Events Calendar

October 2018

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Job Talk - Brendan Nieubuurt

Job Talk - Brendan Nieubuurt

Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 4:00pm
Location: 
709 Hamilton Hall

Please join the Slavic Department on Thursday, October 4, at 4:10 pm, for a talk by Brendan Nieubuurt, our recent graduate.  The talk will take place in 709 and the topic will be announced at a later date.  

 
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10/04/2018 - 4:00pm
 
Job Market Workshop

Job Market Workshop

Friday, October 5, 2018 - 4:00pm
Location: 
709 Hamilton Hall

Professor Valentina Izmirlieva will conduct a Job Market Workshop on Friday, October 5th, from 4 - 6pm, in room 709 Hamilton Hall.

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10/05/2018 - 4:00pm
 
 
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Anna Frajlich - Uprooting, Exile, Anchoring in my New York Poems

Anna Frajlich - Uprooting, Exile, Anchoring in my New York Poems

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 12:00pm
Location: 
Faculty House
Anna Frajlich, Emerita Senior Lecturer in Slavic Languages, will read her award wining poetry in Polish & Ronald Meyer, Harriman Institute, will read it in English. The London-based Union of Polish Writers in Exile, in which she is a laureate, noted "The journey, exile, the passing of time are frequent themes in her works, but she seeks not only her own place in the world, but goodness and beauty. Her work has a deep humanitarian dimension." 

 

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10/09/2018 - 12:00pm
 
 
 
BOOK LAUNCH: "A HISTORY OF RUSSIAN LITERATURE" BY KAHN, LIPOVETSKY, REYFMAN & SANDLER

BOOK LAUNCH: "A HISTORY OF RUSSIAN LITERATURE" BY KAHN, LIPOVETSKY, REYFMAN & SANDLER

Friday, October 12, 2018 - 4:00pm
Location: 
Harriman Institute Atrium (12th Floor, International Affairs Building, 420 W 118th St)
Please join the Harriman Institute in its celebration of A History of Russian Literature (Oxford University Press, 2018), authored by Andrew Kahn (Oxford), Mark Lipovetsky (Colorado-Boulder, but soon to join the Columbia Slavic Dept.), Irina Reyfman (Columbia) and Stephanie Sandler (Harvard). Published just this past summer, the ground-breaking volume has already garnered glowing reviews: "What Kahn, Lipovetsky, Reyfman and Sandler have managed to encompass and contextualize ... is nothing short of staggering" (Boris Dralyuk, Times Literary Supplement)
 
All four authors will be present for the Harriman's celebration. In addition, the authors have invited four guests to participate in the discussion of the book's genesis, novel structure, and tremendous scope. The guests are: Polina Barskova (Hampshire College), Caryl Emerson (Princeton), Olga Maiorova (Michigan) and Wes Williams (Oxford).
 
From the publisher's website:
 
Russia possesses one of the richest and most admired literatures of Europe, reaching back to the eleventh century. A History of Russian Literature provides a comprehensive account of Russian writing from its earliest origins in the monastic works of Kiev up to the present day, still rife with the creative experiments of post-Soviet literary life. The volume proceeds chronologically in five parts, extending from Kievan Rus' in the 11th century to the present day.The coverage strikes a balance between extensive overview and in-depth thematic focus. Parts are organized thematically in chapters, which a number of keywords that are important literary concepts that can serve as connecting motifs and 'case studies', in-depth discussions of writers, institutions, and texts that take the reader up close and. Visual material also underscores the interrelation of the word and image at a number of points, particularly significant in the medieval period and twentieth century.
 

The History addresses major continuities and discontinuities in the history of Russian literature across all periods, and in particular bring out trans-historical features that contribute to the notion of a national literature. The volume's time-range has the merit of identifying from the early modern period a vital set of national stereotypes and popular folklore about boundaries, space, Holy Russia, and the charismatic king that offers culturally relevant material to later writers. This volume delivers a fresh view on a series of key questions about Russia's literary history, by providing new mappings of literary history and a narrative that pursues key concepts (rather more than individual authorial careers). This holistic narrative underscores the ways in which context and text are densely woven in Russian literature, and demonstrates that the most exciting way to understand the canon and the development of tradition is through a discussion of the interrelation of major and minor figures, historical events and literary politics, literary theory and literary innovation.

