Friday, 30 March 2012

EXH: Vladimir Beklemishev in Russian Museum

22 March - middle of May 2012
St. Michael's Castle

The exhibition devoted to the 150th birth anniversary of the eminent sculptor and teacher, the professor of the Emperor’s Academy of Art who on the border of the 19th and the 20th centuries was a dedicated continuer of realistic traditions and created a number of significant works in the sphere of monumental and indoor sculpture. Beklemishev received the fame and recognition for his monuments for the figures of Russian history and culture and for the portraits that are marked by the high skill of execution and by exactness and special conclusiveness in rendering of the model’s appearance and character. The exposition includes the works from the collections of the Russian Museum, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Scientific-Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts, the State Central Museum of the Musical Culture named after M.Glinka, the National Pushkin Museum and the State Museum Reserve Pavlovsk.

Beklemishev Vladimir 
"How fair, how fresh were the roses ... "(1892)
Statuette. Bronze. 53 x 43 x 39 

Alongside with the portraits where the master commemorated his well-known contemporaries (A.Kuindzhi, A.Rizzoni, P.Suzor, I.Tsvetkov, M.Belyaev, M.Ippolitov-Ivanov, V.Fokina, V.Davydov and the others) for the first time there are presented the works devoted to religious hermits (St.Barbara, the Great Martyr; The Christian Woman of the First Ages) or to genre character images (Rural Love; How Fair, How Fresh Were the Roses…). The special section of the exhibition presents the photos of nowadays existing or lost monuments that are or were located in different towns of Russia and the portrait statues for the interiors of different voluntary organizations of St. Petersburg (among them there are the images of composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, doctor D.Ott, scientist A.Veselovsky).

The exhibition is organized with the financial support of OJSC ROSNO

Thursday, 22 March 2012

CONF: Russian Emigration at Crossroads of XX-XXI Centuries

CFP Conference: Russian Emigration at the Crossroads of the XX-XXI Centuries April, 28-29, 2012 

The International Conference “Russian Emigration at the Crossroads of XX-XXI Centuries” is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of The New Review / Noviy Zhurnal. The goals of the conference are to explore the unknown pages of the intellectual history of Russia Abroad and Russian Émigré culture, and to restore the whole spectrum of the social and intellectual Russian lifestyle in exile. The conference also aims to discuss aspects of the modern Russian Diaspora throughout the world. Participants of the conference should reflect upon topics related to the history and culture of Russian Émigrés from 1917 to 2012. The conference will consist of regular panels and 2 Round Tables dedicated to the historical and modern Russian-speaking Diaspora. The conference will be held on April, 28-29, 2012.

The International conference will be organized by The New Review Inc., the oldest Russian Émigré literary magazine (Noviy Zhurnal/ The New Review), with the partnership of Harriman Institute, Columbia University. The New Review was founded in New York in 1942. For seven decades The New Review played the role of a cultural center of Russian Immigration throughout the world. Our contributing authors include Russian Nobel Prize laureates – the 1933 laureate Ivan Bunin, the 1970 laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the 1987 laureate Joseph Brodsky, as well as a plethora of other writers, poets, philosophers: Vladimir Nabokov, Georgi Ivanov, Georgi Adamovich, Boris Zaitzev, Alexandra Tolstoy, Mikhail Karpovich, Pitirim Sorokin, Nicholas Timasheff, etc. Today among our authors are the most well-known modern Russian writers. The New Review is distributed in more than 30 countries. For decades, The New Review has been instrumental in forming the Russian literary process abroad.

Book of abstracts and other conference materials (in English and Russian) will be published after the conference.

Registration fee is $25.00. The conference will be held at Columbia University (April 28, 2012) and Concierge Conference Center (Manhattan; April 29). Contact us via or with the subject: “New Review International Conference”.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Russian Film Symposium 2012

Russian Film Symposium 14 Camp Cinema: Russian Style Monday 30 April through Saturday 4 May 2012, University of Pittsburgh 

Camp Cinema: Russian Style by Andrew Chapman

The term “camp,” originating from the French verb se camper and meaning “to flaunt,” has no equivalent in the Russian language, and invites an area of research almost completely unknown to Russian film scholars. The major working task of the Russian Film Symposium this year is to conceptualize Soviet and Russian camp cinema.

