POSTPONED TO FALL 2022 The Aral Sea: Environment, Society, and State Power in Central Asia (with Sarah Cameron)

New York, NY

Once one of the world’s largest inland bodies of water, Central Asia’s Aral Sea began to shrink dramatically in the late 1960s, when Soviet officials directed an increasing volume of water towards cotton production. As a result of the declining water levels, the climate and ecology of the surrounding region changed.  People who lived near […]

Writing the Photograph: Russian Photo-Poetics in the 20th and 21st Centuries (with Molly Blasing)

New York, NY

Dr. Molly Blasing will present material from her recent book, Snapshots of the Soul: Photo-Poetic Encounters in Modern Russian Culture (Cornell UP, 2021). Snapshots of the Soul considers how photography has shaped Russian poetry from the early twentieth century to the present day. In this talk, we will consider examples of photo-poetic writing by Pasternak, Tsvetaeva, Brodsky, and other […]

Technology and Blind Activism in Cold War Europe (with Maria Galmarini)

New York, NY

In the late 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, spectacular accomplishments in space research sharpened public awareness of technological progress and the ways in which it could be harnessed by the two competing blocs of a divided world. Among the many communities that began to reflect on the meaning and impact of technology […]

Vague Justice: Absurd and Grotesque in Accounts of Late Soviet Prorabotka Meetings (with Svetlana Stephenson)

New York, NY

The genres of the absurd and grotesque are prominent in artistic and literary representations of state socialism. In the paper being discussed at this event, Svetlana Stephenson argues that these genres are also present in the storytelling of (ex)Soviet citizens, through their diaries and oral history accounts. For example, the narratives of extra-judicial shaming rituals […]

The Origins of F. F. Pavlenkov’s Lives of Remarkable People Series and His Publishing Legacy (with Ludmilla Trigos and Carol Ueland and Discussants Stephen Norris and Alexey Vdovin)

New York, NY

Join us for another 19v seminar! The last decade of the 19th century saw the culmination of the publishing career of Florentii Fyodorovich Pavlenkov (1839-1900) with his creation of the biography series, “The Lives of Remarkable People” (Zhizn’ zamechatel’nykh liudei or ZHZL) in 1890. Through the genre of biography, he sought to provide positive role models from […]

Serving Collective or Individual Interest? Flexibility and Elusiveness of Cooperatives in Tsarist and Early Soviet Russia (Workshop with Anna Safronova)

New York, NY

Since capitalism is defined as private ownership of the means of production, 19th and 20th century socialists believed that the opposite would be collective ownership. Their projects proposed to extend the “collective” at the scale of the whole country. In the late tsarist Russia, advocates of cooperatives were proposing a different scope: that one of […]

Sovereignty as Enlightenment Allegory (with Harsha Ram)

New York, NY

Alongside the largely unfulfilled obligations of diplomatic treaties and military alliances, the first century of modern Russian-Georgian relations also produced a striking body of literary texts which can be seen to explore deeper shifts in the symbolic valence of sovereignty. First theorized in the early modern era, sovereignty has conventionally been understood to designate the […]

Roundtable on Ecocriticism, Environmental History, and 19th Century Russia: What can we learn beyond a cautionary tale? (with Nicholas Breyfogle, Jane Costlow, and Thomas Hodge)

New York, NY

Join us for another 19v seminar! Over the last three decades ecocriticism and environmental history have evolved exciting and incisive approaches to addressing literary cultural traditions, histories of human interaction with the environment, and understandings of the links between global and local forces. At this roundtable, Nicholas Breyfogle, Jane Costlow and Thomas Hodge will discuss […]

How Will Russia’s War on Ukraine Change Scholarship on the 19th Century?

New York, NY

On May 25, in the final installment of the 19v Seminar Series for the 2021-2022 academic year, 19v will host a panel asking the question: how will scholarship on nineteenth-century Russian culture and history change in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine? After brief presentations by the speakers below, the panel will be followed by […]

Russia’s War on Ukraine: A New Phase

New York, NY

Join us for a meeting of the New York-Russia Public Policy Series, co-hosted by the Harriman Institute at Columbia University and the New York University Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has entered a new phase.  The Kremlin’s initial plan to seize Kyiv with a lightning strike failed due to spirited defense by the Ukrainian […]