Language Choice in Enlightenment Europe: Education, Sociability, and Governance

Vladislav Rjéoutski and Willem Frijhoff

Amsterdam University Press

The collection of nine essays published by Vladislav Rjéoutski and Willem Frijhoff in Language Choice in Enlightenment Europe: Education, Sociability, and Governance (Amsterdam University Press, 2018) challenges the traditional image of a monolingual Ancien Régime. During the intense economic and cultural exchange of the Enlightenment period, new forms of sociability and corporate culture emerged everywhere in Europe, and multilingualism played a major role in the genesis of our modern societies. Various languages were used in different social and professional contexts, and had different educational and political functions. The rise of vernacular languages contrasted with Latin in the field of learning, French as a lingua franca for the elites, or German, English, Italian, and other languages, used extensively by non-native speakers in multilingual settings such as the Russian Empire (Russia, Estonia), the Habsburg monarchy (Hungary, Croatia), and early modern France, including a country without a strong linguistic policy such as the Netherlands. The essays highlight the unexpected riches of multi- and plurilingualism, the competition between languages, and their impact on national consciousness.


With or Without You: The Prospect for Jews in Today’s Russia

Maxim D. Shrayer

Academic Studies Press

In Maxim D. Shrayer’s new book With or Without You: The Prospect for Jews in Today’s Russia (Academic Studies Press, 2017), which is based on new evidence and a series of interviews, offers a richly journalistic portrait of Russia’s dwindling yet still vibrant and influential Jewish community. This is simultaneously an in-depth exploration of the texture of Jewish life in Putin’s Russia and an émigré’s moving elegy for Russia’s Jews, which forty years ago constituted one of the world’s largest Jewish populations and which presently numbers only about 180,000. Why do Jews continue to live in Russia after the antisemitism and persecution they had endured there? What are the prospects of Jewish life in Russia? What awaits the children born to Jews who have not left? With or Without You asks and seeks to answer some of the central questions of modern Jewish history and culture.


The White Chalk of Days: The  Contemporary Ukrainian Literature Series Anthology

Mark Adryczyk

Academic Studies Press

Mark Adryczyk published The White Chalk of Days: The Contemporary Ukrainian Literature Series Anthology (Academic Studies Press, 2017), which commemorates the tenth year of the Contemporary Ukrainian Literature Series. Co-sponsored by the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University and the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Series has recurrently organized readings in the US for Ukraine’s leading writers since 2008. The anthology presents translations of literary works by Series guests that engage pivotal issues in today’s Ukraine and express its tribulations and jubilations. Featuring poetry, fiction, and essays by fifteen Ukrainian writers, the anthology offers English-language readers a wide array of the most beguiling literature written in Ukraine in the past fifty years.


The Voice of Technology: Soviet Cinema’s Transition to Sound, 1928-1935

Lilya Kaganovsky

Indiana University Press

Lilya Kaganovsky’s The Voice of Technology: Soviet Cinema’s Transition to Sound, 1928–1935 (Indiana University Press, 2018), discusses how industrialization and centralization of the cinema industry greatly altered the way movies in the Soviet Union were made, while the introduction of sound radically influenced the way these movies were received. Kaganovsky explores the history, practice, technology, ideology, aesthetics, and politics of the transition to sound within the context of larger issues in Soviet media history. As cinema industries around the globe adjusted to the introduction of synch-sound technology, the Soviet Union was also shifting culturally, politically, and ideologically from the heterogeneous film industry of the 1920s to the centralized industry of the 1930s, and from the avant-garde to Socialist Realism. Kaganovsky argues that the coming of sound changed the Soviet cinema industry by making audible, for the first time, the voice of State power, directly addressing the Soviet viewer. By exploring numerous examples of films from this transitional period, Kaganovsky demonstrates the importance of the new technology of sound in producing and imposing the “Soviet Voice.”


The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution

Marci Shore

Yale University Press

In The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution (Yale University Press, 2018), Marci Shore evokes the human face of the Ukrainian Revolution during the extraordinary winter of 2013-2014. Grounded in the true stories of activists and soldiers, parents and children, Shore’s book blends a narrative of suspenseful choices with a historian’s reflections on what revolution is and what it means. She gently sets her portraits of individual revolutionaries against the past as they understand it—and the future as they hope to make it. In so doing, she provides a lesson about human solidarity in a world, our world, where the boundary between reality and fiction is ever more effaced.


Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe

Péter Apor, Sándor Horváth, and James Mark

Anthem Press

The collection of essays in Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe (Anthem Press, 2017) edited by Péter Apor, Sándor Horváth, and James Mark, addresses institutions that develop the concept of collaboration, and examines the function, social representation, and history of secret police archives and institutes of national memory that create these histories of collaboration. The essays provide a comparative account of collaboration/participation across differing categories of collaborators and different social milieux throughout East-Central Europe. They also demonstrate how secret police files can be used to produce more subtle social and cultural histories of the socialist dictatorships. By interrogating the ways in which post-socialist cultures produce the idea of, and knowledge about, collaborators, the contributing authors provide a nuanced historical conception of collaboration, expanding the concept toward broader frameworks of cooperation and political participation to facilitate a better understanding of Eastern European communist regimes.


Sacred Places-Emerging Spaces. Religious Pluralism in the post-Soviet Caucasus

Tsypylma Darieva, Florian Mühlfried, and Kevin Tuite

Berghahn Books

Sacred Places-Emerging Spaces. Religious Pluralism in the post-Soviet Caucasus (Berghahn Books, 2018), edited by Tsypylma Darieva, Florian Mühlfried, and Kevin Tuite in February 2018. Though long associated with violence, the Caucasus is a region rich with religious conviviality. Based on fresh ethnographies in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation, Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces discusses vanishing and emerging sacred places in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious post-Soviet Caucasus. In exploring the effects of de-secularization, growing institutional control over hybrid sacred sites, and attempts to review social boundaries between the religious and the secular, this collection of essays gives way to an emergent Caucasus viewed from the ground up: dynamic, continually remaking itself, within shifting and indefinite frontiers.


Russian Science Fiction Literature and Cinema: Critical Reader

Anindita Banerjee

Academic Studies Press

Anindita Banerjee edited and introduces Russian Science Fiction Literature and Cinema: Critical Reader (Academic Studies Press, 2018). Since the dawn of the Space Age, when the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite and sent the first human into the cosmos, science fiction literature and cinema from Russia has fascinated fans, critics, and scholars from around the world. Informed perspectives on the long and rich tradition of Russian science fiction, however, are hard to come by in accessible form. This critical reader aims to provide such a resource for students, scholars, and the merely curious who wish to delve deeper into landmarks of the genre, discover lesser-known gems in the process, and understand why science fiction came to play such a crucial role in Russian society, politics, technology, and culture for more than a century.

Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi

Dan Healey

Bloomsbury Publishing

Dan Healey’s book Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017) explores the roots of homophobia in the Gulag, the rise of a visible queer presence in Soviet cities after Stalin, and the political battles since 1991 over whether queer Russians can be valued citizens. Examining nine “case histories” that reveal the origins and evolution of homophobic attitudes in modern Russia, Healey asserts that the nation’s contemporary homophobia can be traced back to the particular experience of revolution, political terror and war its people endured after 1917. Healey also reflects on the problems of “‘memorylessness” for Russia’s LGBT movement more broadly and the obstacles it faces in trying to write its own history. The book makes use of little-known source material — much of it untranslated archival documentation — to explore how Russians have viewed same-sex love and gender transgression since the mid-20th century.


The River of Time: Time-Space, History, and Language in Avant-Garde, Modernist, and Contemporary Russia and Anglo-American Poetry

Ian Probstein

Academic Studies Press

Ian Probstein’s The River of Time: Time-Space, History, and Language in Avant-Garde, Modernist, and Contemporary Russian and Anglo-American Poetry (Academic Studies Press, 2017) explores the changing perception of time and space in avant-garde, modernist, and contemporary poetry. Probstein characterizes the works of modern Russian, French, and Anglo-American poets based on their attitudes towards reality, time, space, and history revealed in their poetics. The author compares the work of major Russian innovative poets Osip Mandelstam, Velimir Khlebnikov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Joseph Brodsky to W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and, in spite of the postmodernist “estrangement” of reality, the author proves that similar traces can be found in the work of contemporary American poets John Ashbery and Charles Bernstein. Both affinities and drastic differences are revealed in the poets’ attitudes towards time-space, reality, and history.

If the Walls Could Speak: Inside a Women’s Prison in Communist Poland

Anna Müller

Oxford University Press

Anna Müller published If the Walls Could Speak: Inside a Women’s Prison in Communist Poland, (Oxford University Press, 2017), which unearths the prison lives of women during interwar Poland and their lives in the post-war period through their autobiographical writings, interrogation protocols, cell spy reports, and original interviews with former political prisoners. Her interviewees narrated their own versions of what happened during their arrests, interrogations, and confinement. They also explored their emotions: surprise, confusion, fear, and anger. Although their imprisonments interrupted their lives, separated them from families, and caused much suffering, the women reflected on how they refashioned themselves during their interrogations; applied their senses to orient themselves in the prison space; and used their bodies to gain control over themselves and as a means to exercise pressure on the authorities. The creativity that they displayed individually and collectively in their cells helped them rebuild a semblance of normal life inside prison walls despite the abuses inflicted by interrogation officers and guards.