A stable definition of camp in western criticism is itself problematic. Susan Sontag’s seminal article, “Notes on Camp” (1964) set off a barrage of objections, with many activists claiming that Sontag took camp’s sexual transgressive nature, and unrightfully turned it into a popularized aesthetic that featured frivolity, the conflation of high and low cultures, and style over substance. Political reclamations of camp have traced its history back to Oscar Wilde and essentialized its expression as an effeminate, male homosexual aesthetic. Nevertheless, both sides would agree that camp is a subject that craves attention: it is performative, improvisational, and defined by stylized acts, regardless of its own self-awareness or audience. Camp cinema can be considered both a product, as well as a way of queer reading by audiences, who celebrate what is considered (by the mainstream) bad taste. In adapting our own working definition for Russo-Soviet cinema, the symposium participants will consider all angles of this politicized debate over camp.

What use, then, is “camp” for Russian cinema? Western discussions of camp and its politics of identity often note the attempt of distinction, a separation from bourgeois, normative, mainstream culture. Explicit representations of gender or sexual transgression in Soviet cinema are almost absent, however, and the famous saying proclaimed: “In the USSR there is no sex” (“В СССР секса нет”). Homosexuality was declared illegal under the rule of Stalin in the 1930s until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although this law was repealed in 1993, the Russian Federation has recently moved toward similar acts of discrimination, with lawmakers in St. Petersburg backed by the pro-Kremlin United Russia Party this November approving a bill that would ban any public promotion of homosexuality. Camp sensibilities, inserted into the popular market of the Russian film industry, can offer an alternative aesthetic to both the social-normativity and hyper-masculinity of the Putin era.

Arguably, camp performances have existed throughout Russo-Soviet film history, finding a place within both the heavily centralized state film industry of the Soviet period to the privatized studios of present-day Russia. This year’s retrospective program will investigate a variety of approaches to camp. The Soviet style of the past can become newly discovered camp treasures in The Amphibian Man (1962) as well as Abram Room’s recently restored A Severe Young Man (1936). The pure stylized performances of Aleksandr Bashirov and Renata Litvinova, “Russian camp icons” of art-house cinema, are on full display in House under a Starry Sky (1991) and The Goddess (2004). Popular genre films Hello, I’m your Aunt (1975) and more recently Feliks Mikhailov’s Jolly Fellows (2010) celebrate the transgressive performances of drag queens.

A conceptualization of camp could also open new avenues to the existing historiographies of Russo-Soviet cinema. A camp reading of Soviet film history would account for films such as Aleksandr Medvedkin’s Happiness (1934) and Grigorii Aleksandrov’s Jolly Fellows (1934), whose playfulness and frivolity were in stark contrast to the ideologically laden socialist realist films of the 1930s. How did these camp commodities pass through the censored Soviet cinema industry ambiguously, closeted, yet existing for public consumption by those who recognized their aesthetic codes? Likewise, while studies of Russian culture in the 1990s almost solely focused on the darkness of chernukha, Russian films also playfully celebrated the démodé, or the historical trash of the Soviet era in films such as Sergei Livnev’s Hammer and Sickle (1991) and Sergei Debizhev’s Two Captains Two (1992). Finally, camp products often engage the high culture of imperial Russia’s and the Soviet Union’s past: the image of Russia’s most prized poet, Aleksandr Pushkin, absurdly clashes with popular culture of the modern present in both Iurii Mamin’s Sideburns (1990) and Vladimir Mirzoev’s remake of Boris Godunov (2011).

