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Past Events 2011 - 2012

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Dr. Kevin M. F. Platt has been awarded a very prestigious Gugenheim Fellowship for the year 2011. 180 fellowships were awarded, the successfull candidates were chosen from 3,000 applicants. Congratulations, Dr. Platt!

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Slavic Bazaar, Undergraduate Research Conference

April 25

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Russia's First Total War: The Wars Against Napoleon in Historical and Cultural Perspective

Annual Research Symposium

April 20 - 21, 2012

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April 19, 5 p.m., Williams Hall 321


Dr. Arno Parik, Jewish Museum in Prague

Dr. Parik will present a slide show of Prague Synagogues from the 12th to the 20th century in order to illustrate numerous threads connecting religious architecture with the social life of Prague Jewry throughout the past millenium.

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Central Asia and Nationalism in Comparative Perspective, a lecture by Dr. Andrew Wachtel

Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 5 p.m., Stiteler B21

Andrew Wachtel is the President of the American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, and Bertha and Max Dressler Professor in the Humanities, Northwestern University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Wachtel’s most recent published books are The Balkans in World History (Oxford UP, 2008), Russian Literature (with Ilya Vinitsky, Polity Press, 2008), and Remaining Relevant after Communism: the Role of the Writer in Eastern Europe (U. of Chicago Press, 2006). Wachtel is currently working on a project related to processes of national consolidation in Kyrgyzstan.

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April 5, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Cohen Hall 402

Come one come all! Russian literature and history in student parody. Refreshments will be served.

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Slavix Without Borders

A Graduate Colloquium in Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Monday, March 26, 5 p.m.

College Hall 209

The Program in Comparative Literature and LIterary Theory and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures present the inaugural session of Slavix without Borders, an open forum for academic discussion by and for rootless cosmopolitans.

Culturally appropriate refreshments will be served.

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‘Life or Death to the Fairytale?':
The Soviet Production Book for Children, 1920s-30s

A lecture by Alla Rosenfeld

Thursday, March 22, 2011, 6:00 p.m.
College Hall 209

Dr. Alla Rosenfeld is a Research Associate for European Evaluators in New York. From October 2006 to February 2009, Dr. Rosenfeld was Vice President and Senior Specialist for Russian Paintings at Sotheby’s, New York. Prior to joining Sotheby’s in 2006, she worked at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. She was Curator of Russian Art at the Zimmerli from 1992 to 2006, and also served as Director of the Zimmerli’s Russian Art Department from 2002 to 2006. During Dr. Rosenfeld’s tenure at the Zimmerli, she organized many exhibitions of Russian and Soviet art and was an editor, co-editor, and/or contributor to numerous publications, including Art of the Baltics (Rutgers University Press and the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, 2002); Defining Russian Graphic Arts, 1898–1934 (Rutgers University Press and the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, 1999); From Gulag to Glasnost (Thames and Hudson, 1995). Dr. Rosenfeld’s independent curatorial projects include the traveling exhibition “A World of Stage” (2007), presented at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, and the Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, Tokyo, among other venues. She has lectured widely on Russian art topics both in the U.S. and abroad at locations that include the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Dr. Rosenfeld has taught many courses at Rutgers during her tenure as Curator of Russian Art at the Zimmerli. Dr. Rosenfeld received her M.A. in the theory and history of art at the Academy of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1987, and her Ph.D. in modern and contemporary art at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, in 2003.

Co-sponsored by the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory and Department of History.

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Penn History Kruzhok (in collaboration with the Middle East Center):

Russia and the Making of the Modern Hajj

a public lecture by Dr. Eileen Kane, Assistant Professor of History, Connecticut College

March 14, 4:30 p.m.

College Hall, Room 318

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Penn History Kruzhok:

Monday Feb. 27:     Malte Rolf (Universität Hannover, Germany), “Imperial Biographies in Multiethnic Empires. The Habsburg and Russian Empires in Comparison”
                                   (presentation followed by discussion)

209 College Hall, 6 p.m.

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Lecture by Lisa Yountchi

Pushkin as a Young Sa'di: The Role of Persian Poetry in Pushkin's Work
Thursday, February 9, 2012, 5 p.m.
Max Kade Center, 3401 Walnut Street, Room 329A
The presentation examines the central role of classic Persian poetry in Pushkin’s poetry and prose. In particular, Dr. Yountchi will identify how works like “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai,”“From Hafiz,” “To Fazil Khan” and Journey to Arzrum, taken together, reveal Pushkin’s consistent interest in Persian poetry, and connect to larger issues concerning Russia’s political and cultural role as a country between East and West. The final sections of this presentation will examine how Pushkin’s understanding of Persian poetry influenced later writers, and especially 20th century Soviet Tajik poets.

