March 29, 2015

Upcoming Spring 2015 List of Events

WEDNESDAY, 04/01/15, 4 p.m., GARRETT HALL

“The Politics of Culture in Putin’s Russia”

Peter Pomerantsev

There are many possible futures in the 21st century—possibly none more potent and strange than what’s brewing in contemporary Russia. Vladimir Putin’s society of the spectacle, in which the idea of objective truth has been obliterated, may be the first truly postmodern society. Just as Russia took the supposedly liberationist philosophy of Marxism to its totalitarian extreme, is it now doing the same with postmodernism? Join journalist and filmmaker Peter Pomerantsev, author of the recent Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia, as he explores some of the odder precincts of Putin’s authoritarian wonderland. Copies of the author’s book will be on sale at the reception following the talk and questions. Visit the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture website for more info.

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.


March 26-28, 2015 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Centrifugal Forces: Reading Russia’s Regional Identities and Initiatives

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.

The proceedings of the conference will be broadcasted as a free online streaming event. Please find instructions to access the stream here.

A PDF version of the instructions with screen caps of each step is available for download at the bottom of the page. If you are interested in participating in the live stream, it is recommended that you test the instructions at least a day in advance to configure the necessary settings on Java. Updates regarding the conference will be posted on the official Twitter account for the event, @RussiasRegions. We welcome and encourage the participation of diverse online audiences. While watching the live stream, you can direct questions to the panelists via Twitter (@RussiasRegions), or email at <>. Throughout the event, a team of graduate students will be monitoring the Twitter and email accounts to communicate your questions to the associated speakers.



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


TUESDAY, 03/24/15, 5 p.m., CLARK 108

“Survivors into Minorities: Armenians in Post-genocide Turkey”

Lerna Ekmekcioglu, Associate Professor of History, MIT


Vigen Guroian, Religious Studies
Shankar Nair, Religious Studies
Jeffrey Rossman, History
Joshua White, History
Elizabeth Thompson, History

Sponsored by CREEES, Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the History Department. 
For questions about this event, please contact


MONDAY, 03/16/15, 6 p.m., NEW CABELL 323

“We All Came Out of Gogol’s Overcoat”

Talk by Julian Connolly, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Gogol Ganguli is named for his father’s favorite Russian author. Learn more about Nikolai Gogol and his influence in UVa professor Julian Connolly’s lecture.

For questions about this event, please contact


TUESDAY, 03/03/15, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Minor 125

A conversation on Culture and Politics

with Tatyana Tolstaya

Leading Russian Writer, Public Intellectual, Television Personality

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 (