Russian Calendar

Upcoming Events


Russian Table for Advanced Students

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 6:00 PM

Location: 317 O'Shaughnessy Hall


Russian Table for Beginning Students

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 6:00 PM

Location: 317 O'Shaughnessy Hall


Russian Table for Advanced Students

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 6:00 PM

Location: 317 O'Shaughnessy Hall


Presentation by Michael C. Hickey, Professor of History, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Title: "Russia's Jews and the Russian Revolution"

Monday, March 16, 2020 at 4:30 PM

Location: 210 DeBartolo Hall


Film Donbass (dir. Sergei Loznitsa, 2018), Browning Cinema

Discussion: Professors Jim Collins and Emily Wang

Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Location: DPAC (DeBartolo Performing Arts Center)

In eastern Ukraine, society begins to degrade as the effects of propaganda and manipulation begin to surface in the post-truth era. 

 Past Events

Russian Writers in Exile

Two Lectures by Barry Scherr, Professor of Russian, Dartmouth College

Tuesday, April 5 at 5:00 pm   
Lecture: The Short Stories of Vladimir Jabotinsky: A Poetics of Alienation
Location: 106 O'Shaughnessy Hall

Vladimir Jabotinsky, better known today for his Zionist activity during the first several decades of the twentieth century, in fact began his career as a journalist and then as a writer.  Over the past two decades his literary works have once again come to gain recognition. However, little attention has been paid to his stories, many of which are at least quasi-autobiographical and in some cases erase the boundary between memoir and fiction. In this talk I examine the ways in which the sense of being an outsider permeates these writings, whether in treating the theme of love, in the presentation of language as a barrier to as well as a means of communication, and in the use of narrators to establish a mood of isolation.  All of these concerns culminate in the fictionalized memoir devoted to his friend, Vsevolod Lebedintsev, one of the “Seven Who Were Hanged” in the Leonid Andreev story of that title. 

Thursday, April 7 at 5:00 pm
Lecture: Lev Loseff:  Poet, Son and Exile
Location: Special Collections Department, 102 Hesburgh Library

Relatively few children have followed a parent into a career as poet, but Lev Loseff, who began to write poetry seriously only after his emigration to the United States, was the son of Vladimir Lifshits, who had been a well-known poet in the Soviet Union.  The Special Collections of the Hesburgh Libraries at Notre Dame hold an extensive collection of their papers, which shed light on the lives of both and especially on the influences that shaped Lev Loseff.  After discussing how the son’s sensitivity to language may have been inspired by the father’s children’s poetry and satirical verse, I will then look at how that sensitivity was sharpened by his position as an émigré, writing poetry in Russian while living and working in an English-language environment.


Barry Scherr is Professor Emeritus at Dartmouth College. He has taught a wide variety of courses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature, comparative literature, and film.  His chief research interests have been Russian verse theory, early twentieth-century Russian prose, and Russian poetry of both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has written or co-edited a number of books on these topics and has published dozens of articles in scholarly journals.  Publications over the past couple of years include articles on the role of the city in Dostoevsky’s novel Demons, on Maxim Gorky’s writings about his fellow author Vladimir Korolenko, and on the use of long stanza forms in Russian poetry; his most recent co-edited volumes are Poetry and Poetics:  A Centennial Tribute to Kiril Taranovsky (2014) and The Joy of Recognition: Selected Essays of Omry Ronen (2015).

Scherr began his teaching career at the University of Washington in Seattle and in the early 1990s was a visiting fellow at the University of Otago in New Zealand.  While at Dartmouth he held a number of administrative positions.   In addition to serving as Provost from 2001 to 2009, he spent four years as Associate Dean for the Humanities.  He also chaired the Russian Department for a total of ten years, and for briefer periods chaired the Programs in Jewish Studies and in Linguistics and Cognitive Science, both of which he helped found.

Tuesday, Feb 9 at 5:00 pm   
Lecture: "Dostoevsky on Catholicism: The Real and the Ideal"
Location: 136 DeBartolo
Guest speaker: Elizabeth Blake (St. Louis University)

Dr. Elizabeth Blake is Assistant Professor of Russian at St. Louis University and the author of Dostoevsky and the Catholic Underground (Northwestern UP, 2014). Her monograph focuses on the literary, social, and cultural movements linked to lived Catholicism in Dostoevsky's major works, including Notes from House of the DeadCrime and PunishmentDemonsThe Brothers Karamazov, and Diary of a Writer.  This lecture will explore how Dostoevsky draws on iconic Catholic historical and literary figures (e.g., Napoleon Bonaparte, Galileo Galilei, Don Quixote, and various inquisitors) that appeared in famous writings and agitational literature of his day to create ideals for his Russian characters.  Connecting the rediscovery of Aristotle to the Renaissance, he describes a broadening of human thought in an age of faith (with Shakespeare, Raphael, and the Reformation) alongside the age of discovery (of America and the revolutions of heavenly bodies).  At the same time, because Dostoevsky recognizes that in his age Catholics continued to brandish the sword, the lecture will also outline his real concerns about Jesuit intrigue, Polish revolutionaries, and papal infallibility.

Saturday, May 9 at 8:00 pm
Concert: South Bend Symphony Orchestra performs Stravinsky’s “The Rites of Spring”
Location: The Morris Performing Arts Center
The South Bend Symphony Orchestra is proud to once again feature 2012 Junior Division Sphinx Competition Laureate Adé Williams, this year on the Masterworks series.  Stravinsky’s masterpiece ballet closes the season with an exciting flourish.

Friday, April 17 at 8:00 pm
Concert: Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Spring Concert
The Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra presents its annual fall concert. Program includes: Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” and Stravinsky “Firebird” Suite.

Thursday-Saturday, April 16-18 at 8:00 pm
Concert: Daniil Trifonov performs Shostakovich and Rachmaninov
Location: Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604
Winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Daniil Trifonov excites critics and audiences worldwide: “He offers far more than mere virtuosity … he demonstrates an elegant touch, witty grace and poetic insight” (The New York Times). In this appearance with the CSO, he performs Rachmaninov’s youthfully exuberant First Piano Concerto. Conductor Semyon Bychkov pairs this work with Shostakovich’s most ferocious symphony, a 1943 work that reflects WWII in its relentless third-movement scherzo, punctuated with breathtaking squeals and crashes as if from flying missiles.

February 1 - March 22
Exhibit: Natalia Goncharova’s Mystical Images of War, 1914
Location: Snite Museum of Art
This exhibition presents a dramatic portfolio of fourteen lithographs by the Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova (1881–1962) from the Hesburgh Libraries Collection. Published in the fall of 1914, the lithographs represent one of the earliest and most profound artistic responses to the outbreak of the Great War. They tell an epic and “mystical” story about the eternal struggle between good and evil, destruction and redemption, in which national, traditional, religious, apocalyptic, and contemporary images are intertwined.

Wednesday, March 18 at 4:30 pm
Guest Speaker: Marijeta Bozovic (Yale University), “Joseph Brodsky: Digital Humanities Lab”
Location: Hesburgh Library Special Collections
Marijeta Bozovic is Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University, and a specialist in Russian and Balkan literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She is also the Principle Investigator of the Beinecke Library’s Joseph Brodsky Digital Humanities Lab. The project aims to create an online platform to draw attention to the library’s extensive collection of Brodsky’s materials, to design research tools that will help navigate the matarials, and to make original scholarly contributions. In her guest lecture at the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Prof. Bozovic will share her experiences with this project and suggest potential applications of Digital Humanities tools and methodologies both in the library and in the classroom. 

Thursday, March 19 at 5:00 pm
Guest Speaker: Marijeta Bozovic (Yale University), “Radical Poetics in Putin’s Russia”
Location: 140 DeBartolo Hall
Marijeta Bozovic is Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University, and the author of Nabokov’s Canon: From Onegin to Ada (forthcoming with Northwestern University Press). Her second book project, Avant-Garde Post– : Radical Poetics After the Soviet Union, examines the recent resurgence of politically engaged poetic practices in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Linking poets like Kirill Medvedev and Dmitry Golynko to the historical avant-gardes of the 1910s and 1920s, on the one hand, and Western influences such as Charles Bukowski and the American L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E school, on the other, Prof. Bozovic will shed light on the experiments and dreams of futurity of the contemporary Russian neo-avant-garde.

