Search Slavic Website:

Past Events 2010 - 2011

* * *

Penn Kruzhok Event :

Monday, May 23, 2011, 6 p.m., 209 College Hall

Konstantin Bogdanov (Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg)
 "Soviet Language Culture: How it Worked"

Paper will be pre-distributed before the seminar.

* * *

Your Language - My Ear: Russian and American Poetry at Close Quarters

Slavic Annual Symposium

April 22 - 23

Max Kade Center, 3401 Walnut Street, Room 329A (above Starbucks)

"Your Language--My Ear" brings together poets and scholars from the region's major universities with contemporary Russian-language poets from Russia and Eastern Europe for a week of performance, translation and study from April 18-23, 2011. Events include poetry readings, public lectures, and translation workshops at local venues as well as on the Penn campus.

"Your-Language--My Ear" is sponsored by the Open World Program of CEC Arts Link (New York), as well as the Kelly Writers House, English Department, Slavic Department and Comparative Literature Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

* * *

Zift: Noir a la Bulgare

April 14, 5 p.m., Williams Hall, Cherpack Lounge, 5th Floor

A film presentation by Dr. Ognyan Kovachev, visiting Fullbright scholar.

POSTER

* * *

Slavic Bazaar, Annual Undergraduate Research Conference

April 9

Houston Hall, Golkin Room

* * *

Meeting Dmitrii Birman, a Russian politician, businessman, and author

POSTER

Thursday, April 7, 6 p.m.

Location: Max Kade Center (3401 Walnut Street, Suite 329A, above Starbucks)

This is a short reading and long Q&A with the author, who is both a published prose writer and poet and a successful businessman.

Alphabet of Masks

By Dmitri Birman, translated by Antonina W. Bouis and Bela Shayevich

In the heady days of perestroika in the Soviet Union, when anything and everything seemed possible, young Dmitri Birman started a business in Gorky.  He also wrote poetry that was consistently rejected by Soviet censors.  Today, he is a prize-winning poet, successful businessman, and a respected politician.

Alphabet of Masks, a collection of short stories and poems written on his mobile phone, paints a picture of the life of a busy and sensitive man, dealing with wives, girlfriends, travel, and colleagues and reminiscing about lost loves, lost illusions, and lost parents.  It is an imaginative foray into the modern-day Russian experience.  Birman shows us how today’s Russians straddle their Soviet past and their capitalist future in order to survive.

The stories are wry, humorous, and sexually frank, the poems lyrical and elegiac.   While not autobiographical, the book is about the life story of the narrator and his friends.  The anti-Semitic reality of school bullies and army conscription, the adolescent yearning for classmates and teaching assistants, the Soviet dream of world travel and luxury consumption are all deftly woven into short stories no more than a page or two in length; the poetry resonates with the texts, as variations on a theme.

About the author

Dmitri Birman was born in 1961 in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod). His father was incarcerated in the Stalin camps from 1949 to 1959, as an enemy of the people.

He graduated from the Gorky Construction Engineering institute and worked as a construction foreman.  During perestroika, he founded one of the first commercial enterprises in the USSR.  He went back to school and got a PhD in economics from Nizhny Novgorod University.

For over a decade, he has been an elected councilman in the Nizhny Novgorod City Duma. He is a member of the Governor’s Council on Business Development and the board of the Nizhny Novgorod synagogue and a founder of the Yevgeny Yevstigneev Theater Festival.

He began writing poetry as an adolescent.  All the poetry he sent to Soviet magazines was rejected.  But now Birman is the only member of the Russian branch of PEN from Nizhny Novgorod and winner of the Rubtsov International Poetry Competition.

Dmitri Birman’s other books of prose and poetry are Two Roles (2000) and IMHO (2007).

* * *

Penn Kruzhok Event (jointly with the Penn Economic History Workshop):

Friday, March 25, 2011, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m., 209 College Hall

Robert Geraci (Department of History, University of Virginia)
 "Foreign Trade, Foreign Capital, and Low Economic Self-Esteem in Late Tsarist Russia"
Featuring commentators Faith Hillis (Department of History, University of Chicago) and Jessica Goldberg (Department of History, Penn)

Paper will be pre-distributed approximately ten days before the seminar.

* * *

Russian Movie Night

"Idi i Smotri" ("Come and See")

March 24, 8 p.m.

the Quad: McClelland North Lounge

A boy is unwillingly thrust into the atrocities of war in WWII Byelorussia, fighting for a hopelessly unequipped resistance movement against the ruthless German forces. Witnessing scenes of abject terror and accidentally surviving horrifying situations he loses his innocence and then his mind. [www.imdb.com]

Authentic Russian food and refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Quad

POSTER

* * *

Lecture by Professor Mikhail Liustrov of the Russian University of the Humanities

Eagle and Lion: The Northern War in Russian and Swedish Literature of the early 18th Century

March 22, 6 p.m.

Max Kade Center, 3401 Walnut Street, Room 329A (above Starbucks)

Lecture in Russian, post-lecture discussion will be in English.

Detailed information about the lecture

* * *

YIDDISH - HEBREW - RUSSIAN - DUTCH SING - ALONG

Tuesday, March 22, 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Hillel Steinhardt Hall (215 Sounth 39th Street)

Everyone is welcome! Free Kosher Pizza!

* * *

"Kapustnik"

A show of student satirical talent themed "Geopolitics" accompanied by Russian food and beverages.

March 17, 7 p.m., DRLB A6, 6:30 p.m.

 

* * *

Penn Kruzhok Event:

Monday, February 28, 2011, 6 p.m., 209 College Hall

Denis Kozlov (Department of Russian Studies, Dalhousie University)
"A Barometer of the Epoch: Vladimir Pomerantsev, Soviet Readers, and the Debate on Sincerity in Literature, 1953-54"

Pape rwas pre-distributed approximately ten days before the seminar.

