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 Orc-Song of Mikhail Y. Elizarov (Russia’s Alien Nations)

The song is an implicit call for the renewal of Orc pride.

Continue reading...

Orcs Online (Russia’s Alien Nations)

The Orc is the Sovok weaponized.

Continue reading...

The Dog Days Are Over (Pelagia and the White Bulldog 3)

 Underneath a veneer of coziness lies the potential for violence and exploitation.

Continue reading...

Or(c)ientalism (Russia’s Alien Nations)

If the appeal to literary fantasy might seem to cheapen ideological discourse, then this is a job well done.

Continue reading...

The Devil Went Down to Zavolzhsk (Pelagia and the White Bulldog 2)

Bubentsov is going to make this provincial town matter, whether the town wants it or not.

Continue reading...

The Hobbit Menace (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Fine, we’ll be your evil empire.

Continue reading...

How to Read Like an Orc (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Fictional worlds are serious business

Continue reading...

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Pelagia? (Pelagia and the White Bulldog 1)

Yes, who is Pelagia, really?  A flibbertijibbet? A will o’the wisp? A clown?

Continue reading...

There and Back Again (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Was the Soviet Union the model for Mordor?

Continue reading...

The Abuses of Enchantment (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Tolkien has been accused of many things, but subtlety is not among them.

Continue reading...

Ships That Crash in the Night (Murder on the Leviathan, Conclusion)

Part III blows the whole thing up.

Continue reading...

The Fellowship of the Wrong (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Perhaps the Eye of Sauron is a bit too “on the nose”?

Continue reading...

Evil Empire: Love It or Leave It (Russia’s Alien Nations)

To some Russian audiences, the villains start looking uncomfortably…Russian.

Continue reading...

Babel and Black Bodies on the High Seas (Murder on the Leviathan Part II)

Akunin scatters living and dead black bodies at the scenes of avarice-driven crimes and follies.

Continue reading...

Sith Lords of the World, Unite! (Russia’s Alien Nations)

The very last people who can determine what is universal bout such stories is the Anglo-Saxon audience.

Continue reading...

Creatures of Light and Darkness (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Nothing says “Evil Empire” like the Eye of Sauron.

Continue reading...

Locked Rooms (Murder of the Leviathan Part I)

If the Leviathan were the Titanic, all of the characters would easily find their way to a lifeboat, caring not a whit whether or not Kate Winslet’s heart will go on

Continue reading...

Sauron Does Moscow (Russia’s Alien Nations)

A Russian art group decided to crown the Moscow International Business Center with the All-Seeing Eye of Sauron

Continue reading...

Born This Way (Russia’s Alien Nations)

For the rich Russians, it’s not just genes; it’s genealogy.

Continue reading...

Can’t Anyone Here Play This Game? (The Turkish Gambit, Conclusion)

Russian literature is “no worse than English or French.”

Continue reading...