Thursday, February 26 at 5 pm
Guest Speaker: Andrea Rusnock
Location: 213 DeBartolo Hall
The International Exposition of Modern Art and Industry, held in Paris in 1937, featured the famous standoff between the Soviet and German pavilions: the Soviet pavilion, topped by Vera Mukhina’s famous sculpture Worker and Collective Farm Woman, and the German pavilion, topped by the Nazi eagle and swastika, faced off against one another across the river Seine. But the “usefulness” of Mukhina’s sculpture was not limited only to international audiences: the sculpture made a reappearance at the First All-Union Agricultural Exhibition held in Moscow in 1939. This talk will discuss how the Soviet government used the Mukhina sculpture and other monumental works of socialist realist art to showcase cultural and political objectives before both international and domestic audiences in the period of High Stalinism.

Thursday-Saturday, February 26-28 at 8:00 pm
Concert: Riccardo Muti conducts Scriabin and Tchaikovsky
Location: Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604
Tchaikovsky’s soul-stirring masterpiece, the Sixth Symphony, is among the greatest landmarks in the symphonic repertoire. The first movement’s tender love theme for strings and the scherzo’s electrifying march are just two highlights in a work of deep emotion. Scriabin’s Second Symphony presents an enticing mix of drama and lyricism that leads to a spectacularly triumphant ending.

Saturday, February 7 at 6:30 pm
Film: “The Man Who Saved the World” (2013)
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov was the commanding officer on duty at the Soviet nuclear early warning center when the system falsely reported the launching of five nuclear missiles from the United States. In the harrowing moments that followed, Petrov overruled the system's warning, personally declaring that it was a false alarm. This monumental decision prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its Western allies. 

Saturday, February 15 at 12:30 pm
Opera/Film: Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
On the heels of her triumphant Met performances in Eugene Onegin, soprano Anna Netrebko takes on another Tchaikovsky heroine in the first opera of this intriguing double bill, consisting of an enchanting fairy tale (Iolanta) followed by an erotic psychological thriller (Bluebeard’s Castle). Netrebko stars as the beautiful blind girl who experiences love for the first time in Iolanta, while Nadja Michael is the unwitting victim of the diabolical Bluebeard, played by Mikhail Petrenko. Both operas are directed by Mariusz Trelinski, who was inspired by classic noir films of the 1940s. Iolanta also stars Piotr Beczala, and Valery Gergiev conducts both operas.

Thursday, January 22 at 7:30 pm
Ballet: The State Ballet Theatre of Russian presents Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake
Location: The Morris Performing Arts Center
Founded by legendary dancer and former Prima ballerina of The Bolshoi Theatre Ballet, Maya Plissetskaya, the State Ballet Theatre of Russia, now under the direction of award-winning dancer and Moiseyev soloist Nikolay Anokhin, presents one of the greatest classical ballets of all time.  This full-scale production, set to the music of Tchaikovsky and based on Russian folklore and German legend, follows a heroic young prince as he works to free the beautiful swan maiden from an evil spell.  The State Ballet Theatre of Russia presents 50 of Russia's brightest ballet stars to bring this romantic tale of true love to glorious life!

Thursday-Saturday, January 22-24 at 8:00 pm
Concert: Riccardo Muti conducts Prokofiev and Scriabin
Location: Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604
Riccardo Muti conducts works by two Russian composers for whom he has a remarkable affinity. Scriabin’s First Symphony is a glorious six-movement work that culminates in a triumphant chorus, yet it also holds much tender lyricism. Prokofiev’s cantata Alexander Nevsky, by contrast, is full of fire and steel, its imaginative orchestration and rousing choruses evoking Russia’s medieval victory over invading Teutonic knights.

Sunday, November 9 at 2:00 p.m.
Concert: Prazak Quartet
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
One of the leading string quartets from the former Czechoslovakia performs all Czech composers. Pražák Quartet’s warm, burnished, mellow Bohemian sound is commanding, and makes for incomparable playing of music of their birthplace. The ensemble’s superb musicianship and fascinating chamber arrangements are a highlight of every tour.

Thursday, November 6 at 5:00pm
Guest Speaker: Lawrence Sheets
Location: Carey Auditorium, Hesburgh Library
“Russia and Ukraine: A View from the Ground." Disinformation is rampant in today's media-soaked culture. Come learn what a veteran observer on the ground has to say about one of the great hot spots of the contemporary world. Co-sponsored by 88.1 WVPE and open to the public.

Tuesday, October 28 at 5:30 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Hanna Suchocka
Location: Jordan Auditorium, Mendoza College of Business
Hanna Suchocka, former Prime Minister of Poland and former Ambassador of Poland to the Holy See, will give the lecture "Democratic Poland: 25 Years After the Fall of Communism" for the 2014 Nanovic Forum.

Wednesday, October 29 at 8:00 p.m.
Film: A Short Film About Killing (directed by Krzysztof Zanussi )
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
The paths of three men, a cabbie, a lawyer, and a killer, cross on a somber March day in this powerful indictment of capital punishment. Expanded from an episode from Kieslowski’s acclaimed television miniseries, The Decalogue, the film went on to win the Prix du Jury at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival launching the director’s international career which culminated in the Three Colors (Blue, White, Red) trilogy before his untimely passing in 1996. 

Friday, October 31 at 8:00 p.m.
Music: Stravinsky's "Firebird" Suite
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
Notre Dame's Symphony Orchestra performs Stravinsky's "Firebird" Suite, along with Beethoven's 9th Symphony and selections from Berlioz's "Symphony Fantastique"

Monday, November 3 at 12:30 - 2:00 pm
Guest Speaker: Lawrence Sheets
Location: 119 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Lunch seminar focusing on orthodoxy and its political role in Russia and other post-Soviet states and the prospects for reconciliation with Catholicism. Open to faculty and students. A limited number of lunches will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Lawrence Scott Sheets reported for National Public Radio for seven years and was NPR’s Moscow  bureau chief from 2001-2005, covering the entire former USSR. He was Caucasus region bureau chief  for Reuters from 1992-2000 and a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University from 2000-2001. He also worked for NBC News in Moscow during 1992 and his work has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, and heard on the BBC World Service, Public Radio International, and other news outlets. Sheets is currently South Caucasus Project Director of the International Crisis Group, focusing on Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. In 2011 he authored Eight Pieces of Empire: A 20-Year Journey Through the Soviet Collapse.

Monday, November 3 at 4:30pm
Guest Speaker: Lawrence Sheets
Location: Auditorium, Hesburgh Center for International Studies
“Public Humanities in the Age of ISIS,” a look at international reporting from conflict areas in an age of establishment journalistic retrenchment. What new challenges do journalists and commentators face when contemporary events are more complicated than sound bites and potentially more dangerous than ever before? Open to the Notre Dame community.

Tuesday, November 4 at 12:30 - 2:00 pm
Guest Speaker: Lawrence Sheets
Location: C104/105, Hesburgh Center for International Studies
Lunch seminar on challenges to peace building in Central Asia, balancing approaches between "Islamist" threats and authoritarianism. Open to faculty and students. A limited number of lunches will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wednesday, October 15 at 8:00 p.m.
Film: The Constant Factor (directed by Krzysztof Zanussi )
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
A young man who dreams of climbing the Himalayas as his father had done before him finds his ideals compromised when he takes a job at an international trade company. Krzysztof Zanussi received the Jury Prize at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival for his existential portrait of contemporary Polish life.

Wednesday, October 8 at 8:00 p.m.
Film: Camouflage (directed by Krzysztof Zanussi )
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
The shallowness and cynicism of academia are depicted in this absurdist comedy which chronicles the volatile relationship between a young linguistics professor and his diabolical senior colleague. One of the most renowned contemporary Polish directors, Krzysztof Zanussi received harsh critique from the Polish government for this jaded portrait of conformity. 

Wednesday, October 1 at 8:00 p.m.
Film: Mother Joan of the Angels (directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz)
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
Young, virtuous exorcist Father Suryn is assigned a difficult task as he must investigate a case of demonic possession at a mysterious convent. Arriving at the nunnery, he meets its abbess, Mother Joan, and struggles against the forces of darkness to save her soul. A visually sophisticated film, Mother Joan of the Angels is a thrilling study of faith, sin and redemption. Free for ND students.