In From Stalin to Mao: Albania and the Socialist World

Elidor Mëhilli

Cornell University Press

Elidor Mëhilli published In From Stalin to Mao: Albania and the Socialist World (Cornell University Press, 2017), a history of communist Albania that illuminates one of Europe’s longest but least understood dictatorships. After a decade of borrowing from the Soviet Union—advisers, factories, school textbooks, urban plans—Albania’s party clique switched allegiance to China during the 1960s Sino-Soviet conflict, seeing in Mao’s patronage an opportunity to keep Stalinism alive. Mëhilli shows how socialism created a shared transnational material and mental culture—still evident today around Eurasia—but it failed to generate political unity. Combining an analysis of ideology with a sharp sense of geopolitics, he brings into view Fascist Italy’s involvement in Albania, then explores the country’s Eastern bloc entanglements, the profound fascination with the Soviets, and the contradictions of the dramatic anti-Soviet turn. Illustrated with never-before-published photographs, From Stalin to Mao draws on a wealth of Albanian, Russian, German, British, Italian, Czech, and American archival sources, in addition to fiction, interviews, and memoirs. Mëhilli’s perspective on the Soviet-Chinese battle for the soul of revolution in the global Cold War also illuminates the paradoxes of state planning in the twentieth century.

Connecting across Languages and Cultures: A Heritage Language Festschrift in Honor of Olga Kagan

Susan Bauckus and Susan Kresin

Slavica Publishers

Susan Bauckus and Susan Kresin edited Connecting across Languages and Cultures: A Heritage Language Festschrift in Honor of Olga Kagan (Slavica Publishers, 2018), which will be published later this year. As the founding director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center and the Heritage Language Journal, Olga Kagan has been a core figure in the development of the field of heritage language studies. By promoting both the creation of a foundational research base and specialized pedagogical training, she has played a seminal role in establishing effective methodologies that address the specific needs of heritage language learners. Connecting across Languages and Cultures seeks to pay homage to her work by bringing together heritage language specialists who work in various domains and with various languages. Following her model, the editors aim to create bridges between pedagogical and linguistic research, and between researchers and practitioners.


A/Z: Essays in Honor of Alexander Zholkovsky

Dennis Ioffe, Marcus Levitt, Joe Peschio, and Igor Pilshchikov

Academic Studies Press

Dennis Ioffe, Marcus Levitt, Joe Peschio, and Igor Pilshchikov, edited a bilingual collection in honor of Alexander Zholkovsky, A/Z: Essays in Honor of Alexander Zholkovsky (Academic Studies Press, 2018), which brings together new work from forty-four leading scholars in nine countries. Like Zholkovsky’s oeuvre, this volume covers a broad range of subjects and employs an array of approaches. Topics range from Russian syntax to Peter the Great, literary theory, and Russian film. The articles are rooted in computational analysis, literary memoir, formal analysis, cultural history, and a host of other methodological and discursive modes. This collection provides not only a fitting tribute to one of the most fascinating figures of Russian letters, but also a remarkable picture of the shape of Russian literary scholarship today.


Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe

Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe

Olena Nikolayenko

Cambridge University Press

Olena Nikolayenko published Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press) in October 2017. At the turn of the twenty-first century, a tide of nonviolent youth movements swept across Eastern Europe. Young people demanded political change in repressive political regimes that emerged since the collapse of communism. The Serbian social movement Otpor (Resistance) played a vital role in bringing down Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Inspired by Otpor’s example, similar challenger organizations were formed in the former Soviet republics. The youth movements, however, differed in the extent to which they could mobilize citizens against the authoritarian governments on the eve of national elections. This book argues that the movement’s tactics and state countermoves explain, in no small degree, divergent social movement outcomes. Using data from semi-structured interviews with former movement participants, public opinion polls, government publications, non-governmental organization (NGO) reports, and newspaper articles, the book traces state-movement interactions in five post-communist societies: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Serbia, and Ukraine.


Cover for Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial

Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial: Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine

Lynne Viola

Oxford University Press

Lynne Viola recently published Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial: Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine (Oxford University Press, 2017). Based on new archival documents from the Ukrainian secret police archives, Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial sheds new light on those who carried out the Great Terror. While we now about the experience of victims of the Great Terror, we know almost nothing about the lower- and middle-level Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del (NKVD), or secret police, cadres who carried out Stalin’s murderous policies. Unlike the postwar public trials of Nazi war criminals, NKVD operatives were tried secretly. Almost one thousand NKVD officers were prosecuted by Soviet military courts. Scapegoated for violating Soviet law, they were charged with multiple counts of fabrication of evidence, falsification of interrogation protocols, use of torture to secure “confessions,” and murder during pre-trial detention of “suspects” – and many were sentenced to execution themselves. The documentation generated by these trials provides a glimpse behind the curtains of the terror. It depicts how the terror was implemented, what happened, and who was responsible, demonstrating that orders from above worked in conjunction with a series of situational factors to shape the contours of state violence.


