Yanni Kotsonis shares the value of babushka stories at NESEEES


Yanni Kotsonis. Babushka and the Sewing Machine

On April 2, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia hosted the 37th Annual Meeting of the North East Slavic, East European and Eurasian Conference (NESEEES, a regional conference of ASEEES). Panel discussions were held throughout the day, with scholars at the junior and senior level, as well as graduate and undergraduate students, to present their work. After being introduced by the Executive Director of NESEEES Susan Smith-Peter, NESEEES President and Jordan Center Director Yanni Kotsonis provided the keynote address, entitled “Babushka and the Sewing Machine, and Other Instructive Fails during My Travels in Russia.”

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Music expert Michael Danilin presents the Russian rock bands of the 1980s



On February 12, 2016, the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia welcomed Michael (Misha) Danilin from the NYU Department of Russian and Slavic Studies to speak on the “Golden Age of Russian Rock.” Rossen Djagalov, Assistant Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at NYU, introduced Danilin highlighting his eclecticism and versatility. Apart from being a professor of Russian language at NYU, Danilin is the lead singer of Interzona, the initiator of a number of music projects, and a music expert currently compiling a history of the Russian rock movement. The speaker began his presentation with a plea to the audience, inviting them to think about how to best define Russian rock, what makes it distinguishable from other rock music and other Russian genres, and how we can address Russian rock in the 21st century.

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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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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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