March 1, 2015

Upcoming Spring 2015 List of Events

CONFERENCE: Centrifugal Forces: Reading Russia’s Regional Identities and Initiatives

March 26-28, 2015 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
South Meeting Room, Newcomb Hall
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Understanding identity in Russia’s regions advances our understanding of Russia as a whole. While the 2012 trial of the feminist punk group “Pussy Riot” and recurrent election protests thrust Moscow into the headlines, and the Sochi Olympics and the Ukrainian conflict conveyed Putin’s bid for international influence, the rest of Russia often seems mute, until suddenly unrest breaks out. The presentations at “Centrifugal Forces” resist traditional “center-oriented” perceptions of Russia. The goals of the conference are to probe action and self-articulation beyond the capital and to help the academic community, the American public, and US policymakers form a three-dimensional view of contemporary Russia and its human wealth. An international array of speakers from many disciplines will give voice to viewpoints from the regions, bringing to light exciting cultural, economic, and political initiatives. This conference is free and open to the UVA community and the public.


For registration information and directions to Newcomb Hall, please visit the conference website:


A conversation on Culture and Politics

with Tatyana Tolstaya

Leading Russian Writer, Public Intellectual, Television Personality

March 3, 2015 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Minor 125

Come join us for a lecture and discussion on culture and politics with Tatyana Nikitichna Tolstaya, one of Russia’s most prominent writers.

Tatyana Tolstaya debuted in print in 1983.  She has gone on to become one of her country’s most distinguished writers and intellectuals, producing, along with essays in journals, some of the most admired fiction of her generation, including the novel Кысь (The Slynx), which came out in 2000.  Since 1990, Tolstaya has lived on and off in the US, occasionally teaching at American universities, writing fiction, and turning out pointed cultural commentaries on life both in Russia and the US.  Her work has appeared in leading journals both at home and the West, including the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, and the Times Literary Supplement. In 2001, she won the Triumph Prize, given to distinguished Russians in a variety of cultural fields.  In 2002 she became co-host of the TV interview program “Школа злословия” (“School for Scandal”).  

Sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and by the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

For questions about this event, please contact David Herman (


UVa Klezmer Ensemble Spring Concert
featuring guests musicians Daniel Kahn and Jake Shulman-Ment from Painted Bird
Thursday, April 23rd
8:00 pm in Old Cabell Hall

The Painted Bird has released four albums to date, of which “Lost Causes” was awarded the prestigious German Record Critics’ Prize. Kahn’s songs address political issues and Jewish social movements such as the Bund while accompanied with klezmer, punk and folk melodies.

“An absolute must for lovers of unusual, intelligent, challenging, exciting folk music and a blast at every instant.” -Klaus Halama, Sound & Image.

The residency is a collaboration between the McIntire Department of Music, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, Jewish Studies Program, James Dunton Gift, Center for German Studies, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Department of Drama, and Creative Writing Program

Tickets are $10/ $5 for students/ free for UVa students who reserve in advance
For tickets:
For more information visit:



FRIDAY, 02/06/15, 2:00 pm, MONROE HALL 114

“Epic Film as a Tool of Hard & Soft Power During the Cold War”


Associate Professor of Russian Studies, William and Mary College

During the Cold War, the USSR and the U.S. imagined their ideological confrontation as a race. On the global film market, the USSR tried to compete with Hollywood films by producing big budget pictures that would match Hollywood blockbusters in technology, entertainment appeal, and cultural authority. These Soviet “prestige productions” pursued several, at times, conflicting goals. While Soviet cultural producers wanted these prestige films to generate profit, their primary agenda was to integrate Soviet film industry into global film markets and to “sell” Soviet socialism as a viable alternative to market capitalism. During the Cold War, Soviet studios invested the greatest amount of resources into two film projects: an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and a WWII epic initially titled Liberation of Europe. Drawing on Bakhtin’s theory of discourse, I examine the history of these epic films’ production and distribution as the process of articulating a distinct cinematic genre, and this genre’s importance in the present day Russian film production.

Sponsored by the Slavic Department. Co-sponsored by CREEES.

For questions about this event, please contact Anna Kromin (

Fall 2014 list of Events


“The Republic of Georgia: Trying to Become a Normal Democratic State”


•Chair of the Georgian Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs (2012-present)

•Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Georgia (2003-2004)

•Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to USA, Canada, and Mexico (1994-2002)

Sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES), the School of Law, the Miller Center of Public Affairs, the Wilson Department of Politics, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Corcoran Department of History.

