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January 2021

Russian Realism of the 19th Century (with Ilya Kliger, Kirill Ospovat, Margarita Vaysman, and Alexei Vdovin)

January 27 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us for another installation of the 19v seminar series! Compromised by the conflicted legacy of Soviet literary criticism, research on Russian realism almost came to a stand-still after 1991. New methodologies and cutting edge critical theories, eagerly explored in the fields studying other periods of Russian culture, have not influenced studies of 19th-century Russian literature as much - until very recently. This collection of essays -following three international conferences on the same topic – attempts to answer several questions:…

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February 2021

Ballet in the Cold War: The New York City Ballet’s 1962 Tour of the Soviet Union (with Anne Searcy)

February 5 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

In October 1962, as the Cuban Missile Crisis raged, New York City Ballet (NYCB) toured the Soviet Union, performing seventeen ballets by George Balanchine. The tour was part of the Soviet-American cultural exchange, arranged by the governments of the US and USSR as part of their Cold War strategies. The NYCB tour has rightfully been hailed as a triumph, as Soviet audiences roared their approval. However, this artistic triumph has thus far been misunderstood as a sign of political protest.…

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Painters, the Art Market, and Images of Female Beauty in Russia, 1830-1860 (with Margaret Samu)

February 8 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Russian painters of the mid-nineteenth century faced a difficult art market. Even the most talented of them—trained as history painters to produce large-scale canvases of biblical and historical subjects—found little demand for such works from the church or the state after finishing their training. Meanwhile, the number of artists was increasing. While major commissions were scarce, members of Russia’s elite and middling classes were ready to order portraits and purchase golovki, or ideal heads, which painters made on speculation for…

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Statuary Performances: Neo-Paganism and Memory in the American and Russian Far Right (with Alexandar Mihailovic, Bennington College)

February 10 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Whether it be of Robert E. Lee, Tsar Nicholas II, Huey Long or the head of the NKVD Feliks Dzerzhinsky, political statuary evokes a range of impassioned responses from groups as varied as the Proud Boys and Identity Evropa in the United States, and the Double-Headed Eagle and Izborsk Club in the Russian Federation. The ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017 protested the removal of an equestrian monument to Lee, and brought about the murder…

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How Pro-Government “Trolls” Influence Online Conversations in Russia (with Anton Sobolev, Yale University)

February 12 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
NYU Politics Department, 19 West 4th Street, Room 217
New York, NY 10012 United States
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In this talk, Dr. Anton Sobolev will unpack the technology of the Russian government propaganda and manipulation of online discussions, and establishes the causal effect of government interventions on the online behavior of social media users. Using a novel database on the activity of the state-sponsored online propagandists masquerading as ordinary citizens, the so-called “trolls”, he estimates the impact of troll interventions in online conversation by combining matching techniques with the difference-in-differences approach. His paper finds that the Russian troll…

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Making an Anti-imperialist Empire: Revolutionary Russia and the Muslim World (with Norihiro Naganawa)

February 16 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Professor Norihiro Naganawa will present on his ongoing book project, which explores early Soviet Russia’s engagement with Central Asia, Iran and the Red Sea through a biography of one Tatar revolutionary and Soviet diplomat, Karim Abdraufovich Khakimov (1890-1938). With Putin’s Russia returning to the Middle East against a backdrop of the collapse of Pax Americana that thrived since the Gulf War of 1991, Khakimov is now celebrated as a forerunner of contemporary Russia’s diplomacy in the region: he as plenipotentiary…

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“Red and Brown”: Left-Patriotism in Russia, its Ideology and Social Base, 1993-2021

February 22 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

In the brief civil war that followed the collapse of the USSR, Boris Yeltsin's pro-Western government was opposed by a strange coalition that the neoliberal media called "the communofascists" or "the red- and-browns." These clichés were part of a campaign to discredit and de-humanize the resistance to the radical market reforms. But much of the opposition unexpectedly agreed with this ideological identification. The famous writer Alexander Prokhanov called his 1999 novel-manifesto "The Red-Brown Оne". One of the most radical opposition…

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March 2021

Away from Moscow: Cinema of and in Russia’s Regions (with Birgit Beumers)

March 1 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

In the last five years, Russia has seen a sharp rise in the number of films produced by regional film studios, as well as of films that choose for a shooting location not just a provincial setting, but remote places (for example, Filipp Yuriev’s Whaler Boy, 2020). This led, on the one hand, to an upturn in film production in the autonomous republics, particularly Yakutia (Sakha), Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, but also to a nation-wide (and international) awareness of such films.…

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The Late-Soviet Underground: (Re-)Collecting the Past (with Ainsley Morse, Dartmouth College)

March 22 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, 19 University Place
New York, NY 10003 United States
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In this talk Professor Ainsley Morse will present a paper which argues for collecting—meaning collecting variously ephemeral “things” (words, poems, books, writers, traditions, ways of life), but also “collecting” as a mode of writing—as both a pathology and a creative mode typical of unofficial literature and art of the late Soviet period. She will focus on two late-Soviet writers: the poet and critic Vsevolod Nekrasov and the poet, critic, curator and émigré Kulturtraeger Konstantin Kuzminsky. Both Kuzminsky and Nekrasov were true “children of the Thaw” in their obsession with truth-telling, “straight talk” and bracing expose .…

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