Abby Latour

al1629@nyu.edu
Articles by Abby Latour

A Conversation with Julia Phillips, Author of “Disappearing Earth”

Phillips set out to create a work of fiction for American readers set in what, for them, is exotic landscape. She devoted her time in Kamchatka to meeting people, traveling, taking notes and photos, recording conversations and keeping a diary—not writing the novel. Experiencing the region was not conducive to the work of fiction writing, she said—work like structuring plot and engineering characters arcs—labor Phillips describes as “quiet” and “percolating.”

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The Stuff of Soldiers: A History of the Red Army in World War II Through Objects

Soldiers are constructing whatever they can: Oil cans become stoves, artillery shells become kerosene lamps, overcoat fabric becomes wicks. Government officials regularly checked these trench “cities” for proper ventilation, light, heat and nutrition. They also became grounds for officials to disseminate the war’s goals and for connecting people from diverse regions, classes and ethnic groups.

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Energy Aesthetics: Force, Flow, and En-tropy in Russian Culture

Literature, visual arts, popular science brought together Russian scholars in fields ranging from visual arts to literature to anthropology. The aim of the interdisciplinary symposium was to examine “energy as a shaping force in Russian literature, visual culture, and social practice from the mid-nineteenth cen-tury to the present.”

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The Great Chernobyl Acceleration

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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Kvas Patriotism in Russia: Cultural Problems, Cultural Myths

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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