By Misunderstanding Crimea, the West Is Pushing Russia Further Away



On the recent anniversary of the Russian annexation of Crimea, residents of the peninsula came out on the streets to celebrate waving flags, cheering and clapping. There was music and dancing. The Night Wolves, a biker gang known for having close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, joined all the way from Moscow.

Crimea escaped civil war, but for some it remains a battleground.


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Thomas Graham: US-Russia relations need new framework


Thomas Graham. Image by Ilaria Parogni

On April 1, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Thomas Graham, managing director at Kissinger Associates, for a lecture titled “Rethinking US-Russian Relations.” During a brief introduction, Jordan Center Director Yanni Kotsonis described Graham, who has previously served as a Special Assistant to the President during the administration of George W. Bush, as “one of the sounder minds when it comes to Russian issues.”


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Jordan Center hosts North East Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Conference


Image by Ilaria Parogni

On March 21, 2015, the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia hosted the 36th Annual Meeting of the North East Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Conference. Roughly fifty participants came together to present and participate in lively discussions of the day. The conference consisted of nine panels touching on subjects varying from the psychological in Russian art and life, symbolic geography, Soviet film, Polish politics, émigré culture, to post-Communist culture and politics.


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Professor Lounsbery is among the keynote speakers at University of Virginia


Anne Lounsbery by Ilaria Parogni

On March 26, Professor Anne Lounsbery, chair of the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, will be addressing the audience of “Centrifugal Forces: Reading Russia’s Regional Identities and Initiatives,” a three-day conference held at the University of Virginia. Lounsbery will speak on the perceived “symbolic geography” of Russia’s provinces.


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Day 1 – Two-day workshop starts new conversations on Russia`s Races


David Rainbow. Image by Ilaria Parogni

On February 26, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia hosted a two-day workshop on the topic of racial categorizations in Russia. The event, titled Russia’s Races: Meanings and Practices of Race in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union and convened by David Rainbow, a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies, was co-sponsored by NYU Department of History, Global Research Initiatives (NYU Provost), the Harriman Institute and the Humanities Initiative (NYU).


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Darra Goldstein brings back to life Yuri Lotman’s High Society Dinners



On Nov. 13, 2014, the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at NYU hosted “Yuri Lotman Does High Society,” a seminar featuring Darra Goldstein, Professor of Russian at Williams College and Founding Editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. The event, part of the Feast and Famine series, was co-sponsored by the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia and the Steinhardt Food Studies Program.


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Douglas Rogers presents original study on Russian oil



On November 14, 2014, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia hosted “Russian Oil from Below,” a talk with Douglas Rogers, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Yale University. Rogers presented the findings of his research on the centrality that oil in Russia “has played out on the ground level” throughout its recent history.


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Experts discuss Russian law and its trajectories



On October 16, 2014, the Jordan Center welcomed several scholars to participate in a panel, entitled Russia’s Legal Trajectories: Law in Action and Question, 1830 to 2014. In her introductory remarks, Professor of History at NYU Jane Burbank stated that there are many perplexing ideas about law and Russia. Some commentators think that the rule of law is incompatible with autocratic or Communist governments; for them Russian law is an oxymoron. Yet, Burbank remarked, law has been important to government in Russia for many centuries. In addition, for the last 10 year or so many scholars have been rigorously scrutinizing the subject. This panel was meant to give its audience “a taste of new legal history” in four different presentations about law from the early 19th century, through the legal reforms of 1864, to the current day.


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Oleg Kharkhordin speaks on rules of order in Russian society



On October 15, 2014, the Jordan Center welcomed Oleg Kharkhordin with a lecture entitled “A Point of Order! The Troubled Travels of Robert’s Rules of Order from America to Russia, or How Russians Tried to Invent Order Themselves.” Oleg Kharkhordin is a political sociologist and the the Rector of the European University of St. Petersburg, which, as Director Yanni Kotsonis stressed in his introduction, is an institution with a remarkably high concentration of brain power and quality.


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Stephen Norris discusses Boris Efimov and Soviet cartoons


On October 10, 2014, the Jordan Center welcomed Stephen Norris, a professor of history at the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at Miami University of Ohio, to speak about his book project, entitled “Communist Cartoonist: Boris Efimov.” Norris’s talk was second in the Jordan Center’s Colloquium Series, which, as Director Yanni Kotsonis explained, encourages scholars to present their ongoing projects in order to receive feedback and comments from the audience.


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Stephen Kotkin on Stalin: Geopolitics, Ideas, Power



Sept. 26, 2014, marked the first of the Distinguished Lecture series at the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia. As director Yanni Kotsonis pointed out, the lectures as well as the Center itself are meant to “protect conversations about Russia. If one wants to speak of Russia these days, you need protection; if one wants to speak against, you also need protection.” He added: “The only criterion here is intelligence.”


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Andrei Zorin’s Sandglass



All creative works are autobiographical, but they are autobiographical in their own way.

As part of NYU’s commemoration of the War of 1812, the Jordan Center was pleased to welcome Andrei Zorin last Friday, to present an engaging talk on the problems of ruptures, ends, continuities and discontinuities in history and in Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace. While he was mostly concerned with the subject of time in the novel, Zorin also made a case for reading the novel as a personal experience for Tolstoy rather than as a national epic.


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