379 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
    • 4.3 • 29 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Russia and Eurasia about their New Books
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    Alexander Morrison, "The Russian Conquest of Central Asia: A Study in Imperial Expansion, 1814–1914" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Alexander Morrison, "The Russian Conquest of Central Asia: A Study in Imperial Expansion, 1814–1914" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Alexander Morrison’s study of the conquest of Central Asia offers new perspectives on a topic long obscured by misleading grand narratives. Based on years of research in several countries, The Russian Conquest of Central Asia (Cambridge UP, 2020) not only outright debunks many of these older narratives, but also provides us a detailed military and diplomatic history of the conquest, one which pays specific attention to the contingency and logistics of its multi-stage process. Based on an enormous number of Russian-language materials and supplemented with Persianate chronicles, this work is essential reading for anyone interested in Russian and Central Asian history, military history, or the history of colonialism and comparative empires.
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    • 1 hr 24 min
    Rachel Applebaum, "Empire of Friends: Soviet Power and Socialist Internationalism in Cold War Czechoslovakia" (Cornell UP, 2019)

    Rachel Applebaum, "Empire of Friends: Soviet Power and Socialist Internationalism in Cold War Czechoslovakia" (Cornell UP, 2019)

    The familiar story of Soviet power in Cold War Eastern Europe focuses on political repression and military force. But in Empire of Friends: Soviet Power and Socialist Internationalism in Cold War Czechoslovakia (Cornell University Press, 2019), Rachel Applebaum shows how the Soviet Union simultaneously promoted a policy of transnational friendship with its Eastern Bloc satellites to create a cohesive socialist world. This friendship project resulted in a new type of imperial control based on cross-border contacts between ordinary citizens. In a new and fascinating story of cultural diplomacy, interpersonal relations, and the trade of consumer-goods, Applebaum tracks the rise and fall of the friendship project in Czechoslovakia, as the country evolved after World War II from the Soviet Union's most loyal satellite to its most rebellious.
    Throughout Eastern Europe, the friendship project shaped the most intimate aspects of people's lives, influencing everything from what they wore to where they traveled to whom they married. Applebaum argues that in Czechoslovakia, socialist friendship was surprisingly durable, capable of surviving the ravages of Stalinism and the Soviet invasion that crushed the 1968 Prague Spring. Eventually, the project became so successful that it undermined the very alliance it was designed to support: as Soviets and Czechoslovaks got to know one another, they discovered important cultural and political differences that contradicted propaganda about a cohesive socialist world. Empire of Friends reveals that the sphere of everyday life was central to the construction of the transnational socialist system in Eastern Europe―and, ultimately, its collapse.
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    • 1 hr 19 min
    Roger R. Reese, "The Imperial Russian Army in Peace, War, and Revolution, 1856-1917" (U Kansas Press, 2019)

    Roger R. Reese, "The Imperial Russian Army in Peace, War, and Revolution, 1856-1917" (U Kansas Press, 2019)

    Roger Reese’s recent book, The Imperial Russian Army in Peace, War, and Revolution, 1856-1917 (University of Kansas, 2019), takes a deep dive into the internal workings of the Russian army. Focusing particularly on relations between officers and the rank and file, as well as on divisions within the officer corps itself, Reese notices that conditions for soldiers did gradually improve, over the course of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, these improvements for the rank and file, and the gradual transition to an army based on merit rather than on past traditions of aristocratic honor, proved unable to withstand the pressures of World War One. In this context, breakdown of discipline and loyalty in the army then played an important role in the end of the Russian monarchy.
    Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Anne Eakin Moss, "Only Among Women, "Philosophies of Community in the Russian and Soviet Imagination, 1860–1940" (Northwestern UP, 2019)

    Anne Eakin Moss, "Only Among Women, "Philosophies of Community in the Russian and Soviet Imagination, 1860–1940" (Northwestern UP, 2019)

    In Only Among Women: Philosophies of Community in the Russian and Soviet Imagination, 1860–1940 (Northwestern University Press, 2019), Anne Eakin Moss examines idealized relationships between women in Russian literature and culture from the age of the classic Russian novel to socialist realism and Stalinist film. Her book reveals how the idea of a community of women—a social sphere ostensibly free from the taint of money, sex, or self-interest—originates in the classic Russian novel, fuels mystical notions of unity in turn-of-the-century modernism, and finally assumes a place of privilege in Stalinist culture, especially cinema.
    Rethinking the significance and surprising continuities of gender in Russian and Soviet culture, Eakin Moss relates this tradition to Western philosophies of community developed by thinkers from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Jean-Luc Nancy. She shows that in the 1860s friendship among women came to figure as an organic national collectivity in works such as Tolstoy’s War and Peace and a model for revolutionary organization in Chernyshevsky’s What Is To Be Done?.
    Only Among Women also traces how women’s community came to be connected with new religious and philosophical notions of a unity transcending the individual at the fin-de-siècle. Finally, in Stalinist propaganda of the 1930s, the notion of women’s community inherited from the Russian novel reemerged in the image of harmonious female workers serving as a patriarchal model for loyal Communist citizenship.
    Anne Eakin Moss is an assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature at Johns Hopkins University.
    Colleen McQuillen is an associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Southern California.Follow her on Twitter @russianprof
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    • 47 min
    William C. Brumfield, "Journeys through the Russian Empire: The Photographic Legacy of Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky" (Duke UP, 2020)

