477 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Russia and Eurasia about their New Books
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New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 31 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Russia and Eurasia about their New Books
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    Barbara Martin, "Dissident Histories in the Soviet Union: From De-Stalinization to Perestroika" (Bloomsbury, 2019)

    Barbara Martin, "Dissident Histories in the Soviet Union: From De-Stalinization to Perestroika" (Bloomsbury, 2019)

    In Dissident Histories in the Soviet Union: From De-Stalinization to Perestroika (Bloomsbury,, 2019), Barbara Martin traces the careers of four prominent figures: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Roy Medvedev, Aleksandr Nekrich and Anton Antonov-Ovseenko. Based on extensive archival research into these four authors, Martin provides a new account of dissident history writing in the Soviet Union from the post-Stalin Thaw through to the Brezhnev era and Perestroika. Dissident Histories illuminates the challenges associated with researching, writing and publishing Soviet history and the critical impact that this work had on intellectual life in the Soviet Union.
    Barbara Martin is a postdoctoral researcher within the Department of History at the University of Basel.
    Iva Glisic is a historian and art historian specialising in modern Russia and the Balkans.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Thane Gustafson, "Klimat: Russia in the Age of Climate Change" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    Thane Gustafson, "Klimat: Russia in the Age of Climate Change" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    With COP26 and high fossil fuel prices, energy is back in the headlines. And Russia, as one of the world’s largest producers of hydrocarbons, is part of the conversation--most recently, in Putin’s refusal to expand oil production to ease global prices.
    The world is coming up on three major transitions—peak use of fossil fuels, renewables competing with non-renewables, and a warming climate likely to surpass the 1.5 degree threshold set by the IPCC.
    What do those trends mean for Russia: a great power, a major oil and gas producer, an Arctic country covered in permafrost, and an economy with strong, but increasingly outdated, levels of technological development.
    Klimat: Russia in the Age of Climate Change (Harvard University Press, 2021), by Professor Thane Gustafson, examines how Russia might react—or be forced to react—to a changing environment and energy market.
    In this interview, the three of us will talk about how Russia will have to change as the world warms. As the world shifts to renewables, will Russia be able to keep up? As Arctic ice melts, will Russia see shipping opportunities? And will climate change get greater salience among the Russian public?
    Thane Gustafson is Professor of Government at Georgetown University. A widely recognized authority on Russian political economy and formerly a professor at Harvard University, he is the author of many books, notably The Bridge: Natural Gas in a Redivided Europe (Harvard University Press: 2020) and Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Power in Russia (Harvard University Press: 2017), as well as Russia 2010: And What It Means for the World (Vintage: 1995), coauthored with Daniel Yergin.
    We’re also joined in this interview by Yvonne Lau. Yvonne is the Asia Markets Reporter for Fortune Magazine, with a longtime interest in Russia, especially its post-Soviet economic development and its growing ties with China.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Klimat. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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    • 48 min
    James Kapaló and Kinga Povedák, "The Secret Police and the Religious Underground in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe" (Routledge, 2021)

    James Kapaló and Kinga Povedák, "The Secret Police and the Religious Underground in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe" (Routledge, 2021)

    This new book by James Kapaló and Kinga Povedák explores the complex intersection of secret police operations and the formation of the religious underground in communist-era Eastern Europe. In sixteen chapters, The Secret Police and the Religious Underground in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2021) looks at how religious groups were perceived as dangerous to the totalitarian state whilst also being extremely vulnerable and yet at the same time very resourceful. In this podcast James and Kinga talk about what is special about secret police archives and how they allow us to explore the material culture, including things like photographs and food, of clandestine and secretive communities. They argue that stories from the archives continue to shape present day religious communities and postsocialist societies more generally as well as reflecting upon what comparing movements from eight different countries shows us that we might miss from looking just at one or two case studies.
    Roland Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool, President of the Society for Romanian Studies, and a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Grant T. Harward, "Romania's Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Grant T. Harward, "Romania's Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    What motivated conscripted soldiers to fight in the Romanian Army during the Second World War? Why did they obey orders, take risks, and sometimes deliberately sacrifice their lives for the mission? What made soldiers murder, rape, and pillage, massacring Jews en masse during Operation Barbarossa? Grant Harward’s ground-breaking book Romania's Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust (Cornell UP, 2021) combines military history, social history, and histories of the Holocaust to offer a new interpretation of Romania’s role in the Second World War. In this interview he talks about his surprising discussions with veterans, his notion of “atrocity motivation” as an unexplored reason why soldiers commit horrific acts during wartime, the relative military effectiveness of the Romanian army, the role of the Orthodox Church, and the content of propaganda aimed at soldiers. As he explains, Harward’s research opens up whole new fields of research for military historians and others interested in the relationship of war to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and violence.
    Roland Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool, President of the Society for Romanian Studies, and a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.
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    • 1 hr 24 min
    Christopher Coker, "The Rise of the Civilizational State" (Polity Press, 2019)