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Penn History Kruzhok:

Monday Jan. 30:      Christina Kiaer (Northwestern), "A Biography of the USSR in Pictures: Aleksandr Deineka and the Problem of Socialist Realism"
                                    (pre-circulated paper)

209 College Hall, 6 p.m.

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Prof. Polina Barskova <> (Professor of Russian Literature at Hampshire College) will be visiting to give a talk and a poetry reading, sponsored by the Department of Russian, Bryn Mawr College.

Polina is widely recognized as one of the best Russian poets under the age of 40, and has authored many well-known books of poetry in Russian, some of which have been translated into English.

More information about the events is provided below; the Russian Center is located on New Gulph Road across from the Bryn Mawr Centennial Campus Center Parking Lot (next to the English House); Bryn Mawr's campus address is 101 N. Merion Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA.

We sincerely hope that some translators will be able to make it.

*"Reading/Writing the Siege of Leningrad (1941-1944)"*
Friday, Jan. 27, 2:30-3:30pm
@ Russian Center conference room @ Bryn Mawr College

*Poetry Reading*
Friday, Jan. 27, 6-7pm
@ Russian Center conference room @ Bryn Mawr College

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Dr.  Sergey Erofeev, Director of EUSP International Programs will hold an

Information Session on International MA programs at European University at St. Petersburg

The European University at St. Petersburg is a private graduate college. A product of post-Soviet intellectual revolution, it was set up in 1994 for the purpose of advancing training and research in economics, anthropology, history, political science, sociology, and art history. Since 1998 EUSP has been offering the only in Russia MA programs in Russian and Eurasian studies to international students.  All teaching is conducted in English.  Russian language classes are also provided for students of six different levels starting from zero.

  • International MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies (IMARES)
  • MARCA Petropolitana (MA in Russian Culture and the Arts)
  • ENERPO (Energy Politics in Eurasia)

Thursday, January 19, 2012,         9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
3401 Walnut Street, Room 329A (above Starbucks)

Prior to joining EUSP in August 2008, Dr. Sergey Erofeev extensively contributed to various international research and educational development projects.  During his work as a Vice-President of a major Russian university in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia, he established the well-known Center for the Sociology of Culture there.  Starting first as a professional concert pianist, Dr. Erofeev later developed an academic career researching society and culture.  He is one of the first post-Soviet scholars in the social sciences who have received their postgraduate education in the West.  In 2007-2008 he became the first U.S. Humphrey Fellow from Russia specializing in the higher education management.  Dr. Erofeev teaches courses “Russian Media, Culture and Society” and “Russian Classical Music” for American and European students at EUSP.

Dr. Sergey Erofeev will not only tell about the EUSP international programs, but will also share his personal experience as an observer of the December 4 elections in Russia.

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The Little Blue Light ("Goluboy ogonyok")

Friday, December 9, 5 - 6:30 p.m., DRLB A2

Join the Slavic Department students and faculty in their celebration of the end of the year and the semester in the New-Year-themed talent show. Enjoy music, sketches, authentic Russian treats, and a possible surprise visit by Father Frost and the Snow Maiden. Come one, come all!

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PENN History Kruzhok presents:            

Stalinism as Myth, Memory and History: Konstantin Simonov and his Readers in the Khrushchev and Brezhnev Eras

Polly Jones, Oxford University, United Kingdom.

Monday, November 28, 2011, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., 209 College Hall

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Novel--Illustration--Adaptation: The Revived Worlds of Jules Verne

Tuesday, November 8, 5 p.m.

Cohen Hall Room 402

a lecture by Dr. Petr Bubenicek, Masaryk University of Brno, Czech Republic

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Study Abroad / Immersion Program Information Session

Thursday, November 10, 4 - 5 p.m.

