Panels of Interest at ASEEES 2017
|Art and Architecture: Made by Women (ASEEES 2017 Panel)||
"Art and Architecture: Made by Women"
Panel at 49th ASEEES Annual Convention, Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel, November 9-12, 2017
“Ekaterina Dashkova and Anna Jabłonowska, the Eighteenth-Century Proto-Feminists and Collectors: Two Portraits.” Hanna Chuchvaha, University of Alberta (Canada)
“Slavutych: The Role of Female Architects in Planning of the Last Soviet City.” Ievgeniia Gubkina, Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (Ukraine)
“Bridging tte Cold War Divide: Hungarian Women Architects in the UIFA.” Mariann Simon, Department of Urban Planning and Design, Szent Istvan University
|Collections of Russian Decorative Art: Defining Taste in America (ASEEES 2017 Panel)||
"Collections of Russian Decorative Art: Defining Taste in America"
|Defying Categorization in Nineteenth-Century Russian Painting (ASEEES 2017 Panel)||
Defying Categorization in Nineteenth-Century Russian Painting
Chair: Galina Mardilovich
Discussant: Jane Sharp
Margaret Samu "The Making of Karl Briullov’s Last Day of Pompeii"
Louise Hardiman "Empires, Exhibitions, East: Vereshchagin's Unconventional Realism and its British Reception"
Rosalind Blakesley "The First Female Peredvizhnik: Emily Shanks and the Blurred Realist/Impressionist Divide"
The historiography of nineteenth-century Russian art has long been preoccupied with categories. This panel considers three artists who defy categorization. Instead of inserting their work into circumscribed stylistic boxes, it explores the possibility of multiple artistic identities and the porous boundaries between them. All three papers employ archival material and methods beyond narrowly defined ‘isms’, including critical reception, colonialism, and interdisciplinary approaches. Collectively they demonstrate that transgressing the conventions of art historical scholarship—refusing to confine artists to single categories—enables a more nuanced, less tidy narrative of artistic development in nineteenth-century Russia, and illuminates the complexity and resonance of the individual artists’ work.
|Garden, Canvas, Postcard: Revisiting Russian Visual Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century (ASEEES 2017 Panel)||
Hello! We have a panel that will be of interest to SHERA members.
Thank you, Viktoria
Garden, Canvas, Postcard: Revisiting Russian Visual Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century
Between Arcadia and Arcade: The Aesthetics of Moscow Amusement Garden Circa 1900
High Art or Entertainment? Arkhip Kuindzhi’s Night on the Dnepr
Postcards from Imperial Russia: Space, Souvenir, Staging, and Serendipity
P.S. Please let me know if you need any more info for your compilation. Thanks!
|Listing of (most) panels and roundtables of interest to members of SHERA at ASEEES 2017 (Chicago, 9-12 November)||
Dear Members of SHERA,
Below please find a compiled listing of all panels and roundtables related to art, architecture, design, cinema, historiography of art, cultural policy, museums, museology, urbanism, material culture, and other themes of interest to our members. The results are organized chronologically.
Unsurprisingly, there is a wealth of interesting panels. With over 650 sessions, the convention will be one of the largest ASEEES conventions since the mid 1990s.
If I have missed your panel, please do post it to H-SHERA.
To receive the discounted registration price, you must register by August 11. A preliminary schedule for the Convention is now available at: http://www.aseees.org/news-events/aseees-news-feed/2017-aseees-convention-schedule-announced.
I look forward to seeing you there,
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1:00 TO 2:45 PM
Rethinking the Constructed Image: New Perspectives on Russian Collage and Photomontage
This panel explores intermediary quality of the work of some major Russian and Soviet avant-garde artists in the mediums of collage and photomontage. The panelists will discuss various avant-garde techniques and practices, from Kruchenykh’s ‘transrational’ language (‘zaumnyi yazyk’) to El Lissitzky’s photo-painting, that led to de-automatizing perception and “loosening up” the meaning. The first paper focuses on the book Vselenskaia Voina (Universal War), published in 1916 by the futurist poet Aleksei Kruchenych and visual artist Olga Rozanova, and discusses creative operations, defined by the two artists as “tsvetovoe samopis’mo” (colored self-writing’). The second paper explores the avant-garde practices of the pioneer of Soviet Constructivist photomontage Gustav Klucis. It investigates his experimental ‘photo-slogan-montage’ (‘foto-lozungo-montazh’), a new genre of political art invented by the artist in the early 1920s. The third paper addresses the use of distorted, distended or anamorphosed photographic imagery in the work of prominent Soviet photomontage artists El Lissitzky, Gustav Klucis and Viktor Koretsky in the 1920s and 1930s. Reminiscent of trick photography or boulevard entertainments, these images offer an under-examined counterpoint to constructivist and monumental Stalinist photomontage styles.
Chair: Kristin E. Romberg, U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The panel highlights several periods of Georgian History. Sanadze and Gudushauri give an overview of medieval Georgian society in their investigation of medieval hagiographic and historical documents, such as Kartlis TSkhovreba. They determine factors important in the use of Georgian historical material to determine “us” groups and to identify distinctness of one ethnicity from others. They conclude that the identified markers are in compliance with the attributive and interactive paradigms of ethnicity. Kiknadze discusses the 1832 effort to regain Georgian independence from the Tsarist regime. He argues that the effort was unsuccessful not because of one traitor, Iase Palavandishvili, but because of a network of Tsarist sympathizers, which shows that Georgia's annexation by Russia had more support than thought previously. Nadirashvili researches contemporary large-scale buildings and the message they project about power and democracy. He discuss the influence and the symbolism of iconic architectural constructions and projects such as the Biltmore Hotel, the Panorama Tbilisi project, the residency of the former Prime-Minister of Georgia, and the Batumi Trump Tower.
Chair: Rusudan Asatiani, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State U (Georgia)
Though socialist Yugoslavia and East Germany were both a result of, and had, inherent connections to the political agendas of the October Revolution, Leninism, Marxism and other forms of socialism and communism around the turn of the 20th-century, their forms of governance, policies, and the role of the state were idiosyncratic. These two postwar socialist countries, each had their own state bureaucracies, with their own forms of transgressive political and economic alternatives, including the field of culture and the arts. Throughout their existence, culture was a contested domain in Yugoslavia and East Germany, because different ideas coexisted about culture’s functioning within state policies and practices.
While the socialist state funded mainstream cultural and artistic production it also implemented various policies that enabled access to culture and participation in it. This situation was ripe for varieties of alternative transgressions on the level of cultural production, as well as, on the level of the relationship between art and the state. As Yugoslav and East German art workers negotiated their positioning within the state, they also produced forms of resistance and alternatives to the political system in a variety of ways. This panel presents papers that consider art and cultural practices in the context of “alternative transgressions” that approach the proposed topic from a variety of perspectives (artistic practices, organization of cultural production, working conditions etc.) and disciplines (art history, cultural policy, cultural studies, sociology of culture).
Chair: Bojana Videkanic, U of Waterloo (Canada)
In the Baltic countries, the concept of cinema as an inherent part of national culture was introduced in the mid-20th century by Soviet regime. Earlier, the governments of three Baltic states lended only limited support to film culture in general and its “national” manifestation in particular. The side-effect of this development was the reluctance of local audiences to embrace cinema as an “authentic” part of the national cultural scene. This panel will trace the gradually growing role of cinema in the everyday life of Soviet-occupied Baltic countries during the second half of the 20th century. Lina Kaminskaitė-Jančorienė will look at the cultural and cinema politics in Soviet Lithuania during Stalinist era and the impact of the process called Cinemafication in the everyday lives of people experiencing film for the first time. Zane Balčus will look at the development of a poetical approach for documenting everyday life in Latvian documentaries in the 1960s. Bjorn Ingvoldstad will focus on the contribution of popular music to the societal transformations of Soviet everyday in three Baltic films.
Chair: Liis Jõhvik, U of Vienna (Austria)
Of the tens of millions of Soviet soldiers who served in the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War, practically one million of them were women. The need to deploy a total war effort led to the military mobilization of women, not only as nurses but as bombers, snipers and other fighting positions. Women who stayed in the rear took an active part in the war and farming industries, some reaching leadership positions. From the frontlines to the rural regions of Central Asia, the war imposed new conditions on the system of Soviet gender relations. This panel investigates the experience, role and representation of Soviet women during WWII. By examining how Soviet men and women interacted on the frontlines (“Gender relationships under attack? Men and women in the Red Army 1941-1945,” Kerstin Bischl), the ways women were depicted in propaganda and in combatants’ drawings (“Representing Female Comrades: Soviet Women in Frontline Drawings and Visual Propaganda, 1941-1945,” Marilyn Campeau), and how Central Asian women “emancipated” themselves by participating in the homefront war effort (“An Emancipation of Necessity? The Mobilization of Rural Uzbek Women on the Homefront,” Dr. Charles Shaw), the panel will question to what extent the war brought circumstantial and permanent changes to the gender dynamics of Stalinist society. It will contribute to ongoing historical discussions which aim to evaluate the role of Soviet state discourse in shaping perceptions of women, while highlighting the important war contribution made by women on the fighting and home fronts during the war.