Seeing Muscovy Anew: Politics-Institutions-Culture: Essays in Honor of Nancy Shields Kollman

Michael S. Flier, Valerie Kivelson, Erika Monahan, and Daniel Rowland

Slavica Publishers

Seeing Muscovy Anew: Politics-Institutions-Culture: Essays in Honor of Nancy Shields Kollmann, edited by Michael S. Flier, Valerie Kivelson, Erika Monahan, and Daniel Rowland, was published by Slavica Publishers in 2017. Seeing Muscovy Anew brings together nineteen essays from specialists in medieval and early modern Russian and Ukrainian studies to honor the inspiring scholarship of Nancy Shields Kollmann. The contributions are grouped into thematic categories that reflect Kollmann’s interests: the politics of rule, conflicted belief, testimony of the visual, institutions outside the box, and empire and outer spaces. This collection will be an invaluable resource for scholars concerned with the dynamics of Muscovite politics and culture broadly construed.


Revolution Every Day

Robert Bird, Christina Kiaer, and Zachary Cahill

Smart Museum of Art

The catalogue for the exhibition Revolution Every Day at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, edited by the exhibition’s curators Robert Bird, Christina Kiaer and Zachary Cahill, is now available. Inspired by the tradition of Soviet tear-off calendars, this small-format and inexpensive book has 365 calendar pages with daily entries featuring images and texts drawn from primary and archival source materials that explore the historical, artistic and experiential dimensions of revolution. It presents multiple short essays and other original contributions from the curators, artists and scholars, accompanied by full color illustrations of all of the works in the exhibition and many other images.


 American Studies in the USSR: People’s Diplomacy in the Cold War

Sergei I. Zhuk

Rowman Littefield Publishing

Nikolai Bolkhovitinov and American Studies in the USSR: People’s Diplomacy in the Cold War, by Sergei I. Zhuk, was published by Rowman Littlefield in July 2017.  This study is an intellectual biography of Nikolai Bolkhovitinov (1930–2008), a prominent Soviet historian who was a pioneering scholar of US history and US–Russian relations. Alongside the personal history of Bolkhovitinov, this study examines the broader social, cultural, and intellectual developments within the Americanist scholarly community in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Using archival documents, studies by Russian and Ukrainian Americanists, various periodicals, personal correspondence, diaries, and more than one hundred interviews, the book demonstrates how concepts, genealogies, and images of modernity shaped a national selfperception of the intellectual elites in both nations during the Cold War.


Liquid Nationalism and State Partitions in Europe

Liquid Nationalism and State Partitions in Europe

Stefano Bianchini

Edward Elgar Publishing

In September 2017, Edward Elgar published Liquid Nationalism and State Partitions in Europe by Stefano Bianchini. This book offers explores state partitions and the history of nationalism in Europe from the Enlightenment onwards. Bianchini compares traditional national democratic development to the growing transnational demands of representation with a focus on transnational mobility and empathy versus national localism against the EU project. In an era of multilevel identity and global economic and asylum seeker crises, nationalism is becoming more liquid, which in turn affects state partitions and the nature of national democracy in Europe. The result may be exposure to the risk of new wars, rather than enhanced guarantees of peace. Included is a rare and insightful comparative assessment of the lessons not learned from the Yugoslav demise, the Czechoslovak partition, the Baltic trajectory from USSR incorporation to EU integration, and the impact of ethnicity in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Beyond their peculiarities, these examples are used to critically assess the growing liquidity of national identities and their relationship with democracy. Those seeking a deeper understanding of the European partition experience will find this a valuable resource.


Jewish Intellectuals of the Russian Empire: from the 19th to the early 20th Century

Brian Horowitz

Eastview Press

Eastview Press recently published a Russian version of Jewish Intellectuals of the Russian Empire: from the 19th to the Early 20th Century, by Brian Horowitz. In this book, Horowitz gathered biographical articles and research on the most significant figures in Russian Judaism during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: lawyers and historians, poets and writers, nationalists and philosophers. He writes not only of their influence on the development of Jewish consciousness, but also about their contributions to the social history of Russia. The author comprehensively examines the theoretical and practical aspects of cultural life, as well as the epoch’s contemporary problems of integration, of Russification or assimilation of Jews, of professional cooperation (or confrontation) with institutions and colleagues/fellow intellectuals beyond the confines of the diaspora. The book includes a foreword by William Brumfield.



