Center Yanni Kotsonis pointed out, many have awaited impatiently for this event because issues of strategic stability are clearly very much back on the table in the strained relations between the two countries.

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Thomas Bremer discusses religious dimension of Russian World


On April 29, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Thomas Bremer – a current Jordan Center Fellow and a Professor of Ecumenical Theology, Eastern Churches Studies and Peace Studies at Münster University, Germany – to speak about the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church towards Russian World (Russkii mir), a foundation instituted by Vladimir Putin in 2007. In his brief introduction, Jordan Center Director Yanni Kotsonis expressed his excitement in welcoming Bremer to present on the subject, since not many people work on questions of religion.

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Re-Mediating the Archive: Scholars discuss archival revolutions

On April 24th, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, together with the university’s Department of Comparative Literature, the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, the Office of the Dean for Humanities, as well as the Romanian Cultural Institute inNew York, held an all-day symposium entitled “Re-Mediating the Archive: Image, Word, Performance” organized by NYU’s PhD candidate in Comparative Literature Emma Hamilton and Professor of Comparative Literature Cristina Vatulescu. The symposium welcomed seven participants from various fields who, as Vatulescu pointed out in her introduction, were there to address “the coming together of texts, images, and bodies in the archive.” She also added that currently “archival re-mediation is in full swing,” with new scholarship posing the question of the role of media and images in the long textually-dominated archive and attempting to bring other media out of persistent blind spots. She referred to this recent development as a new archival revolution, and invited dialogue with other archival revolutions, such as that prompted by the emergence of film as a medium at the turn of the 20th century and the one following the fall of the Iron Curtain 25 years ago.

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Russell Valentino unravels mystery behind Woman in the Window

Russell Valentino. Image by Ilaria Parogni

On April 3, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Russell Valentino – professor and chair of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at Indiana University – to speak about his latest monograph The Woman in the Window, published by Ohio University Press in October 2014. Valentino stated that the image of a woman in the window was ubiquitous in the books and films with which he has been working for many years. When writing about this trope, Valentino added, it is hard not to write about male fantasy.

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