Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course (with Eliot Borenstein, Fridays at 2 EST)


We are excited to announce a weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein.

Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line.

The lecture portion will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

 

Lecture Two: The `Putin is a D**khead’ Meme

Though its origins are in a 2014 Ukrainian soccer chant, the phrase “Путин—хуйло” (“Putin is a dickhead”) quickly moved to the Internet, in Russian, Ukrainian, and even English-language memes.  Discover the magic of geopolitical urology  in this 15-minute presentation.

Eliot Borenstein is Professor of Russian & Slavic Studies and Senior Academic Convenor for the Global Network at New York University. He is the author of Men without Women: Masculinity and Revolution in Russian Fiction, 1917-1929, Overkill: Sex and Violence in Contemporary Russian Popular Culture, Plots against Russia: Conspiracy and Fantasy after Socialism, and Pussy Riot: Speaking Punk to Power (Fall 2020).  His current projects includes the recently-submitted Russia’s Alien Nations: The Secret Identities of PostsocialismThe World Inside Your Head: Marvel Comics in the 1970s (to be serialized in draft form through Cornell University Press and as a blog), and Meanwhile, in Russia…: Russian Internet Memes and Viral Video (under contract with Bloomsbury Press).


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course, Part Seventeen



The final installment in the weekly series of informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral videos on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Please see below for the information you will need to join the meeting, or click the link above.

Part Seventeen – Comrade Lenin and the Gang: Memes about Soviet Leaders

Lenin lives, but he’s probably not too happy about it.  After deuces as the subjects of popular jokes, it should be no surprise that the leaders of the USSR have become prime fodder for Internet memes.

Please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the Zoom link. 


What Does the Stoned Fox Say?



We are excited to announce a weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Lecture Sixteen: What Does the Stoned Fox Say?

When a Welsh taxidermist put a stuffed fox on eBay in 2012, she had no way of knowing she was launching a memetic sensation in Russia. Nor could she have possibly imagined that her fox would be identified as a threat to Russian public morals. Why did so many people see so many different things in the image of this slightly bizarre animal?

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information.


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course, Part Fifteen



We are excited to announce a weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Part Fifteen: Peter the Great Memes (Guest Starring Shrek)

Pushkin said that Peter the Great opened a “window to the West;” this lecture’s memes would probably make him want to close it. Given Peter’s towering presence in Russian culture, his popularity as a subject of memes should be no surprise. His frequent pairing with a green ogre from a hit Dreamworks franchise, on the other hand, only looks inevitable with the benefit of hindsight.

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information.


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course, Part Fourteen



We are excited to announce a weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Part Fourteen: Conspiracy Memes, Guest Starring George Soros and Bill Gates

All the nefarious conspirators trying to conquer, destroy, or transform the world have one thing in common: they’re terrible at keeping a secret. All their plans are on-line; it turns out that the Internet is almost as good a vehicle for spreading conspiracy theories as it is for distributing pornography. Focusing, as always, on Russia, this lecture looks at the role of Internet memes in both disseminating and mocking conspiracy theories. Disclaimer: no Freemasons or Illuminati were harmed in the preparation for this talk.

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information.

 

 


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course, Part Thirteen



We are excited to announce a weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Part Thirteen: Freaks of the Russian Internet

All around the world, the Internet is merciless to people perceived as strange or engaging in unusual behavior. In this, Russia is no different.  For over a decade, Russian speakers have shared videos of now-famous eccentrics, spawning parodies and memes. We will look at videos uploaded by the subjects themselves, videos made by passers by on their phones, but primarily the accidental viral phenomena resulting from “man on the street” television interviews.  The resulting cast of characters becomes part of a shared cultural system, but also raises uncomfortable ethical questions: who are these people really, and what does it mean to laugh at them?

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information.


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course, Part Twelve



We are excited to announce a weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Part Twelve: Take That, Elon Musk?

In Russia eccentric billionaire inventor and investor Elon Musk is more than just an arrogant annoyance: he’s a meme.  Why are Russians invoking his name while posting images of bizarre life hacks, creating deep fake videos of him singing Soviet classics, and putting his face on rockets? This lecture will not help explain why he keeps coming up with bizarre names to inflict upon his offspring.

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information.


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course, Part Eleven



We are excited to announce a weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Part Eleven: Black Lives Matter and the Problem of Russian Racist Memes

Those looking for racial sensitivity and a nuanced understanding of institutional racism could find a more congenial home than the Russian Internet. Though a number of prominent Russian Internet figures have come out strongly against distortions of the Black Lives Matter movement, the past few weeks have seen a proliferation of anti-Black racist Russian memes, often in the service of a broader attack on liberalism, tolerance, and the United States. We will discuss the historical and cultural context that makes these memes predictable, as well as the various constituencies that deploy them.

Content warning:  Though Professor Borenstein will be careful to show only those memes that need to be analyzed in detail, there will, inevitably, be offensive words and images on display. 

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information.


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course, Part Ten



We are excited to announce a weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Part Ten: Hating Greta

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg became a media sensation in 2018, inevitably making her a memetic sensation as well.  In the US, the Left loved her and the Right hated her, and the range of memes about Greta reflected this divide.  Russian social media veered much more strongly into the Anti-Greta camp, as Russian-language memes demonstrate.  What is it about Greta Thunberg that sparked so much animosity?


