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 Abuses of Enchantment (Russia’s Alien Nations)

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

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

Part III blows the whole thing up.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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

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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

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Born This Way (Russia’s Alien Nations)

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

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

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

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Aristocrats from Outer Space (Russia’s Alien Nations)

An Ayn Rand hero from outer space

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Moving Beyond Money (Russia’s Alien Nations)

The hero of Billionaire does not see money as the immediate solution to all problems.

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Istanbul, Not Constantinople (Turkish Gambit 12)

The Turkish Gambit was first published in 1998, the year before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia

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The Man Who Has Everything (Russia’s Alien Nations)

These novels include: transparent alien artifact hunters, a lost tribe of yeti, and a cryogenically frozen Adolf Hitler maintained by a colony of cloned Valkyries on a secret Antarctic base

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We Need a (Rich) Hero (Russia’s Alien Nations)

The rich Russian as citizen and patriot was becoming thinkable.

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Our Stupid Heroes (The Turkish Gambit 10-11)

One expects a mystery to have a red herring or two, but The Turkish Gambit has enough to field an entire army.

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Rich Man’s Burden (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Where was the New Russian supposed to find a conscience?

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Loving the Leviathan (Russia’s Alien Nations)

The State is the Leviathan; the New Russian is somewhere between a piranha and a guppy.

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Fandorin and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Turkish Gambit 9)

The characters are dropping like flies

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