The Irony of the Ideal: Paradoxes of Russian Literature

Mikhail Epstein

Academic Studies Press

Mikhail Epstein’s volume The Irony of the Ideal: Paradoxes of Russian Literature (Academic Studies Press, 2017) explores the major paradoxes of Russian literature as a manifestation of both tragic and ironic contradictions of human nature and national character. Russian literature, from Pushkin and Gogol to Chekhov, Nabokov and to postmodernist writers, is studied as a holistic text that plays on the reversal of such opposites as being and nothingness, reality and simulation, and rationality and absurdity. The glorification of Mother Russia exposes her character as a witch; a little man is transformed into a Christ figure; consistent rationality betrays its inherent madness; and extreme verbosity produces the effect of silence. The greatest Russian writers were masters of spiritual self–denial and artistic self–destruction, which explains many paradoxes and unpredictable twists of Russian history up to our time.


Information and Empire: Mechanisms of Communication in Russia, 1600-1850

Information and Empire: Mechanisms of Communication in Russia, 1600-1850

Simon Franklin and Katherine Bowers

Open Book Publishers

Information and Empire: Mechanisms of Communication in Russia, 1600-1850, edited by Simon Franklin and Katherine Bowers, was published by Open Book Publishers. Free to read, this new title casts a fresh look at Russia’s communication networks in the early modern period. On the anniversary of the Russian Revolution, when the country’s history and communication practices are being interrogated as never before, Information and Empire brings together scholars who take us back to the origins of Russia’s systems of information. They unveil the role played by State, Church, and civic society in the country’s modes and patterns of communication. From the mid-sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century Russia was transformed from a moderate-sized, land-locked principality into the largest empire on earth. Communication networks shaped and reflected this extraordinary change: the postal service and the gathering and circulation of news are examined alongside the growth of a bureaucratic apparatus that informed the government about its country and its people. The inscription of space is considered from the point of view of mapping and the changing public “graphosphere” of signs and monuments. The collection breaks new ground in its approach to communication and information as a field of study in Russia. It is an accessible contribution to pre-modern information studies, taking as its basis a country whose history often serves to challenge habitual Western models of development.


The Global West: Connections Identities 3 Edition 9781337401371

The Global West: Connections and Identities

Maria Bucur, Frank Kidner, Ralph Mathiesan, Sally McKee, and Theodore Weeks


The Global West: Connections and Identities (Cengage, 2017) was co-authored by Maria Bucur, Frank Kidner, Ralph Mathiesen, Sally McKee, and Theodore Weeks. The Global West isn’t a traditional Western Civ textbook. Instead, it paints a globally-connected portrait of the West through the lenses of politics, religion, social history, biography, and cultural identity. The book excels at teaching students the Who, What, and How of the subject: how to read primary documents, compare and contrast Western and non-Western sources and draw connections across time and geographic regions. Western Civilization is the most difficult history course for many students. With a clear message that helps them grasp the origins of today’s interconnected world, The Global West aims to change that.


Media of Gendering Modernism

Gendering Modernism. A Historical Reappraisal of the Canon

Maria Bucur

Bloomsbury Publishing

Maria Bucur recently published Gendering Modernism. A Historical Reappraisal of the Canon (Bloomsbury, 2017), which offers a critical reappraisal of the modernist movement, asking how gender norms of the time shaped the rebellion of the self-avowed modernists and examining the impact of radical gender reformers on modernism. Focusing primarily on the connections between North American and European modernists, Bucur explains why it is imperative that we consider the gender angles of modernism as a way to understand the legacies of the movement. She provides an overview of the scholarship on modernism and an analysis of how definitions of modernism have evolved with that scholarship. Interweaving case studies from before the Great War to the interwar period – looking at individual modernists – she covers art, literature, theatre and film, whilst also demonstrating how modernism manifested itself in the major social-political and cultural shifts of the 20th century, including feminism, psychology, sexology, eugenics, nudism, anarchism, communism and fascism. This investigation of modernism expands our definition of the movement, integrating gender analysis and thereby opening up new lines of enquiry.