Thursday, October 2 at 4:00 p.m.


Guest Speaker: Ambassador Ian C. Kelly
Location: DeBartolo 129
Ian C. Kelly is the Diplomat in Residence for the Midwest, based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was most recently (from March 2010 to September 2013) the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in Vienna, Austria. From December 2012 to September 2013, he was concurrently the U.S. Co-Chair of the Minsk Group, the negotiating process set up to resolve the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno Karabakh.
From May 2009 until his appointment as ambassador, he was the Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State. Ambassador Kelly’s previous assignments include Director of the Office of Russian Affairs in Washington, D.C., Public Affairs Advisor at the U.S. Mission to NATO, Press Attaché at Embassy Rome, Press Attaché at Embassy Ankara, Information Center Director in Belgrade, and Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer in Moscow. He has also had several regional assignments that took him to all fifteen former Soviet republics.
He has studied Italian, Serbo-Croatian and Turkish at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center of the State Department. He also speaks Russian. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Kelly taught Russian at Columbia University, and received his doctorate there in Slavic Languages and Literatures in 1986. He also holds a B.A. from St. Olaf College and a M.A. from Northwestern University.
Tuesday, September 16 at 8:00 p.m.
Film: The Arsenal (directed by Aleksandr Dovzhenko)
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
Commissioned by the Soviet government to produce a film celebrating the 1918 Bolshevik workers revolution, director Alexander Dovzhenko instead produced a film about the Ukrainian Civil War that turned out to be anything but an exercise in propaganda. Set in the aftermath of Word War I, a soldier returns home to Kiev to find himself at odds with the city’s authorities as he advocates for the adoption of the Soviet System. Described by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum as “a white hot war film,” Arsenal ranks alongside Battleship Potemkin as one of the masterpieces of Soviet silent cinema. This is a free but ticketed event. To guarantee your reservation, please pick-up your will call tickets at least 15 minutes before your event.
Wednesday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Film: Man of Iron (directed by Andrzej Waidja)
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Man of Iron follows the labor strike in Gdansk in August 1980 that led to the formation of the Solidarity trade union. Produced quickly at the request of the workers to help support their strike using their own archival footage, the film features, future Nobel Prize Winner and Polish President Lech Wałęsa as himself, and masterfully captures the passion, tragedy and anxiety of the times. Free for ND Students.

Wednesday, September 24 at 8:00 p.m.
Film: Eroica (directed by Andrzej Munk)
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
Based on a script by Jerzy Stefan Stawin´ski, Eroica draws on its author’s first-hand experience as a soldier in the September campaign against the invading German army in 1939. Imprisoned in a POW camp, Stawin´ski escaped, participated in the Warsaw Uprising, and upon its failure was returned to another POW camp. Eroica displays the futility of the armed struggle against both Germany and Russia, while questioning the idea of heroic suffering. Free for ND Students.

Wednesday, September 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Film: The Promised Land (directed by Andrzej Waidja)
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1976 Academy Awards, Andrzej Wajda’s powerful drama follows three friends — a Polish nobleman, a German, and a Jew, — who pool their resources to build a successful textile factory. But ruthless business tactics and an ill-fated affair risk both their personal and financial capital. In the vein of Dickens, Wajda’s fascinating portrait of Lodz during the birth of gritty 19thcentury capitalism is also a moving tale of male friendship. Free for ND Students.
Wednesday, September 3 at 8:00 p.m.
Film: Ashes and Diamonds (directed by Andrzej Wajda)
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
Ashes and Diamonds is set on the last day of World War II and the first day of peace seen through the eyes of Maciek, a young Polish resistance soldier. The old is rapidly mixing with the new as Nazi rule ends and a new communist regime comes to power. Should Maciek continue his combat when he wants to live a peaceful life? An iconic portrait of the dilemma of a whole generation in Poland, rooted in the literary tradition of great, tragic dramas of romanticism. Free for ND Students.
Thursday, September 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Concert: Paivi Ekroth, Piano
Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
Pianist Päivi Ekroth will present a solo piano recital devoted to Sergei Rachmaninoff's piano music.

Monday, March 24 at 5:00 p.m.
Lecture: “Writing a Memoir of Joseph Brodsky: Problems of Memory, Selection, and Truth”
Speaker: Samuel Ramer, Associate Professor of History at Tulane University
Location: Special Collections Department, 1st floor atrium, Hesburgh Library
Lecture details TBA.

Tuesday, March 25 at 5:00 p.m.
Lecture: “Conflict, Authority, and Social Identity in the Medical World of Zemstvo Russia:  Two Chekhov Stories”
Speaker: Samuel Ramer, Associate Professor of History at Tulane University
Location: 208 DeBartolo Classroom Building
Anton Chekhov’s stories “An Unpleasantness” and “Thieves” take place in the world of late nineteenth-century Russian rural medicine.  In addition to providing us a glimpse of that world, the stories devote special attention to three subjects of vital interest to historians.  The first is that of social identity, something Chekhov clearly thought important to his protagonists.  The stories also explore the relationship between their protagonists’ sense of their own social identity and the conflicts and indignities that were part of their everyday existence.  Finally, Chekhov suggests circumstances in which these seeming trifles of everyday life may suddenly transform our consciousness and perception of the world.  Chekhov knew the world of rural medicine well from his experience as a physician, and the ways in which he linked themes of social identity and everyday frustrations with the potential for radical transformations in consciousness can be suggestive to historians writing on these same subjects.

Sunday, March 30 at 2 p.m.
Concert: Jerusalem Quartet
Location: Leighton Concert Hall, DPAC
Three of the members of this highly acclaimed Israeli string quartet were born in the Soviet Union (Kiev and Kharkov, Ukraine and Minsk, Belarus) and later emigrated to Israel with their families. Their program includes Joseph Haydn’s Quartet in B flat Major, Op. 76, No. 4 (“Sunrise”) and Johannes Brahms’s Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2 alongside Russian composer Dmitry Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 12 in D flat Major, Op. 133. (Student tickets cost $15.)

Tuesday, April 1 at 5:00 p.m.
Lecture: “A Footnote to Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading: The Reichstag Fire and the Execution of Marinus van der Lubbe”
Speaker: David M. Bethea, Vilas Research Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Location: 208 DeBartolo Classroom Building
Readers familiar with Nabokov the magician’s drollery in the forewords to his novels have learned to take his self-referential comments cum grano salis.  Nowhere is this more obvious than in the foreword to Priglashenie na kazn’/Invitation to a Beheading (wr. 1934, ser. 1935-36, pub. 1938), the work triumphantly announced there as a ‘violin in a void.’  The topic of our talk is the extent to which historical context, in this case the Nazi rise to power, lies very close to the surface of Nabokov’s novel, despite his noisy disclaimers.  At the pivot point of our argument is a mentally impaired young Dutchman with communist sympathies by the name of Marinus van der Lubbe (1909-1934).

April 2 at 12:30 p.m.
Brownbag discussion: “The Pushkin Summer Institute at UW-Madison: How to Reach and Recruit Underserved High School Students”
Speaker: David M. Bethea, Vilas Research Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Location: 114 O'Shaughnessy
The Pushkin Summer Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is an empowering and transformative educational experience for American high school students from underprivileged or minority backgrounds. The program is an intensive, six-week residential pre-college program that introduces outstanding high school students to Russian language and culture through the life and works of Russia’s national poet Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (“Russia’s Shakespeare”). Underlying the program is a multi-pronged strategy that combines the latest knowledge about best practices in foreign language acquisition with an integrated subject curriculum focused around Pushkin, whose African heritage was instrumental in his sense of identity and in crucial aspects of his life and works.

