Upcoming Events At This Venue
March 8, 2018
Dmitry Shostakovich’s long and impressive career in film scoring from 1929 to 1971 uniquely positioned him to participate in the cultural politics of cinema, and allow him a space where he could hone his skill as a film composer. As the first designated “film composer” in 1929, he built a career in film scoring that matured during high Stalinism and beyond. In this time, in collaboration with directors such as Grigory Kozintsev, Sergey Gerasimov, the Vasilyev brothers and Aleksandr Dovzhenko, to name a few, he composed scores that had their stylistic basis in his experimental practices of earlier periods that were wedded with outwardly socialist realist film narratives. This created what is called a “mainstream” scoring practice, one which ultimately would be heard as a socialist realist. In this seminar, Joan Titus focuses on Shostakovich’s music to films that date from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s, while discussing the concept of scoring for a Soviet “mainstream” cinema.
Titus is an associate professor of musicology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
April 17, 2018
The migrant crisis in 2015 has caught most European countries unprepared and solicited diverse responses from the “old” and “new” Europe. Central European countries responded with almost hysterical fear and rejection of the possibility to settle some of the incoming refugees on their territory. This reaction has historical and cultural roots upon which the very conception of citizenship is defined and interpreted. It is connected to an exclusivist idea of a state-forming nation in this region, which already perceives the “old” ethnic minorities as symbolically less equal citizens to the ethnic Slovaks, Hungarians or Poles. Any “Other” is relegated to a more distant periphery of perceived belonging. This tendency is underscored by the relation of the Central European regimes to their own past — lack of accountability and responsibility for the fascist and communist past and tradition of “exporting” guilt West and East — so much so that the region has earned a label of a “memory hole of Europe.” This talk will examine how ideas about who belongs and perceived historical grievances impact the way citizenship policies are designed and implemented today.
Dagmar Kusá is an assistant professor at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA).
April 26, 2018
Unlike Peter I and Catherine II, Empress Elizabeth is not known for her imperial strategy. Yet, her reign witnessed important developments in all of the empire’s border regions, from the annexation of a piece of Finland as a result of the Treaty of Åbo (1743) to the encounter with the Bashkirs, linked to intensive industrial development in the Urals. This paper will attempt an overview of Elizabeth’s empire, both from the perspective of key issues in the border areas and from that of imperial policy. Crucial processes and decisions include the integration of the Baltic region, the reaffirmation of the Ukrainian hetmanate and establishment of New Serbia,and the economically motivated southward push in the Urals. What were the policy perspectives of statesmen and Elizabeth’s primary advisers, Alexei Bestuzhev-Riumin and Petr Shuvalov? Sources include imperial legislation, publications by officials on the ground and reports of scientific travelers.
Catherine Evtuhov is a professor of history at Columbia University. She specializes in the history of Russia, primarily in the imperial period.