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November 2020

Race in Russia after George Floyd (Panel with Harold Weaver, Zukhra Kasimova, and Claudia Sadowski-Smith)

November 30 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Though “race” was never a category the Soviet authorities used much, their nationalities policy in the 1920s and support for interwar anti-colonial movements made the USSR probably the one country in the world that made anti-racism not only a domestic but an international priority and invested in it accordingly. Late Stalinism, with the collective punishment of whole peoples (and their accompanying racialization), with its antisemitic campaign, and open acknowledgement of Russians as “the first people” of the Union blunted this…

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December 2020

Poor Liza and Russia’s Sentimental Marketplace (with Kirill Ospovat)

December 11 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The talk will investigate links between narrative modes and visions of economy that defined Russian sentimentalism. While in English-language Russianist scholarship social aspects of sentimental fiction have been largely ignored, they occupy a central place both in Soviet-era studies and in contemporary interpretations of English and French sentimentalism. Through a close reading of Karamzin’s classic Poor Liza I will illuminate the constructions of “sentimental commerce” which aligned specific modes of subjectivity and spectatorship with visions of the market, debates on…

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