Wednesday, April 2 at 5:00 p.m.
Lecture: “Darwin and Vladimir Solov’ev: Where Sophia Meets Survival of the Fittest”
Speaker: David M. Bethea, Vilas Research Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Location: 217 DeBartolo Classroom Building
2009 was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, an individual whose work, beginning with the 1859 On the Origin of Species, changed once and for all the way we look at biological form, the tree of life, and the role of a biblical God as the creator of the universe.  One of the interesting influences that Darwin exerted on the world of culture was in the area of Russian philosophy and religious thought, beginning with the seminal late 19th-century thinker Vladimir Solov’ev.  In the first part of my talk I will explain how Solov’ev’s long article ‘Beauty in Nature’ (Krasota v prirode, 1889) provides a necessary ‘aesthetic’ corrective to Darwin’s theory of species formation; then in the second part I will use an early autobiographical sketch by Solov’ev to demonstrate how the philosopher-poet captures the mating moment (the beginning of everything in Darwin) in a story-form and (typical for Solov’ev) seriocomic manner that takes Darwin, as it were, to another level.

Thursday, April 3 at 5:00 p.m.
Lecture: “The Hawk, the Cod, and 1975: Joseph Brodsky’s Point of No Return”
Speaker: David M. Bethea, Vilas Research Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Location: Special Collections Department, 1st floor atrium, Hesburgh Library
Professor Bethea is the author of the book Joseph Brodsky and the Creation of Exile (1994). 
Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky (1940-96) was the last major Russian poet in the ‘heroic’ tradition, a tradition that ran for two hundred years and began with ‘founding father’ Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837). What happens to the romantic – i.e. romantic as in inheritor of the heroic tradition – poet’s construction of biography when that tradition essentially dies out and the poet, now in exile, enters the cultural space of the New World? We will look at the year 1975 and two masterpiece poems written at this ‘point of no return’ that show Brodsky aware of his place between two traditions and his anxiety going forward.

Sunday, April 6 at 2:00 p.m.
Concert: Pavel Haas Quartet
Location: Leighton Concert Hall, DPAC
Sporting Gramophone's Best Chamber Music and Album of the Year recordings, it is little wonder The London Times calls the Prague-based Pavel Hass Quartet "the world's most exciting string quartet." Take your musical appreciation to the next level as the ensemble renders three probing, daring works in exquisite form, beginning with a vibrant and eerie sound world of buzzing and modal explosions in Leoš Janáček's Kreutzer Sonata and also including Antonin Dvořák’s Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 51 and Beethoven’s Quartet in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2 “Razumovsky,” which was commissioned by the Russian ambassador in Vienna. (Student tickets cost $15.)

Wednesday, April 16 at 5:00 pm
Concert: Russian Romances
Location: Annenburg Auditorium
A recital of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s art songs and a conversation about their poetic, pedagogical, and performance contexts.

Saturday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Concert: Roby Lakatos Ensemble
Location: Leighton Concert Hall, DPAC
Roby Lakatos is a Romani (Gypsy) violinist from Hungary. The Romani or Gypsy sound fascinated 19th-century composers like Liszt and Brahms. Lakotas enchants with that sublimely romantic classical music seamlessly blended with jazz, pop, Broadway and film scores into one sweeping, dramatic, hyper-kinetic Gypsy rave. Lakatos is technically amazing in blazingly fast solos and slow sections of notes that sustain to reach the deepest recesses of the hall. (Student tickets cost $15.)

Thursday, January 30 at 12:30 p.m.
Lecture: “Charlie Chaplin and the Soviet Avant-Garde of the 1920s: On Laws of Fortuity in Art”
Speaker: Yuri Tsivian, William Colvin Professor, Department of Art History, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Department of Comparative Literature, Department of Cinema & Media Studies, and the College at the University of Chicago
Location: Hesburgh Center Auditorium (in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies, near DPAC)
In his lecture, Professor Tsivian, an expert on early Soviet film, looks at those aspects of Chaplin’s acting style that fascinated Soviet left-wing artists and what they made of them.

Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 16 at 1:00 p.m.
Opera: HD Live from the Met Broadcast: Antonin Dvořák’s Rusalka
Location: Browning Cinema, DPAC
Renée Fleming sings her first Live in HD performance of one of her signature roles, the lovelorn mermaid Rusalka, in Dvořák’s sumptuously melodic opera. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a cast that also includes Piotr Beczala as the handsome Prince Rusalka yearns to love; Dolora Zajick as the cackling swamp witch Ježibaba; Emily Magee as the Foreign Princess, Rusalka’s rival; and John Relyea as Rusalka’s father, the Water Sprite (running time: 4 hours).

Thursday, February 13 at 5:00 p.m.
Lecture: “Poetry, Performance, Political Resistance, and Mass Spectacle in the 1960s Soviet Union”
Speaker: Donald Loewen, Associate Professor of Russian and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, SUNY-Binghamton
Location: Special Collections Department, 1st floor atrium, Hesburgh Library
Professor Loewen’s lecture will focus on the mass poetry readings of the 1960s Soviet Union in their “unofficial” and “official” versions, as well as the broader issues surrounding poetry and the idea of the “poet” in the USSR. He will also touch upon some elements of the samizdat publishing culture as they related to poetry in particular.

Thursday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Film Festival: The Rusalka/Mermaid in Russian Film
Location: 116 DeBartolo Classroom Building
Three wonderfully evocative Russian/Soviet films from the 1960s through 1990s (two animated, one live-action) will be shown that illustrate ongoing fascination with the folk figure of the mermaid or rusalka in Russian culture. This event is intended as a companion to the February 8/16 HD Live from the Met broadcast of Czech composer Antonin Dvořák’s opera Rusalka. Please note that due to educational fair use laws, this event is open ONLY to REES faculty and students registered in Russian or REES courses this semester. Admission is free!

Monday, February 24, 2014 from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. 
EUROMAIDAN: Revolution in Ukraine?
Locations: Montgomery Auditorium, LaFortune Student Union
A discussion on the turmoil in Ukraine with A. James McAdams, Director, Nanovic Institute for European Studies and William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs, and Yury Avvakumov, Nanovic Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of Theology. Sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

Friday, February 28 at 4:00 p.m.
Faculty panel: Alexander Borodin’s Opera Prince Igor: Historical, Literary, and Musical Contexts
Location: 106 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Join Professors Alexander Martin (History, Notre Dame), Alyssa Gillespie (Russian, Notre Dame), and Jennifer Muniz (Music, IUSB) as we discuss all you need to know to appreciate Alexander Borodin’s opera, which will be broadcast on March 1 at 12:00 p.m.!

Saturday, March 1 at 11:30 a.m.
Opera Pre-Talk: Jennifer Muniz, Assistant Professor of Music, Indiana University South Bend
Location: Browning Cinema, DPAC

Saturday, March 1 at 12:00 p.m.
Opera: HD Live from the Met Broadcast: Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor
Location: Browning Cinema, DPAC
Alexander Borodin’s epic Prince Igor has its first Met performances since 1917 in a new production staged by noted Russian opera director Dmitri Tcherniakov in his Met debut. Gianandrea Noseda conducts the lush score, famous for its celebrated “Polovtsian Dances,” and Ildar Abdrazakov sings the title role of a 12th-century Russian hero. The cast also includes Oksana Dyka in her Met debut as Yaroslavna, Igor’s emotionally fragile second wife; Anita Rachvelishvili as the fiery Polovtsian princess Konchakovna; Sergey Semishkur in his Met debut as Vladimir Igorevich, Igor’s son and Konchakovna’s lover; Mikhail Petrenko as Prince Galitsky; and Štefan Kocán as the warlord Khan Konchak (running time: 4 1/2 hours). The opera broadcast will be followed by a brief Q&A session led by Jennifer Muniz, Assistant Professor of Music, Indiana University South Bend.

Tuesday, March 4, all day
Lecture forum: The Nanovic Forum with Hanna Suchocka
Location: TBA
Hanna Suchocka, the first female Prime Minister of Poland (1992–93), served under the presidency of Lech Wałęsa (co-founder of the Solidarity movement), and also served as the Ambassador of Poland to the Holy See (2001-13).

Sunday, March 16 at 3 p.m.
Concert: South Bend Symphony Orchestra with violinists Zofia Glashauser and Nicolas Orbovich
Location: Leighton Concert Hall, DPAC
An afternoon of music featuring a mixture of works by Western and Eastern European composers: Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1, Henri Vieuxtemps: Fantasie Caprise, Op. 11, Henryk Wieniawski: Polonaise Brilliante No. 1 in D major, Op. 4, Pablo de Sarasate: Navarra and Antonin Dvořák: Serenade for Strings Op. 22. (Student tickets cost $8.)

