Lectures

Lectures are former public presentations that have been reworked for publishing in print.

Feminists revisit the breakups and breakthrough of 1989

Conversation with Slavenka Drakulić, Croatia; Samirah Kenawi, Germany; Tamara Hundorova, Ukraine; Ewa Kulik-Bielińska, Poland; and Olga Lipovskaia, Russia.

By Witness Seminar February 27, 2020

On the production and suspension of time

More than anything else, the avant-garde is the area of the production of the past: the colossal amounts of memoirs, artefacts, and photographs that are accumulated in archives — in different kinds of archives, including personal ones, but also state archives, and many others of different kinds.

By Mikhail Iampolski December 30, 2019

On policymaking and policy change in Russia

Policy-making is an applied process. We can ask: towards what end or goal are policy-makers striving? At present, as far as domestic and increasingly foreign policy-making in Russia are concerned, an important policy direction can be described with reference to development.

By Marina Khmelnitskaya October 25, 2016

Theory from the East? Double Polarizations versus Democratic Transitions

The escalation around Ukraine calls for a larger historical re-assessment of social change in Eastern Europe – and indeed of the European project at large. The current moment of historical re-assessment requires a full-fledged competitor to liberal theory.

By Don Kalb November 19, 2015

Why were there no great Pop art curatorial projects in Eastern Europe in the 1960s?

Whatever might be said of pop art techniques and art-historical discourses used in Hungary, and later in Estonia, (and less frequently in other countries), one would be hard-pressed to say that the 1960s was an era of pop in the region, especially one with North American influences. Why then?

By Piotr Piotrowski November 19, 2015

Communism the shadows of a utopia

Communism has failed, not only on political and economic, but especially on moral grounds, the author claims; "Every communist state was a far cry from the paradise the doctrine proposed.".

By Edward Kanterian January 21, 2015

Economies of favors or corrupt societies? Exploring the boundaries between informality and corruption

The only functioning system for transactions in the Soviet Union was in fact blat, the system of corruption and tacit agreement and alliances among all parties involved in a given transaction, is here argued. The “knowing smile” was a shared signal for those in the system.

By Alena Ledeneva April 29, 2014

The apostles of Linnaeus of nature

Linnaeus’s ideas and the acts of his apostles coincide with a general definition of economy as the doctrine of wise stewardship of scarce resources, which could be applied to both nature and human society. But beyond this, the philosophical, economic, and scientific thinking of Linnaeus and his contemporaries was historically distinguished by the belief that resources, as for example the number of species, could normally increase in one place simply by shrinking in another.

By Arne Jarrick May 14, 2013

Tolerance and the Intolerable

As the topic of tolerance became more and more “politically correct” and fashionable in the wake of postmodern relativism, its contours began to blur argues the author.

By Andrei Plesu January 9, 2013

Investigating russian berlin in weimar Germany Culture and Displacement in the Age of War and Revolution

The author argues that, despite the disastrous effects of the enormous brain drain for Russia’s development, the emergence of Russian communities abroad can also be seen as an indicator of a normalization resulting from the opening up of the country after a long period of isolation. For Berlin, it is the regeneration of the mixed and more cosmopolitan society of the pre-Nazi and prewar epoch.

By Karl Schlögel September 22, 2011