Chair: Lynne Viola, U of Toronto (Canada)
As numerous commentators have noted, west-centric art histories ignored or downplayed Russian art developments for decades. This was the case until recently even for eras in which Russian artists played the most essential foundational roles, and the blind spot remained for much of the late-Soviet and post-Soviet period as well. Yet cross-border collaboration was important to contemporary art from its beginning, and it had a profound effect on the development of art movements on both sides of the transgressed border between the “East” and the “West.” This panel will investigate the range and intent of such cross-border influences and artistic collaboration in Russian, late-Soviet, and post-Soviet art. The panelists will theorize the effect such transgressions had on creative output of the time, including related issues of influence, quotation, and homage, and explore the continued success of these collaborative efforts in the current era.
Chair: K. Andrea Rusnock, Indiana U South Bend
This roundtable will take place at the Art Institute of Chicago (most likely in the library). Materials from the collection will be installed for first hand discussion and examination. The goal of this roundtable is to tease out the material aspects of artworks that are often lost in reproduction or virtual dissemination. The panellists will consider these "objects" from diverse disciplinary perspectives – art history, conservation, and literary studies. The objects which will be discussed include a 19th century Russian landscape glass made by serf artist, Soviet avant-garde paintings by El Lissitzky, modernist graphic designs by John Heartfield and Ladislav Sutnar, and contemporary artist's books by Mikhail Karasik.
Chair: Jill Bugajski, Art Institute of Chicago
Following the disintegration of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, art historical scholarship in the region has mainly conformed to the general trend of consolidating the narratives of the past according to the new national(ist) agendas of the seven ex-Yugoslav states. Even if the Yugoslav state and its cultural politics were acknowledged as an overall framework for the art made between 1945 and 1991, individual artists and art events were still examined as building blocks of a local or national history, or were otherwise associated with the concurrently emerging paradigm of "Eastern European art." In the past decade, however, there has been a significant shift: an increasing number of art historians — as well as artists, curators, historians and sociologists of culture — are identifying "Yugoslav art" as the object of their study or as the framework within which they situate individual artistic or cultural phenomena. Within this "post-Yugoslav generation" of art historical scholarship "Yugoslav history" and "Yugoslav art" are being generated anew as objects of research but also as subjects of a certain politics, which often involves an affirmative attitude towards a number of idiosyncratic legacies of Yugoslav history and art history. This round-table invites scholars of Yugoslav art to discuss the hypothesis of such a shift, while reflecting on their own, and their colleagues' recent work.
Chair: Ivana Bago, Duke U
While cinematic representations of Baltic history have often focused on the traumatic events, such as memories of World War II and deportations, the papers in this panel will focus on the contemporary cinematic (re)constructions and representations of everyday life during Soviet occupation. Liis Jõhvik will look at the portrayal of private sphere, gender and memory in the contemporary Estonian TV series that has restored Soviet Estonian home movies and amateur films. Liina-Ly Roos will look at the construction of a post-war child who is perceiving the juxtaposition of historical-linear and cyclical movements of time in the Soviet everyday in an Estonian contemporary filmmaker Sulev Keedus' film Georgica (1998). Eva Näripea will compare the intertwining of and negotiations between everyday life and political events on the brink of the Singing Revolution in Peeter Urbla’s I’m Not a Tourist, I Live Here (Ma pole turist, ma elan siin, 1988), a film that unintentionally ended up recording the first signs of the political turmoil that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in ESSR (2010–...), a “nostalgic TV series” directed by Ain Mäeots more than 20 years later that provides reconstructions of the same events through the everyday lives of its characters.
Chair: Liina-Ly Roos, U of Washington
This panel seeks to emphasize that social, political, and national identity remained fluid concepts and acted as lens through which individuals interpreted and structured their actions. In the first paper, the author highlights the potential of Social Network Analysis as a tool for tracing the evolution of provincial elites in the second half of the nineteenth century. The author seeks to explain the disenfranchisement of these provincial elites and explain their absence from Russia's political life in the lead-up to 1905. For the second paper, the presenter intends to examine various political factions’ differing interpretations of works by leading members of the World of Art Movement. Through an analysis of specific paintings, the presenter will demonstrate that political affiliations acted as filters through which individuals understood these artistic creations. The third presenter will analyze the government’s reformulation of national identity with emphasis upon the newly introduced categories of nationalities as defined in the 1907 electoral law. Specifically, the presenter will examine criteria used by tsarist authorities to define the Russianness of some voters in the western borderlands so as to include them into the Russian curia. All three papers speak to this year’s Convention theme of Transgressions. The provincial gentry’s absence from their anticipated leadership roles; political factions’ recastings of an artist’s message; and the official refashioning of voters’ nationalities evidenced the instability of social, political, and national identities during an era in which the Russian Empire officially supported the continued acceptance of the traditional social, political, and national order.
Chair: Aileen Friesen, U of Winnipeg (Canada)
In addition to the Zionist movement and the struggle for the right to emigrate to Israel (aliyah), the semi-tabooization of Jewry in the Soviet Union also generated a rich unofficial culture among Jewish intelligentsia since the end of the 1950s. One of the most important consequences was the development of a complex non-conformist Jewish culture, which transcended the boundaries between Jewish and non-Jewish culture, East and West, textual and visual media. Artists’ groups, samizdat and tamizdat, religious and historical seminars, as well as reading circles became institutions of this new Jewish culture. Contacts to the visitors from the West were a part of this communication culture in the situation of cultural isolation.
Chair: Klavdia - Smola, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-U Greifswald (Germany)
Ideological and cultural aspects of the Cold War have, in recent years, received significant scholarly attention. Although these works have provided guidance and key concepts, they have also opened a vast array of questions and topics that need to be peered into in order to provide a better understanding of the Cold War. By exploring Cold War reciprocities between Yugoslavia, USSR, USA, and China, this panel will try to present certain correlations between the flow of cultural and ideological currents and diplomacy. By analyzing reciprocity and moving away from the ‘’US-centered’’ cultural diplomacy, the first part of the panel will examine cultural diplomacy as a dynamic process in which both actors, Yugoslavia and the United States, actively participated. By analyzing artistic exchanges between the United States and Yugoslavia, this paper will show that, although with varying degrees, these exchanges influenced the Cold War dynamics and ‘’communication’’ between the two countries. The second part of the panel will examine the essence of the ideological differences between China and Yugoslavia and show that their conflict influenced not only the bilateral relations between China and Yugoslavia, but also the Communist block dynamics and numerous other events of the Cold War. Continuing the discourse of an increasing body of scholarship that’s been focusing on Eastern Defectors, heavily used by the United States in their Cold War propaganda, the final paper on the panel will examine and shed light on the lesser known Soviet attempt of using Western defectors to show the allure of the Soviet ‘’way of life.’’
Chair: Nela Erdeljac, Karlovac U (Croatia)
In the wake of border shifts and population exchanges during and after World War II, urban spaces across East Central Europe were reconstructed and re-inscribed with ideologically charged meanings to suit new regimes that struggled to legitimize their often shaky claim to rule. How did early Cold War cities adapt to new territorial and ideological configurations? What role did architecture and space play in the struggle to forge a usable official narrative after the fall of Nazi power and amid the establishment of Communist rule? How did ordinary inhabitants negotiate their changed surroundings? Through assessing large urban spaces at the crossroads of land and naval transit networks, each paper in this panel reveals common, transnational dimensions to the early postwar urban context.
Chair: Julia Carolin Mannherz, U of Oxford (UK)
In the two decades following the October Revolution, Soviet policy reconfigured the identities of rural inhabitants into agricultural laborers. Yet nostalgic attitudes about the peasant way of life persisted through representations of agricultural work both in art and political discourse. This session considers how various individuals and parties represented the peasantry in words, images, and policies during this transgressive era. While much of the Soviet overhaul of rural systems sought to overthrow cultural and economic orders of the past, much of the transformation merely recast idealized versions of peasant agriculture rather than defied tradition. In the two decades following the October Revolution, Soviet policy reconfigured the identities of rural inhabitants into agricultural laborers. Yet nostalgic attitudes about the peasant way of life persisted through representations of agricultural work both in art and political discourse. This session considers how various individuals and parties represented the peasantry in words, images, and policies during this transgressive era. While much of the Soviet overhaul of rural systems sought to overthrow cultural and economic orders of the past, much of the transformation merely recast idealized versions of peasant agriculture rather than defied tradition.
Chair: Barbara C. Allen, La Salle U
In the notorious A Slap in the Face of the Public Taste manifesto, its authors - Burliuk, Kruchenykh, Mayakovsky, Klebnikov – called for washing of hands that handled books authored by "various Leonids Andreyevs" and for throwing several celebrated yet deceased authors, rather than their books, from the steamboat of modernity. They also referred to themselves as a “face of their Time.” Similarly, in Poland Tadeusz Peiper, the major poet of constructivism, wrote in one of his theoretical texts that „the skin of the world has changed.“ These two quotes, foundational for the Russian and Polish avant-garde, demonstrate that at the heart of the new, revolutionary art of the 1910s and 1920s was the corporeal. The main objective of our panel is to explore the way different types of the avant-garde bodies - carnivalesque, mechanical, erotic, dysfunctional, deformed, gendered, or political - are constructed. We would like to investigate this issue in a broader perspective of carnally-focused subjectivities. Consequently, we plan to discover to what extent the patterns established in the 1910s and the 1920s in the Soviet Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, or Belarus, are still relevant as a point of reference for various contemporary artists, as well as to theory, aesthetics and social studies nowadays.
