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.

Continue reading...

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.

Continue reading...

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.

Continue reading...

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.

Continue reading...

By Misunderstanding Crimea, the West Is Pushing Russia Further Away

Crimea Defenders of the Fatherland Day

On the recent anniversary of the Russian annexation of Crimea, residents of the peninsula came out on the streets to celebrate waving flags, cheering and clapping. There was music and dancing. The Night Wolves, a biker gang known for having close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, joined all the way from Moscow.

Crimea escaped civil war, but for some it remains a battleground.

Continue reading...

Igor Pilshchikov discusses the legacy of Russian Formalism


On March 31, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Igor Pilshchikov, lead researcher at the Institute for World Culture at Lomonosov Moscow State University and a senior researcher at Tallinn University, to present a paper entitled “The Legacy of Russian Formalism and Contemporary Humanities.” Pilshchikov discussed the lack of methodological unity and a singular paradigm in the Russian Formalist school, – a group of literary critics operating from the 1910s to the 1930s – due to the diversity of approaches and ideas formulated by its two circles. One circle was based in St. Petersburg and was known as the OPOYAZ. The second was the Moscow Linguistic Circle (MLC), which set a significant precedent for further 20th century scholarship in linguistics and literary theory, Pilshchikov said. Pilshchikov also noted that the MLC’s legacy is largely underestimated, mainly because unlike the OPOYAZ they hardly published any of their works. It wasn’t until recently that their works were published and closely scrutinized.

Continue reading...

Thomas Graham: US-Russia relations need new framework

Thomas Graham. Image by Ilaria Parogni

On April 1, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Thomas Graham, managing director at Kissinger Associates, for a lecture titled “Rethinking US-Russian Relations.” During a brief introduction, Jordan Center Director Yanni Kotsonis described Graham, who has previously served as a Special Assistant to the President during the administration of George W. Bush, as “one of the sounder minds when it comes to Russian issues.”

Continue reading...

Jordan Center hosts North East Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Conference

Image by Ilaria Parogni

On March 21, 2015, the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia hosted the 36th Annual Meeting of the North East Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Conference. Roughly fifty participants came together to present and participate in lively discussions of the day. The conference consisted of nine panels touching on subjects varying from the psychological in Russian art and life, symbolic geography, Soviet film, Polish politics, émigré culture, to post-Communist culture and politics.

Continue reading...

Professor Lounsbery is among the keynote speakers at University of Virginia

Anne Lounsbery by Ilaria Parogni

On March 26, Professor Anne Lounsbery, chair of the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, will be addressing the audience of “Centrifugal Forces: Reading Russia’s Regional Identities and Initiatives,” a three-day conference held at the University of Virginia. Lounsbery will speak on the perceived “symbolic geography” of Russia’s provinces.

Continue reading...

Irina Sandomirskaja discusses cultural significance of Russian icon in Soviet context

Irina Sandomirskaja by Ilaria Parogni

On March 13, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Irina Sandomirskaja, Professor of Cultural Studies at Södertörn University, to present a paper entitled “Originating in Return: Russian Past, Soviet Legacy, and Critical Cultural Heritage Theory.” After a brief introduction by Professor Anne Lounsbery, chair of the NYU department of Russian and Slavic Studies, Sandomirskaja stated that in the past she has worked extensively on the relationship between image and word; now she has set off to study the object. In particular, she focused her study on the Russian Orthodox icon and its re-appropriation in Soviet cultural politics.

Continue reading...