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013, 4:30PM
Lecture: Marianne Kielian-Gilbert, Professor of Music at The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University at Bloomington, "Stravinsky’s Masks of Abstraction — Russian Orthodox Bell Ringing, Ostranenie, and Aesthetic Distance in The Rite of Spring and Symphony of Psalms"
Location: 131 Decio Hall
For a century Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps has evoked conflicting discourses on its status as concert music ("for its own sake"), its multiple choreographies, its nationalistic versus cosmopolitan expressions, and its ritualized sex-gender portrayals. Experiencing Russian Orthodox bell ringing practices in Stravinsky’s music offers ways to think about how The Rite’s music-sounds might intervene in these discourses. Visual mage and music interact similarly in Juri Kylián’s choreography of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms: balletic gestures articulate experiential action complexes of sonic materials and vice versa, materializing action in sound and sound in action. Such action practices can mark border-lines of everyday reality, “making it strange” (ostranenie)— “defamiliarizing” and heightening perception and preventing its automatization.
About our speaker:
Marianne Kielian-Gilbert is Professor of Music at The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University at Bloomington where she teaches Music Theory. A member of the Editorial Board of Perspectives of New Music, she has also served as co-editor of that journal. Recent publications concern music, philosophy and feminist theory, and music and analysis in different experiential, cultural, material/media, and philosophical orientations. Her work on Stravinsky has appeared in Perspectives of New Music, Music Theory Spectrum, Theory and Practice, Journal of Musicology, and is forthcoming in an essay collection from Indiana University Press: Reassessing Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps 1913/2013.

Wednesday, November 13 at 4:30pm
Lecture: Professor Scott Kenworthy, "Patriarch Tikhon and Russian Orthodoxy in North America and Revolutionary Russia, 1898-1925"
Location: 242 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Tikhon Bellavin was chosen as Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church in November 1917, at the very moment when the Bolsheviks were seizing power. He was therefore at the center of the conflict between the militantly atheist revolutionary regime and Russia's foremost religious institution. In addition to his critical role during the Russian Revolution, before his election as patriarch he served a great variety of posts within Imperial Russia and was bishop of the Orthodox Church in North America for nearly a decade at the beginning of the century, a time of great transformation in American Orthodoxy. He is therefore one of the most important figures in twentieth-century Russian Orthodox history.
Scott Kenworthy is a fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study and Associate Professor of Comparative Religion at Miami University in Ohio. His work focuses on the modern history of Orthodox Christianity, and he is the author of an award-winning book on Russian monasticism,The Heart of Russia: Trinity-Sergius, Monasticism and Society after 1925.

Thursday, November 7 at 7:00pm
Concert: Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Location: Leighton Concert Hall, DPAC
The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, only on its second U.S. tour, attracts attention. Recognized with a Grammy for the recordings of Sibelius' cantatas, in 2005The New York Timesnamed their CDPeer Gyntas "a surprise highlight" of the year and in 2006 it also won theBBC Music Magazineaward for best orchestral album. Estonian-born Ainomäe, who performs on an 1897 instrument by Stafano Scarampella, is currently Principal Cellist of the Colorado Symphony. The program will include works by Estonian-born composer Veljo Tormis, Dvořák, and Tchaikovsky.

Tuesday, November 5 at 4:00pm
Lecture: Caryl Emerson, A. Watson Armour III University Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University, “The Catholic Muse in Russian Emigre Music: Artur Lourie and Jacques Maritain”
Location: 117 Haggar
Additional Information

Monday, November 4 at 5:00pm
Lecture: Caryl Emerson, A. Watson Armour III University Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University, “Sentimental and Fantastic: Two Ways to Move Russian Literary Classics into Opera (Eugene Onegin and The Nose)”
Location: 207 DeBartolo
Additional information

Saturday, October 26 at 1:00pm
Opera: Dmitry Shostakovich’s The Nose (based on the story by Nikolai Gogol)
Location: Browning Cinema, DPAC (The Met Opera: Live in HD broadcast)
William Kentridge’s dazzlingly innovative production of Shostakovich’s shocking, unconventional opera about a beleaguered Russian official and his runaway nose returns to the Met for the first time since its sold-out 2010 premiere. Pavel Smelkov conducts a cast led by Paulo Szot as the hapless Kovalyov, with Andrey Popov as the menacing Police Inspector and Alexander Lewis as Kovalyov's peripatetic nose.

Thursday, October 17 at 5:00 p.m.
Lecture: Michael Meng, Assistant Professor of Modern German History, Clemson University,
Shannon Prize Award Presentation and Lecture on "Shattered Spaces: Encountering Jewish
Ruins in Postwar Germany and Poland"
Location: Eck Visitors’ Center Auditorium
Michael Meng is currently co-editing with Erica Lehrer a volume on Jewish space in post-Communist Poland, working on a new book project, The Frankfurt Judengasse: A Cultural History since 1796, and is writing several essays on immigration debates in postwar Europe, Jewish emotions and travel after the Holocaust, and montage as a narrative device in the discipline of history.

Thursday, October 10 at 7:00pm
Film: Elena (directed by Andrey Zviagintsev, Russia, 2011)
Location: Browning Cinema, DPAC
Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Elena is a gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Elena, a dowdy former nurse has “married up” and shares a palatial Moscow apartment with Vladimir, a wealthy businessman. Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir openly despises his wife’s freeloading son and family. But when a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten the dutiful housewife’s potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan in this subtly stylish exploration of crime, punishment and human nature.

Saturday, October 5 at 12:30 p.m. (introduction) and 1:00 p.m. (broadcast); Saturday, October 12 at 1:00 p.m. (encore broadcast only, no introduction)
Opera: Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (based on the novel-in-verse by Alexander Pushkin)
Location: Browning Cinema, DPAC (The Met Opera: Live in HD broadcast)
The season begins with acclaimed English director Deborah Warner's new production of Tchaikovsky's romantic tragedy Eugene Onegin, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Anna Netrebko opens her third consecutive Met season in her company role debut as Tatiana, the naïve heroine from Pushkin's classic novel. Mariusz Kwiecien portrays the self-confident title character, in a much-admired interpretation he has sung in many of the world's leading opera houses, and Piotr Beczala reprises his acclaimed performance as Onegin's friend-turned-rival, Lenski. Reviewing Warner's production, the Sunday Telegraph praised its “mixture of haunting visual and emotional impact: cutting straight to the heart of the work, [Warner] shows how Onegin is simultaneously about two colliding Russian societies—rustic provincialism and cosmopolitan decadence—and three wasted lives.” The October 5 broadcast will be introduced by Kevin Bartig, Assistant Professor of Musicology at Michigan State University, and a brief Q&A session will follow the opera. "The Year of the Slavic Opera" information

Friday, October 4, 4:00pm
Faculty panel: Russian Literary Operas: Text, History, Politics, Music
Location: 242 O'Shaughnessy
"The Year of the Slavic Opera" information
A panel of faculty experts will discuss the phenomenon of Russian operatic transformations of classic literary texts, with an emphasis on Eugene Onegin (Pushkin/Tchaikovsky) and The Nose (Gogol/Shostakovich), the two operas to be presented by the Metropolitan Opera and broadcast in HD in the Browning Cinema this fall.

Tuesday, September 24 at 8:00pm
Film: Man with a Movie Camera (directed by Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1929)
Location: Browning Cinema, DPAC
Considered one of the most innovative and influential films of the silent era, this dawn-to-dusk view of the Soviet Union offers a montage of urban Russian life, showing people of the city at work and at play. Vertov's first full-length film employs all the cinematic techniques at the director's disposal -- dissolves, split-screens, slow-motion, and freeze-frames -- to produce a work that is exhilarating and intellectually brilliant.

Thursday, April 11, at 7:00-9:00pm
Exam: Graduate Foreign Reading Exam in Russian
Location: 317 O'Shaughnessy
Graduate students should filll out a registration form and submit it to the departmental Administrative Assistant, Nell C. Collins, in 318 O'shaughnessy.