    Christopher Coker, "The Rise of the Civilizational State" (Polity Press, 2019)

    In recent years the resurgence of great power competition has gripped the headlines, with new emerging powers (such as Russia and China) seeking to challenge the American and Western hegemony that has prevailed since the end of the Cold War. While the geopolitics of the Cold War era were based on ideology, the current geopolitics appear to be based more on cultural and civilizational identities. In his pioneering book The Rise of the Civilizational State (Polity Press, 2019), renowned political philosopher Christopher Coker examines in depth how Xi Jinping’s China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia not only seek to challenge Western powers, but also operate under very different conceptions of how the world should be structured. Instead of the standard nation-state and liberal internationalism that Western power operate under, both powers insist more on the civilizational basis of both the state and world order.
    Christopher Coker is Director of the London School of Economics’ foreign policy think tank LSE Ideas. He was Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, retiring in 2019. He is a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, a former NATO Fellow and a regular lecturer at Defense Colleges in the United Kingdom, United States, Rome, Singapore, Tokyo, Norway and Sweden.
    Stephen Satkiewicz is independent scholar whose research areas are related to Civilizational Analysis, Big History, Historical Sociology, War studies, as well as Russian and East European history.
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    • 31 min
    Molly Thomasy Blasing, "Snapshots of the Soul: Photo-Poetic Encounters in Modern Russian Culture" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Molly Thomasy Blasing, "Snapshots of the Soul: Photo-Poetic Encounters in Modern Russian Culture" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Snapshots of the Soul: Photo-Poetic Encounters in Modern Russian Culture (Cornell UP, 2021) considers how photography has shaped Russian poetry from the early twentieth century to the present day. Drawing on theories of the lyric and the elegy, the social history of technology, and little-known archival materials, Molly Thomasy Blasing offers close readings of poems by Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetaeva, Joseph Brodsky, and Bella Akhmadulina, as well as by the late and post-Soviet poets Andrei Sen-Sen'kov, Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, and Kirill Medvedev, to understand their fascination with the visual language, representational power, and metaphorical possibilities offered by the camera and the photographic image.
    Within the context of long-standing anxieties about the threat that visual media pose to literary culture, Blasing finds that these poets were attracted to the affinities and tensions that exist between the lyric or elegy and the snapshot. Snapshots of the Soul reveals that at the core of each poet's approach to writing the photograph is the urge to demonstrate the superior ability of poetic language to capture and convey human experience.
    Molly T. Blasing holds degrees in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University (AB, 2002) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (MA, 2006; PHD, 2014). After teaching at Florida State University, Wellesley College, and Oberlin College, she joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky as Assistant Professor of Russian Studies in 2014 and was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2021. 
    Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.
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    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

dickmodel69 ,

Great content needs great equipment

Really interesting and insightful conversations but the quality of people calling in is very poor. It is sometimes very hard to follow along because of that.

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Audio Problems

I really want to like this podcast but the audio , especially the guests' is horrible. Tinny sound with screeches

slimvlady ,

The Cold War, a world history

Doesn’t anyone listen to this podcast before you post them? The sound quality was horrible. The subject matter was interesting enough to keep me listening until I couldn’t stand to listen any longer. The interviewer sounded like he was in an echo chamber and the interviewee sounded like he was on a cell phone that kept going in and out of range. It sounds so amateur it’s hard to take you guys seriously. Try having a little pride in the quality of what you do. Perhaps your podcast would be more successful and you would even attract donations

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