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10/12/2018 - 4:00pm
 
 
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BOOK TALK. FOX, BY DUBRAVKA UGREŠIĆ WITH TRANSLATOR ELLEN ELIAS-BURSAC

BOOK TALK. FOX, BY DUBRAVKA UGREŠIĆ WITH TRANSLATOR ELLEN ELIAS-BURSAC

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 6:00pm
Location: 
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

BOOK TALK. FOX, BY DUBRAVKA UGREŠIĆ WITH TRANSLATOR ELLEN ELIAS-BURSAC

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
6:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join the Njegoš Endowment for Serbian Language and Culture and the Harriman Institute for a book launch and discussion of Dubravka Ugrešić’s recent novel Fox, translated by Ellen Elias-Bursac and David Williams, with the author Dubravka Ugrešić and translator Ellen Elias-Bursac. The conversation will be moderated by Aleksandar Bošković (Columbia).

With characteristic wit and narrative force, Fox takes us from Russia to Japan, through Balkan minefields and American road trips, and from the 1920s to the present, as it explores the power of storytelling and literary invention, notions of betrayal, and the randomness of human lives and biographies. Using the duplicitous and shape-shifting fox of Eastern folklore as a motif, Ugrešić constructs a novel that reinvents itself over and over, blending nuggets of literary trivia (like how Nabokov named the Neonympha dorothea dorothea butterfly after the woman who drove him cross-country), with the timeless story of a woman trying to escape her hometown and find love to magical effect. Propelled by literary footnotes and “minor” characters, Fox is vintage Ugrešić, recovering the voices of those on the margins with a verve that’s impassioned, learned, and hilarious.

Over the past three decades, Dubravka Ugrešić has established herself as one of Europe’s most distinctive novelists and essayists. From her early postmodernist excursions, to her elegiac reckonings in fiction and the essay with the disintegration of her Yugoslav homeland and the fall of the Berlin Wall, through to her more recent writings on popular and literary culture, Ugrešić’s work is marked by a rare combination of irony, polemic, and compassion. Following degrees in Comparative and Russian Literature, Ugrešić worked for many years at the University of Zagreb’s Institute for Theory of Literature, successfully pursuing parallel careers as both a writer and as a scholar. In 1991, when war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, Ugrešić took a firm anti-war stance, critically dissecting retrograde Croatian and Serbian nationalism, the stupidity and criminality of war, and in the process became a target for nationalist journalists, politicians and fellow writers. Subjected to prolonged public ostracism and persistent media harassment, she left Croatia in 1993. In an exile that has in time become emigration, her books have been translated into over twenty languages. She has taught at a number of American and European universities, including Harvard, UCLA, Columbia and the Free University of Berlin. She is the winner of several major literary prizes (Austrian State Prize for European Literature 1998; finalist of Man Booker International Prize 2009; Jean Améry Essay Prize, awarded for her essayistic work as a whole, 2012; while Karaoke Culture was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2011). In 2016 Dubravka Ugrešić has been awarded Vilenica Prize and Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Ugrešić lives in Amsterdam.

Ellen Elias-Bursac translates fiction and non-fiction from Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. Her translation of David Albahari's novel Götz and Meyer was given the 2006 ALTA National Translation Award. Her book Translating Evidence and Interpreting Testimony at a War Crimes Tribunal: Working in a Tug-of-War was given the Mary Zirin Prize in 2015. She is the vice-president of ALTA.

 

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10/16/2018 - 6:00pm
 
Frost, director Sharunas Bartas of Lithuania, 2017

Frost, director Sharunas Bartas of Lithuania, 2017

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 7:00pm
Location: 
Deutsches Haus, Columbia University (420 West 116th Street (off Amsterdam Ave)

Olena Yershova’s Retrospective at Columbia.

Exploring Today’s Ukraine through Film

 

Since its inception 14 years ago, the Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University has primarily focused on the work of directors and actors. Now , for the first time, we would like to take a closer look at producers, the profession that is relatively new and in the process of defining itself in Ukraine’s contemporary film industry. After all, the old Soviet cinema from whose shadow the post-Soviet Ukrainian film is slowly emerging did not have film producers in the  customary sense.  Choosing from a dozen possible candidates this semester we showcase Olena Yershova. She comes from a celebrated filmmaking family; her father Kostiantyn Yershov wrote and directed eight films and is primarily celebrated for his screen adaptation of Mykola Hohol’s (Nikolai Gogol) story Viy, arguably the only horror film allowed to be made in the Soviet Union (1967).