    William C. Brumfield, "Journeys through the Russian Empire: The Photographic Legacy of Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky" (Duke UP, 2020)

    In his latest authoritative book, Journeys Through the Russian Empire: The Photographic Legacy of Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky (Duke University Press, 2020) Russian scholar, photographer, and chronicler of Russian architecture William Craft Brumfield frames the life and work of pioneering color photographer Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky (1863-1944), while also putting his own magisterial career into sharp perspective. Brumfield updates and interprets several of Prokudin-Gorsky’s iconic images with his own late twentieth and early twenty-first century versions, and the result is an extraordinary study of two photographers and two Russias.
    Prokudin-Gorsky was a polymath, inventor, explorer, entrepreneur, and eminently talented photographer, who pursued an over-arching goal of bringing color to the emerging technology of photography. Prokudin-Gorsky combined a strong grounding in both the science and the arts, which gave him easy mastery over the technology. But he was also a gifted entrepreneur, able to see the vast mainstream potential of photography, and throughout his career, he championed the rights of photographers and led the industry in its professional development. From the beginning of his professional life, he pursued his goal to produce color photography, but throughout his career, he was a vocal champion for his colleagues, assuming the editorship of Russia’s “Amateur Photography,” and campaigning successfully for photographers to assert ownership of their work.
    Prokudin-Gorsky’s groundbreaking use of glass slides to produce color soon came to the attention of the Imperial Family — passionate shutterbugs themselves — and Prokudin-Gorsky secured an invitation to present his slides to Nicholas II. The tsar became a staunch supporter of Prokudin-Gorsky, ordering the Minister of Ways and Communications to furnish Prokudin-Gorsky with a specially designed railway car for his laboratory, and access to river transport. The tsar also gave Prokudin-Gorsky an enviable laissez-passer for the entire empire, and an order that enabled the photographer to solicit aid from all government officials. For the next six years, Prokudin-Gorsky traveled throughout Imperial Russia on several regional expeditions, sponsored by the Ministry of Ways and Communications, capturing the emerging industrial might of the empire. But along the way, he also captured the natural beauty of Russia’s wilder corners: the majestic Caucasus, the arid desert of Central Asia, and the dense forests of the Urals.
    Did Prokudin-Gorsky understand that he was documenting a world that would soon disappear? For disappear it soon did, and Prokudin-Gorsky fled Russia in 1918, bringing with him thousands of color slides. Fast forward half a century, and enter William Craft Brumfield, who began documenting Russia’s architecture in the 1970s. He was a natural choice to curate a public exhibition of Prokudin-Gorsky’s collection for the Library of Congress in 1986, and his association with the Library and the collection has continued to this day. “Journeys Through the Russian Empire” is the magnificent culmination of this decades-long collaboration.
    William Craft Brumfield is the foremost Western expert on Russian architecture, and taught at some world’s most renowned centers of Slavic studies, including Harvard, Tulane, and the Pushkin Institute. In 2019, in recognition of Brumfield’s contribution to Russian culture, President Putin awarded him with Russia’s highest honor for a foreigner: The Order of Friendship.
    Jennifer Eremeeva is an American expatriate writer who writes about travel, culture, cuisine and culinary history, Russian history, and Royal History, with bylines in Reuters, Fodor's, USTOA, LitHub, The Moscow Times, and Russian Life. She is the award-winning author of Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow and H

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Fabrizio Fenghi, "It Will Be Fun and Terrifying: Nationalism and Protest in Post-Soviet Russia" (U Wisconsin Press, 2020)

    Fabrizio Fenghi, "It Will Be Fun and Terrifying: Nationalism and Protest in Post-Soviet Russia" (U Wisconsin Press, 2020)

    The National Bolshevik Party, founded in the mid-1990s by Eduard Limonov and Aleksandr Dugin, began as an attempt to combine radically different ideologies. In the years that followed, Limonov, Dugin, and the movements they led underwent dramatic shifts. The two leaders eventually became political adversaries, with Dugin and his organizations strongly supporting Putin's regime while Limonov and his groups became part of the liberal opposition.
    To illuminate the role of these right-wing ideas in contemporary Russian society, Fabrizio Fenghi examines the public pronouncements and aesthetics of this influential movement. He analyzes a diverse range of media, including novels, art exhibitions, performances, seminars, punk rock concerts, and even protest actions. His interviews with key figures reveal an attempt to create an alternative intellectual class, or a "counter-intelligensia." It Will Be Fun and Terrifying: Nationalism and Protest in Post-Soviet Russia (U Wisconsin Press, 2020) shows how certain forms of art can transform into political action through the creation of new languages, institutions, and modes of collective participation.
    Fabrizio Fenghi is an assistant professor of Slavic studies at Brown University specializing in contemporary Russian culture and politics, with a specific focus on the relationship between art and literature and the shaping of post-Soviet public culture. 
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    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
29 Ratings

29 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

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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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