Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Conventional Fantasies

This blog wouldn't survive five minutes in the bright light of academic scrutiny. It's a blog after all. It's meant to be filled with slandor, urban mythology, unsubstantiated rumor, and misinformation. However, there is a fan dimension to this blog so I have to eventually improve coverage of the biggest names in Russian Studies and related fields, right? For this reason I've joined the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, whose annual convention takes place in late November in Los Angeles. Aside from recurring fantasies of bumping into University of Chicago's doyen of Russian History, Sheila Fitpatrick (as if I could recognize her), while taking a stroll in Hyde Park, learning Russian overnight, actually visiting Russia someday, attending the ASEESS Convention is my number one daydream. A glance at the itinery will explain why.

There are panels on the following subjects: science in Petrine Russia; World War II resistance; social and economic change in the era of so-called "stagnation;" the Silver Age; identity-formation in the Far East; recent Trotsky scholarship (with Lindy Laub's new Trostky documentary, Planet without a Visa;" Jewish Commerce in Pre-Revolutionary Russia; masculanity in the Napeolonic Wars and Steel Age; first-person narratives and their meaning; war poetry; war prose; art from 1850 to 1900; Soviet and Eastern European political recruitment of elites; post-communist justice; Medvedev's economics and defense policies; historical time and Stalinism; literature and the sublime; the state of translation studies; St. Peterburg between at peace; and various other Eastern European topics.

It would be fun to go, but I'll have to make do with my copy of Slavic Review, the association's official journal. Articles in the Summer addition covered Liddia Ginzburg, the Seige of Leningrad, Bulgakov and Eizenshstein, Ivan the Terrible and the debate on historical periodization, the end of Muscovy, etc.

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