Olena Yershova is a successful film producer in her own right with an impressive portfolio of more than ten feature films which garnered over a hundred awards worldwide. Her filmography includes My Joy (main competition at Cannes 2010), Frost (Directors’ Fortnight - Cannes 2017), Falling (Prix Du Public Jeanne Moreau at Premiers Plans, France, 2018), Gogita’s New Life (main competition at IDFA 2016), Motherland (Venice Critics’ Week 2015, Best Script and UNESCO Award nomination at the Asian Pacific Screen Awards 2015) and Blind Dates (Toronto IFF, Tokyo IFF, Palm Springs IFF, Berlinale - Forum, 2014). She has  successfully worked not only with Ukrainian, but also, with Georgian and Turkish directors.

The forthcoming retrospective will showcase four feature films produced by Olena Yershova in cooperation with four different directors, three of them representing the new generation of Ukrainian filmmakers. Each film brings into focus an important aspect of the current Ukrainian reality.

Frost is an unheroic road story of discovery when a selfless Lithuanian couple drives a truck loaded with humanitarian aid for Ukrainians fighting off Russian aggression in the Donbas. They quickly find themselves in the middle of a minefield that is today’s Ukraine, where there is no telling who is a friend and who is a foe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoFZC4T5sOw

Frost, director Sharunas Bartas of Lithuania, 2017

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10/17/2018 - 7:00pm
 
 
YUGOSLAVIA, A CENTURY LATER: WHY DID THE SERBS, CROATS AND SLOVENES FORM A UNION IN 1918?

YUGOSLAVIA, A CENTURY LATER: WHY DID THE SERBS, CROATS AND SLOVENES FORM A UNION IN 1918?

Friday, October 19, 2018 - 6:00pm
Location: 
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Njegoš Endowment for Serbian Language and Culture at Columbia University's East Central European Center for a talk with Dejan Djokić, Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Balkans at Goldsmiths, University of London.

In late October 1918 a provisional state of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs was proclaimed in Zagreb, with the aim of unifying soon with Serbia and Montenegro. Similar, pro-union manifestos were issued in Ljubljana and Sarajevo, while the Serbian army, together with its British, French, Italian, and Greek allies, had broken through the Salonika front in September and liberated much of Serbia by the end of October. Despite enormous challenges, sacrifices, and a catastrophic defeat, before the triumph of 1918, the Serbian leadership had generally pursued a pro-unification line through the war, as did exiled Croats and other South Slavs, of the London-based Yugoslav Committee. The proclamation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes on December 1, 1918 in Belgrade had the support of practically all relevant political, intellectual and religious groups. Yet, unsurprisingly perhaps, the Yugoslav unification today is often perceived as a naïve, catastrophic mistake if not a result of Serb/Croat manipulation or the Powers’ conspiracy. Was Yugoslavia not doomed to failure from the start, as its seemingly perpetual crises and the violent collapses in the 1940s and 1990s surely attest? Even if one is not susceptible to post-factum interpretations, it is nevertheless appropriate to ask why did the South Slavs form a union a century ago and why no alternative solutions were seriously explored. Djokić argues that a unified Yugoslavia represented the most logical solution to the Serbian and South Slav Question(s) and that complex events of late 1918 need to be understood in their historical context. He bases his analysis on, among other sources, numerous proclamations issued by key South Slav groups and individuals in 1917 and 1918. Djokić suggests that rather than merely an idealistic project, Yugoslavia actually made sense to all the key South Slav political actors, whose decision-making was driven by ideological as well as pragmatic considerations. It also made sense to most of Serbia’s allies, even if they were at times ambivalent vis-à-vis the creation of Yugoslavia or, in the case of Italy, opposed to it.

Dejan Djokić is Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Balkans at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Elusive Compromise: A History of Interwar Yugoslavia (Hurst/Columbia University Press, 2007) and Pašić & Trumbić: The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes(Haus/Chicago University Press, 2010), and is currently working on two book-length studies: a history of Serbia (under contract with Cambridge University Press) and a collective biography of the last generation of Yugoslav soldiers.

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10/19/2018 - 6:00pm
 
YUGOSLAVIA, A CENTURY LATER: WHY DID THE SERBS, CROATS AND SLOVENES FORM A UNION IN 1918?

YUGOSLAVIA, A CENTURY LATER: WHY DID THE SERBS, CROATS AND SLOVENES FORM A UNION IN 1918?

Friday, October 19, 2018 - 6:00pm
Location: 
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

YUGOSLAVIA, A CENTURY LATER: WHY DID THE SERBS, CROATS AND SLOVENES FORM A UNION IN 1918?