Chair: Julia Bekman Chadaga, Macalester College
This panel offers new connections between the wartime and postwar experiences of eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
Chair: Zachary Kelly, UC Berkeley
This interdisciplinary roundtable seeks to foster a discussion on the life of film outside of film in the twentieth century. While we well know that the advent of film modernized our look at the world through the moving image, this transmedial and transnational exploration will consider the ways in which film “moved” beyond the screen – from Russia to Berlin, from the fine arts to the book. The rountable format will provide the ideal forum for our participants' initial analyses of case studies as each seeks to theorize the relationship between the moving image and the film still, the impact of film culture on other spheres of artistic production, and the roles of spectatorship and modes of perception. Here, Angelina Lucento will present on her work on the October Group's theory of monumental painting as slow motion color film. Timothy Harte will discuss the paintings of Kliment Red’ko, Solomon Nikritin, and others, to address the early 1920’s avant-garde “projectionist” group’s avowed ties to cinema and its inherent “electro-energy.” Roman Utkin will explore the competition between cabarets and film in Weimar Berlin as modernist moving images attempted to offer a form alternative to the moving image on screen. Katherine M. H. Reischl will explore the phenomenon of what she terms “de-ekranizatsiia” Addressing the slow media’s adaptation of film, she will address a selection of film-inspired illustrated editions of famous works, including Blok’s "The Twelve", Tolstoy's Resurrection, and a British children’s book adaptation of Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible.
Chair: Cristina Vatulescu, New York U
'MULTIPLE FEMINISMS' SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series of panels seeks to explore feminism as a heterogeneous and complex transnational, sociopolitical, cultural, and philosophical movement. “Multiple Feminisms" will aim not only to build on contesting narratives of feminism produced in Western societies, but also to explore different understandings of feminism across socioeconomic and political regimes, generations, institutions, and borders in local and global contexts.
PANEL DESCRIPTION: The first session of ‘Multiple Feminisms’ will be dedicated to framing the larger conceptual questions that underlie our panel series. What does being a woman mean in the modern age, and how do we talk about women today? How do we frame our research in order to reflect the increasingly complicated strategies of sociocultural negotiation of gender? Finally, what kind of scholarly and pedagogical approaches can help us revise and broaden feminist discourse, particularly as it pertains to the fields of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies? This panel will also contextualize the discussion of gender within broader discourses on modernization, neoliberalism, and nationalism.
Chair: Sandra Joy Russell, U of Massachusetts Amherst
Scholarship on Russian memory of the Soviet past has focused almost exclusively on contemporary ‘mediums of memory’: current textbooks, current museums, current monuments. This panel aims to bring in Soviet art and architecture as a powerful medium which continues to exert a force on contemporary memory of the Soviet era. The activities of Russian heritage bodies, art curators, and public activists implicitly support this view. As the first two papers demonstrate, significant resources are invested in the (selective) upkeep, restoration, and presentation of Soviet art, in ways which closely follow the battle-lines or Russia’s memory politics. Moreover, as the third papers argues, Soviet art is ‘instrumentalized’ not only by contemporary memory agents; rather, it appears that (some) Soviet art was consciously fashioned with a future audience (and future memory) in mind. Thus, the panel attempts to highlight the role of Soviet art and architecture in contemporary memory politics, by examining its formal qualities, and its utilization by memory actors.
Chair: Lisa A. Kirschenbaum, West Chester U
During the 1980s, Romanian state-commissioned art seemed to perform two contradictory functions: one, glorify Nicolae Ceausescu’s ideology and, two, undermine the very political power artists purportedly intended to lionize. This panel will look at how artists, alone or as collectives, transgressed the cannon of official portraiture, film, and amateur production, by producing alternative aesthetic narratives.
Chair: Mirela Tanta, Millikin U
We will examine narratives of the Holocaust in the film, literature, and urban geography of Poland pre- and post-1989. In pre-1989 Poland, the narrative of Polish martyrdom and suffering during World War II was so dominant that even sustained effort to assert the singularity and confront the tragedy of the Holocaust, as in the prose of major Polish writers and poets, was subsumed within the dominant narrative. Similarly, as cities were reconstructed, memory of both Jewish presence and absence was erased. In the post-communist period, a possibility of constructing a narrative of the Holocaust, distinct from that of the atrocities of the German occupation of Poland, opened up a space for interpretation of earlier literary and cinematic texts, as well as the production of new creative works and memorialization of geographic space. Yet, Poland’s transition to membership in the EU paradoxically triggered nationalistic impulses, which oftentimes resulted in efforts to neutralize a complex reading of history and works of culture. Papers in this panel will explore narratives of the Holocaust in the poetic corpus of Tadeusz Rozewicz, Yael Bartana’s 2008 film Mary Koszmary (Nightmares), Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s 1983 film Austeria and the 1966 Julian Stryjkowski novel on which it is based, and in the palimpsestuous urban geography of the former site of the Warsaw Ghetto. Our attention will be focused on the uses of memory in configuring national identity, situating historical agency, and framing the political present and future of Poland.
Chair: Elzbieta Janicka, Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland)
This roundtable brings together scholars whose work seeks to build bridges between traditional literary study and newer, less canonical and other disciplinary areas of inquiry. Claims about the importance of interdisciplinarity are not, in themselves, new. Therefore, what we propose to explore in our discussions is how inter- and crossdisciplinary approaches are well placed to challenge and enrich what has widely been perceived as the logocentrism of Russian culture, and which has often been held up as one of its defining features. Here, we will argue, traditional practices of close reading, narratology, intertextuality and intellectual history have tended to reinforce a highly literary notion of what constitutes textuality, as well as one which reifies the text as an object of unreflective canonicity. Whilst the participants in the roundtable certainly retain a strong commitment to the practice of interpretation and hermeneutics, they here explore the risks and costs of such practices, as well as what gets left out. Aspects to be explored, whether in dialogue with traditional literary study, or in creative distinction to it, include approaches to the study of visual culture and iconography, the impact of the literary on explanations of visual and musical works, the importance of cultures of embodiment and performance, the relationship between theatre history and performance studies, modes of reception and perception that go beyond the verbal and the textual, and the challenges posed by hybrid forms of art and culture.
Chair: Philip Ross Bullock, U of Oxford (UK)
This panel treats Polish postwar film as the sociopolitical equivalent to nineteenth-century Russian literature and samizdat Soviet literature – that is, in Aleksander Solzhenitsyn’s coinage, a “second government” that strives to articulate the facts and the ideological and moral debates in national history and contemporary society that the official government repressed. The papers in this panel focus on a wide range of politically/socially taboo issues – 1) the Jewish question in interwar, wartime, and postwar Poland; 2) the role of the filmmaker as interrogator of both the Catholic Church and anti-Semitism in 17th-century and 1960s Poland; and 3) what constitutes heroism and a moral vision for the nation during the war and the immediate postwar period. The filmmakers featured in these papers range in age and approach from Andrzej Wajda to Władysław Pasikowski, Jerzy Kawalerowicz to Paweł Pawlikowski.
Chair: Anna Szawara, U of Illinois at Chicago
This panel will concentrate on architecture, film, and literature in post-WWII Ukrainian history through the Cold War. Several key developments took place in the history of Soviet Ukraine as an autonomous cultural entity that, perhaps counterintuitively, allowed creativity to flourish. Each of these papers will attempt to demonstrate how particular ideological and social shifts impacted ongoing developments in national consciousness. Ostap Kin will discuss Ukraine’s unique position within the Soviet Union by providing an overview of authors’ contributions to the Soviet-American literary conferences of the time. Kateryna Ruban will analyze how the portrayal of doctors in post-war Soviet films impacted political imagining of the Soviet state in general. Finally, Serhii Tereshchenko will analyze the process of designing the “ideal district” in Ukraine’s city of Kyiv, and how such design aimed to stimulate its inhabitants to creative thinking. Convergence between these studies allows us to look afresh at Ukraine of the second half of the 20th century in order to discern new exciting issues in the Soviet Ukrainian culture of the second half of the 20th century.
Chair: Jessica Marie Zychowicz, U of Michigan
The major exhibition "Revoliutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test" will be presented at the Art Institute of Chicago from October 29, 2017 - January 14, 2018. On the grand occasion of the centenary of the 1917 Revolution, at a time when questions of community are at the forefront of cultural and political discussions alike, this exhibition considers the trajectory of early Soviet art through its audiences and means of display. Where and how was Soviet art seen? By whom? For whom was it made? And what can viewers learn today by studying those questions? This “walking roundtable” conversation will take place in the exhibition with the curators and a selection of catalogue authors who are specialists in Soviet art. Offering a unique, behind-the-scenes view into the conception and organization of exhibition themes, these scholars will provide insights into original objects or detailed reconstructions of key objects from this period, including El Lissitzky’s Room for Constructive Art, Aleksandr Rodchenko’s Workers’ Club, Varvara Stepanova’s set pieces for The Death of Tarelkin, the second Obmokhu exhibition, and several pieces of modular furniture designed by Vkhutemas students.
