Eliot Borenstein

Borenstein, Eliot - Headshot (02.27.13)

Eliot Borenstein is a Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies and Collegiate Professer at New York University. Educated at Oberlin College (B.A., 1988) and the University of Wisconsin, Madison (M.A., 1989, Ph.D., 1993), Mr. Borenstein was an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia (1993-95) before taking an appointment at NYU in 1995.

His early publications dealt largely with issues of sexuality and masculinity in Slavic literature. Men Without Women: Masculinity and Revolution in Russian Fiction, 1917-1929 (Duke UP, 2000), which was an outgrowth of his dissertation, won the 2001 award for best book in literature or cultural scholarship from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages.

Mr. Borenstein’s current research on popular culture is a natural outgrowth of his earlier studies, and his publications are often a melding of the two. Overkill: Sex and Violence in Contemporary Russian Popular Culture (Cornell UP, 2008), which won the award for best book in women’s studies or gender studies from the Association of Women in Slavic Studies, and “Iteration through Innovation: Russian Popular Culture Today,” which he edited with Mark Lipovetsy and Elena Baraban and published in Slavic and East European Journal (48, No. 1 [2004]), are but two examples.   He is currently at work on two projects:  Russia’s Alien Nations: Imagining the Other after Socialism, and Catastrophe of the Week: Apocalyptic Entertainment in Post-Soviet Russia.

Among his many honors are a Mellon Fellowship (1988-90), IREX grants (1997, 2000), NYU’s Goddard Fellowship (1999) and Golden Dozen Teaching Awards (1999, 2005), a Fulbright Fellowship (1999) for study in Moscow, an SSRC Eurasia Fellowship (2002), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009).

Articles by Eliot Borenstein

The Road to Serfdom (Russia’s Alien Nations)

The New Russian offers a vision of social stratification that uses capitalism as a way station to serfdom

Continue reading...

No Class (Russia’s Alien Nations)

The end of communism was like a game of musical chairs

Continue reading...

Higher Powers, Lower Motives (Turkish Gambit 4)

Fandorin is Spencer Tracy, while Varya is Katherine Hepburn, but without the talent. 

Continue reading...

Loved Labours Lost (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Virtually nothing that the New Russian did to generate money qualified as labor in the Soviet sense.

Continue reading...

Epic Orientalist Smackdowns (Turkish Gambit 3)

Russia to Fandorin: “It’s not you, it’s me.”

Continue reading...

Soviet Bullsh*t and New Russian Spell-Casting (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Green is not just the color of the crocodile, it is the color of the money that he conjures out of thin air.

Continue reading...

Is a Crocodile Longer Than It Is Green? (Russia’s Alien Nations)

On the level of logic, you can prove anything.

Continue reading...

Who Were the New Russians? (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Answer: I don’t care.

Continue reading...

Re-Introducing Fandorin (Turkish Gambit 2)

he Turkish Gambit appears to be as much an ironic sequel to Anna Karenina as it is the literal sequel to The Winter Queen.

Continue reading...

Words Fail Us (Russia’s Alien Nations)

The term’s origins had to be foreign, for precisely the same reasons that it is problematic.

Continue reading...

Secret Origins of the New Russians (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Money was the radioactive spider that bit the New Russian Peter Parker.

Continue reading...

Aren’t Progressive Women Adorable? (The Turkish Gambit 1)

When the “progressive woman” becomes a character type in the middle of the nineteenth century, she is usually a figure of fun.

Continue reading...

Late to the Party (Russia’s Alien Nations)

“Party Like a Russian” is mess.

Continue reading...

Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Zhdun only makes sense as the herald of whatever comes next.

Continue reading...

The Fridging of Poor Liza (The Winter Queen – The Final Chapter)

So much for the nineteenth century’s exquisite taste. 

Continue reading...

The Vatnik Ate My Baby! (Russia’s Alien Nations)

An American Vatnik would be a cartoon character made out of a MAGA hat.

Continue reading...

A Coat of Not Many Colors: Vatnik (Russia’ Alien Nations)

Vatnik takes visual inspiration from SpongeBob (he is roughly the same shape) and satirical inspiration from the work of Seth McFarlane.  

Continue reading...

She Blinded Him with Science (WQ 16)

What Lady Astair does with minds, her mad scientist disciple wants to do with brains

Continue reading...

Watching the Defectives (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Znak kachestva is a freak show from outer space.

Continue reading...

Cattle Call (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Soviet holdovers will inevitably pass, but stupidity is forever.

Continue reading...