463 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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    José Vergara, "All Future Plunges to the Past: James Joyce in Russian Literature" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    José Vergara, "All Future Plunges to the Past: James Joyce in Russian Literature" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    All Future Plunges to the Past: James Joyce in Russian Literature (Cornell UP, 2021) explores how Russian writers from the mid-1920s on have read and responded to Joyce's work. Through contextually rich close readings, José Vergara uncovers the many roles Joyce has occupied in Russia over the last century, demonstrating how the writers Yury Olesha, Vladimir Nabokov, Andrei Bitov, Sasha Sokolov, and Mikhail Shishkin draw from Joyce's texts, particularly Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, to address the volatile questions of lineages in their respective Soviet, émigré, and post-Soviet contexts. Interviews with contemporary Russian writers, critics, and readers of Joyce extend the conversation to the present day, showing how the debates regarding the Irish writer's place in the Russian pantheon are no less settled one hundred years after Ulysses.
    The creative reworkings, or translations, of Joycean themes, ideas, characters, plots, and styles made by the five writers Vergara examines speak to shifting cultural norms, understandings of intertextuality, and the polarity between Russia and the West. Vergara illuminates how Russian writers have used Joyce's ideas as a critical lens to shape, prod, and constantly redefine their own place in literary history.
    All Future Plunges to the Past offers one overarching approach to the general narrative of Joyce's reception in Russian literature. While each of the writers examined responded to Joyce in an individual manner, the sum of their methods reveals common concerns. This subject raises the issue of cultural values and, more importantly, how they changed throughout the twentieth century in the Soviet Union, Russian emigration, and the post-Soviet Russian environment.
    José Vergara is Assistant Professor of Russian at Bryn Mawr College. 
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    • 58 min
    Eliyana R. Adler, "Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    Eliyana R. Adler, "Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    Between 1940 and 1946, thousands of Jewish refugees from Poland lived and toiled in the harsh Soviet interior. They endured hard labor, bitter cold, and extreme deprivation. But out of reach of the Nazis, they escaped the fate of millions of their coreligionists in the Holocaust. In Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union (Harvard University Press, 2020), Eliyana Adler provides the first comprehensive account in English of their experiences.
    Eliyana Adler is Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Pennsylvania State University.
    Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Edward Schatz, "Slow Anti-Americanism: Social Movements and Symbolic Politics in Central Asia" (Stanford UP, 2021)

    Edward Schatz, "Slow Anti-Americanism: Social Movements and Symbolic Politics in Central Asia" (Stanford UP, 2021)

    I could not think of a better way to start my tenure as host of New Books in Central Asian Studies than discussing Slow Anti-Americanism: Social Movements & Symbolic Politics in Central Asia (Stanford University Press 2021) with its author, Prof Edward Schatz from the University of Toronto. The book offers a privileged vantage point to assess the political relevance that symbols--in this case those emanated by the United States--continue to hold vis-à-vis attitudes, agendas, and strategies of social movements.
    The book is rich in details, showcases the results of an exciting long-term research agenda, and does a fantastic job in tracing the long, slow trajectory of anti-American sentiments in post-Soviet Central Asia, focusing on how the many shifts in the US regional image have been observed, digested, and acted upon by three audiences as diverse as Islamic activists, social mobilisers, and labour activists. This is a timely book, one that will have even more resonance now that Central Asia has entered the post-US era. 
    Edward Schatz is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. His previous books include Paradox of Power: The Logics of State Weakness in Eurasia (2017) and Political Ethnography: What Immersion Contributes to the Study of Power (2009).
    Luca Anceschi is Professor of Eurasian Studies at the University of Glasgow, where he also edits Europe-Asia Studies.
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    • 48 min
    Jan Matti Dollbaum et al., "Navalny: Putin's Nemesis, Russia's Future?" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Jan Matti Dollbaum et al., "Navalny: Putin's Nemesis, Russia's Future?" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Everyone has heard of Alexei Navalny, the leader of Russia's opposition to Putin's rule. But what do we really know of him? Navalny: Putin's Nemesis, Russia's Future? (Oxford, 2021) provides the first detailed description of Navalny's history and trajectory. Most importantly, Ben Noble, Morvan Lallouet, and Jan Matti Dollbaum turn the one-dimensional, cartoon-like image of Navalny in the West into a nuanced portrait, properly situated in the context of modern Russia.
    Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Hermes in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at DanielxPeris@gmail.com or via Twitter @HistoryInvestor. His History and Investing blog and Keep Calm & Carry On Investing podcast are at https://strategicdividendinves...
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    • 38 min
    John-Paul Himka, "Ukrainian Nationalists and the Holocaust: OUN and UPA's Participation in the Destruction of Ukrainian Jewry, 1941-1944" (Ibidem Press, 2021)

    John-Paul Himka, "Ukrainian Nationalists and the Holocaust: OUN and UPA's Participation in the Destruction of Ukrainian Jewry, 1941-1944" (Ibidem Press, 2021)

    One quarter of all Holocaust victims lived on the territory that now forms Ukraine, yet the Holocaust there has not received due attention. John-Paul Himka's Ukrainian Nationalists and the Holocaust: OUN and UPA's Participation in the Destruction of Ukrainian Jewry, 1941-1944 (Ibidem Press, 2021) delineates the participation of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and its armed force, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukrainska povstanska armiia--UPA), in the destruction of the Jewish population of Ukraine under German occupation in 1941-44. The extent of OUN's and UPA's culpability in the Holocaust has been a controversial issue in Ukraine and within the Ukrainian diaspora as well as in Jewish communities and Israel. Occasionally, the controversy has broken into the press of North America, the EU, and Israel.
    Triangulating sources from Jewish survivors, Soviet investigations, German documentation, documents produced by OUN itself, and memoirs of OUN activists, it has been possible to establish that: OUN militias were key actors in the anti-Jewish violence of summer 1941; OUN recruited for and infiltrated police formations that provided indispensable manpower for the Germans' mobile killing units; and in 1943, thousands of these policemen deserted from German service to join the OUN-led nationalist insurgency, during which UPA killed Jews who had managed to survive the major liquidations of 1942.
    Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.
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    • 1 hr
    Jeffrey Veidlinger, "In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust" (Metropolitan Books, 2021)

    Jeffrey Veidlinger, "In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust" (Metropolitan Books, 2021)

    Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms—ethnic riots—dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true.
    Drawing upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records, and official orders, acclaimed historian Jeffrey Veidlinger shows for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. Through stories of survivors, perpetrators, aid workers, and governmental officials, he explains how so many different groups of people came to the same conclusion: that killing Jews was an acceptable response to their various problems. In riveting prose, In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust (Metropolitan Books, 2021) repositions the pogroms as a defining moment of the twentieth century.
    Jeffrey Veidlinger is Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He is author of the award-winning books, In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine, The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage, and Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire. He is the chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, a member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research, a member of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and a former vice-president of the Association for Jewish Studies.
    Leslie Waters is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas at El Paso and author of Borders on the Move: Territorial Change and Ethnic Cleansing in the Hungarian-Slovak Borderlands, 1938-1948 (University of Rochester, 2020). Email her at lwaters@utep.edu or tweet to @leslieh2Os.
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    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

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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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The Cold War, a world history

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