Chair: Matthew S Witkovsky, Art Institute of Chicago
The historiography of nineteenth-century Russian art has long been preoccupied with categories. This panel considers three artists who defy categorization. Instead of inserting their work into circumscribed stylistic boxes, it explores the possibility of multiple artistic identities and the porous boundaries between them.
Margaret Samu’s paper examines Briullov's Last Day of Pompeii, often used to exemplify the bridge from academic Classicism to Romanticism. This paper instead focuses on the aesthetic and political issues surrounding its reception at the Paris Salon of 1834 to explore alternative genealogies for this iconic work. Louise Hardiman’s paper focuses on Vasilii Vereshchagin’s naturalistic war paintings and images of British India, which were showcased in exhibitions across Europe. Examining critical reception of the artist’s London exhibitions, this paper sheds new light on the impact of his cosmopolitanism and commercialism separating him from the Russian artistic mainstream. Rosalind Blakesley investigates the work of Emily Shanks, the British artist and first female Peredvizhnik, to examine the interface between Realism and Impressionism. This paper draws on Shanks's work to revisit these categories, and suggest that late Realism could be a lively interlocutor of modern Russian art.
All three papers employ archival material and methods beyond narrowly defined ‘isms’, including critical reception, colonialism, and interdisciplinary approaches. Collectively they demonstrate that transgressing the conventions of art historical scholarship—refusing to confine artists to single categories—enables a more nuanced, less tidy narrative of artistic development in nineteenth-century Russia, and illuminates the complexity and resonance of the individual artists’ work.
Chair: Galina Mardilovich, Independent Scholar
The establishment of the new political regime in Bulgaria after World War II led to radical changes in many areas of the public life. The Political acquired a new meaning in the conditions of a one-party authoritarian regime; the employment sphere and the everyday culture became indoctrinated. The proposed panel aims to discuss the issues of whether and how boundaries between the Private and Public changed during the communist regime in Bulgaria and what was the dynamics of their change. The panel aims to clarify the content of the categories "Private" and "Public" and their value to anthropological analysis.
Chair: Ana Luleva, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies BAS (Bulgaria)
The panel explores the transgressive effects of television on Soviet and Russian culture from the perspective of literary studies. The main idea is that artistic representations with its peculiar poetics observe new concepts of knowledge and communication: They mirror and reflect how the word-based promise of Socialism turns out to be incompatible with the synesthetic presence effects of television and how the often unnoticed “timid giant” (McLuhan 1964) fosters performative, affective and protoreligious forms of community in Putin’s telecratic power culture. Thus, dealing with the transgressions of Socialism, the written word, representation, political idea and the modern age, the panel invites to discuss theses from the planned project at the Department of Slavic Literature at the University of Konstanz: The electrified image.
Chair: Tomas Glanc, U of Zurich (Switzerland)
Changes coming from the modernisation processes in the 18th and 19th centuries Serbia – mostly development of traffic, road and railway building and advancement of means of transportation for both land and water traffic – spurred considerable mobility among the population. People travelled for various reasons, mostly going to major European universities for education, but also on business, making and strengthening commercial and economic ties. In the 20th century, travels changed to include visits to famous European centres. Now reasons were numerous cultural and artistic events, holidays and entertainment. A research field of how mobility transferred influences to architecture now went from observation and study of certain architectural works to the study of social and cultural circumstances and various conditions that could give rise to such works or influence their formation.
Chair: Aleksandar Kadijevic, U of Belgrade (Serbia)
In post-1945 East-Central Europe dealing with the built environment was openly related to the symbolic reconfiguration of post-WWII world order. By bringing together case studies that discuss multiple aspects of professional and generally human interaction with the present of absent built environment in post-1945 East-Central Europe, this panel seeks to discuss complexity of such relation. Be it the existing built environment that further on would be labeled as heritage or the cityscape demolished by the wartime calamities (or natural disasters), its perception and real-time treatment was subjected to the particularities of the (professional) agency that made decisions. The panel aims to emphasize the presence of transnational dimension within the agency of professionals dealing with the built environment in spite of boundaries set by the political alignment of the countries under discussion.
Chair: Stephanie Weismann, U of Vienna (Austria)
How does Eastern Orthodox aesthetics transgress the boundaries of religious iconography and enter the realm of literature and film? This panel explores the place of religious icons in the art of Andrei Tarkovsky using Pavel Florensky’s teachings as a theoretical framework. In “Icons, Tarkovsky’s Stalker, and Strugatskys’ Roadside Picnic,” Katherine Lahti explores the spiritual side of Tarkovsky’s realism. The central question of her presentation is whether the full-face shots in Stalker are iconic images and how does that help us to discover the iconic side of the realism in Roadside Picnic. In “Nostalgia for Sacrifice: The Artist in Tarkovsky’s Last Two Films,” Vladimir Marchenkov considers the philosophical implications of the main characters in Tarkovsky’s films Nostalgia and Sacrifice by linking these figures to the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Russian philosophical arguments for theurgy as the ultimate goal of art’s historical evolution and metaphysical calling, exposing the complexity and the relevance of the question of art’s relation to religion and ritual to Tarkovsky’s art. In “Icons, Dostoevsky, and Tarkovsky’s Mirror,” Benjamin Jens examines the relationship between Dostoevsky and Tarkovsky, paying particular attention to their attempts to recreate icons and iconic vision. Jens appeals specifically to Florensky’s theories of reverse perspective, art, and representation. Taken together, these three papers offer a new perspective on Tarkovsky’s art by considering it through the prism of Florensky’s aesthetic and theological teaching.
Chair: Maria Salnikova, U of Southern California
Between Historiography, School, and Museum: How History is Discussed and Represented on the Post-Soviet Space
Chair: Jon C. Giullian, U of Kansas
Borderlands are spaces of transgression (Anzaldua 1986), territories where the ruptures of spatial and social orders may occur particularly deep. Despite these ruptures, and also thanks to them, borderlands become the spaces of cultures’ overlapping and the emergence of specific, hybrid cultures. Borderlands share a particular drive that emerges from the proximity and implied presence of the Other, his attraction as well as his alleged danger.
Chair: Elena Nikiforova, Centre for Independent Social Research (Russia)
This panel investigates the ways in which avant-garde photomontage revolutionized page design and created a visual language for the (October) Revolution, its ideological content, and revolutionary propaganda, both within and outside the Soviet Union. Papers in the panel focus on specific cases from Soviet, Czech, and German visual cultures of the 1920s and 1930s, which illustrate various strands of the revolution and its understanding across borders while evidencing a cross-cultural exchange of iconology at the same time. Other aesthetic concepts, such as the creation of a new visual literature and new modes of reading, as made manifest in innovative graphic design that incorporated text and image to dynamic ends, are evaluated for their revolutionary valence.
Chair: Erika Wolf, Otago University (New Zealand)
The theme of this year convention is Transgressions. In this context, this panel brings together scholars interested in the study of the institutions of the unions of artists in communist Central and Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union. They had at their fore the “state artists” (Haraszti), and were granted important commissions by the state institutions to create in the new ideological approach of Socialist Realism and its different, national adaptations. We will discuss what the unions of artists offered in terms of benefits and rewards, as well as discover specific portraits of artists in Romania, Poland and Hungary. At the same time, the papers included in this panel show the limits of the state domination through the disengagement artists were able to engage in.
Chair: Caterina Preda, University of Bucharest (Romania)
The panel aims to discuss the creation of Soviet space of power in Russia and Poland in 1920-s – 1950-s. In Russia after the 1917 revolution the visible symbols of the country’s history were full of references to its monarchical political structure. The Bolshevik/Soviet authorities had to deal with them while creating the new symbolic model that was presumably brand new. On the one hand, the Soviet state attempted to produce a certain pure republican style for Soviet Russia and, thus, provide a sufficient alternative for the imperial heritage. The process was encouraged by industrialization in late 1920s – early 1930s. On the other hand, imperial strategies of symbolic perceptions promotions eventually provided some opportunities to propagate novel and/or universal connotations of power and gradually was found relevant for the needs of the Soviet regime at home and abroad.
Chair: Christine Goelz, Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), Germany
The panel seeks to engage with the friends of the October Revolution in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Italy. It marks the centenary of the October Revolution by focusing on its reverberation and reception in the above mentioned sites. We are interested in the effects of the Revolution on the praxis of socialists and the oppressed throughout regions in South Eastern Europe and the Balkans. There are three central elements that will go under scrutiny: the Italian factory councils of the early 1920s, the Yugoslav avant-garde movement of Zenitism in the 1920s, and the Bulgarian communist communes that spread in the early 1920s and resulted in the 1923 anti-fascist uprising. What channels were used in order to spread revolutionary praxis and art? What historical forms did the Revolution take in sites outside its epicenter and what concrete strategies were used in the solidification of socialist practice? We aim at bridging these different sites of the Revolution so as to scrutinize the commonalities and the differences of its ideological forms as they spread throughout Europe. Our panel will take stock with the usings of the Revolution in order to think together about the question of How to write the Revolution.
