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Comintern Aesthetics: Book Roundtable on Interwar-era Soviet Literary Internationalism (with Katerina Clark, Edward Tyerman, Amelia Glaser, and Steven S. Lee)

April 12, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Over the last two years, four book-length reconstructions of the pre-WWII Socialist Republic of Letters have come out, which have collectively shifted the emphasis away from the Republic’s more familiar centers of Paris, Berlin, and New York and towards its lesser-documented but vital (often “Eastern”) networks:

Katerina Clark, Eurasia without Borders (Harvard UP, Dec. 2021)
Edward Tyerman, The Internationalist Aesthetic: China and Early Soviet Culture (Columbia UP, Dec. 2021)
Amelia Glaser, Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine (Harvard UP, October 2020)
and a volume edited by Amelia Glaser and Steven S. Lee, Comintern Aesthetics (Toronto UP, March 2020)

In the process of introducing them, in this roundtable, their authors will also introduce us to a geopoetics and a radical aesthetics, which for a few decades posed a major challenge to the dominant modes of literary valuation, circulation, and worlding, but the memory of which has been erased since.

Katerina Clark is B. E. Bensinger Professor of Comparative Literature and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University. Her books include Moscow, the Fourth RomePetersburg: Crucible of Cultural Revolution; Soviet Novel: History as Ritual; and, with Michael Holquist, Mikhail Bakhtin.

Edward Tyerman is an associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. His current research project explores the geopoetics of the Russia-China border in the Russian and Chinese social imaginaries, from the late nineteenth century to the post-socialist period.

Amelia Glaser is Associate Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature at the University of California, San Diego, where she also holds a Chair in Judaic Studies. She is author of Jews and Ukrainians in Russia’s Literary Borderlands and Songs in Dark Times; the translator of Proletpen: America’s Rebel Yiddish Poets; and the editor of Stories of Khmelnytsky and, with Steven Lee, Comintern Aesthetics.

Steven S. Lee is an Associate Professor of English at UC Berkeley and the author of author of The Ethnic Avant-Garde: Minority Cultures and World Revolution (Columbia UP, 2015)–co-winner of the Modern Language Association’s Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies (2016).

Watch the recording on YouTube here.


April 12, 2022
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm


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