Cover for The Framing of Sacred Space

The Framing of Sacred Space: The Canopy and the Byzantine Church

Jelena Bogdanović

Oxford University Press

Jelena Bogdanović’s book, The Framing of Sacred Space: The Canopy and the Byzantine Church, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.Most studies of church architecture in the world of Slavia Orthodoxa and Byzantium have said little about these micro-architectural structures, concentrating instead on discussion of the plan and architecture of the buildings in which they were contained. And the theological, philosophical and ritual aspects of what they represented has then naturally also received too little attention. One of the important emphases in the book is how the canopied installations relate not just to scripture but to liturgical performance, a subject that, as the author points out, is a focus of the prolific writing of Aleksei Lidov about sacred space under the term hierotopy. Her book argues for a fundamentally new approach to understanding the development of Byzantine architecture. Canopies in both their physical and abstract senses in effect became modular elements in the way the buildings were conceived and constructed.


Found Life

Found Life: Poems, Stories, Comics, a Play, and an Interview

Linor Goralik 

Columbia University Press

Found Life: Poems, Stories, Comics, a Play, and an Interview, authored by Linor Goralik and edited by Ainsley Morse, Maria Vassileva, and Maya Vinokour, was published by Columbia University Press in November 2017. One of the first Russian writers to make a name for herself on the Internet, Goralik writes short works that conjure the absurd in all its forms, reflecting post-Soviet life and daily universals. Her mastery of the minimal, including experiments in micro-prose, is on full display in this collection of poems, stories, comics, a play, and an interview, here translated for the first time.


Vienna Galicia Studies

Das Potenzial der Peripherie Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895) und Galizien

Stephanie Weismann

Vienna University Press

Stephanie Weismann authored Das Potenzial der Peripherie Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836–1895) und Galizien, which was published by Vienna University Press in late 2017.  The volume dedicates itself to the Austrian poet and writer and involuntary namesake of the condition of masochism: Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836–1895) and his Galician references. The author’s goal is to free Sacher-Masoch from the shadow of Slavic obsessions and mythifications. In doing so, she pursues Galicia’s market strategy and socio-political potential for Sacher-Masoch, also allowing the Galician side – including Poland and Ukraine – to have its say. In addition, Weismann uses new sources and old statements to examine Sacher-Masoch’s connections to Galicia and the Galician-specific focuses of his literary work, aside from eastern steppe romanticism.


Cherepovets: Architectural Heritage of the Cherepovets Region

William Brumfield

Tri Quadrata Publishing House

Cherepovets: Architectural Heritage of the Cherepovets Region, by William Brumfield (Tri Quadrata Publishing House) is the seventh volume in a series devoted to the architectural heritage of the Vologda territory. The text begins by examining prerevolutionary Cherepovets, a largely merchant environment with a commercial and residential district. The book comments on Soviet-era architectural projects developed in conjunction with the creation of one of Russia’s largest steel mills. Additionally, the text surveys the architectural heritage of the region’s surrounding villages. Of special significance are parish churches, including wooden churches dating to the late seventeenth-century and masonry churches, many of which were severely damaged during the Soviet period and now being restored for active parish use. The book’s photographs comprise a selection of the author’s photographs, beginning with exterior and interior views of the city’s churches. The photographic section also contains the most comprehensive published survey of the prerevolutionary commercial district, as well as Soviet developments from the 1950s and early 1960s. The second part of the photographic section focuses on the architectural heritage of region’s villages, with detailed attention to religious architecture.


The Village: Russian Impressions (1919)

Ernest Poole


The Village: Russian Impressions (1919), by Ernest Poole, was edited and annotated by Norman E. Saul and published by Slavica as part of the Americans in Revolutionary Russia series. Chicago native, political activist, and journalist Ernest Poole (1880-1950) provides a distinctive view of the Bolshevik Revolution in The Village: Russian Impressions. This work is unusual in the library of American accounts of revolutionary Russia because he addresses the world of the Russian peasants, far away from the revolutionary centers of Petrograd and Moscow. He associated with a Russian priest, a doctor, a teacher, and a mill owner who offer a perspective not normally seen in this history of the Bolshevik Revolution. Poole’s own views and those of the people he visited provide a fascinating account of the revolutionary era that helps readers a century later understand the complexity of this fascinating time.


Putin's Olympics: The Sochi Games and the Evolution of Twenty-First Century Russia (Hardback) book cover

Putin’s Olympics: The Sochi Games and the Evolutino of Twenty-First Century Russia

Robert W. Orttung and Sufian N. Zhemukhov


Robert W. Orttung and Sufian N. Zhemukhov’s Putin’s Olympics: The Sochi Games and the Evolution of Twenty-First Century Russia, was published by Routledge in 2017. President Vladimir Putin’s Olympic venture put the workings of contemporary Russia on vivid display. The Sochi Olympics were designed to symbolize Russia’s return to great power status, but subsequent aggression against Ukraine, largescale corruption, and the doping scandal have become the true legacies of the games. Putin’s style of governance through megaprojects has had deleterious consequences for the country’s development. Placing the Sochi games into the larger context of Olympic history, this book examines the political, security, business, societal, and international consequences of Putin’s political system.


