News

  • Call for Manuscript Proposals (Academic Studies Press)

    Academic Studies Press is looking for manuscript proposals in Russian studies for our series “Cultural Revolutions: Russia in the Twentieth and the Twenty-First Centuries.” This series, edited by Boris Wolfson from Amherst College, is active from 2009 and steadily produces at least one book a year, presenting lively scholarly dialogue about events, figures, ideas, and cultural artifacts that have defined modern Russian culture. We welcome monographs, thematic collections, anthologies, as well as scholarly guides to authors/thinkers, periods, historical events, and texts that examine the literary, visual and material culture of the “long” twentieth century-from one fin-de-siècle (1890s) to the other (2000s). This series is designed to gather some of the most far-reaching studies in literature, history, visual art, film, theater, and anthropology, to frame key questions that will animate scholarship of twentieth-century Russia for decades to come.

    All submitted manuscripts will go through double blind peer review. In-house copyediting, indexing, proofreading and cover art are provided. The process of production, from first submission to book release, will take approximately nine to twelve months. To reach all interested readers, Academic Studies Press will also invest in a marketing campaign, which will include flyers, free review copies, online publications at our website and in social networks, and presentations at relevant conferences. We also make active use of digital representation, and will happily offer the option of uploading the texts to our open access platform in order to increase their visibility.

    To submit a proposal, please send a short description of your project (up to 1000 words) to Kate Yanduganova at kate.yan@academicstudiespress.com. You are also welcome to visit our webpage to discover more series in various branches of Slavic and Jewish studies that are currently open for proposals.

  • Letter from Eva Forgacs, SHERA President

    Dear Sheraens,

    At the end of my term as President of SHERA I would like to thank all Board members for their hard work to keep our Society in good shape, increasing membership, posting our news, and contributing to making progress. Thanks go to all SHERA members for enthusiastically participating in our activities, sharing news of their work, achievements, and publications, and participate in our sponsored sessions at CAA and ASEEES. We greatly appreciate the continued support of our institutional members.

    Thanks to the organizing work of Karen Kettering and the jury she recruited, we were able to establish the long-planned Emerging Scholar Essay Prize and award it in 2017 and 2018. We owe thanks to the anonymous donor who made it possible for us to award a SHERA Travel Grant for a confirmed speaker to facilitate attendance of CAA or ASEEES respectively in alternating years.

    It would have been very difficult to oversee our activities without the continued counseling and attention of former Presidents Margaret Samu and Natasha Kurchanova.

    It has been an honor for me to serve and I am confident that SHERA continues to make further progress under the guardianship of our new President and the continuing service of our Officers.

    I wish a Happy Holiday Season to all of you and look forward to meeting up at our SHERA-sponsored sessions and other venues.

    With Greetings to All, Eva Forgacs

  • SHERA Graduate Student / Independent Scholar Travel Grant

    SHERA Graduate Student / Independent Scholar Travel Grant

    The SHERA board is pleased to announce that Dr. Ekaterina Heath of the University of Sydney has been selected as the recipient of the SHERA Graduate Student / Independent Scholar Travel Grant for CAA 2019. She will deliver her paper entitled “Picturing the Cathay in Russia: Political use of Chinoiserie interiors under Empress Elisabeth Petrovna and Emperor Peter III” in the panel “Looking East: Russian Orientalism in a Global Context.” For more details see CAA’s webpage.

  • CONF: Eclecticism at the Edges: Medieval Art and Architecture at the Crossroads of the Latin, Greek, and Slavic Cultural Spheres c.1300–c.1550

    CONF: Eclecticism at the Edges: Medieval Art and Architecture at the Crossroads of the Latin, Greek, and Slavic Cultural Spheres c.1300–c.1550

    On April 5-6, 2019, the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture will co-host “Eclecticism at the Edges: Medieval Art and Architecture at the Crossroads of the Latin, Greek, and Slavic Cultural Spheres,” along with the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University, the International Center of Medieval Art, and The Index of Medieval Art at Princeton University. This two-day symposium focuses on the art, history, and culture of Eastern Europe between the 14th and the 16th centuries.

    In response to the global turn in art history and medieval studies, “Eclecticism at the Edges” explores the temporal and geographic parameters of the study of medieval art, seeking to challenge the ways in which we think about the artistic production of Eastern Europe from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries. This event will serve as a long-awaited platform to examine, discuss, and focus on the eclectic visual cultures of the Balkan Peninsula and the Carpathian Mountains, the specificities, but also the shared cultural heritage of these regions. It will raise issues of cultural contact, transmission, and appropriation of western medieval and Byzantine artistic and cultural traditions in eastern European centers, and consider how this heritage was deployed to shape notions of identity and visual rhetoric in these regions that formed a cultural landscape beyond medieval, Byzantine, and modern borders.

    Keynote Lectures

    Dr. Jelena Erdeljan (University of Belgrade): Cross-Cultural Entanglement and Visual Culture in Eastern Europe c. 1300–1550

    Dr. Michalis Olympios (University of Cyprus): “Eclecticism,” “Hybridity,” and “Transculturality” in Late Medieval Art: A View from the Eastern Mediterranean

    Symposium Speakers

    Dr. Vlad Bedros (National University of Arts, Bucharest): A Hybrid Iconography: The Lamb of God in Moldavian Wall Paintings

    Dr. Elena Boeck (DePaul University): A Timeless Ideal: Constantinople in the Slavonic Imagination of the 14th–16th Centuries

    Dr. Gianvito Campobasso (University of Fribourg): Eclecticism Among Multiple Identities: The Visual Culture of Albania in the Late Middle Ages

    Krisztina Ilko (Ph.D. Candidate, Metropolitan Museum of Art Fellow): The Dormition of the Virgin: Artistic Exchange and Innovation in Medieval Wall Paintings from Slovakia