What does a camp reading of Russian cinema say about its viewership, from domestic audiences, film festival connoisseurs, to film studies scholars abroad? We invite you to come discuss the topic at the fourteenth annual Russian Film Symposium, Camp Cinema: Russian Style, which will be held on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh from Monday 30 April through Saturday 4 May 2012, with evening screenings at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Melwood Screening Room. This year the Russian Film Symposium will take its daring performances to new venues, with a screening of Slava Tsukerman’s Liquid Sky (1982) at the Riverside Drive-in movie theater, with the director Tsukerman himself introducing the film.

The Russian Film Symposium is supported by the University of Pittsburgh: the Office of the Dean of the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the University Center for International Studies, the Center for Russian and East European Studies, the Humanities Center, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Film Studies Program, the Graduate Program for Cultural Studies, the Graduate Russian Kino Club, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, and grants from the Hewlett Foundation and the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Matisse in Moscow: Russian Patronage of Early Modernism

16 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN Ÿ 01225 312084 Ÿ
Wednesday 21st March 2012 Ÿ 7 for 7.30
Theodora Clarke, Faculty of Arts, University of Bristol

At the turn of the twentieth century the Russian textile merchant Sergei Shchukin became Henri Matisse’s greatest patron and amassed the largest collection of the artist’s works in the world. An advocate of early French modern art, Shchukin was quick to identify Matisse as an up and coming artist and promoted his Fauvist work in Russia. This lecture will follow Shchukin’s role as Matisse’s patron from their first meeting in 1906 until the artist’s famous visit in the autumn of 1911 to his patron’s house in Moscow.
Matisse developed a unique style of painting that is distinguished by its use of flat, brilliant colour and fluid line. His visit to Moscow, at Shchukin’s invitation, had a major influence on his subsequent artistic production. For the first time the French artist was introduced to non-European art. Icon painting was a revelation and Matisse credited his trip to Russia with showing him how to imbue brilliant colour with a spiritual force.

Over a decade, Shchukin acquired nearly 40 of the artist’s best paintings. He also commissioned the famous double panels The Dance and Music of 1910. These are two of the most iconic works of the artist’s career and will form a major case study for pictorial investigation. We will investigate these key works and look at the artist’s innovative use of colour and form. These renowned pictures were all acquired by the Soviet Union and now reside in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. 

Other significant works for examination include The Dinner Table (Harmony in Red) (1908) and Girls with Tulips (1910). Additionally, we will look at primary documentation including letters concerning Matisse’s trip and contemporary reviews of the artist.

Theodora Clarke is an art historian and lecturer specialising in Russian art and European modernism.  She lectures widely on twentieth-century avant-garde painting and sculpture to audiences across the UK at museums, galleries, universities and associations. She has previously lectured at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Britain, Harvard University, the Courtauld Institute of Art and Cambridge University. Theodora has also taught adult art history courses at the Royal West of England Academy on Russian art. Visit

Monday, 12 March 2012

Intensive Summer Russian, Uni of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Slavic Languages and Literature is pleased to announce that it will offer Intensive Second and Third Year Russian in Summer 2012:

Dates: June 18-August 10, 2012
Times: 8:50-10:45 am, 12:05-2:10 pm, Monday-Friday
Tuition and fees for the 8-credit course in the Summer 2012:
• Wisconsin resident: $2,419.26
• Non-resident: $6,356.70
• Minnesota resident: $3,183.78

Slavic 117 and Slavic 118: Intensive Second Year Russian (8 credits)
The goals of this intermediate-level course include review and expansion of the grammar and vocabulary presented in First Year Russian and further development of students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Classroom instruction includes speaking exercises, grammar drills, numerous writing assignments, and listening and reading exercises. In addition, students learn more about Russian culture, history, traditions, and daily life routines. After successfully completing this course, students are eligible to enroll in Third Year Russian courses (SL 275 or SL 279) and to participate in the UW-Madison study abroad program in Russia.

This intensive course will cover the entire curriculum of Second Year Russian in one eight-week session and will consist of two two-hour blocks of classes each day (Monday-Friday, 8:50-10:45 and 12:05-2:10). Students must be concurrently enrolled in Slavic 117 and Slavic 118 for a total of eight credits.