* * *

Russian Movie Night

"Brat" ("Brother")

February 24, 8 p.m.

the Quad: McClelland North Lounge

Still think Russia = bears and vodka?

Discover a new Russian hero, Danila, in this stylishly violent and spirited modern cult classic. See Danila kicking it old school against a backdrop of realistically bleak and dingy post-perestroika Russia. This Dostoevsky-like study of brotherhood, love, betrayal, and the meaning of life is accompanied by a killer soundtrack by Nautilus Pompilius, one of the icons of modern Russian rock.

Authentic Russian food and refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Quad

* * *

Penn-in-Prague Information Session, February 10, 5 p.m., Williams Hall 316.

* * *

Penn Kruzhok Event:

Monday, February 7, 2011, 6 p.m., 209 College Hall

Ilya Kalinin (Editor; Neprikosnovennyi Zapas)
 "Nostalgic Modernization: Contemporary Russian Policy in Historical Perspective"

Paper will be pre-distributed approximately ten days before the seminar.

* * *

Russian Movie Night - rescheduled for February 24 at 8 p.m.

"Brat" ("Brother")

January 27, 8 p.m.

the Quad: McClelland North Lounge

Still think Russia = bears and vodka?

Discover a new Russian hero, Danila, in this stylishly violent and spirited modern cult classic. See Danila kicking it old school against a backdrop of realistically bleak and dingy post-perestroika Russia. This Dostoevsky-like study of brotherhood, love, betrayal, and the meaning of life is accompanied by a killer soundtrack by Nautilus Pompilius, one of the icons of modern Russian rock.

Authentic Russian food and refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Quad

* * *

Penn Kruzhok Event:

Wednesday, December 8, 6 p.m., 209 College Hall

James Heinzen (Department of History, Rowan University)
                    "Bribery and the 'Campaigns' against it in Late Stalinism"

Paper was pre-distributed before the seminar.

* * *

Slavic Department Talent Show, Thursday, December 2, 6 p.m.

Cohen Hall, Room G17

Here is a fragment of the show, you will find it quite charming.

* * *

A poetry reading by Arkadii Dragomoshchenko

presented by Writers Without Borders

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe of the Kelly Writers' House

hosted by: Kevin Platt and Charles Bernstein

co-sponsored by: Slavic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literatures, and Temple-Penn Poetics

Born in Potsdam, Germany, Arkadii Trofimovich Dragomoshchenko spent his youth in the Ukraine of the Soviet Union. While working on his eight book-length collections of poetry and two full-length plays, he also worked as a stoker at the former Leningrad State University Psychological Department. His first book was Nebo Sootvetstvii (Sky of Correspondence), published in 1990. The same year a collection in English, Description, translated by Lyn Hejinian and Elena Balashova was published by Sun & Moon Press in the USA. Xenia followed in 1994, published the same year in English, again by Sun & Moon Press. Other books of poetry, followed, Pod Podozreniem (Under Suspicion), and his selected poetry, Opisanie in 2000. Dragomoshchenko has also published several books of fiction and prose, including Phosphor, Kitajskoe Solnce, translated into English as Chinese Sun (Ugly Duckling Press), and Bezrazlichia (Indifferences), a book of collected prose. Dalkey Archive Press published a selection of Dragomoshchenko's prose as Dust in 2009. Dragomoshchenko's work has been collected into several anthologies and he has lectured in the Department of Philosophy at the St. Petersburg State University and been a visiting Professor at the University of California, San Diego, SUNY Buffalo, and the Smolny Institute of Liberal Arts and Science, an affiliate of Bard College.

"For Dragomoshchenko, language is not the always already used and appropriated, the pre-formed and prefixed that American poets feel they must wrestle with. On the contrary, Dragomoshchenko insists that 'language cannot be appropriated because it is perpetually incomplete' ...and, in an aphorism reminiscent of Rimbaud's 'Je est un autre,' "poetry is always somewhere else." —Marjorie Perloff

For more information about Dragomoshchenko and his work, visit these links:

* * *

Penn Kruzhok Event:

Monday, November 1, 6 p.m., 737 Williams Hall

Peter Steiner (Department of Slavic Languages, Penn)               
                  "Dialogism: Bakhtin and Game Theory"

Paper was pre-distributed before the seminar.

* * *

Penn Philomathean Society Event:

Resistance with a Twist: Conceptualist Poetry in the Late Soviet Union, lecture by Dr. Kevin Platt

October 26, 6 p.m., Philo Halls, 4th Floor College Hall

* * *

Thursday, 9/30, at 8:15pm in the Lower Quad, please come to a showing of"The Last Station"—the recent film about Leo Tolstoy's life, love, literature and overall divine wackiness. As you watch Christopher Plummer impersonate greatness, Pirozhki and kvas will be on hand to abate your hunger for the authentically Russian. For those of you who are not familiar with the quad, you need to bring your Penn ID to swipe in, using the last four digits of your social security number as your password. The rain location is McClelland Hall, North Lounge, just off of the Lower Quad.

* * *

Penn Kruzhok Event:

Monday, September 27, 6 p.m., 209 College Hall

Katherine Verdery (Department of Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center)
                    "Pedagogies of Persuasion: Collectivization in Romania"

Paper was distributed one week before the seminar.

* * *

Russian Placement Tests will be conducted on Friday, September 3 (11am - 1pm) in Williams Hall 219, and Monday, September 13 (1pm-3pm) in Williams Hall 438. For more information please contact Dr. Korshunova