Chair: Jana Tsoneva, CEU
Orientalism is a contested and yet well-established notion of transgression in Russian Studies. The proposed panel seeks to widen the status quo of the debate. The panelists propose to stretch both the temporal and the spatial frame of analysis, including the Soviet period and the »foreign East«. They also strive to fully exploit the potential of the notion of Orientalism, looking beyond the connection between knowledge-production and power-wielding, and rather see Orientalism as a specific way of representing »the East«. In this perspective »the East« does not denote a specific geographical location but serves as a proxy for a power gap which is to be represented in a specific way. The panel seeks to unravel the quest for a Russian and Soviet Orientalism as a specific historical way of representation in various media, in photography, in travelogues, and in scientific reports.
Chair: Marianne Ruth Kamp, Indiana U
The proposed roundtable will focus on the discussion of revolutionary changes within Soviet children’s literature and the ability of this medium to disseminate knowledge about the 1917 revolution among its young readers. The participants of the panel will analyze different manifestations of the revolution in texts and various forms of visual representation of it developed specifically for children. The roundtable will address the revolutionary processes within children’s literature, such as: new literary forms, educational practices that involved children’s literature, and the development of new policies to promote, as well as resist, political pressures and ideological agenda. The roundtable format is suited well for creation of a truly interdisciplinary dialogue during which the members of the roundtable will touch upon and exchange ideas from various sources including education, literary theory, visual practices, and other forms of creative outlets directed at young Soviet citizens.
Chair: Olga Yurievna Voronina, Bard College
Constructing Patriotism: Memory and Legitimation in Russia's Regions
In recent years, patriotism in Russia emerged as a powerful source of regime legitimation. Particularly since 2014, patriotic appeals and themes became conspicuous in public politics, official ceremonies, secondary and university education, media, and entertainment. Yet this wave of patriotic fervor also empowers political actors and ordinary citizens to harness the concept in unanticipated ways that both challenge and reinforce the Kremlin’s brand of patriotism. Each paper in the panel draws upon substantial, recent fieldwork conducted in Russian regions, highlighting the variation and vagaries that accompany the manipulation of patriotic tropes, repertoires, and legacies.
Chair: Mischa Gabowitsch, Einstein Forum (Germany)
In light of the recent attention to visual studies of Russian imperial culture during the “long nineteenth century,” the panel offers a revision of the culture’s several aspects through the media of the amusement garden, pictorial canvas, and photographic postcard. By looking at the picturesque, the ruin, and electrical light, the first paper addresses the interrelation between movement and vision, as well as nature and artifice in a number of Moscow amusement gardens; the second paper centers on the interaction between the mode of display and scientific discourse of color in the practice of spectacular pictorial landscape, while the third traces the photographic presence and absence within the historical document of Russian imperial postcards.
Chair: Rosalind Polly Blakesley, U of Cambridge (UK)
Russian Culture in Diaspora: the Case of Yugoslavia (1918-1941)
Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Yugoslavia provided refuge for a large number of Russian émigrés. Among them were many famous artists, architects, writers, composers, as well as spiritual leaders who significantly impacted the life and culture of the region. This session aims at examining the influence of Russian intellectuals, academics, and architects on the development of humanistic disciplines in Yugoslavia and the extant to which they impacted and possibly modified social and cultural identity of the region. At the same time, the session also examines the process of acculturation and assimilation of these Russian émigrés into their new environment as well as their connections and communications with other communities of the Russian diaspora. By looking at a segment of Russia Abroad through this dual lenses, the session also aims at raising larger questions and issues about the challenges faced by both the native citizens and émigrés in constructing/modifying the social and cultural milieu of the diaspora.
Chair: Ljubica D Popovich, Vanderbilt U
Taking three East European cultural figures, each of them cultic in his own right, such as Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz, Czech writer Richard Weiner, and Polish artist and military man Kajetan Stefanowicz, this panel will explore various manifestations of European modernism beyond its mainstream cultural trends. The panel presenters will demonstrate how geographical marginality—Polish, Lithuanian, Czechoslovakian—expands the established literary and artistic patterns, pushes the margins of modernism far and wide, and shapes the new vision of the modernistic techniques and themes. This panel will suggest innovative take on the interaction between modernistic peripheries (such as Poland) and the centers of the movement (such as France or United States)—the approach that enriches and complicates the established understanding of modernism by pointing to its intrinsic marginality.
Chair: Angelina Emilova Ilieva, U of Chicago
In newly formed post-war socialist states, the arts became instrumental ideological tools for legitimizing communist rule, translating socialist ideology to unenlightened masses, and encouraging citizens to participate in building socialism. Music, literature, and public performances were variously implemented to gain support for economic plans, to resignify memories and historical spaces, and to transform certain concepts such as labor and leisure or private and public lives. Our panel will consider the role that art, literature, film, and music played in the construction (or rebuilding) of socialist cities in Eastern and Southeastern Europe after 1945. With a focus on cities in Poland and Yugoslavia, the papers will address a range of topics including public spaces as sites of memory, art and engagement, and the negotiation of personal and collective of identities.
Chair: Bettina Jungen, Amherst College
From small displays of early nineteenth-century family heirlooms to major collections of 400 objects, American art collectors have demonstrated exceptional interest in the Russian decorative arts. The present panel will chart the history of three collections of Russian decorative art in the United States, exploring trends in collecting from early precedents to more modern practices in the twentieth century. Bringing to light uncatalogued objects and unpublished archival research, it will address the important role American women played as arbiters of taste in their acquisition of Russian art, as well as the significance of diplomatic visits to Russia and the Soviet Union. Kyle Stoneman’s paper will focus on how the Middleton family’s little known collection of Russian decorative art in South Carolina influenced artistic and literary circles in the American south in the nineteenth century. Wilfried Zeisler will discuss Marjorie Merriweather Post’s acute fascination with objects created by St. Petersburg firm the House of Fabergé in the first half of the twentieth century and her contribution to the fame of Fabergé in the United States. Also investigating the popularity of Fabergé in the 1930s and 1940s, Nicola Kozicharow’s work considers the motivations of Lillian Thomas Pratt in building her enormous collection of Russian art in Virginia, particularly emphasising the impact of the modern department store on collecting art in America.
Chair: Nicola Kozicharow, U of Cambridge (UK)
Transgressions in Translation Panel 4: Culture, Politics, and Power: Institutional Aspects of Translation in Soviet Russia
Translation never occurs in a vacuum. In addition to linguistic and literary contexts, there are always social, political and historical factors that form the conditions of the practice. This panel explores the significance of the infrastructure of translation in Soviet culture, understood as institutions such as journals, publishing houses, educational bodies and even philological scholarship.
Chair: Karine Åkerman Sarkisian, Uppsala U (Sweden)/ Lund U (Sweden)
Chair: Aaron Joseph Cohen, California State U, Sacramento
The emergence of Moscow as the all-powerful center of the Russian lands by the early sixteenth century was accompanied by a cultural proliferation of images of the ruler—written and visual —in cultural texts of great variety. Notable examples include the revised Great Reading Minea; the frescos of the great Kremlin churches and halls, the elaborate rituals of Epiphany and Palm Sunday, new architecture within and without the Kremlin, liturgical furnishings, illustrated chronicles, foreign engravings, and illustrated books of state. The various contexts in which the ruler appeared allowed for the possibility of multiple interpretations of his function and the roles of those juxtaposed with him. This panel analyzes three significant sources of ruler imagery from the Muscovite 16th and 17th centuries to reveal the broad functional gradient of royal representation.
Chair: Elena Boeck, DePaul U
Chair: Eliot Borenstein, New York U
Chair: Julia Obertreis, U of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany)
In the age of internet participatory cultures are often considered as transnational and universal ones. They present new “transformative” ways of dealing with contemporary popular culture. The idea of “participation” lying at the core of the concept implies non-profit and non-professional communities producing something beyond the existing cultural industries, while often relying on their products as sources, and sharing the results (knowledge, texts, etc.) with each other and with anyone willing to join. Participatory culture is described as a field of passionate creativity and collective defense of values that are not recognized by mainstream culture. While many forms of participatory activities exist in contemporary Russia and in Post-Soviet cultural space, they are extremely underresearched, mostly devalued by traditional cultural institutions and often cause moral panic and stigmatization. Media fans, anime lovers and cosplayers, gamers and online pirates, music fans and street artists develop and transform values and practices of participatory culture in the local Russian context, using Russian language and addressing (or defying) more general frames of contemporary Russian culture. This specific area of transformation/transgression demands not only interdisciplinary research, but also reconsideration of many presuppositions and concepts actively used in the Russian academy, such as, for example, “youth cultures” and “subcultures”. The main objective of the panel is to open discussion on the current state of research on participatory cultures in Post-Soviet cultural space, and to demonstrate, through a series of cases, how participatory practices transform and transgress cultural boarders significant for the contemporary Russian culture.
Chair: Vera Zvereva, U of Jyväskylä
Building on investigations into the question of subjectivity across 19th- and 20th-century Russian history, this panel examines various modes of self-narration. By addressing different (auto)biographical practices, strategies, and contexts, this panel aims to contribute to the study of how narration can produce or shape the self. In light of the conference’s theme of transgression, our panel focuses on more unconventional forms, from trial testimonies to art installations, that push the boundaries of self-narration.