Slavic 279: Intensive Third Year Russian (8 credits)
The goals of this course are to improve students’ reading fluency and writing skills. We will focus on the use of complex syntax and undertake a thorough review of Russian grammar, which will be presented and practiced using the textbook Grammatika v kontekste. In addition, grammatical forms will be contextualized by authentic texts, films, and songs.

This intensive course will cover the entire curriculum of Third Year Russian (Slavic 275-276) in one eight-week session and will consist of two two-hour blocks of classes each day (Monday-Friday, 8:50-10:45 and 12:05-2:10). After completing this class students are eligible to enroll in Slavic 321: Fourth Year Russian I.

Students with prior experience in Russian from outside of post-secondary educational settings should contact Dr. Anna Tumarkin in advance for a placement test.
Dr. Anna Tumarkin
University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Slavic Languages and Literature
(608) 262-1623

Students who are not current UW-Madison students must apply to enroll as Special Students. See:

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Russian Language Immersion Summer School, St Petersburg

Advanced Critical Language Institute for Russian Immersion (Stony Brook U) @ St. Petersburg State U & Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg, Russia June 21 - Aug 5

Six week intensive language study program in the magical atmosphere of St. Petersburg in the summer
Language instruction led by qualified St. Petersburg Russian language faculty
Cultural program created to best experience the classical and modern wonders of St. Petersburg’s cultural heritage including the Hermitage Museum, the canals and courtyards, and the White Nights
Reinforced linguistic and cultural immersion due to home-stays with Russian families throughout the program.

Living Arrangements
ACLI students are placed in home-stays with Russian-speaking local families.
Health Insurance
International health insurance is included in the Program Fee.

Undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing may apply.
Successful completion of at least two years of Russian language coursework is required. Previous in-country study experience strongly preferred.
Upon acceptance, students will be required to submit a written exam and to participate in a phone interview, in Russian, for placement purposes.
Contact ACLI
For more information, please contact

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

New Blog on Teaching Russian History

Blog on Teaching Russian History by Karl Qualls

I would like to announce a new blog on the teaching of Russian history:
Each month 2-3 scholars will discuss how they teach a particular topic in survey courses and seminars. The intent is to generate discussion on methods, resources, and more. Suggestions for topics or contributors please contact Karl Qualls at quallsk[at]
New posts and updates will also be announced via Twitter: @prof4russia
This month's theme is teaching the Gulag with guest authors Steven Barnes and Wilson Bell.
This blog was founded by Karl Qualls, Associate Professor of Historyat Dickinson College.
Karl  has  received the Constance and Rose Ganoe Memorial Award for Inspirational Teaching, Gamma Sigma Alpha National Honor Society Professor of the Year, and Student Senate Professor of the Year.
He is the author of numerous articles and chapters, including a chapter in the textbook Russia and Western Civilization: Cultural and Historical Encounters (M.E. Sharpe, 2003) written in collaboration with his colleagues at Dickinson College. He is also author of the monograph From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after World War II (Cornell, 2009).
He teaches Russian, German, Italian, and eastern European histories, as well as courses on European dictators, urban history, historical methods, the Holocaust, and more.

Monday, 5 March 2012

LECTURE: Utopias of the Russian Avant-garde

Thu 22nd March 2012 – 7.30pm
Utopias of the Russian Avant-garde
Language: In English

Panel discussion
John Milner, Professor at the Courtauld Institute.
Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, Curator at the Tate Modern.
Dr. Maria Kokkori, Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute.
Chaired by Dr. Robin Aizlewood, Director of UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

Tickets: £7, conc. £5 (Friends of Pushkin House, students and OAPs)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Copernicus Films: Russian Theatre Film Project

