You Want Romanovs With That?

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There has long been a reluctance to accept that the Bolsheviks could, in fact, wipe out the entire imperial family and for the next seventy-five years not feel bad about it. But the lasting conviction that Grand Duchess Anastasia survived has now expanded to include other members of the dynasty.

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Event Announcement: Everyday and the Experience of War in Late Modernity

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All the Russias is pleased to announce an event held this Friday, November 15, in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (721 Broadway, 7th Floor) at 6 PM. Part of an international research project spanning two years (2017-2019), “Everyday and the Experience of War in Late Modernity” will analyze visual representations —films and video art — pertaining to the experience of war in Eastern Europe.

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Putin’s Y2024 Problem

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There is no doubt that Putin has a succession plan – but he has not yet revealed what it is. During his June 2018 call-in program, Putin said in response to a question about his succession “of course I think about it all the time,” remarking that “we have a new generation of young leaders who can take responsibility for running Russia.” When asked about his successor in a June 2019 interview with the “Financial Times,” he said, “I have always been thinking about this, since 2000,” but did not provide any more details.

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The Great Chernobyl Acceleration

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One researcher in search of definitive answers to long-term health effects from Chernobyl has a radical idea about how to accelerate cleanup of the accident’s contamination: Buy the radioactive berries local residents pick, and dispose of them as nuclear waste.

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The Khachaturyan Sisters and Russia’s History of Fighting Terror at Home

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The case of the Khachaturyan sisters reads like one of Liudmila Petrushevskaya’s darkest tales. On August 2, 2018, Maria (age 17), Angelina (18), and Krestina (19) were arrested on charges of having murdered their father Mikhail. He had subjected them to years of severe physical and sexual abuse, including beating them with the butt of a pistol, cutting them with knives, and attacking them with pepper spray. His body was found in the stairwell of their Moscow apartment building with 36 stab wounds around the chest and neck and pepper spray in his eyes. The sisters confessed but said their lives had been at risk. They are currently awaiting trial.

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Moscow and the Harlem Renaissance: The LIT Podcast

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The LIT podcast, created within the framework of Jennifer Wilson’s seminar “The Harlem Renaissance: From New York to Tashkent,” is a space to discuss specific pieces of literature in relation to current events and trends. The first three episodes focus on the intersection between Russian literature and contemporary topics, connecting American popular culture to the works of notable Russians.

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Harlem, Moscow and the Digital International: Spotlight on Student Work

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Some years ago, I had the pleasure of teaching a course on the Harlem Renaissance in Moscow. The class, “The Harlem Renaissance: From New York to Tashkent,” followed the travels of prominent black artists and intellectuals of the 1920s and 30s (Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Dorothy West) throughout the Soviet Union. For those interested in learning more about that course, I blogged about the experience for this website in a four-part series titled “Teaching Race in Russia.”

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Kvas Patriotism in Russia: Cultural Problems, Cultural Myths

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Professor Brintlinger’s argument is developed along three ideas: Russian ideas about food become heightened during times of war and conflict; specific foods embody meaning beyond their sustenance value, to include national pride; and certain foods, such as potatoes, kvas and shchi, harken back to Russia’s peasant roots.

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Are Russians Rejecting Authoritarianism?

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In 1995, the film heroes Russians thought would make good presidential candidates were Marshal Zhukov and the Soviet agent Shtirlits. In 2019, the list is topped by Ekaterina, the single mother and self-made factory administrator in “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears,” and Professor Preobrazhenskii from “Heart of a Dog.” This is just one of the fascinating data points in the most recent report by the same analysts who predicted Russia’s election protests in 2011.

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Bitter Taste: How Gorky Saved Pushkin’s Honor by Closing His Café, Part III

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Immediately after Gorky’s death, rumors began to spread that he had been poisoned by chocolate candies sent to him from the Kremlin. Whether this is true or not, nobody knows. One thing is certain, however: even had he been poisoned, the efforts of this great warrior against vulgarity would have ensured that the chocolate was at least free of Pushkin’s name. To be fair, however, the box of assorted desserts produced by the Bolshevik Baked Goods Factory in 1936 still included a biscuit called “Pushkin.”

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Bitter Taste: How Gorky Saved Pushkin’s Honor by Closing His Café, Part II

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The hysterical reaction by the Soviet establishment to an apparently innocent incident — a reaction that struck at least one Western observer as symptomatic, but still curious — was deeply significant in the ideological context of the early Soviet period. It was inscribed into a campaign against vulgarity (or rather petty-bourgeois ideology) in all its antisocial manifestations that has long been associated with Gorky.

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Boris Groys – “The Cold War Between the Medium and the Message: Western Abstract Art vs. Socialist Realism.”

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The powers of the post-WWII period began to politicize the struggle between realism and avant-garde modernism. The West, Groys argued, believed that socialist realism was just another version of fascist propaganda art, while the Soviet state saw the West’s continuation of modern avant-garde art as a form of its own fascism, in its rejection of the European humanist tradition.

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