Little Big: The Band That Wants to Eat Your Brain (Part Nine of Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course)



We are excited to announce a weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Lecture Nine – Little Big: The Band That Wants to Eat Your Brain

Founded in 2013, “Little Big” makes music that shouldn’t really require much mental engagement: described as “freak rave,” with elements of hip-hop and EDM, their beats are meant to get bodies moving.  But their videos, whose aesthetic is somewhere between performance art and sketch comedy, combine with the music to engage the audience on multiple levels. Though these videos are not, strictly speaking, Internet memes, they self-consciously and parodically engage with popular memes while using all the tricks at the band’s disposal to become thoroughly viral. Singing almost exclusively in English, they bait their audiences by both reproducing and subverting Russian stereotypes.

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information.


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course



We are excited to announce a new weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube, where you can find all the lectures in this series.

Lecture Eight – Zhdun:  The Dutch Blob that Ate the Russian Internet

How did the image of a statue created by a Dutch artist for Leiden medical center become a meme beloved by Internet users throughout Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus?  Is Zhdun the savior we’ve all been waiting for? Wait with him during the next installment of “Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course.”

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information.


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course



We are excited to announce a new weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube, where you can find all the lectures in this series.

Lecture Seven – Attack of the Putin-Loving SpongeBob Clones: Vatnik on the Russian Internet

Created as a caricature of ultra-patriotic Russian nationalist couch potatoes, the Vatnik meme depict an angry, drunken quilted jacket who shouts slogans about traditional values.  Follow his life and times in this upcoming installment.

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information.


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course



We are excited to announce a new weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube, where you can find all the lectures in this series.

Lecture Six – Squatting Slavs: Watching the Gopniki

Of all the possible images to spread from the former Soviet Union, why did memes featuring Russian street thugs squatting on street corners become such a phenomenon?

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information. 


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course



We are excited to announce a new weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube, where you can find all the lectures in this series.

Lecture Five – Going Viral: The Memes of COVID-19

Like most of the world, Russia has taken most of its non-essential interactions on-line.  Unsurprisingly, this has led to a wide range of virus-related memes and videos, some of them even jumping the language barrier to the non-Russian Internet (such as the many Russian Internet users who have reenacted the scenes of famous paintings while sheltering in place).  In addition to analyzing examples of specifically Russian memetic responses to the coronavirus, this talk will consider some of the broader questions raised by Internet engagement in the age of social distancing.

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information. 


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course (with Eliot Borenstein, Fridays at 2 pm EST)



We are excited to announce a new weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture portion will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Lecture Four: Russian Road Rage

For nearly a decade, Russia has supplied a treasure trove of viral content gathered by the dashboard cameras that have become ubiquitous throughout the country.  These videos, which present a country full of madcap drunks prone to absurd antics and violent outbursts, are hugely popular.  When the whole world is consuming such content, what does that mean for Russia’s role in the global imagination?

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information. 


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course (with Eliot Borenstein, Fridays at 2 EST)



We are excited to announce a new weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture portion will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Lecture Three: The “Obama is a Shmoe” Meme

Political memes in Russia are at least as useful to those in power as they are to the opposition.  Experts chose the phrase “Obama is a Shmoe” (Обама—чмо) as one of 2015’s “words of the year.” This was a meme whose circulation was literal and visible, starting as a car sticker, transforming into an Internet meme and а video by one of the country’s most popular comedians,  and sparking a viral video challenge. How did this meme work, and what is its connections to the more explicitly racist Russian anti-Obama Internet memes that circulated during the last few years of his presidency?

Please be advised that some of the words and imagery analyzed in this lecture are racist and offensive.

 

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information. 


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course (with Eliot Borenstein, Fridays at 2 EST)



We are excited to announce a new weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line. The lecture portion will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Lecture Two: The ‘Putin is a D**khead’ Meme

Though its origins are in a 2014 Ukrainian soccer chant, the phrase “Путин—хуйло” (“Putin is a d**khead”) quickly moved to the Internet, in Russian, Ukrainian, and even English-language memes.  Discover the magic of geopolitical urology  in this 15-minute presentation.

Eliot Borenstein is Professor of Russian & Slavic Studies and Senior Academic Convenor for the Global Network at New York University. He is the author of Men without Women: Masculinity and Revolution in Russian Fiction, 1917-1929, Overkill: Sex and Violence in Contemporary Russian Popular Culture, Plots against Russia: Conspiracy and Fantasy after Socialism, and Pussy Riot: Speaking Punk to Power (Fall 2020).  His current projects includes the recently-submitted Russia’s Alien Nations: The Secret Identities of PostsocialismThe World Inside Your Head: Marvel Comics in the 1970s (to be serialized in draft form through Cornell University Press and as a blog), and Meanwhile, in Russia…: Russian Internet Memes and Viral Video (under contract with Bloomsbury Press).

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information. 


Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course (with Eliot Borenstein, Fridays at 2 EST)



We are excited to announce a new weekly series of 15-minute informal virtual Zoom lectures about memes and viral video on the Russian Internet, presented by our very own Eliot Borenstein.

The first lecture on Friday, April 3rd, “Introduction: Getting Memes Wrong,” will provide background on meme theory and its relationship to the Internet, followed by a brief analysis of one popular Russian Internet meme.

Each lecture will be followed by a moderated, on-line discussion, as well as just more general chat for anyone who feels like staying on-line.

The lecture portion will subsequently be uploaded to YouTube.

Eliot Borenstein is a Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies, Collegiate Professor at New York University, and Senior Academic Convenor for the Global Network. Educated at Oberlin College (B.A., 1988) and the University of Wisconsin, Madison (M.A., 1989, Ph.D., 1993), Professor Borenstein was an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia (1993-95) before taking an appointment at NYU in 1995. His new book, Plots against Russia: Conspiracy and Fantasy after Socialism will soon be published by Cornell University Press; an earlier draft is available at plotsgainstrussia.oirg

If you would like to attend, please email jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu for the zoom meeting information.