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Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema Journal Announces Article Competition, Submission Deadline: April 1

The following message comes to CEERES from the editors of the Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema Journal:

Postgraduate/Graduate Article Competition
for Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema (SRSC)

In 2011 Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema enters its fifth year of publication. It has established itself as a scholarly journal of high ranking, with a rigorous, anonymous double peer review system.

In the Soviet tradition of the grand public celebration of anniversaries, we have decided to mark the journal’s fifth birthday with an essay competition.

Articles on any aspect of Russian/Soviet cinema will be considered, with a maximum length of 6,000 words. These should be original works, and should not have been submitted for publication elsewhere. The texts should be sent to the Editor, at the address below, with the name of an academic supervisor (including email) who can be contacted to confirm that the author is a doctoral student at a Higher Education Institution. All submissions must be in English, and non-native speakers are advised to have their texts “styled” before submission.

Deadline for submission: 1 April 2011

The jury will be composed of the journal’s co-editors; they will assess the submissions anonymously. Results will be available by 1 September 2011. First Prize: £150, a year’s free subscription to the journal, and three Intellect books of your choice. The winning article will of course appear in SRSC, in volume 5.3 (2011).

A style sheet – and a free issue for download – can be found on Intellect’s website at,id=135/view,page=2/

I look forward to hearing from you,
Birgit Beumers
Editor, SRSC

Posted in: Calls for Papers and Upcoming Conferences, Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.)
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Exhibits on “Tolstoy’s Final Journey” and “Gulag Art” at Regenstein Library, Now through December

Please visit:

Regenstein Library Exhibit: “Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, 1828-1910; 1910: The Last Year, The Final Journey”

Novelist—Playwright—Philosopher—Religious Thinker—Educator…

A hundred display cases, a museum, in fact, would be needed to adequately illustrate the works of this literary giant and explore the vastness of his influence. His complete works have been published in 90 volumes (1928) and more recently, in a projected 100 volumes (2000-), while the books and articles written about him number in the tens of thousands. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his death, this exhibit, in its minuscule space, attempts only to provide a glimpse into the final year of a tempestuous soul, still searching at the very end for answers to questions he posed throughout his life: What is Art? Truth? God? Love? Death? His political influence was so great, so feared by the Tsarist government, that he was hounded and censored to the very end; his moral influence, giving rise to a worldwide movement, was so contrary to the church establishment that he was excommunicated. And in spite of all efforts by church and state to prevent the event of his death from vitalizing his millions of supporters among the young, the peasantry, and the intelligentsia, his death was turned into a feverish media event.

Much has been written of Tolstoy’s dramatic final days. His dream of a contemplative old age in the shadow of his 80 year-old sister Maria’s monastery walls at the Shamardino convent were short-lived, as he quickly left the monastery when his family discovered his whereabouts. Fleeing to the Caucasus by train, Tolstoy falls ill and dies in the stationmaster’s rooms at the Astapovo station. He was buried, according to his wishes, in the woods of his beloved estate Yasnaia Poliana, without religious ceremonies or addresses. In tribute, crowds of thousands gathered along the route of his journey home, singing the prayer for the dead “Memory Eternal”.

“In the middle of the night of October 28, 1910, Lev Tolstoy closed the door to the room where his wife of forty-eight years was sleeping, packed his things and left his home, never to return. At the age of eighty-two, the most famous living Russian embarked on a final journey that would become one of the great legends of the twentieth century. His disappearance immediately became a national sensation… As he lay dying of pneumonia, he became the hero of a national narrative of immense significance.” (William Nickell, The Death of Tolstoy, Russia on the Eve, Astapovo Station, 1910.)

The exhibit is located in the Second Floor Reading Room of Regenstein Library and will run through December 2010.