Thursday, April 4, 5:00 p.m
Lecture: Professor David Shearer (University of Delaware), “Spies, Scoundrels, and Adventurers: Russian, Soviet, and Other Foreign Explorers in Central Asia, 1870-1930”
Location: 117 DeBartolo Hall
This lecture describes Russian imperial and Soviet scientific explorations in central Asia, Mongolia, and Tibet from the 1870s through the 1930s. It examines how science, adventure, and popular imagination merged in Central Asian expeditions, as did the goals of colonialism and revolution. We will examine the multiple (and sometimes secret) purposes of Russian and Soviet scientific expeditions and the routes they traced. The lecture will compare and contrast their descriptions of Central Asia with those of explorers from other Occidental nations and empires, especially the Americans, British, Germans, and French.

Thursday, March 21 at 5:00 p.m.
Lecture: Ronald G. Suny, Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor of Social and Political History, University of Michigan, “Niko Nikoladze (1843-1928) and the Emergence of Modern Georgia”
Location: Hesburgh Library, Special Collections
A Man of the 1860s, Niko Nikoladze rose from humble origins to become a major figure in the movement to reform the Russian Empire and modernize his native land, Georgia. He was a friend and associate of the great Russian political activist Alexander Herzen and over time gravitated from revolutionary activity to working within the tsarist system to improve the lives of his countrymen. Nikoladze became mayor of the Black Sea port of Poti, and in small ways he worked to develop that town. He survived into the Soviet period, and despite his not being a Marxist was even honored by the Soviet state. Nikoladze's extraordinary career and his contributions to the history of Georgia are explored by Professor Ronald Suny in a lecture tying this figure to the larger picture of the emergence of modern Georgia.

Sunday, March 10 at 3:00 p.m.
Concert: Slavic Heritage
Location: Leighton Concert Hall, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
The June H. Edwards Chamber Series concludes with a program featuring guest artist and South Bend Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Lara Turner. This program explores Slavic Heritage with an afternoon ofArensky, variations on themes by Tchaikovsky, and Dvorak. Student tickets cost just $8.

Saturday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 3 at 3:00 p.m.
Film: Anna Karenina (directed by Joe Wright, 2012)
Location: Browning Cinema, DPAC
The third collaboration between actress Keira Knightley and director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) is a bold, theatrical vision of Leo Tolstoy’s epic love story. Adapted for the screen by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love), this sweeping romance follows the titular Anna as she questions her happiness and marriage among the aristocrats of 19th-century Russia. Co-presented by the Russian Club and the Department of German and Russian. Introduced by Dr. Molly Peeney, Special Professional Faculty in Russian Language and Literature.

Thursday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m.
Film: Barbara (directed by Christian Petzoid, 2012)
Location: Browning Cinema, DPAC
A Berlin doctor is sent to a rural East German hospital as punishment for applying for an exit visa in summer of 1980. While her West German lover works on her escape, a new romance starts to blossom between Barbara and the head physician of her new hospital. Unsure if her new romance is a spy or not, BARBARA paints a haunting picture of a woman being slowly crushed between the irreconcilable needs of desire and survival. Winner of the Best Director prize at the Berlin Film Festival and Germany’s official Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film. Free tickets are available to students at the Nanovic Institute, 211 Brownson Hall.

Friday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Film: The Turin Horse (directed by Bela Tarr, 2012)
Location: Browning Cinema, DPAC
On January 3, 1889 in Turin, Italy, Friedrich Nietzsche steps out of the doorway of number six, Via Carlo Albert. Not far from him, a cab driver is having trouble with a stubborn horse. The horse refuses to move, whereupon the driver loses his patience and takes his whip to it. Nietzsche puts an end to the brutal scene, throwing his arms around the horse’s neck, sobbing. After this, he lies motionless and silent for two days on a divan, until he loses consciousness and his mind. Somewhere in the countryside, the driver of the cab lives with his daughter and the horse. Outside, a windstorm rages. Immaculately photographed in Bela Tarr’s renowned long takes, The Turin Horse is the final statement from a master filmmaker. Free tickets are available to students at the Nanovic Institute, 211 Brownson Hall.

Thursday, February 7 at 4:30 p.m.
Lecture: Patterns of Mass Culture and Mass Consciousness in Russia: Post-Soviet Dynamics (1990s-2010s)
Location: 106 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Andrey Miroshnichenko, Fulbright-Kennan Institute Research Scholar, Washington, D.C.;Media Analyst, Consultant, and Columnist
This lecture will cover the cultural, social, media, and consumer shifts in Russian mass consciousness that have occurred since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Topics addressed will include the so-called New Russians, the "evil" 1990s, Russian post-Soviet conspicuous consumption, the iPhone vs. the chanson (art song), TV vs. the Internet, blogger activism, and other patterns that define the contemporary, post-Soviet Russian identity. Shifts in linguistic culture and usage during this time period will also be discussed.

Saturday, December 15, 2012
Concert: The Klezmatics
Often called a “Jewish roots band,” the Klezmatics is the vanguard in a popular revival of the ages-old, nearly forgotten East European klezmer art form (a sort of “Jewish jazz”). They’ve collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner and Israeli vocal icon Chava Alberstein. After 25 years, three original members—Lorin Sklamberg (lead vocals, accordion, guitar, piano), Frank London (trumpet, keyboards, vocals) and Paul Morrissett (bass, tsimbl, vocals)— alongside longtime members Matt Darriau (kaval, clarinet, saxophone, vocals) and Lisa Gutkin (violin, vocals), continue sharing music made for dancing with the world.

Sunday, December 2, 2012
Concert: Recital of songs by Modest Mussorgsky, performed by Yury Avvakumov, Assistant
Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
Location: Annenberg Auditorium, Snite Museum of Art
Song texts will be made available to interested Russian language students/speakers in advance.

Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Film: My Perestroika
Location: Browning Cinema at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
My Perestroika follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times, from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post- Soviet Russia. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionment of  those raised behind the Iron Curtain. Director Robin Hessman will appear in person. Student admission is $4,  general admission is $7. Free advance tickets will be available to students registered in REES and Russian courses.

Thursday, November 6, 2012
Lecture: Ronald Grigor Suny, Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor of Social and Political History  and Director of Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, University of Michigan: “The Russian- Georgian Intelligentsia at the Turn of the Twentieth Century”
Location: Hesburgh Library, Special Collection

September 20 through mid-December, 2012
Exhibit: From St. Petersburg to Notre Dame: The Miraculous Journey of the Polievktov-Nikoladze  Family Archive through a Century of War and Revolution
The Polievktov-Nikoladze Family Papers, acquired by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2006-2008, derive from three generations of a prominent and historically significant Georgian family. The collection includes the papers of a leading historian of the St. Petersburg school, notable among which are the transcriptions of interviews with leading figures of the February Revolution, conducted in May 1917 by a commission he himself organized. The collection includes personal and professional correspondence, diaries, photographs, and other manuscript formats. Three speakers will come to campus in connection with the exhibit and give public talks on September 20,  October 23, November 8, at the Special Collections Room of the Hesburgh Library. More details on these lectures are below.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Discussion: Europe Today: Poland
Location: TBA
Join the Nanovic Institute in exploring contemporary Poland.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 time TBA
Lecture: Gary M. Hamburg, Otto M. Behr Professor of European Intellectual History at
Claremont McKenna College: “The St. Petersburg School of Russian History and the History of  Historical Writing during Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia”
Location: Hesburgh Library, Special Collections

Friday, October 5-Saturday, October 6, 2012
Conference: Midwest Russian History Workshop biannual meeting
Location: McKenna Hall
The workshop involves the discussion of twelve pre-circulated papers on Russian or Soviet history by historians from around the Midwest, including some by our own ND graduate students. ND faculty and students are welcome  to attend. The specific panel topics and times are as follows: Oct. 5 at 1:30-2:50, “Soviet Culture”; Oct. 5 at 3:10- 5:30, “Muslim Borderlands of the Soviet Union”; Oct. 6 at 8:30-11:00, “Provincial Russian Society in the Imperial Era”; Oct. 6 at 11:20-12:50, “Social History of Pre-Reform Russia”; Oct. 6 at 2:30-4:00, “Soviet  Culture in the Stalin Era.”