Издательский дом "Новое литературное обозрение"

Proektivnyi slovar’ gumanitarnykh nauk

Mikhail Epstein

Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie

Mikhail Epstein wrote Proektivnyi slovar’ gumanitarnykh nauk (The Projective Dictionary of Humanistic Disciplines), published by Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2017. The Dictionary offers a systematic description of concepts and terms in such fields of the humanities as philosophy, literary, cultural and religious studies, and linguistics, as well as humanistic approaches to nature, history, society, and technology. The author’s approach enables a significant broadening of the conceptual system of the humanities: the linkage of various disciplines with one another, and with the creative practices arising on their theoretical bases. The dictionary expands the constructive potential of the humanities, revealing their capacity to generate new intellectual, literary, and artistic movements, cultural institutions, and even spiritual communities. The book aims to develop innovative and imaginative ways of thinking on the part of researchers and students. It is addressed to all those interested in new perspectives on the humanities, as both the science and the art of human self-awareness and self-transformation.


Twentieth-Century Russian Poetry: Reinventing the Canon

Twentieth-Century Russian Poetry

Katherine Hodgson, Joanne Shelton, and Alexandra Smith

Open Book Publishers

Twentieth-Century Russian Poetry, edited by Katherine Hodgson, Joanne Shelton and Alexandra Smith, was published by Open Book Publishers. This work charts Russia’s shifting relationship to its own literature in the face of social upheaval. It also explores changes in the canon of twentieth-century Russian poetry from the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union to the end of Putin’s second term as Russian President in 2008. In the wake of major institutional changes, such as the abolition of state censorship and the introduction of a market economy, the path was opened for reinterpretation of the lives and works of twentieth-century poets. Contributors explore the multiple factors involved in reshaping the canon, understood as a body of literary texts given exemplary or representative status as “classics”. Canon revision further reflects contemporary concerns with the destabilizing effects of emigration and the internet, and the desire to reconnect with pre-revolutionary cultural traditions through a narrative of the past which foregrounds continuity. Despite persistent nostalgic yearnings in some quarters for a single canon, the current situation is defiantly diverse, balancing both the Soviet literary tradition and the parallel contemporaneous literary worlds of the emigration and the underground.


Cover of National Matters by Edited by Geneviève Zubrzycki

National Matters: Materiality, Culture, and Nationalism

Genevieve Zubrzycki

Stanford University Press

National Matters: Materiality, Culture, and Nationalism, edited by Genevieve Zubrzycki, and published by Stanford University Press in May 2017, investigates the role of material culture and materiality in defining and solidifying national identity in everyday practice. Examining a range of “things”—from art objects, clay fragments, and broken stones to clothing, food, and urban green space—the contributors to this volume explore the importance of matter in making the nation appear real, close, and important to its citizens. Through a series of case studies, this volume analyzes three key aspects of materiality and nationalism: the relationship between objects and national institutions, the way commonplace objects can shape a national ethos, and the everyday practices that allow individuals to enact and embody the nation. In giving attention to the agency of things and the capacities they afford or foreclose, these cases also challenge the methodological orthodoxies of cultural sociology. Taken together, these essays highlight how the “material turn” in the social sciences pushes conventional understanding of state and nation-making processes in new directions.


A Minor Apocalypse

 A Minor Apocalypse: Warsaw during the First World War

Robert Blobaum

Cornell University Press

Robert Blobaum recently authored A Minor Apocalypse: Warsaw during the First World War (Cornell University Press, 2017), in which he explores the social and cultural history of Warsaw’s “forgotten war” of 1914-1918. Beginning with the bank panic that accompanied the outbreak of the Great War in an exposed frontline city, Blobaum guides his readers through spy scares, bombardments, mass migratory movements, and the Russian evacuation of 1915. Industrial collapse in the war’s first year marked only the opening phase of Warsaw’s wartime economic crisis, which grew steadily worse during the German occupation. Blobaum shows how conflicts over distribution of and access to scarce resources led to social divisions, a sharp deterioration in Polish-Jewish relations, and general distrust in public institutions. Wartime conditions also brought women prominently into the public sphere, whether as angry and unemployed consumers in the city’s streets or in the front lines of those institutions providing public assistance. New modes of popular entertainment, including cinema, cabaret and variety shows challenged elite notions of propriety. Blobaum presents these themes in comparison not only with other major European cities during the Great War, but also with Warsaw under Nazi German occupation a generation later.


