Eliot Borenstein

Borenstein, Eliot - Headshot (02.27.13)

Eliot Borenstein is a Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies and Collegiate Professer at New York University. Educated at Oberlin College (B.A., 1988) and the University of Wisconsin, Madison (M.A., 1989, Ph.D., 1993), Mr. Borenstein was an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia (1993-95) before taking an appointment at NYU in 1995.

His early publications dealt largely with issues of sexuality and masculinity in Slavic literature. Men Without Women: Masculinity and Revolution in Russian Fiction, 1917-1929 (Duke UP, 2000), which was an outgrowth of his dissertation, won the 2001 award for best book in literature or cultural scholarship from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages.

Mr. Borenstein’s current research on popular culture is a natural outgrowth of his earlier studies, and his publications are often a melding of the two. Overkill: Sex and Violence in Contemporary Russian Popular Culture (Cornell UP, 2008), which won the award for best book in women’s studies or gender studies from the Association of Women in Slavic Studies, and “Iteration through Innovation: Russian Popular Culture Today,” which he edited with Mark Lipovetsy and Elena Baraban and published in Slavic and East European Journal (48, No. 1 [2004]), are but two examples.   He is currently at work on two projects:  Russia’s Alien Nations: Imagining the Other after Socialism, and Catastrophe of the Week: Apocalyptic Entertainment in Post-Soviet Russia.

Among his many honors are a Mellon Fellowship (1988-90), IREX grants (1997, 2000), NYU’s Goddard Fellowship (1999) and Golden Dozen Teaching Awards (1999, 2005), a Fulbright Fellowship (1999) for study in Moscow, an SSRC Eurasia Fellowship (2002), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009).

Articles by Eliot Borenstein

The Post-Soviet Uncanny (Unstuck in Time)

The uncanny, c’est nous!

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The Future Is Not Yet Written (Unstuck in Time)

I’m making up the introduction as I’m going along

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The Future is Feudal (Unstuck in Time)

The medieval future, far from being always dystopian, might not even be that bad.

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Tomorrow’s Soviet Union Today (Unstuck in Time)

The Soviet conditional subjunctive is the result of a collective act of will

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Quantum Leaps or Quantum Entanglement? (Unstuck in Time)

No one is at all bothered by the idea of paradoxes resulting from the deaths of butterflies, grandfathers, or Hitlers

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Circle Games (Unstuck in Time)

Voting Putin back into the presidency made the equation between past and future more literal

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Time Out of Joint (Unstuck in Time)

The manipulation of Russian historical precedent for present-day political gain is rather clear-cut

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Time of Troubles; or, The Trouble with Time (Unstuck in Time)

The outcome of a Time of Troubles is a foregone conclusion

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Scheduling Conflicts (Unstuck in Time)

On or about December 1991, the normal course of time in Russia stopped.

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New Book, New Blog: Unstuck in Time

Unstuck in Time: On the Post-Soviet Uncanny, will begin serialization on Thursday

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The Problem with Johnson’s Russia List

This is not an antisemitic dogwhistle, it’s an antisemitic cowbell.

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Navalny and the Boxers Rebellion

There is no scenario in which a sentence containing the name “Putin” and the words “Navalny’s underwear” does the president any good.

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The Lincoln Project’s Red Scare

Russia always equals “communism,” even when that equation makes no sense whatsoever

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Forgetting Eduard Limonov: The New York Times’ Obituary Epic Fail

Limonov was most famous for gay sex and supporting Bosnian genocide, neither of which the NYT saw fit to mention

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Rereading Akunin: A Conversation with Eliot Borenstein

Fandorin is just not a joiner. And specifically, if there’s one principle to which he’s committed above all others, it’s this notion of “personal human dignity” and the individual’s prerogative to sequester themselves in their own preferences. Fandorin doesn’t want to work for the Okhranka or for any other part of the Imperial government, which he sees becoming increasingly brutal and unreasonable. He doesn’t want to be with the progressives, either; he just wants to be on his own. And what’s interesting is that, for him, the only path to true independence is to be insanely wealthy. It’s one big libertarian dream.

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The Devil Is No Match for Procedural Liberalism (Pelagia and the White Bulldog (Conclusion))

The rule of law is boring, but necessary

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Pelagia Descending into the Underworld (Pelagia and the White Bulldog 9)

Pelagia impersonates herself

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Brother 2: Son of Brother (Russia’s Alien Nations)

If we say (and show) enough times that there are no more questions that need to be asked about the nature and future of Russia, it will become true

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Brothers and Keepers (Russia’s Alien Nations)

Danila is a dangerous mixed metaphor: an empty vessel and a hired gun. 

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Heads, Lost and Found (Pelagia and the White Bulldog 8)

For a “tasteful” novel about a nun, Pelagia and the White Bulldog has a surprising predilection for dismemberment

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