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Lecture: Rex A. Wade, University Professor of History at George Mason University: “Irakli
Tsereteli and the Nature of Revolutionary Leadership”
Location: Hesburgh Library Special Collections
Professor Wade is the leading North American authority on the 1917 Revolution.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Lecture: Kirk Doran, Assistant Professor of Economics and Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow, “The  Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians”
Location: Hesburgh Center, Room C103
Professor Doran will discuss his recent study which shows that in the period between the establishment and fall of  communism, Soviet mathematics developed in an insular fashion and along very different specializations than American mathematics. As a result, some mathematicians experienced few potential insights from Soviet mathematics after the collapse of the Soviet Union, while other fields experienced a flood of new mathematicians,  theorems and ideas.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Golosá Russian Folk Choir
Carey Auditorium, first floor Hesburgh Library
Free admission, open to the public

Monday, November 14
“What is in a Samovar? The Russian Crisis, the Soviet Adventure and the post-
Soviet Enterprise on Paintings Featuring an Innocuous Water Boiling Device,” Dr. Gábor Tamás Rittersporn
Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet painters have been busy painting samovars since the early 1840s. At the first sight nothing seems to be a more innocent exercise. Yet a closer look reveals that the object was and is not a simple water boiling utensil for most of artists. So much so that they often neglected and continue to neglect the forms and materiality of the samovar or the singular light effects it may produce. Many a painter wanted and has the intention today as well to convey a message through placing a samovar or two on pictures. But even samovars, which have not really been intended to speak tell volumes about Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet history, culture, society and politics. Dr. Rittersporn is the Director for Research and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris. Sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies; cosponsored by the program in Russian and East European Studies, College of Arts and Letters, and Department of History. Admission is free!

Tuesday, November 15
“Stalin in the Moscow Metro: Manifestations of a Dictator, Apparitions of a Ghost
and Elusive Futures in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia,” Dr. Gábor Tamás Rittersporn
The Moscow Metro is far more than a vulgar means of public transport. People who conceived, built and decorated it wanted to astonish the world. They were quite successful. The architecture and decoration of the Metro continue to impress post-Soviet citizens as well as foreign visitors. Stations constructed between the mid-1930s and the mid-1950s are closely associated with Iosif V. Stalin, if for nothing else then because the era is designated by the dictator's name. Many passengers know that his effigies used to adorn subway stops. But hardly anyone can tell where and by what they were replaced in the 1960s when the authorities believed they could exorcise Stalin's ghost through simply removing his omnipresent portraits from public sight. Sculptures, mosaics and reliefs at underground stops with the figure of the dictator suggested unintended messages already when Stalin was still alive. Their substitutes are doing the same. The messages are about the Soviet project but one may wonder if they do not tell something about post-Soviet Russia. Dr. Rittersporn is the Director for Research and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris. Sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies; co-sponsored by the program in Russian and East European Studies, College of Arts and Letters, and Department of History. Admission is free!

Thursday, October 6
Lecture: 2011 Shannon Prize Lecture, Tara Zahra (University of Chicago)
Tara Zahra (University of Chicago) will present the 2011 Shannon Prize Lecture entitled The Battle for Children: Displacement, Humanitarianism, and Ethnic Cleansing in 20th Century Europe. Admission is free!

Wednesday, October 5
Study Abroad Information: Presented by Office of International Studies

Tuesday, September 20
Lecture: “After Violence: Participation over Retaliation in Beslan,” Debra Javeline
Debra Javeline, Associate Professor of Political Science; Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow, University of Notre Dame. Cosponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Sunday, September 11
Welcome Back Picnic for Students
Thursday, March 24
Lecture: ‘Moscow, the Third Rome’ – ‘Kiev, the New Jerusalem’: Religious History and Political Mythology in Contemporary Russia and Ukraine”
Religious history for centuries provided a background for controversies between Ukrainian nationalism and Russian imperialism and was a source of political imagination. Today, religion remains one of the crucial flash points in relations between the two countries and peoples, given that Churches and their leaders are actively engaged in political discourse. Ongoing discussions about the “national idea” and “global positioning” of each of these countries between “East” and “West,” “Europe” and “Asia,” make massive use of and recourse to religious history. The lecture will explore some basic paradigms of this discourse. The clash between different ideological orientations will reveal itself as a clash between different understandings of Christianity, its history, and its message in the contemporary world. This lecture will be given by Yury Avvakumov, Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Prof. Avvakumov specializes in Russian and Ukrainian religious history and in the theology and history of the Byzantine rite Churches (Catholic and Orthodox) from their medieval beginnings to the present day.

Tuesday, April 5
Lecture: Brian Boyd, Distinguished Professor of English, University of Auckland (New Zealand), “Nabokov as Psychologist: Routes for Exploration”
Nabokov once responded to Robbe-Grillet’s claims that his fiction eliminated psychology by calling them “preposterous. . . . the shifts of levels, the interpenetration of successive impressions and so forth belong of course to psychology—psychology at its best.” Reminded of this in another interview and asked “Are you a psychological novelist?” he answered: “All novelists of any worth are psychological novelists.”Perhaps it is time to expand our sense of Nabokov, and of the psychology of fiction, by considering him as a passionate (and of course a playful) psychologist. To what extent does he replicate or anticipate findings in abnormal, clinical, personality and social psychology, in the psychology of perception, attention, emotion, memory, and imagination? What precursors in fictional psychology (Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce?) does he emulate or challenge? What can we learn from both the psychology implicit and explicit in the characters of his fiction, and from the psychology implicit in his relation to his readers?

Wednesday, April 6
Public Lecture: Brian Boyd, "The Story Mind"
Why do we love fiction? How did evolution shape our minds to see the world in narrative terms, and to crave even stories we know to be untrue? Does fiction love us back: does it offer us benefits, or only distraction?

Thursday, April 14
Film: Karamazovi
A film that examines the relationships between lives on both sides of the proscenium, Czech director Petr Zelenka’s Karamazovi finds a Prague-based theatrical ensemble arriving in Krakow, Poland, where its members prepare to mount a stage production of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov. The central catch behind this unusual production is the locale: the play will be conducted at the local steelworks. Zelenka’s central narrative crisscrosses two spheres of reality—the documentary-like sphere of the actors playing the characters, and the more traditional cinematic narrative involving the characters in the play itself. Soon, distinct, haunting parallels between the two begin to emerge. Then, an unexpected tragedy arrives from out of left field that brutally impacts one of the spectators of the play, and further echoes the structure and preoccupations of the tale in the original novel. Throughout, Zelenka explores one central theme: that of intellectuals and their moral accountability to a world that has lost both spiritual faith and a bedrock of ethos. (Synopsis by Nathan Southern, Rovi) The 7:00 p.m. screening will be introduced by director Petr Zelenka!

Thursday, January 27
Film: Katyn
Directed by the famed Polish director Andrzej Wajda, Katyn is about the murder of 15,000 Polish officers by the Soviet Secret Police during World War II. Among them was Wajda’s own father. Katyn uses stories from authentic diaries and letters to tell the fate of four fictional officers and their families. The truth was denied by the Soviet government until nearly sixty years after the massacre. The screening will be introduced by Mikolaj Kunicki, assistant professor of history and Nanovic Institute Faculty Fellow.

Tuesday, November 30
Lecture: Monika Nalepa, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Ntore Dame
"Skeletons in the Closet: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe"
A lecture by Assistant Professor of Political Science Monika Nalepa, University of Notre Dame. The speaker tackles three puzzles of transitions to democracy: (1) Why do autocrats ever step down from power peacefully if they know they may be held accountable for their involvement in the regime?(2) When does the opposition refrain from meting out punishment to the former autocrats once the transition is complete?(3) Why, in some countries, does transitional justice get adopted when successors of former communists hold parliamentary majorities? She argues that transitional justice can be impeded when collaborators of the authoritarian regime infiltrate the opposition. She supports her theory using a combination of interviews, archival evidence, and statistical analysis of survey experiments in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

Thursday, November 18
Film: The Man from London, directed by Béla Tarr (Hungary)
A man whose lonely life at the edge of the sea has become as predictable as the tide witnesses a murder that sends him on an existential journey the likes of which he could never have anticipated in director Béla Tarr's philosophical drama. Maloin had reached a point in life where he was content to embrace loneliness while turning a blind eye to the inevitable decay that surrounded him. Upon bearing witness to a shocking murder, however, the man who once lived a life of quiet solitude is forced to wrestle with such profound issues as punishment, mortality, and the sin of complicity in a crime he didn't even commit. Now, despite Maloin's simple wish to be free and happy, he must journey deep within his inner-self to confront emotions that he never once fathomed in his long yet uneventful existence.