Chair: Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, U of Pennsylvania
At court, intimate and familial relationships served political ends. Political ideologies, philosophical world-views, short-term political calculations, and long-term diplomatic strategy influenced the manner in which ambitious courtiers organized their relationships and networks. The panel will concentrate on the reigns of Catherine II, Alexander I, and Alexander II. It will show how men and women brought the languages of trust, friendship, and physical attraction to bear in formulating policy and in organizing courtly and international alliances in times of reform, crisis or war. Thus, the panel seeks to address the Russian monarchy’s potential to use soft power in the face of even major political or military challenges.
Chair: Alexander M. Martin, U of Notre Dame
This panel explores amateur activity in the Soviet Union, the role amateurism played in various cultural spheres, and the intersections between “professionalism” and “amateurism.” Nataliya Kun performs discourse analysis of Mikhail Zoshchenko’s “Letters to the Writer” to show how amateur authors/readers try to redefine their social and cultural status, hovering between writing competence and graphomania. Dr. Werneke addresses the phenomenon of amateur photography in the late Soviet period and how amateurism contributed to the development of the Society of Art Photography in the Lithuanian SSR. Finally, Zinaida Vasilyeva investigates DIY practices, technical knowledge, and the role of "tekhnicheskoe tvorchestvo" networks in the late Soviet period.
Chair: Olga Shevchenko, Williams College
This panel explores issues in contemporary cinema, examining the process of film production -- issues of influence, abandonment and negotiation -- that contribute to whether films are, ultimately, seen by an audience.
Chair: Anna Krakus, U of Southern California
The panel stresses the extraordinary achievements of Polish women artists and writers (Narcyza Żmichowska, Zofia Stryjeńska, and Tamara de Lempicka) who can be defined as the forerunners of feminism and gender studies in Poland. They symbolize the beginning of Polish literary modernism (Żmichowska) and development of a new aesthetic style (Stryjeńska and de Lempicka) that combined modernist influences with fashion and crafted functionality of Art Deco. The movement originated in Poland in the 1920s (the Roaring Twenties). The above artists possessed colorful personalities and broke accepted boundaries to create experimental forms and new patterns of living that can be viewed as transgressive attitudes.
Using research, conceptual thinking, and new materials in Polish, the panelists will examine the idea of transgressing the “public” with the “private” in Narcyza Żmichowska’s writings (the letters of the Enthusiasts in the 19th Century). Zofia Stryjeńska’s transgressive concepts of literature, art, and femininity will be investigated. Furthermore, Tamara de Lempicka’s veils of transgressions will be revealed in the way they are captured in Robert Dassanowsky’s poems.
Chair: Bozena Shallcross, U of Chicago
This lightning round spotlights current digital projects in diverse fields.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 8:00 TO 9:45 AM
Transgressing the chronological boundary of the Revolution, the panel explores how the visual language of the Russian and Soviet avant-garde decentered, effaced and restructured the viewing subject. Spanning the first three decades of the 20th century, the panel focuses on the relationship between materiality and vision in the construction of social, political and ideological identity. The presentation examines these concepts by exploring visual material such as the early works of Tatlin, the late works of Klucis, and the Soviet book designs of Telingater and El Lissitzky.
Chair: Natalia Klimova, Princeton U
This panel explores the cinematic visualization of construction projects and ruins in the immediate postwar era and beyond in Poland and Yugoslavia. Each panelist is interested in how the representation of construction or rubble aims to shape the social imaginaries of Yugoslav or Polish citizens. But in addition, this panel interrogates how different media forms—fiction film, documentary, monthly film journal, federal newsreel—speak the communal or individual self differently at similar historical moments and across periods. As such, the panel aims for a historical, transnational, transmedia consideration of the audiovisualization of ruin, rubble, and massive construction in Yugoslavia and Poland.
Chair: Alice Osborne Lovejoy, U of Minnesota
This panel crosses disciplinary and temporal boundaries to explore material culture and history. The papers here discuss what objects tell us about history, religion, language, and politics from the different perspectives of history, religion, museum studies, and linguistics.
Chair: Tracy McDonald, McMaster U (Canada)
The panel addresses the reception of the ancient Greek and Roman tradition of ekphrasis in 19th- and 20th-century Russian poetry; Sofia Vysheslavtseva's theoretical engagement with various artistic modes and discourses during the heyday of Soviet artistic experimentation in the 1920s; and Vladimir Nabokov's aesthetic critique of contemporary visual arts in his prose and university lectures. The papers focus on the uses of various artistic modes, from visual to plastic to discursive, in the Russian (and Russo-American) context from a historical perspective, and discuss the original hybrid forms that these productive intersections created.
Chair: Zachary Rewinski, U of Wisconsin-Madison
This interdisciplinary panel examines the themes of “culture” and “cultural opposition” from the perspective of the arts and sciences in the Soviet Union in the 1970s-1990s. It brings together two papers on Conceptualist artistic circles in Moscow and Ukraine and a paper on the resurgence of Mendelian genetics in Soviet biotechnology. These papers offer a fresh perspective on the creativity driving scientific and artistic production during Brezhnev’s “era of stagnation.” By considering how artists and scientists operated in this high Soviet context of consolidated and highly structured discourses, these authors challenge established narratives about resistance, dissent and opposition under late Socialism. The Moscow Conceptualists formulated a strategy that aimed to satirize—and provide some relief from—the behavioral standardization that came from formulaic political rituals, by drawing attention to a process of cultural production that had become naturalized and normalized. Their Ukrainian counterparts also engaged in a robust struggle to fill an artistic void created by this performative homogenization in order to create a space for contemporary Ukrainian art, domestically and internationally, on the cusp of dissolution. The final paper on knowledge production in the sphere of Soviet biotechnology brings the conversation full circle by considering how biologists, who were loyal to and worked within the regime, sought to fundamentally to change one part of the Soviet paradigm of scientific knowledge production out of their frustration with official science that had been struggling for decades to come out from the shadows of Lysenkoism.
Chair: Balazs Apor, Trinity College (Ireland)
Chair: Nancy Virginia Ries, Colgate U
The panel discusses the under-researched topic of plunder of Jewish cultural property, such as musical instruments, artwork, cultural and religious objects, and its abusive appropriation, distribution and destruction during the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. The meso-level approach brings to the fore institutions, networks and groups that acted as perpetrators at regional and local levels in Western and Eastern borderlands of Ukraine under Nazi occupation and in Transnistria under Romanian occupation. What was the status of Jewish properties in these regions, how local factors supported (or impeded) the translation of national anti-Semitic policies at the ground, why networks and groups were more successful in robbery and plunder as individuals, what circumstances facilitated or impeded the abuse in one place or another. The challenges of restitution of lost cultural property within the larger context of restitution of Jewish property in Eastern Europe will be also discussed here.
Chair: David E. Fishman, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Trials of Self-Definition: Nineteenth-Century Russian Art between Periphery and Perception
The current panel aims to highlight certain lacunae in scholarship on nineteenth-century Russian art. More specifically, it offers new perspectives on long-established narratives of Russian cultural self-definition vis-à-vis the West and the East. What significance did Russia’s perception of its position on the periphery of the West and its simultaneous self-consciousness as a colonial power have on its artistic and cultural identity? How did this impact Russian artists’ engagement with both their European and non-European contemporaries? To what extent did these tensions resonate in their art? By considering these and other issues, the panel will enrich our understanding of pivotal and problematic moments in the history of Russian art.
Chair: Louise Hardiman, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Drawing on recent archival research, primarily in Ukraine and Russia, this panel reconsiders the history of Soviet war memorials in the immediate post-war decades. Instead of simply analyzing the monuments' outward appearance or presenting case studies of single monuments or cities, all papers shed light on the networks, institutions, and individual actors behind their creation, from the Politburo to sculptors and architects, and from Moscow to local actors in Kharkiv, V'iaz'ma, or Budapest.
Chair: Nina Tumarkin, Wellesley College
Imperceptible Political and Gender Transgressions: Negotiating the Space Between Official and Unofficial Acts is a panel centering on individuals who transgress politically, artistically, and in terms of gender -- sometimes with all three transgressions being embodied in one figure. All the papers deal with some aspect of the Soviet cultural milieu with the individuals involved creating works and creating policy as well as being the center of a cultural creation. What were the political ramifications of these contraventions? What were the cultural consequences of the varied activities by individual writers and artists as well as cultural changes wrought by atypical military roles? In what ways did gender change political and/or cultural expectations in Soviet society? The authors of the proposed papers plan to structure their arguments to answer all of these questions and explore these issues.
Chair: Pamela A. Jordan, Southern New Hampshire U
After the decades of quiet and seemingly uncontentious international collaboration, the global space race seems to be back on the public agenda. As China, India and many others enter the fray, the longest running competition between the USA and Russia is still very much present in the global aerospace landscape. While both nations have strengths in different production fields and a joint project in the form of the International Space Station, old political, industrial, economic and promotional rivalries are complicated by the paradoxical combination of Cold War rhetoric, the need to collaborate and an increasingly growing private space market. Our round table’s aim is to discuss the revitalizing of 1950-1970 space narrative’s patterns in contemporary public discourse as well as to reveal new patterns, which work for objectives of scientific knowledge popularization as well as political and economic agenda of XXI century. Referring to both narrative and visual artifacts and cultural processes, talks of our round table’ participants will embrace the themes of space exploration in science fiction, construction of space exploration history in space and science museums and media representations & PR of space industry. The round table format is more relevant to reach the common threads in this wide range of topics.
