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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Molly Brunson discusses perspectival space in Gogol’s Dead Souls


Gogol

On February 26, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Molly Brunson from Yale University for a lecture on “Gogol Country: Rural Russia in Perspective.” After being introduced by Anne Lounsbery, Russian and Slavic Studies Department Chair at NYU, Brunson spoke about her work on a new project, titled “Russian Points of View: The Theory and Practice of Perspective in Russia, 1820-1840.” In her talk the speaker opened up productive ways to look at Gogol’s work, resisting fixation on dichotomies in order to center attention on the writer’s use of perspectival devices.


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Daniel Mellis and Eugene Ostashevsky recreate Vasily Kamensky’s Tango with Cows



On October 30, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed visual artist Daniel Mellis and Russian-American poet and translator Eugene Ostashevsky to speak on their ongoing reproduction and English translation of Vasily Kamensky’s Tango with Cows. The book, which contains six of his ferroconcrete poems, was originally published in Moscow in the spring of 1914.


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Russell Valentino unravels mystery behind Woman in the Window


Russell Valentino. Image by Ilaria Parogni

On April 3, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Russell Valentino – professor and chair of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at Indiana University – to speak about his latest monograph The Woman in the Window, published by Ohio University Press in October 2014. Valentino stated that the image of a woman in the window was ubiquitous in the books and films with which he has been working for many years. When writing about this trope, Valentino added, it is hard not to write about male fantasy.


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Igor Pilshchikov discusses the legacy of Russian Formalism



On March 31, 2015, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Igor Pilshchikov, lead researcher at the Institute for World Culture at Lomonosov Moscow State University and a senior researcher at Tallinn University, to present a paper entitled “The Legacy of Russian Formalism and Contemporary Humanities.” Pilshchikov discussed the lack of methodological unity and a singular paradigm in the Russian Formalist school, – a group of literary critics operating from the 1910s to the 1930s – due to the diversity of approaches and ideas formulated by its two circles. One circle was based in St. Petersburg and was known as the OPOYAZ. The second was the Moscow Linguistic Circle (MLC), which set a significant precedent for further 20th century scholarship in linguistics and literary theory, Pilshchikov said. Pilshchikov also noted that the MLC’s legacy is largely underestimated, mainly because unlike the OPOYAZ they hardly published any of their works. It wasn’t until recently that their works were published and closely scrutinized.


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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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Will Somebody Please Write This Novel?


The dependably inventive G. Willow Wilson has just come out with a novel called Alif the Unseen, which somehow combines gray hat Arab hackers, would-be Islamic terrorists, and troublemaking djinns into a narrative that never feels overstuffed. Alif takes place in an unnamed City somewhere in the Middle East, and Wilson (a longtime resident of Cairo whose initial claim to fame was her memoir about her conversion to Islam) juggles politics and magical realism with remarkable flair. So what does this have to do with Russia?


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