Reception to follow.


For questions about this event, please contact


Dimitri Simes talk, “The Putin Challenge: Fears and Facts,” scheduled for Monday, October 27, 7 P.M., has been canceled.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.


WEDNESDAY, 10/29/14, 1:15 pm, NAU 342

“Beyond Socialist Realism: Rethinking Art and Politics in the Soviet Bloc”

Dr. Kyrill Kunakhovich, Dept. of History, William and Mary College

During the 1960s, artists across the Soviet Bloc abandoned Socialist Realism in favor of abstraction, expressionism, and pop art. Their change in style is often seen as a form of political protest, but in many cases it was enabled and encouraged by official cultural policy. Focusing on two neighboring countries, Poland and East Germany, this talk examines how communist reforms transformed East European cultures, often in parallel ways. It also shows how those cultures, in turn, influenced political practices and ideals – and ultimately helped destabilize the Soviet Bloc. 

Kyrill Kunakhovich is a Mellon Faculty Fellow in European History at the College of William & Mary. His research explores cultural policy, artistic exchange, and communist politics in the Soviet Bloc. Kyrill is the co-editor of The Global 1989: Transcontinental Connections in a Revolutionary World, which is due to appear next year. His current project, entitled Culture for the People, examines the link between art and politics in two of Eastern Europe’s major cities: Krakow in Poland and Leipzig in (East) Germany. 

Bag lunches will be provided.

Sponsored by CREEES as part of the UVa Polish Lecture Series. Co-sponsored by the Slavic, History, German, and Art History departments.

For questions about this event, please contact



THURSDAY, 9/18/14, 5:00 pm, NEW CABELL 299A

“The Russian Flagship: Teaching Future ‘Global Professionals’ and Learning from Our Students”

Karen Evans-Romaine, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature, Director of Russian Flagship Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Language Flagship Program is designed to prepare the “next generation of global professionals in the United States” through a combination of intensive classroom learning, individualized and small-group tutorials, optional residential learning, cultural learning through on-campus and community engagement, and study abroad, all at the undergraduate level. Students in the four Russian Flagship  Programs at four quite different campuses have been remarkably successful in achieving the goals of linguistic and cultural proficiency. This presentation will address how we approach intensive learning for Russian Flagship undergraduates of all majors at the University of Wisconsin –  Madison, how our graduate students benefit, and how Flagship principles can be applied to other language programs.

This presentation is part of IWL Speaker Series: Developing Proficiency in Global Contexts


TUESDAY, 8/26/14, 6:30 pm, WILSON 402

Talk by Russian Ambassador Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak

Online registration is required at

The University of Virginia Center for Politics in partnership with the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation and the Center for Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies will host a public event featuring His Excellency Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, the current Russian Federation Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Kislyak will speak regarding the relationship between the U.S. and Russia and answer questions of the audience.

Ambassador Kislyak became Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States on September 16, 2009. He previously served as Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to Belgium, and Representative to NATO in Brussels. In addition, he held high positions in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Security Affairs and Disarmament, Department of International Scientific and Technical Cooperation, and the Department of International Organizations.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information contact Glenn Crossman at or (434) 243-3540.



CONFERENCE: Centrifugal Forces: Reading Russia’s Regional Identities and Initiatives, March 26-28, 2015

Ambassador John Davis: The 1989 Roundtable Talks and Solidarność 25 Years Later

Watch this presentation below:

Ambassador John R. Davis was Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw from 1983 to 1990. He and his wife, Helen, were enthusiastic supporters of Solidarity and the Roundtable process of 1989 as well as the peaceful regime change which followed. A graduate of UCLA and Harvard, he was a Foreign Service Officer for 39 years, serving in Warsaw for a total of 13 years over three decades, as well as Djakarta, Rome, Milan, Sydney, and Bucharest. He received the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award in 1991 for his work in Poland. After a year as Diplomat-in-Residence at Yale, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Romania in 1992. He retired in 1994.

Sponsored by CREEES and the American Institute of Polish Culture


Spring 2014 list of Events

THURSDAY, 2/20/14, 5:00 pm, MONROE 122

“A Refining Palette: Children’s Book Illustration in Poland, 1960s-1970s”

Beth Holmgren, Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, Duke University

Sponsored by the CREEES Polish Lecture Series.



THURSDAY, 3/27/14, 5:00 pm, MONROE 122

“Ugly Betty on Red Square: Global Formats and Russian Television”

Elena Prokhorova, Associate Professor of Russian Studies, College of William and Mary

Sponsored by CREEES.



