All the Russias' Blog

A space for news and opinion, sponsored by The Jordan Center

“From Another Shore”: Zoom in Russian Literary Studies

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Online technologies are, of course, a wonderful tool, but they do not solve the fundamental problems still discernible in our ways of conducting research on literature and culture in Russia today. In this note I’ll touch upon two important problems related to the institutional context and traditions of Russian literary criticism.

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Lessons Learned: Girls’ Empowerment Projects in Uzbekistan

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Western methods for encouraging girls’ empowerment and gender equality in Central Asia often lack a willingness to not only acknowledge, but also to work within historical, cultural, and political contexts. This shortcoming often renders short-term gains unsustainable and results in high turnover, meaning that empowerment efforts are typically led by a lineup of constantly-changing Western faces. Yet the success of these projects requires leadership alongside or exclusively by local experts capable of providing institutional memory, credibility, and an understanding of cultural contexts.

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On Translating the chinari

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While their participation in OBERIU offered a crucial period of incubation for their thought and art, it is as chinari that Kharms, Vvedensky, Lipavsky, and Druskin assumed their most influential creative form. After all, these authors attained their “spiritual ranks” sometime around 1925, before OBERIU had even been conceived. The enunciations of the OBERIU manifesto establish crucial features of the chinari method: creating art that is “real” — art that is first and foremost an object with noumenal status, a body interacting with other bodies. But the full application of this theory occurred only after 1930, after OBERIU’s dissolution, in the twilight of vandalized bedrooms in the apartment of Leonid and Tamara Lipavsky, with their Conversations being perhaps the most crucial text for understanding the group as a whole.

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The Difficulty Of Ending a Story: On the ‘Thick Novels

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On September 23rd Schamma Schahadat, of the University of Tübingen, joined the Jordan Center for another talk with 19v, a working group on 19th century Russian culture.  She discussed Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment in her talk, “The Difficulty Of Ending a Story: On the ‘Thick Novels.’”

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