Chair: Ekaterina Lapina-Kratasyuk, NRU Higher School of Economics (Russia)
Over the last ten years, literary scholars, as well as anthropologists and art and cultural historians, have demonstrated an increased interest in Soviet nationality policy and the aesthetics of Socialist Realism. While their reexaminations of these topics have generated significant new insight, their conversations have rarely come together as an interdisciplinary dialogue. This panel brings together scholars from different disciplines to examine how Socialist Realism developed in the Soviet national republics. Rather than accepting the conventional assumption that the two trends emerged separately, the panel looks at the ways in which Soviet definitions of nationality and Socialist Realism functioned as mutually constitutive categories. We seek to elucidate how “national form” shaped Socialist Realism’s artistic forms, such as the novel, lyric poetry, film, painting, photography, and graphic design, especially agitational and educational posters. Correspondingly, we investigate how Socialist Realism informed the process of Soviet nation-building throughout the Soviet Republics, as well as in other “friendly” regional nations.
Chair: Angelina Lucento, NRU Higher School of Economics (Russia)
Transgressing Norms in the Mikrorayons in Soviet Central Asia, the Estonian SSR, and Contemporary Moscow
This panel acknowledges the complex balancing act evident in Moscow’s attempt to impose an overarching Soviet interpretation on the built environment in the face of local opposition in the peripheries in the cities of Soviet Central Asia and the Baltic Republics in the 1950s and 1960s compared to its current attempt to curb resistance to the construction of Mosques in a previously secular area of Moscow in contemporary Russia.
Chair: Vladimir Kulic, Florida Atlantic U
The panel seeks to explore the visual landscapes of Late Socialism through the examination of the aesthetic experimentation in cinema and animation of that period. The particular focus of the panel is on interpretation of various manifestations of obscured vision, such as fogy landscapes or flattened surfaces. The panel discusses the question of how such alternative representational strategies open new ways to think about aesthetic and historical knowledge during Late Socialism. The papers in the panel engage in the discussion through the conceptual frameworks that involve the consideration of the possibility of knowledge through aesthetic experience, spatial uncertainty with regard to historical subject, and haptic visuality as alternative mode of historical representation.
Chair: Jane Tussey Costlow, Bates College
The session will be devoted to the problems of sexual transgression appear in Polish cinema. Topics such as the ways of presenting the problem of transgender / transvestism / crossdressing, the image of rape and taboos in Polish cinema will be discussed. Problems related to the sexual transgressions of different borders will be linked with the changes that have occurred in Polish cinema, but also will be the starting point for considerations related to Polish history, customs and social changes taking place in 20th and 21th century.
Chair: Arkadiusz Lewicki, U of Wrocław (Poland)
This panel seeks to examine and interpret both newly acquired and known visual sources—photographica, film, watercolors, graphics—dealing with the late Romanovs and the early years of Bolshevik rule. The speakers will also address the practical issues of exhibiting these and similar materials in a variety of exhibition venues in both England the United States.
Chair: Edward Kasinec, Columbia University/Hoover Institution
How does a familiarity with Eastern Orthodox iconographic tradition affect one’s ability to properly see multivalent images? In her paper “Florensky in the News: Vladimir Putin and the Mother of God Icon,” Amy Adams examines images that link Russian President Vladimir Putin with icons depicting Mother of God and uses theories of iconographical “seeing” – such as Florensky – to suggest possible political, social and cultural meanings and uses of Putin’s engagement with the Bogoroditsa. Maria Salnikova, in her paper “Between Poetry and Icon: Florensky and the Metarealism of Olga Sedakova's Vision,” turns her attention to the poet Olga Sedakova and her 1986 poetic cycle “The Chinese Journey.” Salnikova examines the interrelations between Sedakova's poetics and the reverse perspective system of Russian icon painting and shows how the non-linearity of vision allows the poet to capture what Florensky defines as “the true essence of being,” not merely “verisimilitude to appearance.” In “Using Florensky’s ‘Reverse Perspective’ to see The Dead Christ in The Idiot,” Riley Ossorgin identifies three different ways of looking at Holbein’s painting in Dostoevsky’s novel, arguing that for Dostoevsky, as for Florensky, ways of seeing reflect ways of thinking. Ossorgin demonstrates that Florensky’s articulation of realist art illuminates both Ippolit’s and Rogozhin’s different interpretations of the painting, while Floresnky’s articulation of reverse perspectival art illuminates Myshkin’s. Considered together, these three papers illuminate the relevance of Florensky’s theory of vision to understanding Russian culture in its literary and visual manifestations.
Chair: Sarah (Sally) Pratt, U of Southern California
This panel is devoted to comparative studies of the Other existing within and outside of late medieval Central European societies. Whether the pagans, Jews, Hussites, Armenians, Tartars or the Greeks, the Other was an expression of the social and political changes that increased the position of Latin Christians. Since all factors of social and cultural life were defined in religious terms, the Other was accused of transgressing values and norms advocated by Latin Christian governing elites and kings, and consequently punished through legal and economic policies.
Chair: Waldemar Józef Deluga, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University (Poland)
Second World Urbanity II: New Historiographies and Ethnographies of the Socialist City
This panel brings together three scholars of the socialist city to discuss new ways of researching, writing, and conceptualizing the socialist city in its historical formation and through contemporary experiences of its legacies. The presenters come from history, architectural history, and anthropology with methodological approaches that emerge from the concerns of their disciplines and yet also share a revisionist perspective on what the socialist city was and still is. The papers will draw from research on the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries to develop both a methodological dialogue between the disciplines and a conversation about how the various national case studies contribute to a regional understanding.
Chair: Zayra M Badillo Castro, U of London (UK)
The panel comparatively explores the processes of desecularization (i.e., resurgence of religion’s role in the aftermath and in response to a preceding and/or co-occurring secularization) in Russia and Ukraine. The papers address such aspects of resurgent religions as their impacts on political, educational and other public institutions, trends in religious adherence, and religious tolerance and intolerance. The papers provide further evidence of divergent patterns of desecularization that has developed mostly “from below” in Ukraine and mostly “from above” in Russia.
Chair: Vyacheslav Karpov, Western Michigan U
Revolution Every Day
In fall 2017 we are curating an exhibition at the Smart Museum of the University of Chicago entitled "Revolution Every Day." The exhibition comprises Soviet graphic art of the 1920s-1930s, film by Dziga Vertov, and work by several contemporary artists reflecting upon the specific temporalities and textures of life after revolution. A particular focus is the experience of women, both as artists and as subjects of artistic representation. It is intended that special arrangements will be made to host ASEEES Convention participants at the exhibition on the evening of 10 November. The roundtable will gather the curators of the exhibition to present the project and reflect upon its realization.
Chair: Matthew Jesse Jackson, U of Chicago
The panel will seek to explore how aspects of public space were transformed in the post World War II period, in several case study cities of East-Central Europe – Jelenia Góra, Poland, Drohobych, Ukraine, Kaliningrad, Russia, and Skopje, Macedonia. It will maintain a strong emphasis on monuments, architecture, and related urban elements – including museums and changes to street names.
Chair: Alina Zubkovych, Södertörn U (Sweden)
The scaffolding once often seen enveloping historic sites and monuments in Cold War Eastern Europe was sometimes criticized as evidence of socialist-era disregard for heritage. New research, however, reveals a more complicated picture. It shows that while the preservation of historic monuments and artefacts was not a priority for official state agents, throughout the socialist period they did give notable attention to heritage care. Official preservation activities included decisions about places and things meriting state protection, criteria for classifying and cataloguing heritage objects, standards of authenticity, and visitor experiences at state-protected sites. Very importantly, the new research also shows how decisions regarding heritage care often resulted not simply from Party efforts to mobilize sites and objects of memory for ideological purposes, but rather from negotiations between state officials, experts in art history and preservation, older institutional structures and practices pre-dating 1945, and local communities over the meanings and best uses of heritage. In addition to sharing information about heritage care within individual countries, through its multinational composition, this panel will transgress national borders and promote discussions about similarities and differences in heritage care between different Eastern European countries during the Cold War, including comparative uses of material culture and possibilities for negotiations between state and society over memories and meanings of the past during socialism.
Chair: Malgorzata Popiolek, Technische Universität Berlin / University of Wrocław
Chair: Konstantine Klioutchkine, Pomona College
Focusing on key points of transition in the 20th century (1917 and Perestroika), this panel will investigate shifting understandings of space, place, and time in the Soviet Union. Our panel seeks to analyze cultural changes brought on by these dramatic transitions through a wide range of media, such as film, art, literature, and architecture. By focusing on specific symbols within these media, including toilets and the post-Soviet bedroom, this panel seeks to understand how major transitions of the 20th century construct the Soviet and post-Soviet condition.