Friday, October 19, 2018
6:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building, 420 W 118th St)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Njegoš Endowment for Serbian Language and Culture at Columbia University's East Central European Center for a talk with Dejan Djokić, Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Balkans at Goldsmiths, University of London.

In late October 1918 a provisional state of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs was proclaimed in Zagreb, with the aim of unifying soon with Serbia and Montenegro. Similar, pro-union manifestos were issued in Ljubljana and Sarajevo, while the Serbian army, together with its British, French, Italian, and Greek allies, had broken through the Salonika front in September and liberated much of Serbia by the end of October. Despite enormous challenges, sacrifices, and a catastrophic defeat, before the triumph of 1918, the Serbian leadership had generally pursued a pro-unification line through the war, as did exiled Croats and other South Slavs, of the London-based Yugoslav Committee. The proclamation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes on December 1, 1918 in Belgrade had the support of practically all relevant political, intellectual and religious groups. Yet, unsurprisingly perhaps, the Yugoslav unification today is often perceived as a naïve, catastrophic mistake if not a result of Serb/Croat manipulation or the Powers’ conspiracy. Was Yugoslavia not doomed to failure from the start, as its seemingly perpetual crises and the violent collapses in the 1940s and 1990s surely attest? Even if one is not susceptible to post-factum interpretations, it is nevertheless appropriate to ask why did the South Slavs form a union a century ago and why no alternative solutions were seriously explored. Djokić argues that a unified Yugoslavia represented the most logical solution to the Serbian and South Slav Question(s) and that complex events of late 1918 need to be understood in their historical context. He bases his analysis on, among other sources, numerous proclamations issued by key South Slav groups and individuals in 1917 and 1918. Djokić suggests that rather than merely an idealistic project, Yugoslavia actually made sense to all the key South Slav political actors, whose decision-making was driven by ideological as well as pragmatic considerations. It also made sense to most of Serbia’s allies, even if they were at times ambivalent vis-à-vis the creation of Yugoslavia or, in the case of Italy, opposed to it.

Dejan Djokić is Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Balkans at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Elusive Compromise: A History of Interwar Yugoslavia (Hurst/Columbia University Press, 2007) and Pašić & Trumbić: The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes(Haus/Chicago University Press, 2010), and is currently working on two book-length studies: a history of Serbia (under contract with Cambridge University Press) and a collective biography of the last generation of Yugoslav soldiers.

 

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10/19/2018 - 6:00pm
 
 
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BOOK LAUNCH & ROUND TABLE. TOMISLAV GOTOVAC - LIFE AS A FILM EXPERIMENT

BOOK LAUNCH & ROUND TABLE. TOMISLAV GOTOVAC - LIFE AS A FILM EXPERIMENT

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 5:00pm
Location: 
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

BOOK LAUNCH & ROUND TABLE. TOMISLAV GOTOVAC - LIFE AS A FILM EXPERIMENT

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
5:00pm - 8:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join the Njegoš Endowment for Serbian Language and Culture and the Harriman Institute for a book launch and round table discussion of Tomislav Gotovac - Life as a Film Experiment, the first book published in English on legendary Yugoslav-Croatian artist Tomislav Gotovac, written by Slobodan Šijan, and translated by Greg de Cuir Jr and Žarko Cvejić. Along with the author of the book, Slobodan Šijan, participants at the round table are Pavle Levi(Stanford), Dijana Jelača (Brooklyn College), and Petar Milat (MAMA, Zagreb). The discussion will be moderated by Aleksandar Bošković (Columbia).

Tomislav Gotovac (1937-2010) was one of the most important Croatian and Yugoslav artists of the second half of the 20th century. He has left an indelible trace in the domains of film, visual art, and performance and has exerted a major influence on several generations of artists. In the last fifteen years, there has been a surge of interest in his pioneering oeuvre, and his work has been shown at important exhibitions and museums worldwide.

With this monograph, Slobodan Šijan, a renowned Serbian film director and one of artist’s closest friends, pays homage to Gotovac and his singular understanding of cinema.The book comprises almost 400 pages and its 48 chapters function as 48 movie-like “frames” of analysis, quotes, and commentaries, but also as an attempt at understanding some of the processes that shaped the films of Gotovac and informed his artistic methods. Šijan makes extensive use of his own memories, narration, testimonies, and archival materials. His creative combination of these materials results in a book about one artist, written by another artist, in an uniquely artistic way.  

