Thanks to generous funding from the GSAS Gochman Dean's Fund, the Slavic Department is able to invite four of our distinguished alumni to return to campus for a special lecture series in 2016-17. Each speaker will present a lecture on his or her current research. Each will also meet with graduate students in a more informal setting to discuss current research trends in Slavic studies, and to share professional and research experiences.
Upcoming Gochman Lectures
There is nothing natural about time, as self-evident it may seem to us. Ways to measure, organize, and celebrate the course of time reach deep into the cultural make-up of a country. Calendar reforms always elicit complex and consequential representations about cultural and national identity. And this not only in Russia. This talk will analyze the rationale behind the various projects of calendar reform Russia has considered or undertaken since Peter the Great, who decided in 1700 to count the years from the birth of Christ and move the beginning of the year to January 1, yet without adopting the Gregorian calendar. These reforms often hinged on specific ideas about Russia’s presumed and desired position in the world and about what makes Russia unique, even when they marshaled “scientific” arguments. They also presumed various models of the role of religion in society. This talk will thus shed light on the political and cultural ramifications of calendar reform and evaluate the extent to which the calendar has contributed to Russian exceptionalism.
Andreas Schönle is a Professor of Russian at the Queen Mary College, University of London. He received his doctorate from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University in 1995.
Past Gochman Lectures
April 14, 2016
"Characters without Biography: the "New Prose" of Lydia Ginzburg and Varlam Shalamov.”
Emily Van Buskirk, is an Associate Professor of Russian and Czech literature at Rutgers University. She received her doctorate from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University in 2008.
March 24, 2016
"Scenes of Encounter: The "Soviet Jew" in Fiction by Russian Jewish Writers in America"
Sasha Senderovich, is an Assistant Professor of Russian Studies and Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his doctorate from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University in 2010.
Julia Vaingurt, Associate Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago, received her doctorate from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University in 2005.
October 22, 2015
"Translation as Interpretation: From Nabokov’s Letters to Véra to the Metaphysical Wordplay in 'Ultima Thule'"
Olga Voronina, Assistant Professor of Russian at Bard College, received her doctorate from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University in 2010.
March 10, 2015
“Criminal Performance in Revolutionary and Post-Soviet Russia”
Julia Bekman Chadaga, Assistant Professor of Russian Studies at Macalester College, received her doctorate from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University in 2003.
December 9, 2014
"Genre Trouble: Zapiski, Parabiography, and Facticity in the Literature of Concentration Camps and Besieged Cities"
Benjamin Paloff, Assistant Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, received his Ph.D. from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University in 2007.
September 25, 2014
Edyta Bojanowska, Associate Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature and Director of the Russian and East European Program at Rutgers University.
The subject of Edyta's presentation was The Frigate Pallada (1859), Ivan Goncharov's travelogue about Africa and Asia, which is based on his voyage with the official Russian mission to "open up" Japan in 1852-54. Little known today, the book was a nineteenth-century bestseller which introduced Russian readers to the wider colonial world and located their own empire in it. Edyta talked about Goncharov's visits to the ports of south-east Asia. In particular, she focused on his prescient commentary on the rise of what we today know as globalization, which he connects to the spread of modern imperialism and global trade.
Edyta received her Ph.D. from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University in 2002.