Chair: Irina Sadovina, U of Toronto (Canada)
The participants of this Roundtable, - historians, sociologists and philosophers, - will discuss possible approaches to several new trends in the evolution of Russian historical memory. A recent study conducted by the Free Historical Society under the title “Which Past Does Russian Future Need?” that used sociological methods as well as oral history tools, produced a wealth of the new material on the state of Russian public memory. Two major developments emerged recently. The first is the rapid growth of “grassroots” initiatives based on family memory and local history. The most famous of these are: the “Immortal Regiment” that attracted millions of participants in Victory Day celebrations in Russia and abroad, with marchers holding aloft portraits of their family members who had fought in WWII; and a private legal suit by Tomsk resident, Denis Karagodin, who in 2016 demanded from the Russian state an official recognition that the murder of his great-grandfather by the NKVD in 1938 deserved to be prosecuted as a criminal case. Another site of contention in contemporary Russian historical memory is that of history museums. Changes in official historical narratives have led to controversies between older forms of “revolutionary museums” and their new anti-revolutionary content. Roundtable participants will also consider new controversies that have emerged over the content of public history museums, the most visible being the clash over the liberal-leaning Yeltsin center in Ekaterinburg and a state-supported initiative to build thirty “Orthodox-historical museums” in a number of Russian provinces.
Chair: Nina Tumarkin, Wellesley College
Soviet cinema developed an elaborate visual language for representing the state’s multiple nationalities. It was powered by a rhetorical promotion of national ‘form’ and stood the challenge of a universalist modernist ideology which implied homogenous Soviet ‘content’. Priding itself on special attention to national minorities since the 1920s, many film studios of the Soviet Union commissioned and distributed films that featured and targeted ethnically-defined communities. The roundtable addresses questions of power relations between Soviet regions and studios, agency of filmmakers and film administrators in the regions in defining cinematographic practices and themes, the limits of national autonomy in implementing cinematographic policies, the idea of the ‘primitive,’ construction of cultural ‘backwardness’ and socialist ethnic hierarchies, as well as anticolonial rhetoric and elements of colonial relationship between center(s) and peripheries. Reframing nationalities requires historical contextualization, and the panel will discuss representational strategies, industrial decisions, and political influences in a transnational perspective as well as conceptual frameworks that can accommodate new research directions on nationalities in Soviet cinema.
Chair: Olga Kim, U of Pittsburgh
This roundtable brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars who conduct research on as well as teach about socialist urbanism. A growing number of universities are offering courses on the socialist city at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, the socialist city increasingly features as a module of study within broader survey courses; an examination of the socialist city works well in a variety of courses ranging from architecture and design, planning, country surveys, and urban and regional studies. With this roundtable, we aim to foster conversation between those who teach these courses (and those who would like to) on both conceptual themes, like pedagogical approaches and disciplinary perspectives, as well as more applied questions such as resources for assignments and syllabus design. We will also discuss the Second World Urbanity group’s new online Socialist City Primary Source Reader—an initiative that is currently in the works and will be rolled out in 2017.
Chair: Katherine Zubovich, Ryerson U (Canada)
Film scholars Matilda Mroz and Ewa Mazierska have recently identified, and sought to remedy, the limited discourse on bodies, senses, and affects within English-language scholarship on Eastern European cinema, despite the area’s rich history of filmic engagement with these themes. Current scholarship on bodies generally has turned to a consideration of contemporaneous social movements against neoliberalism, to what Judith Butler has called “the right to appear,” or, “a bodily demand for a more livable set of lives.” As such, this panel of Slavic film scholars seeks answers to how this demand was embodied and rendered on the Polish screen during the economic and political crises of Late Socialism in the 1970s and ‘80s. Poland’s long history of public and physical opposition to the regime, unusual for the Soviet bloc, makes it a singular case study. Which bodies were allowed to assemble? Which bodies were represented as the productive labor force? Which bodies were allowed to cross borders, to “speak” as political subjects, and to enact and conversely counter the violence of the state? How did these represented bodies relate to or confound the body politic of the so-called workers’ state, a presumed utopia at odds with the terrifying, incumbent image of Hobbes’ hierarchical Leviathan? Speaking to these concerns, our papers attempt a triangulation of the diverse ideological and aesthetic approaches within Polish cinema of this moment, including structural avant-garde film, Polish School documentaries, and dystopic art cinema.
Chair: Joanna Nizynska, Indiana U Bloomington
The panel seeks to bring together examples of construction, promotion, and use of narratives and sites related to the ‘revolutionary heritage’ in the regions that fell under the control of the Soviet Union after 1945 and after its dismissal in post-1989. It is in the panel’s intention to define actors, mechanisms, and tools that facilitated the consolidation and use of revolutionary heritage to legitimize post-1945 reordering of cultural identities and entities, and soon after the regime change of 1989. Hence this panel questions the consolidation of a new category as ‘revolutionary heritage’ which refers to movable and immovable assets employed in order to legitimize the new world order. This panel welcomes contributions understood under this framework such as Bolshevik, anti-fascist monuments, liberation heritage, and others. Comparisons within the post-1945 USSR republics and countries of ‘people's democracies’ are of particular welcome.
Chair: Georgiy Kasianov, Institute of the History of Ukraine NANU (Ukraine)
This panel aims at revealing and examining in a temporal perspective creative work by women, and addressing art and design practices by considering cultural mechanisms that modify our field. Hanna Chuchvaha examines the emergence of pioneering women Ekaterina Dashkova and Anna Paulina Jabłonowska, the art collectors in the Russian empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, through the lens of proto-feminist concept within the historical panorama of eighteenth-century cultural readings. Ievgeniia Gubkina in her case-study of city planning and construction of Slavutych near Chernobyl, Ukraine, delves on the long way of women's emancipation toward professional leadership at the final stage of architectural practices in the USSR. By challenging the declaration of professional equality in shaping identities for women in architecture, informed by the Bolshevik revolution, Mariann Simon explores a contradiction between the ideology and practice of socialist gender equality in Hungary. The panel uncovers new findings reflecting on the gender issues in art and architecture, with the focus on women’s narratives responding to the challenges of historical conflicts.
Chair: Anna P. Sokolina, International Archive of Women in Architecture IAWA
The spy is an obvious symbol of the violation of any kind of boundaries, social rules, moral codes and personal identities. It was discovered by popular art in the end of the 19th century and since the 20th century has been flourishing as a widespread topic in fiction, and later in cinema, etc. Serving as an entertainment, the spy genre has been simultaneously used as an effective means to promote essential ideological trends and disguise fundamental social anxieties. Due to their omnipresence, spies as characters can be described in universal terms and interpreted through general models. At the same time, it is clear that each culture has its own tradition of ‘fictional espionage’. This panel will examine the following questions: Which kinds of popular representations of ‘enemy within’ were embodied in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution? In the states of the Socialist bloc after its formation? How were they developing during the Soviet period and after the collapse of the USSR? What gave them their distinctive traits?
Chair: Yukio Nakano, Doshisha U (Japan)
This panel aims to explore the visual construction of queerness in contemporary Russian culture, focusing on transgressive masculinities in film, media and art. In spite of the so-called visual turn in Russian Studies, which is associated with greater recognition of Russian visual culture (e.g. the rise of Russian Film Studies in the late 1990s, the emergence of Russian new media studies in the 2000s), there has been virtually no research on contemporary Russian queer visual culture and its socio-political dimensions. The ‘gay propaganda law’ laid the foundation of the new national security doctrine (2015), which aims to protect and develop Russian traditional values such as collectivist identity, family and religiosity. The security doctrine signifies a bio-political turn which includes a number of regulatory mechanisms for disciplining and constraining human bodies. The Russian 2013-15 legislation and regulatory strategies of the government robs LGBTQ communities of queer visibility, that is, the appearance of these communities in public discourse where they are openly acknowledged as such. At the same time we witness the rise of new (mis)alliances between queer communities and far-right and nationalist circles, promoting hyper- and militarized masculinity and conservative values. The panel will contribute to development of the interdisciplinary field of queer and visual studies by examining a non-western, neoauthoritarian context.
Chair: Volha Isakava, Central Washington University
Working at the triple intersection of queer theory, Slavic/post-socialist area studies and media studies, the three papers on this panel seek to demonstrate the ways in which the post-socialist personal is the political and vice versa, by critically interrogating the dynamic interface between post-socialist social policy, social movements and social networking online and on the ground. These papers situate themselves within the time and space of digital connection on phone lines and newsfeeds, and the post soviet, a similarly un-”real” space that exists as an interactive site of state control and popular contestation. In doing so, this panel intends to interrogate the digital politics, poetics, and aesthetics of sexuality and national identity in contemporary post-communist societies.
Chair: Alexandra Novitskaya, Stony Brook U
The panel discusses various aspects of the transgressive nature of Emir Kusturica’s work – in cinema and elsewhere. Dealing directly with political and ideological issues, as well as those of ethnic and other identity of his characters (Roma, Muslim/Bosnian, Serb etc.), Kusturica’s early films deal with the most important aspects of Yugoslav identity and social life. But, with the break-up of Yugoslavia, his works becomes even more controversial and politically charged in their direct and indirect dealing with political and other norms and conventions. Probably the most important filmmaker from the region in the 1980s and 1990s, but in later works as well, Kusturica challenges the perceptions of what cinema, art or artist should be, at the same time participating in crucial political controversies of his era. Sometimes heralded as a veritable cinematic genius, sometimes accused of being a mere political opportunist, Kusturica is, by definition, an excellent example of the cinema of transgression.
Chair: Vladislav Beronja, University of Texas at Austin
|Objectivities: Engaging with the Materiality of Art (ASEEES 2017 roundtable)||
Objectivities: Engaging with the Materiality of Art ((ASEEES 2017 roundtable)