THURSDAY, 3/27/14, 8:00 pm, OLD CABELL HALL

CONCERT: UVa Klezmer Ensemble

Special guest: Alan Bern

Organized by the Music Department

Co-sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program | Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts | James Dunton Gift (Jazz Performance Program)



THURSDAY, 4/3/14, 5:00 pm, MONROE 122

“The Polish Roundtable of 1989 After 25 Years — Was It A Viable Model?”

Ambassador John Davis, Former U.S. Ambassador to Poland

Watch this presentation here.

Sponsored by CREEES.

Fall 2013 list of Events

THURSDAY, 9/19/13, 5:00 pm, NAU 342

“Between Polish Catholicism and Global Catholicism: Blurring the Boundaries of Church, State, and Nation in a Cold War World”

Piotr Kosicki, Assistant Professor of History, University of Maryland

Sponsored by UVA’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies



FRIDAY, 10/25/13, 4:30 pm, MONROE 118

“Transposing the ‘Great Game’ to the Sphere of Culture: Soviet-Indian Cultural Interactions in the 1920s” 

Katerina Clark, Professor of Comparative Literature and of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University

Sponsored by UVA’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies



SATURDAY, 10/26/13, 10:00 am, CAMPBELL 153

Symposium: “In the Shadow of Stalin: African American Artists and Intellectuals in Soviet Russia”

Organized by The Fralin Museum of Art and the U.Va. Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, the symposium will include a diverse group of scholars drawn from Slavic studies, AfricanAmerican studies, literature, history, film studies, and art history. Click here for more information and a full description on The Fralin Museum website.

UVA Sponsors: Office of the Dean, School of Arts and Sciences; Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies; Center for Global Studies; Corcoran Department of History; Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies; Department of English; Fralin Museum of Art; Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures; McIntire Department of Art; Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures



MONDAY, 10/28/13, 5:00 pm,  Harrison Institute

Lecture by Aleksandar Hemon, Bosnian-American writer

Born in Bosnia and emigrating during the war in the former Yugoslavia, Hemon came to the United States in the early nineties and began publishing fiction soon after his arrival. He has often contributed to The New Yorker, as well as The Paris Review, The New York Times and The New Republic.

Organized by the Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures, co-sponsored by CREEES



Andy Statman Trio Residency

Andy Statman Trio Concert, Tuesday, November 5th, 8 pm, Old Cabell Hall

Demonstration, Wednesday, November 6th, 10 am, Eunoia (1500 JPA)

Jewish Studies Colloquim with Andy Statman, Wednesday, November 6th, 5pm, Wilson 301

Light refreshments will be served


Co-sponsored by UVA Arts Council, Jewish Studies Program, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, James Dunton Gift (Jazz Performance Program), Department of Religious Studies, American Studies Program, Brody Center (Hillel), Charlottesville Jazz Society



THURSDAY, 11/14/13, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm,  NEWCOMB 480

“Comedies of the Flesh: Sexual Humour in Nabokov”

Paul Grant, Associate Professor, English, Division of Arts, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Sponsored by UVA’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies



MONDAY, 11/25/13, 4:00 pm,  COCKE 115

Lecture by Maria Ivanova (PhD, Philosophy, Moscow State University): “Ars Dissimulandi The Early Modern Ruthenian Art of Dissimulation in Byzantine Perspective.”  

A lecture on the theory and practice of dissimulation as a rhetorical technique in what is now Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and Poland in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Sponsored by UVA’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Spring 2013 list of Events

THURSDAY, 4/18/13, 7:00-9:00pm, NAU 101

“ROUNDTABLE:  Understanding the U.S. Relationship with Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia”

Allen C. Lynch, Professor of Politics, University of Virginia (Moderator)

Richard Miles, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan (1992-93), Bulgaria (1999-2002), and Georgia (2002-05)

Dr. Chris Mizelle, Director for Russia, National Security Council (2011-12)

Eugene Rumer, National Information Officer for Russia/Eurasia, DNI

Lynne Tracy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Asia, U.S. State Department

(Made possible by a generous grant from The Jefferson Trust)

THURSDAY, 4/25/13, 8:00-10:00pm OLD CABELL HALL

CONCERT: UVa Klezmer Ensemble

Special guests: Joshua Horowitz and Cookie Segelstein of Veretski Pass and Budowitz

(Organized and co-sponsored by the Music Department)

For questions about CREEES-organized events, contact For questions about Slavic Department events, contact For questions about Music Department events, contact

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