New Arts Documentary Film "Stanislavsky and the Russian Theatre" from Copernicus Films
Finally, after much tweaking and adjusting, the documentary film “Stanislavsky and the Russian Theatre” has been released on DVD after a successful launch and premiere at the Barn Theatre of the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.
The film, about the life and work of the Russian theatre director Stanislavsky was completed with the cooperation of the Stanislavski Centre in the UK.
Making use of the extensive archive of The Stanislavski Centre the film explores the main precepts of Stanislavsky's theories. The film features interviews with Jean Benedetti and Anatoly Smeliansky of The Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT), two of the foremost authorities working in the field of Stanislavsky studies.
“Stanislavsky and the Russian Theatre” attempts to highlight Stanislavsky’s humanism, arising from his background and how his views were formed by the social context into which he was born, and his subsequent difficulties in developing his system during a time when the avant-garde tendencies of theatre and the avant-garde itself appeared to devalue the human in culture.
After a decade working in the film and television industry in the UK, Michael Craig travelled to Moscow in 1995 to make films and write where he has lived and worked ever since. He made the first documentary film in the series "Alexander Rodchenko and the Russian Avant-garde" in 1999 which premiered at the Milan International Film Festival (MIFF) and was shown on British Television. From here he embarked on series of films about the Russian Avant-garde of the 1920s and 30s:
The "Stanislavsky and the Russian Theatre" can be found on Amazon on DVD or check for more detailed information about the film and distribution: or e-mail:

CFP: 32nd Annual Slavic Forum U of Chicago 2012

Call for Papers for the 32nd Annual Slavic Forum 2012

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at The University of Chicago is excited to announce our upcoming graduate student conference, the 32nd Annual Slavic Forum. This year’s conference will focus on comparative inquiries in Eastern European and Slavic cultures, in the spirit of comparative studies of history, literature, and linguistics. This year the conference will take place on May 11th-12th, 2012 and will consist of formal panels and a keynote lecture.

We invite abstracts for individual papers, 20 minutes in length, from Master’s or Ph.D. students in Slavic studies and related fields, including linguistics, literature, history, gender studies, art history, music, theater arts, film, as well as any other disciplines related to the topic of the conference. The Slavic Forum committee will organize panels following the acceptance of papers to the conference. Papers accepted to the 32nd Annual Slavic Forum will be published in an electronic collection of working papers from the conference. A style sheet will be distributed following the acceptance of papers to the conference and authors will be given a chance to revise their papers and include comments from the conference prior to publication.

The deadline for all abstract proposals is March 16th, 2012. Please send a brief abstract (300 words or less) and a short bio to Examples and references are not included in the word count. Please include your name and affiliation at the top of the abstract but not in the body, so that we may make them anonymous for refereeing and easily identify them afterwards. All abstracts will be refereed and participants will be notified by the end of March.

Please also note any equipment that might be needed for the presentation. The Slavic Forum committee will strive to meet all equipment needs, but cannot make any guarantees due to budget limits.

For more information refer to Slavic Forum's website:

Thursday, 1 March 2012

ENB: Beyond Ballets Russes

English National Ballet - Beyond Ballets Russes - Programme 1
L’après-midi d’un faune, Faun(e), Firebird, The Rite of Spring

“Ballet is powerful, in beauty and horror, as this outstanding programme demonstrates”
The Daily Telegraph

English National Ballet celebrates the legacy of the Ballets Russes with performances inspired by some of the troupe’s great works. Ballets Russes productions were collaborations with major choreographers, composers, artists and dancers of the time including Pavlova, Picasso, Debussy, Chanel, Matisse, Nijinsky and Stravinsky.

This programme sees the World Premiere of a new Firebird choreographed by young British choreographer George Williamson with designs by David Bamber. David Dawson’s Faun(e) which was described as “rapturous” by The Sunday Times, is performed alongside Dawson’s inspiration, Nijinsky’s L’après-midi d’un faune which caused huge controversy at its premiere with its hauntingly beautiful Debussy score. The finale is MacMillan’s magnificent reworking of the visceral The Rite of Spring.

THU 22 MAR 12 - TUE 27 MAR 12