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November 2020

Anonymous Was a Russian Woman at the Bar of Penance: Written Confessions ca. 1888-1908 (with Nadieszda Kizenko and Discussant Hilde Hoogenboom)

November 18 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us for another installment of the 19v seminar series! If there were ever a group that might be described as the silent majority, it is the barely literate women who went to confession in the Russian empire. Although Orthodox Christians of both sexes and all ages above seven were required to do this at least once a year, women in Russia (as elsewhere in Europe) tended to go more often than men. In theory the sacrament of penance was auricular…

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Camera Caucasica: Networks of Photographic Practices in the Transimperial Caucasus (with Dominik Gutmeyr and Discussant Naomi Caffee)

November 11 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us for another installment of the 19v Seminar Series! Against the backdrop of photographic practices in the wider Caucasus region, this presentation looks to address theoretical and methodological specifics of the history of photography in imperial times and to map some of the networks that provided the conceptual and practical basis for the production, circulation and reception of photographic images. As the project in progress puts an emphasis on shared histories and the entanglement of photographic practices across imperial…

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Price Tags for Wet Land: Resource-making in Late Imperial Russia (with Katja Bruisch)

November 9 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

In late imperial Russia, rising demand for energy and widespread concerns about the depletion of forests caused an interest in peat as an industrial fuel. In the booming industrial districts of the Vladimir and Moscow provinces in particular, factory owners adopted peat fuel to fire furnaces and operate engines, while railroad operators made experiments to move trains with the help of peat. Their efforts were encouraged by the imperial state which, itself an owner of substantial peatbogs, provided the personal…

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US-Russia Relations After the US Elections: What Can We Expect?

November 6 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Join us for another virtual meeting of the New York-Russia Public Policy Seminar. This panel is being co-hosted by Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, the New York University Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, and the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia). In the wake of the US presidential election, please join us for a discussion involving academic and policy perspectives from the US, Russia, and Europe on the future of the bilateral relationship. Is the US election…

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Medical Ethics and the Crisis of the Doctor-Patient Relationship in the Early Soviet Union (with Kenneth Pinnow)

November 2 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The Bolsheviks promised to provide universal public health. As part of that effort, they sought to make interactions between doctors and patients regular and normal. Seeing a doctor and receiving medical care would be important points of contact with Soviet power. However, with increased interactions between physicians and the public also came increased opportunities for misunderstandings and conflicts. Patients, particularly those from the newly empowered laboring classes, complained about inattentive, incompetent, and rude physicians. Doctors complained about uncooperative, overly demanding,…

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October 2020

Challenging “The Imam of Atheism”: Islamist Anti-Communism and the Soviet Union, 1958-1979 (with Timothy Nunan)

October 28 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Between the Soviet Union’s outreach to countries like Egypt and Afghanistan in the mid-1950s and the growing role of Communists in Iraq following that country’s 1958 revolution, Muslim intellectuals and ulema feared the expansion of Communism in the Middle East. They began to conceive of Islam as a distinct ideological system and alternative to capitalism and socialism, and they looked to other post-colonial countries for models of how they could organize political organizations to rival Communist parties. Taking advantage of…

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A “Complete” Atlas of the Russian Empire (with Catherine Evtuhov)

October 26 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Utility (pol’za) was a watchword of Empress Elizabeth’s reign (1741-61). The 1745 Atlas of the Russian Empire, published in nineteen regional maps and a general map of the empire, was presented in this spirit. The atlas united “geographical rules” and “new observations” to create a complete picture of the All-Russian Empire and contiguous lands. The visual and the imperial intersect in two important ways in the crafting of the Atlas. First, scientific visualization by specialists trained in geography and astronomy,…

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Sergei Eisenstein and Immersion in Nature (with Joan Neuberger)

October 23 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

At a time when nearly everyone else was writing about nature as something to be conquered, Eisenstein was joining personal experience with Romantic and Indigenous tropes to write about self-immersion in nature as a a source of individual liberation, a model for understanding film reception, and a blueprint for a utopian socialist collective. This presentation will examine his 1945 essay, “The Music of Landscape,” to show how immersion in nature offered Eisenstein new avenues for further developing his ideas about…

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Magnanimous Husbands, Repentant Wives: Sovereignty and Governmentality in Russian Domestic Fiction (The Case of “Polin’ka Saks”) (with Ilya Kliger and Discussant Harsha Ram)

October 21 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us for another 19v seminar! This presentation is dedicated to Alexander Druzhinin’s spectacularly influential epistolary novella Polin’ka Saks, published at the end of 1847 in Sovremennik.  Professor Ilya Kliger will attempt an analysis of Polinka Saks with an eye to the wider context of Russian and Western domestic fiction and with special attention to a small corpus of texts – translated and original, literary, belletristic, and scholarly – published the same year in the same journal.  Most broadly at stake is the distinctiveness…

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NYC Russia Public Policy Series: Is it Time to Rethink Our Russia Policy?

October 19 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us for another virtual meeting of the New York-Russia Public Policy Seminar, a forum co-hosted by the Jordan Center and Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. US-Russia relations continue to deteriorate. Across contentious issues such as Russia’s interventions in Syria and Ukraine, Western sanctions, an arms control agenda on life support, and competing views about global leadership and international order, US and Russian policymakers appear to be fundamentally at odds. Russia’s domestic interference in US elections further…

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