June Pachuta Farris
Bibliographer for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies

Please visit:

Gulag Art

an exhibit running through December 2010 in Regenstein Library

For both the professional artists and amateurs who were able to create artworks within the Gulag, the lack of oppressive Party mandates limiting content and stylistic expression would have meant greater freedom to experiment with style and content. However, due to the limited choice of subjects, materials and inadequate time to complete each work, artworks which were created by prisoners in the Gulag camps can be described as “journalistic” in style, more often than not depicting scenes or elements from the prisoner’s daily life — their immediate surroundings — such as landscapes, portraiture, domestic still-lives and interiors, as well as narrative scenes depicting human torture, the realities of imprisonment and harsh physical labour. Portrayals of landscapes with churches and graveyards point to the high mortality rates of the “revolutionary era” of the Stalinist Soviet Union.

In the Gulag, creativity took on many forms, from written memoirs (such as one work currently on display by Evfrosiniia Kersnovskaia), to arts and crafts, paintings and body art. Tattoos were the common marks of identification among the “real” criminals. Professional artists who found themselves in concentration camps were often “employed” by the criminals, drawing tattoos in exchange for food or “protection” from other inmates. The subject matter varied according to every criminal’s past. Tattoos were markings which spoke of the horrible deeds that every vor (“thief”) had performed or where they “did time” for their crimes. Among the most popular tattoos were the images of Soviet leaders. These were often applied to chest right over the heart or at the back of the head in the hope that guards were less likely to shoot a prisoner through the image of a great leader. Other tattoos were of explicitly sexual content, employing anti-Semitic and sexist imagery, swastikas, demonic characters, and allegorical motifs. There were also tattoos which marked a prisoner’s time in the Gulag, explicitly pointing to the horrific death tolls, listing the names of the camps through which the prisoner had survived and various propaganda slogans.

There are currently 290 Gulag museum initiatives on the territory of the former USSR, none of which appear to be state-sponsored. Information relevant to cultural undertakings of the Gulag camps is scarce and the number of visual artists who suffered imprisonment during the Stalinist reign is an elusive figure. Official records, written and revised numerous times, prove to be somewhat unreliable. The Memorial society is the largest organization which is currently working on preserving the memory of the Gulag through its digital database as well as the Virtual Museum. The Virtual Gulag Museum brings together research and archives from the former Soviet Union to record the existence of the Gulag and the suffering of its victims. Its collection of visual artifacts remains the most accessible and significant in the study of Gulag arts and crafts.

The exhibit is located in the Second Floor Reading Room of Regenstein Library and will run through December 2010.

Katya Pereyaslavska, Guest Curator
Master of Information Candidate, M.A. Fine Art History, University of Toronto

Posted in: CEERES Events/News, University of Chicago Events
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Call for Papers: Canadian Slavonic Papers Special Issue “Slavic Studies since the Collapse of the Soviet Union”

Special issue of Canadian Slavonic Papers:

“Twenty Years On:  Slavic Studies since the Collapse of the Soviet Union.”

In late 2011, Canadian Slavonic Papers will mark the twentieth anniversary of the collapse of the USSR with a special double issue devoted to exploring a variety of perspectives—political, historical, literary, linguistic, anthropological, religious studies, film studies, cultural studies, gender studies, folklore studies—on the collapse of the Soviet Union and post-Soviet transformations. Submissions in any of these areas are invited. The issue aims to be multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary.

Manuscripts may be in English or French. The normal peer-review process will apply.

Please consult the most recent issue of Canadian Slavonic Papers, inside back cover, for style guidelines. Authors should use the Library of Congress transliteration system and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (3rd. ed.) as a standard form for documentation. For more detailed information, please see the CSP Style Sheet:
Authors who submit papers must become members of the Canadian Association of Slavists (CAS).