Sunday, November 7
Moscow State Symphony with pianist Jeremy Denk
Acclaimed as one of the greatest orchestras from a cultural tradition rich with extraordinary symphonic ensembles, the planned repertoire featuring pianist Jeremy Denk includes Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, Op. 45; Greig’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op.16; Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto in G Minor, Op. 16, No. 2, and Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky and Ravel.

Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 31
Mussorsky's opera Boris Godunov (Live from the Metropolitan Opera broadcast in HD)
René Pape takes on one of the greatest bass roles in a production by renowned theater and opera director Peter Stein, in his Met debut. Valery Gergiev conducts Mussorgsky’s epic spectacle that captures the suffering and ambition of a nation. “Boris Godunov is a masterpiece,” Stein says. “The challenge is to transmit the enormous emotional depth of the whole thing. Boris is the czar, but he is expressing a problem we all have: the consequences of human actions.” Aleksandr Antonenko, Vladimir Ognovenko, and Ekaterina Semenchuk lead the huge cast.

Thursday, October 14
Lecture: Alyssa Gillespie, Associate Professor of Russian, University of Notre Dame. "Boris Godunov and Dmitry the Pretender: History, Poetry, Opera, Theater".
A lecture on Russian poet Alexander Pushkin’s interpretation of Russia’s “Time of Troubles” (late 16th-early 17th centuries) in his playBoris Godunov, and the play’s later artistic transformations, with a focus on the work as a meditation on the morality of art. Come learn about Pushkin's play and Mussorgsky's opera prior to the Live from the Met HD broadcast.

Thursday, April 1
Lecture: Willard Sunderland, University of Cincinnati. “The Russian Cortés? Yermak and the Problem of Conquest in Russian History”.

March 18, 2010
Picturing Rachmaninoff: A synergistic display of music, art, and poetry.
Pianist Stephen B. Cook performs Sergei Rachmaninoff's Etudes-Tableaux Op. 39 accompanied by projected images of paintings (mostly Russian) and readings of Russian poetry translated by Notre Dame Professor of Russian Alyssa Gillespie. In the Carey Auditorium.  Stephen Cook, piano performing Picturing Rachmaninoff: Music, Poetry, and Painting in Concert:

February 25, 2010
Jehanne Gheith, Duke University: “‘I had to take my son and my mother into exile: Experiences of parents and children in the Gulag”.

February 10-13, 2010
Caryl Emerson, A. Watson Armour III,University Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University, Provost’s Distinguished Woman Lecturer at the University of Notre Dame.

Wednesday, February 10
Lecture: Brothers Karamazov the Opera: Turning a “polyphonic” novel into redemptive religious art.

Wednesday, February 10
Lecture: Russian Classics on the Stalinist Stage: The Case of Boris Godunov, 1936.
(Pushkin, Meyerhold, Prokofiev)

Thursday, February 11
Lecture: The State of the Humanities: A Discussion.

Thursday, February 11
Lecture: Tolstoy and Shakespeare.
Centennial comments on a very famous feud, with a sideways glance at Bernard Shaw.

Friday, February 12
Seminar: Tools for Teaching the Post-Boom Bakhtin: A Workshop and Practicum.

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Lecture: Conor O'Dwyer, Assistant Professor of Political Science and European Studies, University of Florida. "The Advantages of Underdevelopment? The Politics of Second-Generation Economic Reform in 'New' Europe".

Monday, April 20, 2009
Professor William Brumfield, Russian Studies and Architecture, Tulane University. "Pushkin's Boldino: National Myth and Provincial Reality in Contemporary Russia".
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Films of Yuri Norstein: An Animator's Journey.
Animated shorts by Russian director Yuri Norstein (a presentation by Clare Kitson, author of Yuri Norstein and Tale of Tales: An Animator's Journey, preceded the first screening).

Tuesday, January 13 - Friday, January 16, 2009
Seminar: Igor Pilshchikov, Leading Researcher, Institute of World Culture, Moscow State University.
Nanovic Institute Visiting European Scholar Seminar. For more information and the seminar poster, including a complete list of lectures and events, click here.

Friday, January 9 - Sunday, January 11, 2009
Alexander Pushkin and Russian National Identity: Taboo Texts, Topics, Interpretations.

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Lecture: Charles Barber, Professor of Art History, University of Notre Dame."Before and Beyond Modernism: Icons as Art".

Thursday, November 13, 2008
Film: Alice
Film by Czech director Jan Svankmajer (a presentation by Malynne Sternstein, Associate Professor of Slavic Studies at the University of Chicago, preceded the first screening).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Lecture: David Gasperetti, Associate Professor of Russian, University of Notre Dame. "And Now, Ladies and Gentleman, Introducing The Brothers Karamazov: or, Loosening Up Tied Ends".

Tuesday, October 7 and Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Play: Patrick Dewane, The Mushroom Picker.
One-man play about a Czech-American soldier fighting in his ancestral homeland during World War II.

August 31-November 23, 2008
Exhibit: Maxim Kantor, Selections from the Wasteland and Metropolis Print Suites. Milly and Fritz Kaeser Mestrovic Studio Gallery, Snite Museum of Art.
Wasteland principally revolves around Kantor's characteristic Russian themes: the repression and squalor of the late Soviet era, and the chaotic, crime-ridden, gangster-plagued birth of a new Russian State. But in Metropolis he has created a vast compendium of images inspired by ancient and modern art, newspapers and photography, on the lines of a medieval "Universal History" updated for our age, embracing geography, history, mythologies, stories pagan, biblical and Christian, illustrating societies, their hierarchies and power politics.

Thursday, April 17, 2008
Lecture: Holly Case, Assistant Professor of History, Cornell University. "The European Unification of World War II: Schemes from the East".

Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Film: Alexander Nevsky.
Directed by Sergei Eisenstein with musical score by Sergei Prokofiev (the screening was preceded by brief presentations by three Notre Dame faculty members: Alexander Martin, Department of History, Alyssa Gillespie, Department of German and Russian, and Susan Ohmer, Department of Film, Television, and Theatre).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Lecture: Christine Engel, University of Innsbruck. "Seeking a National Idea: Russian Cinema Today".

Monday, February 18, 2008
Lecture: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova, Founder of the Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center and the Community School Movement in Russia. "Why Russians Like Putin: the Siberian Perspective".

Thursday, November 29, 2007
Lecture: Oleg Proskurin, Fellow, Institute of Russian Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg) and Affiliated Faculty, Emory University. "Politics, Sex, and Literature in Eighteenth-Century Russia: The Institution of Favoritism in the Mirror of Mock Poetry".

Monday, November 12, 2007
Presentation: Oxana Semenyuk, exchange student at Penn High School.
Presentation about Ukraine, Ukrainian culture, and Oxana's hometown of Ivano-Frankivsk

Saturday, February 24, 2007
Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin from the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Live HD telecast of the Met production, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Renee Fleming in the leads; sung in Russian with English subtitles.

Saturday, January 27, 2007
Moscow Festival Ballet performs Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake."
Sponsored by ND Presents.

Monday, November 13, 2006
Lecture: Professor Thomas Goltz, Visiting Scholar at the University of Montana at Missoula. "The Chechen National Disaster and Other Conflicts in the Post-Soviet Caucasus".

Saturday, September 23, 2006
PAC Classic Film Series: Screening of "The Battleship Potemkin".
Directed by Sergei Eisenstein.

Thursday, September 21, 2006
Nanovic Film Series: Screening of "The Rider Named Death".
Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov (Russia 2005), introduced by Elena Monastireva-Ansdell, Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian, Bowdoin College.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Lecture: Georgi Derluguian, Associate Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University."The Dilemmas of Russian De-Democratization".

Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Lecture: William Craft Brumfield, Professor of Slavic Studies and Lecturer in Architecture, Tulane University. "Church and Identity in Russia: The Tikhvin-Dormition Monastery and the Return of the Tikhvin Icon of the Theotokos".