Slobodan Šijan (Belgrade, 1946) is a film director, writer and visual artist. He made many experimental films and videos, but also directed some of the most popular Serbian narrative feature films and wrote a number of books about film and visual culture. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Belgrade voted his film Who’s Singing Over There (1980) for the Best Film made in former Yugoslavia in half a century. Other important features includes Strangler vs. Strangler (1984), How I Was Systematically Destroyed by Idiots (1983), The Marathon Family (1982). Since 2001, he is teaching at Loyola Marymount University Film School. He is author and editor of several volumes, among others Vertigo, Cinematographic Poems (1998), Women Film Directors in South Eastern Europe (2009) and Conversations around Film (2010). His work in the domain of visual art investigates the phenomenon of film, moving images, photographic registration and reproduction of reality.

Pavle Levi is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies in the Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University, and Director of Stanford's Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Levi is the author of several books: Jolted Images (Amsterdam UP, 2017); Cinema by Other Means (Oxford, 2012); Disintegration in Frames (Stanford, 2007);  and, as editor, Filosofska igracka (A Philosophical Toy; Belgrade, B92, 2003).

Dijana Jelača is a film scholar and author whose areas of inquiry include feminist film and media studies, transnational cinema, and South Slavic film cultures. She teaches in the Film Department at Brooklyn College. Jelača is the author of Film Feminisms: A Global Introduction (with Kristin Hole, 2019), Dislocated Screen Memory: Narrating Trauma in Post-Yugoslav Cinema(2016), as well as co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender (2017) and The Cultural Life of Capitalism in Yugoslavia: (Post)Socialism and Its Other (2017). Her essays have appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including Camera ObscuraFeminist Media StudiesStudies in Eastern European CinemaEuropean Journal of Women's Studies, Jump Cut, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

Petar Milat is a philosopher and the main programe coordinator at Multimedia Institute (MAMA) in Zagreb, in charge of the Institute’s publishing, music, and film programs. Since 2008, he has been managing the Human Rights Film Festival. The nexus of normative social and aesthetical theory is the main focus of his research.

 

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10/24/2018 - 5:00pm
 
Vulcano, director Roman Bondarchuk of Ukraine, 2018

Vulcano, director Roman Bondarchuk of Ukraine, 2018

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 7:00pm
Location: 
Deutsches Haus, Columbia University (420 West 116th Street (off Amsterdam Ave)

Olena Yershova’s Retrospective at Columbia.

Exploring Today’s Ukraine through Film

 

Since its inception 14 years ago, the Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University has primarily focused on the work of directors and actors. Now , for the first time, we would like to take a closer look at producers, the profession that is relatively new and in the process of defining itself in Ukraine’s contemporary film industry. After all, the old Soviet cinema from whose shadow the post-Soviet Ukrainian film is slowly emerging did not have film producers in the  customary sense.  Choosing from a dozen possible candidates this semester we showcase Olena Yershova. She comes from a celebrated filmmaking family; her father Kostiantyn Yershov wrote and directed eight films and is primarily celebrated for his screen adaptation of Mykola Hohol’s (Nikolai Gogol) story Viy, arguably the only horror film allowed to be made in the Soviet Union (1967).

Olena Yershova is a successful film producer in her own right with an impressive portfolio of more than ten feature films which garnered over a hundred awards worldwide. Her filmography includes My Joy (main competition at Cannes 2010), Frost (Directors’ Fortnight - Cannes 2017), Falling (Prix Du Public Jeanne Moreau at Premiers Plans, France, 2018), Gogita’s New Life (main competition at IDFA 2016), Motherland (Venice Critics’ Week 2015, Best Script and UNESCO Award nomination at the Asian Pacific Screen Awards 2015) and Blind Dates (Toronto IFF, Tokyo IFF, Palm Springs IFF, Berlinale - Forum, 2014). She has  successfully worked not only with Ukrainian, but also, with Georgian and Turkish directors.

The forthcoming retrospective will showcase four feature films produced by Olena Yershova in cooperation with four different directors, three of them representing the new generation of Ukrainian filmmakers. Each film brings into focus an important aspect of the current Ukrainian reality.

 

Vulcano is a tongue-in-cheek take on the Southern Ukrainian steppe and its denizens, fascinating, weird, unpredictable, and endearing at the same time. This is the land where operation Russia Spring found its ignominious end in 2014. The film contains some truly beautiful cinematography that is as memorable as it is breathtaking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reYcx5ZXbPE