Lost in the Shadow of the Word: Space, Time, and Freedom in Interwar Eastern Europe

Benjamin Paloff

Northwestern University Press

Lost in the Shadow of the Word: Space, Time, and Freedom in Interwar Eastern Europe, written by Benjamin Paloff, was published by Northwestern University Press in December 2016. Scholars of modernism have long addressed how literature, painting, and music reflected the radical reconceptualization of space and time in the early twentieth century—a veritable revolution in both physics and philosophy that has been characterized as precipitating an “epistemic trauma” around the world. In this wide-ranging study, Benjamin Paloff contends that writers in Central and Eastern Europe felt this impact quite distinctly from their counterparts in Western Europe. For the latter, the destabilization of traditional notions of space and time inspired works that saw in it a new kind of freedom. However, for many Central and Eastern European authors, who were writing from within public discourses about how to construct new social realities, the need for escape met the realization that there was both nowhere to escape to and no stable delineation of what to escape from. In reading the prose and poetry of Czech, Polish, and Russian writers, Paloff imbues the term “Kafkaesque” with a complexity so far missing from our understanding of this moment in literary history.



For the Good of the Nation: Institutions for Jewish Children in Interwar Poland. A Documentary History

Sean Martin

Academic Studies Press

For the Good of the Nation: Institutions for Jewish Children in Interwar Poland. A Documentary History, edited and translated by Sean Martin, was published by Academic Studies Press in July 2017. Tens of thousands of Jewish children were orphaned during World War I and in the subsequent years of conflict. In response, Jewish leaders in Poland established CENTOS, the Central Union of Associations for Jewish Orphan Care. Through CENTOS, social workers and other professionals cooperated to offer Jewish children the preparation necessary to survive during a turbulent period. They established new organizations that functioned beyond the authority of the recognized Jewish community and with the support of Polish officials. The work of CENTOS exemplifies the community’s goal to build a Jewish future. Translations of sources from CENTOS publications in Yiddish and Polish describe the lives of the orphaned Jewish children and the tireless efforts of adults to better the children’s circumstances.


Art and Politics under Modern Dictatorships: A Comparison of Chile and Romania

Caterina Preda

Palgrave Macmillan

Caterina Preda is the author of Art and Politics under Modern Dictatorships: A Comparison of Chile and Romania (Palgrave 2017). This book analyzes the relationship between art and politics in two contrasting modern dictatorships. Through a detailed look at the Chilean and Romanian dictatorships, it compares the different ways in which political regimes convey their view of the world through artistic means. It examines how artists help convey a new understanding of politics and political action under repressive regimes that are inspired by either communism or anti-communism. This book demonstrates how artistic renderings of life during dictatorships are similar in more than one respect, and how art can help better grasp the similarities of these regimes. It reveals how dictatorships use art to symbolically construct their power, which artists can consolidate by lending their support, or deconstruct through different forms of artistic resistance.


Acts of Logos in Pushkin and Gogol: Petersburg Texts and Subtexts

Kathleen Scollins

Academic Studies Press

Acts of Logos examines the 19th-century foundations of St. Petersburg’s famous literary heritage, with a focus on the unifying principle of material animation. Ever since Pushkin’s 1833 poem The Bronze Horseman, the city has provided a literary space in which inanimate things (noses, playing cards, overcoats) spring to life. Scollins’s book addresses this issue of animacy by analyzing the powerful function of language in the city’s literature, from its mythic origins—in which the tsar Peter appears as a God-like creator, calling his city forth from nothing—to the earliest texts of its literary tradition, when poets took up the pen to commit their own acts of verbal creation. Her interpretations shed new light on the canonical works of Pushkin and Gogol, exposing the performative and subversive possibilities of the poetic word in the Petersburg tradition, and revealing an emerging literary culture capable of challenging the official narratives of the state.



Geoff Cebula

Welcome to Bellwether College! Behind the austere buildings and carefully manicured lawns, a budgetary crisis strikes fear into the hearts of all contingent faculty. As the administration plots further cuts, adjunct professor Elena Malatesta fears that her position will be next under the knife. Perhaps the budget shouldn’t be her main concern, however, as the faculty in her department have started disappearing under suspicious circumstances. Could someone be murdering contingent faculty? But who would do this? And to what end? Or has Elena simply watched one too many murder mysteries?


Between Truth and Time: A History of Soviet Central Television

Christine Elaine Evans

Yale University Press

In the first full-length study of Soviet Central Television to draw extensively on archival sources, interviews, and television recordings, Evans challenges the idea that Soviet mass culture in the Brezhnev era was dull and formulaic. Tracing the emergence of play, conflict, and competition on Soviet news programs, serial films, and variety and game shows, Evans shows that Soviet Central Television’s most popular shows were experimental and creative, laying the groundwork for Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms and the post-Soviet media system