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

Intereste in studying Russian this summer? Not sure if study abroad/ immersion is for you? Not sure which program to choose? Want to find out about funding opportunities?

Join this information session and learn directly from Penn students about their experiences with various programs.

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Concert and Lecture: "Composers of the St. Petersburg Society of Jewish Folk Music and their Successors"

Jascha Nemtsov (Abraham Geiger College)

Monday, November 7, 2011, 5:00 p.m., Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street

Well into the 19th century, Jewish music went largely unnoticed in Euro-pean culture or was treated dismissively. Only at the beginning of the 20th century did Jewish composers show interest in the roots of Jewish music: folklore and music of the synagogue. At the start of the 20th century, a Jewish national school of music, also called New Jewish School, was established in Russia; in 1908 the Society for Jewish Folk Music was founded in St. Petersburg. This movement was part of a Jewish cultural Renaissance, which also supported the spreading of Zionist ideas. The New Jewish School later influenced the work of many composers in Eastern and Western Europe. Moscow, Berlin and Vienna emerged ase the most outstanding centers. In the course of this concert-lecture, Jascha Nemtsov will discuss these innovations and their background in musical traditions.


Lazare Saminsky            Hebrew Fair-tale
(1882-1959)               Danse rituelle du Sabbath

Joseph Achron from the Children Suite

Juliusz Wolfsohn Two Paraphrases on Old Jewish Folk Tunes

Jacob Schoenberg Chassidic Suite (Berlin 1937)
(1900-1956)     Preludium
             Aria (Nigun)
                Fugue (Horra)

Mieczysaw Weinberg        Children's Notebooks (volume 1)

Viktor Ullmann      Variations and Fugue on a Hebrew Folk Song
(1898-1944)              (from the Sonata No. 7, Terezin, 1944)

Jascha Nemtsov was born in Magadan (Siberia). He is a graduate of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory (Concert Diploma with distinction) and has lived in Germany since 1992. Next to the Classic Romantic repertoire, he is especially dedicated to the music of the 20th century through the contemporary period, with special emphasis on Russian and Jewish music. He has recorded 26 CDs as a soloist and with partners David Geringas (violoncello), Tabea Zimmermann (viola), Kolja Blacher, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Ingolf Turban (violin), the Vogler Quartet and others. His CDs have been awarded many distinctions like "Audiophile Reference - The Best of 2001," "Klassik heute Empfehlung," "CHOC - Le Monde de la Musique," "Recording of the Month (MusicWeb)," "Disc of the Month April 2006" (BBC Music Magazine), or the German Record Critics Prize (2007). In 2004, Jascha Nemtsov earned his doctorate and in 2007 his habilitation. In his scholarly works he focuses on Jewish music and Jewish composers of the 20th century. The results of his research have been published in several monographs and numerous other publications in anthologies, international professional magazines and encyclopedias. He has also given guest lectures at several German universities as well as in Austria, Great Britain, Israel, Canada and the United States. Nemtsov is Academic Director of the Cantorial School of the Abraham Geiger College (Berlin/Potsdam) and member of the Editorial Board of Milken Archive of Jewish Music.

Sponsored by the Joseph Alexander Colloquium in the Jewish Studies Program, and cosponsored by Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Department of Music.

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PENN History Kruzhok presents - jointly with the Penn Economic History Workshop:            

The Economics of Russian Serfdom and Emancipation: New Empirical  Evidence

Steven Nafziger, Department of Economics, Williams College.

Friday, November 4, 2011, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., 209 College Hall

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Russian Communal Living

Lecture by Paola Messana, New York Bureau chief of Agence France-Presse

October 27, 5 p.m.

Williams Hall Room 203

Paola Messana is the New York Bureau Chief of Agence France-Presse, and the agency's former Moscow Bureau Chief. She holds degrees in Russian from the Sorbonne and Political Science from the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

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"Exporting Raymond", an award-winning documentary film screening

October 27, 7 p.m., Education 114

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Bulgarian noir: a reading from Zift

featuring Vladislav Todorov and translator Joseph Benatov presented by Writers Without Borders.

October 6, 6 p.m.

Kelly Writers House Arts Cafe

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PENN History Kruzhok presents:

Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cultural Cold War

Kristin Roth-Ey, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College, London.

Thursday, September 15, 2011, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., 219 College Hall

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