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September 2019

Globalizing Eastern Europe-New Perspectives on Transregional Entanglements of an often Neglected Region

September 13 @ 12:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, 19 University Place
New York, NY 10003 United States
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This workshop is organized by the ScienceCampus "Eastern Europe - Global Area" (EEGA), a collaborative research network spanning over three German states, funded by the Leibniz Association (https://www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/en/). EEGA focuses on Eastern Europe’s changing role in current and historical processes of globalization (www.leibniz-eega.de). The event is meant to present recent findings of this network and to engage in a debate with colleagues from the US on how to look at this often neglected region when it comes to the search…

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The Many Names for Mother: Bearing Lyric Witness to the Holocaust in the East

September 25 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

What makes poetry such a fitting vessel for bringing past trauma into conversation with the present? Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach suggests the mode she has termed lyric witness, which creates a liminal space between documentary and imaginative representation, between what can be remembered and what evades memory, and between an ancestral past and the intergenerational present. She read and discuss poetry from her prize-winning collection The Many Names for Mother (Kent State University Press, 2019) which examines how her Jewish-refugee experience…

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October 2019

The Influence of Rock Music on Social and Political Changes in Russia, 1980s-Present

October 2 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

“Playing rock music in the USSR was like fighting for freedom. Opposing the hypocrisy and pressure of the Soviet system, musicians tried to build a new Russia without totalitarian ideology, without censorship and the imperialistic pattern of behaviour. Rock was an active cultural and social force. When the USSR collapsed, rock music became part of the mainstream and lost its political influence. But it will surely transform into some new music that has sincere energy in it. And I believe…

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Violent Beginnings: Defending and Constructing the ‘black’ Ghanaian Citizen in the Cold War

October 4 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

On March 6, 1957, Ghana gained its independence from Great Britain. Under the famed leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, the first newly independent sub-Saharan African country had several pressing questions on its plate: Who was Ghanaian? What were the new government’s duty and role to its citizens? Moreover, what would Ghana’s political and economic relationship to the Capitalist and Socialist world be? These questions circulated under the backdrop of black and African liberation, the fight for national and global civil and…

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Kvas Patriotism in Russia: Cultural Problems, Cultural Myths

October 21 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

In 1827 Russian poet Pyotr Vyazemsky (1792-1878) wrote in a letter from Paris: Many see patriotism as unqualified praise of everything that is your own. Turgot called this “servant patriotism,” du patriotisme d’antichambre. In our country we could call it “kvas patriotism." Why move false patriotism out of the antechamber and into the realm of food and drink? This invocation of kvas—that most Russian of thirst-quenching drinks—is not accidental, and the concept of kvas patriotism has continued…

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The Great Chernobyl Acceleration

October 24 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

In April 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded and sent upwards of 50 million curies into the surrounding environment. Working through archives, Brown encountered many contradictory accounts of the disaster and its effects. Realizing that though people and archives lie, trees probably don’t, she turned to scientists—biologists, foresters, physicians and physicists—to help her understand the ecology of the greater Chernobyl territories and the health effects that ensured. She learned working in the swampy territory around the blown plant that…

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November 2019

From Gruyère to Gatchina: The Meanings of Cheese in Modern Russia

November 7 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Although Russia has an extensive tradition of dairy products including fresh cheese, ripened and aged cheeses were introduced from abroad at least by the seventeenth century, and they immediately took on all sorts of new meanings. Cheese was a commodity, an object of international trade. Cheese was the product of technology that Russians came to hope to master. And cheese was part of the world of taste and cultural change, finding its place on the tables of the elite and,…

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Theology of Terror: Vladimir Sharov’s Historiographic Metafiction

November 8 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

During Vladimir Sharov’s lifetime, his historical novels at first triggered heated discussions, serving as an example of postmodernist “blasphemous” treatment of Russian history; later they received important literary prizes; yet, they never belonged to the mainstream and enjoyed wide readership. However, after the writer’s untimely death, many literary authorities spoke about Sharov’s historiographic metafiction as one of the most powerful and original literary achievements of the last decades. Written from the 1980s to 2017, his novels present the millenarist discourse as the driving…

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