•          Expression of intent to submit: 4 January 2011. Send e-mail to the Guest Editor, Prof. Heather Coleman:

•          Final Paper with abstract: 1 March 2011 (maximum 25 pages). Please submit manuscripts in three hard copies and by e-mail to:

Prof. Heather Coleman, Guest Editor

Canadian Slavonic Papers
Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
200 Arts Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T6G 2E6


Numéro thématique de la Revue canadienne des slavistes :

« Ça fait vingt ans… :  Études slaves depuis l’écroulement de l’Union soviétique. »

A la fin 2011, la Revue canadienne des slavistes marquera le vingtième anniversaire de la chute de l’Union soviétique avec un numéro double thématique consacré à l’exploration d’une variété de perspectives sur cet évènement et les transformations postsoviétiques.  Nous invitons des contributions provenant des domaines de sciences politiques, histoire, littérature, linguistique, anthropologie, études religieuses, études cinématographiques, études culturelles, études genre, ou études folkloriques.  Le numéro se veut pluridisciplinaire et interdisciplinaire.

Les manuscrits peuvent être en français ou en anglais.  Le processus normal d’évaluation par  les pairs s’appliquera.

Veuillez consulter le numéro le plus récent des Études canadiennes des slavistes où vous trouverez le guide pour la présentation des articles.  La transcription des langues slaves suit les normes de la translittération internationale utilisée par les slavistes et les références bibliographiques suivent le format du MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (3rd. ed.).  D’autres recommandations pour les auteurs sont disponibles sur notre site:

Tout contributeur doit devenir membre de l’Association canadienne des slavistes (ACS).

Pour toute question relative à ce numéro thématique, les auteures et auteurs sont invités à communiquer avec la rédactrice invitée, Prof. Heather Coleman:

Dates limites:
·       Expression d’intérêt à soumettre une contribution : le 4 janvier 2011.  Envoyez un courriel à Prof. Heather Coleman:

·       Manuscrit complet accompagné d’un résumé : le 1 mars 2011 (maximum de 25 pages).  Les manuscrits doivent être adressés en pièce jointe par courrier électronique et en version papier (3 copies) au secrétariat de
rédaction :

Prof. Heather Coleman, rédactrice invitée

Revue canadienne des slavistes

Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
200 Arts Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T6G 2E6

Posted in: Calls for Papers and Upcoming Conferences
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Call for Papers: “The Role of Political and Epistemological History in the Archaeology of the Former Soviet Union” Theoretical Archaeological Group, Deadline: February 25

Call for Papers

Theoretical Archaeology Group 2010
Friday, April 30th to Sunday, May 2nd, 2010
Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
Session: The Role of Political and Epistemological History in the Archaeology of the Former Soviet Union

Since the collapse of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) the number of foreign archaeologists working in the Balkans, Eastern-Europe, and Central Asia has steadily increased. Though the former ‘great unknown’ is now more accessible than ever, several issues have come to the fore as significant impediments to conducting collaborative or comparative research. Foremost among these are ontological issues associated with the prevalence of the culture-historical paradigm and ethnos theory as applied in Soviet archaeology and ethnography. The legacy of this research paradigm leaves current political and social boundaries as deterrents to comparative archaeological research.

In many parts of the FSU the prehistoric past is key to the development of contemporary boundaries and national pride. Archaeologists are well placed, however, to analyze the fluidity of such boundaries, doing research that must often cross shifting political, social, and linguistic borders in order to be comprehensive. Though typically archaeologists do not treat the politics of their field in publications, a keen awareness of contemporary and historical identity politics and archaeological practices is a necessary prerequisite to an understanding of material cultural assemblages.

Several themes deriving from the Soviet and post-Soviet culture-historical paradigm, along with destructive data collection and a general dismissal of theory are often critiqued by western scholars. Yet, these same scholars can be unfamiliar with the idiom and historiography of the archaeology of the FSU, often due to still lingering linguistic barriers. Thus, they are in turn criticized for their superficial understanding of the area’s corpus of material-culture and historiography and their broad generalizations about theoretical orientation. This often places the two archaeological traditions at odds when it comes to field methodology, collaborative grant writing or publication, and even museum research.

Papers are invited, which discuss the historical and contemporary influences on archaeological research in the area of the FSU and their effect, both past and present, especially as regards politics and epistemology. Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by February 25th to either or

Posted in: Calls for Papers and Upcoming Conferences
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