Evgeny Dobrenko examines the “Cold War” through socialist realist ideology



On April 15, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Evgeny Dobrenko for a lecture entitled “Soviet Cold War Imagination.” Dobrenko, head of the department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield and an April Fellow at the Jordan Center, was introduced by Rossen Djagalov, Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at NYU. His presentation focused on the Stalinist years of the Cold War, as a unique period charting the transformation of the Soviet Union from outcast to superpower in the postwar bipolar world.


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Anindita Banerjee speaks on Aelita, Queen of Mars in Radiant Futures keynote speech



On April 8, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia hosted a conference entitled “Radiant Futures: Russian Fantasy and Science Fiction.” After the first panel, NYU Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies Eliot Borenstein introduced keynote speaker Anindita Banerjee. “If we think of our conference and our field in terms of science fiction, then she is Queen of Mars, our Aelita,” Borenstein said. Banerjee, a professor of comparative literature at Cornell University, centered her talk on Aelita, Queen of Mars, a 1924 Soviet silent film directed by Yakov Protazanov based on Alexei Tolstoy’s eponymous novel.


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Re-Mediating the Archive: Scholars discuss archival revolutions


On April 24th, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, together with the university’s Department of Comparative Literature, the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, the Office of the Dean for Humanities, as well as the Romanian Cultural Institute inNew York, held an all-day symposium entitled “Re-Mediating the Archive: Image, Word, Performance” organized by NYU’s PhD candidate in Comparative Literature Emma Hamilton and Professor of Comparative Literature Cristina Vatulescu. The symposium welcomed seven participants from various fields who, as Vatulescu pointed out in her introduction, were there to address “the coming together of texts, images, and bodies in the archive.” She also added that currently “archival re-mediation is in full swing,” with new scholarship posing the question of the role of media and images in the long textually-dominated archive and attempting to bring other media out of persistent blind spots. She referred to this recent development as a new archival revolution, and invited dialogue with other archival revolutions, such as that prompted by the emergence of film as a medium at the turn of the 20th century and the one following the fall of the Iron Curtain 25 years ago.


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Shaving Eisenstein in Manhattan



An old-fashioned shave, with a razor that in Russian they call “dangerous”; an uncannily private scene performed under an open sky, 800 feet over the sidewalks of the greatest city in the world.


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Viy as Dracula: Selling “Russian literature” One More Time



Just imagine the clash of civilizations when the two parties drink together; eventually, the rational Englishman starts seeing irrational things—all the ugly monsters, demons, and witches that contemporary CGI can conjure – only to wake up the next morning with a pounding headache and a punishing sense of guilt.


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Making the Contingent Visible: Vertov and Kino-Pravda


On Friday, May 3, the Jordan Center had the honor of hosting Professor John MacKay (Yale University) for a presentation on his forthcoming book Dziga Vertov: Life and Work. MacKay presented many interesting perspectives on Vertov and Kino-Pravda, to an audience consisting of both Vertov specialist and those more uninitiated to Vertov’s cinematic universe.


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