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The Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia

Upcoming Events

October 2019

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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Transparency and the Rule of Law: Preliminary Results From a Field Experiment in Ukraine

October 23 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
NYU Politics Department, 19 West 4th Street, Room 217
New York, NY 10012 United States
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Join us on October 23rd at the NYU Politics Department to hear from Northwestern Professor Jordan Gans-Morse! Professor Gans-Morse will report preliminary results from a field experiment examining a novel, bottom-up approach to improving judicial transparency: the videotaping of court hearings. Random assignment of pre-trial detention hearings in Kyiv city courts to videotaping by an Ukrainian non-governmental organization offers insights into whether increased transparency can improve key aspects of the rule of law, such as judges’ adherence to procedural rules…

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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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Energy Aesthetics: Force, Flow, and Entropy in Russian Culture

October 25
Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, 19 University Place
New York, NY 10003 United States
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In recent years, the topic of energy has gained increasing prominence in both public and scholarly discourse. Amidst ever-intensifying competition for global energy markets and mounting ecological crisis, the history of energy production and the emergence of related forms of thought and aesthetic representation have stimulated intense interest across the humanities. Co-sponsored by The Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, the Dean for the Humanities, the Department of Anthropology, and the Environmental…

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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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The Stuff of Soldiers: A History of the Red Army in World War II Through Objects

November 11 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Above: Tanker senior sergeant E.P. Fёdorov eats in his tank, 1942. RGAKFD 0-57505. The Stuff of Soldiers uses everyday objects to tell the story of the Great Patriotic War as never before. Brandon Schechter attends to a diverse array of things—from spoons to tanks—to show how a wide array of citizens became soldiers, and how the provisioning of material goods separated soldiers from civilians. Through a fascinating examination of leaflets, proclamations, newspapers, manuals, letters to and from the front, diaries,…

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Collaborating with the Enemy? The Human Dynamics of Cross-Front Line Water Infrastructure in the War in Eastern Ukraine (2014-2019)

November 20 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine has disrupted economic networks for millions of Ukrainians living near the war zone, a densely industrialized and urbanized region. They have had to adapt their livelihoods to the realities of a front line that shattered past routines such as trade routes, work commutes, access to health care facilities and schools. From this perspective, the local water distribution system is a partial exception.  As pipes and canals cannot be divided according to military positions, the water supply network…

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Soviet Literature as World Literature: Conference

November 21 - November 22
Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, 19 University Place
New York, NY 10003 United States
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For the past decade or two, world literature has established itself as the dominant paradigm for studying the transnational circulation of literary models and texts. And yet Russian and Soviet literature seem decidedly missing from most of the world literature theoretization. The issue at stake here is not so much another blank spot on the geographical and historical map of world literature—there are plenty of these and it is uncharitable to hold any book or its author(s) responsible for failing…

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