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).

eb7@nyu.edu
Articles by Eliot Borenstein

“Sucking Strelkov,” or, The Erotics of Russian Invasion

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as violent, self-published gay erotica.

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Russia, Ukraine, and the Fantasies of War

Why should we surprised when the facts of the Ukrainian bloodshed prove so malleable in the media?

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Why Conspiracy Theories Take Hold in Russia

All it takes is an hour or two of Russian state television to learn that someone is plotting against Russia. Watch for a few more hours, and you’ll find that everyone is plotting against Russia. Watch for a few more days, and the truth comes out: Russia is plotting against Russia.

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Putin, Planes, and Propaganda

A healthy government can be relied on to reject conspiracy theories. An unhealthy government helps disseminate them.

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Russia Under Siege: Attack of the Gay Pillows

It’s not easy keeping an open mind about what’s going on in Russia when government officials are so intent on keeping minds closed.

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Spies in the House of Rock

We end up with a CIA whose power and effectiveness would bring joy to Dick Cheney’s latest heart and prompt him to shoot another friend in the face in celebration.

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Crimea and the Jewish Problem

When the words “Russia” “Ukraine” and “Jews” appear in the same English-language sentence, I prepare for the worst.

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Russia and Ukraine: Stupidity, Cynicism, or Both?

Like most of the people who bother to read this blog, I’m finding it difficult to think about anything besides the looming war between Russia and Ukraine.

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All the Russias in today’s Huffington Post!

The Russian government has gotten back into the story business. This is bad news for people who like to tell stories of their own, but good news for people who like to tell the same old stories.

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Black woman or Russian fashion accessory? Only her hairdresser knows for sure…

If you’re an art impresario, fashion designer, and related to two (count ‘em, two) Russian oligarchs by blood and by common-law marriage, it can’t be easy finding a new thrill. If you’re Dasha Zhukova, editor of the Garage fashion magazine, what’s left to do?

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Nadya Tolokno: Pussy Riot’s Fashion Icon or Fashion Victim?

It’s not easy being punk. It’s even harder to keep believing in punk (or, by extension, anarchism, activism, and the like). For a style of life and art that seems hell-bent on offending, punk lays down a surprising number of unwritten rules. The first commandment: Thou shalt not sell out.

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Pussy Riot vs. Ksenia Sobchak, Round Two

So why did she conduct an interview with Pussy Riot that was god-awful enough to make it onto Buzzfeed?

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Testicles vs. Trunks, or, The Discreet Charms of Public Hooliganism

Testicles, titanic trunks, tourists, and pickled corpses. I offer these words up as the answer in a Russia-themed round of Jeopardy. The question is, of course, “What can be found on Red Square?”

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Sex secrets of the Russian classics

Reason #137 to study Russian literature: apparently, it will teach children about sex. This is a good thing, because no one else in Russia seems to want to.

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Sending Our Gay Students to Russia

What do we say to our LGBT students who are thinking about studying in the Russian Federation?

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Snowden’s Russian Summer Reading List

Handing Snowden a copy of Dostoevsky’s classic novel is appropriate only in the same way as welcoming someone to Australia with a DVD of Crocodile Dundee: it is an example of purely associative logic. The only real connections are “Russia” and “crime.”

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The Spy Who…oh, never mind.

When Ryan Fogle, Third Secretary at the American Embassy in Moscow, was arrested for attempting to recruit a Russian security-services officer, the world sat up and took notice. Then it snickered and sat down again.

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Off-White like Dzhokhar

What do Americans see when they look at the faces of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev? And do Russians see the same thing?

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Dzokhar Tsarnaev, Neil Gaiman and the Failure of Imagination

Forgive me for seeming to trivialize a tragic story that has already been overexploited, but I have to ask: has anyone out there noticed how much Dzhokhar Tsarnaev looks like a young Neil Gaiman?

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Putin vs. the Female Body, Round Two

Vladimir Putin hasn’t been having much luck with female anatomy lately.

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