    Dr. Nazar Kozak (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine): Post-Byzantine Art as a Network: Mobility Trajectories of the Akathistos Cycle in the Balkans, the Carpathians, and Beyond

    Dr. Dragoş Gh. Năstăsoiu (Centre for Medieval Studies, National Research University, Moscow): Appropriation, Adaptation, and Transformation – Painters of Byzantine Tradition Working for Catholic Patrons in 14th- and 15th-century Transylvania

    Dr. Ovidiu Olar (Nicolae Iorga Institute of History of the Romanian Academy, Bucharest): A Murderer Among the Seraphim: Prince Lăpuşneanu’s Transfiguration Embroideries for Slatina Monastery

    Dr. Ida Sinkević (Lafayette College): Serbian Royal Mausolea: A Reflection of Cultural Identity?

    Dr. Christos Stavrakos (University of Ioannina / Greece): Donors, Patrons and Benefactors in Mediaeval Epirus between the Great Empires: A Society in Change or a Continuity?

    The symposium is free, but registration is required to guarantee seating. Please register here. For any queries, please contact the organizers at eclecticism.symposium@gmail.com.

  • OPP: SHERA-sponsored panel at ASEEES 2019 (Deadline February 1, 2019)

    SHERA-sponsored panel at ASEEES 2019 (Deadline February 1, 2019)

    The SHERA Board invites proposals for the Society’s sponsored panel at the 2019 ASEEES Annual Conference. The conference will be held in San Francisco from November 23 to 26, 2019 and the theme is “Belief.” More information on the convention theme can be found here. As an affiliated society, SHERA may submit one sponsored panel. This session has guaranteed acceptance from ASEEES and will be identified as an Affiliated Society session in all ASEEES conference schedules (printed, online, and in the conference app).

    Proposed panels must focus on issues of art, architecture, visual culture, or any of the fields concerning SHERA as a Society.

    All members of the proposed panel must be members of ASEEES and SHERA in good standing and must register for the conference. Please submit:

    1. Title and a brief description of the panel (no more than 250 words)
    2. Names of all panel members, including chair and discussants, and a brief CV (no more than two pages) for each
    3. Brief descriptions of each paper (no more than 250 words)

    Proposals should be sent to shera.artarchitecture@gmail.com with the subject heading “SHERA-sponsored panel at ASEEES 2019.”

    Information joining SHERA can be found here. Information on joining ASEEES can be found here.

    The deadline for submission of panels to ASEEES is February 15, 2019. Therefore, applications must be sent to the SHERA Board by February 1, 2019 for notification on February 10, 2019.

  • SHERA Business Meeting and Reception, ASEEES, Boston

    Please join us for SHERA’s annual business meeting, followed by an informal hors d’oeuvres reception at this year’s ASEEES meeting in Boston. We will be discussing future projects, calling for nominations for board positions, and announcing the recipient of this year’s Emerging Scholar Prize! All members and non-members are welcome to attend.

    Date: Friday, December 7, 8:00 to 9:30pm Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place, 3rd floor, Brandeis Room Business meeting at 8pm, reception to follow at 8:30-9:30 pm

    We ask that those who can, please contribute $25 toward the cost of food and drinks, either at the reception or via our online donation page: http://shera-art.org/donate

    Please RSVP here.

  • EXH: הימל און ערד/ Himl un erd/ Yiddish Cosmos

    EXH:  הימל און ערד/  Himl un erd/  Yiddish Cosmos

    הימל און ערד

    Himl un erd

    Yiddish Cosmos

    Exhibition by Yevgeniy Fiks Sunday November 18–Sunday December 16, 2018 Opening Reception Sunday November 18th 6–9pm

    Music by Miryem-Khaye Seigel and Ilya Shneyveys at 7:30 pm

    RSVP here for the opening

    Produced by Victoria Anesh and Mordecai Walfish

    For More Information contact Victoria Anesh at victoria.anesh@gmail.com or 917-498-7987.

    The Exhibit will be Open to the Public Sundays from 1–6pm, Mondays & Wednesdays from 4–7 pm, November 18–December 16.

    Special artist-led exhibition tour on Sunday, December 16th at 4pm.

    Address Stanton Street Shul 180 Stanton Street New York, NY 10002

    What does the Soviet Space program have to do with Yiddish culture? Multidisciplinary artist Yevgeniy Fiks presents Heaven and Earth (Yiddish Cosmos), an exhibition that uncovers the surprising connections between the Eastern-European Jewish experience, futurist utopianism, and the Soviet space program. In this exhibition, Fiks forges a speculative narrative of Yiddish culture based on ideas of daring imagination, universality, and scientific progress.

    Mixing fact and fiction, Yiddish Cosmos evokes 20th century futuristic utopianism and the practical achievements of space science from an Eastern European Jewish perspective. Artist Yevgeniy Fiks speculates on the idea of Cosmos and how in the Soviet context it would become the epitome of the Homeland for a diasporic people. If the 20th century Eastern European Jewish narrative is one of longing for universalism and scientific progress, it is Cosmos as a “homeland” that most perfectly embraces those dreams.

    Featuring works on paper, objects, and archival materials, Fiks uses this exhibition to explore real and imaginary connections between an invented language of interplanetary communication and the Yiddish language, all the while juxtaposing the Soviet space program’s imagery with Soviet Jewish community and Yiddish culture.

    About the Artist Yevgeniy Fiks was born in Moscow in 1972 and has been living and working in New York since 1994. Fiks has produced numerous projects on the subject of the Post-Soviet dialog in the West. Fiks’ work has been shown internationally. This includes exhibitions in the United States at Winkleman and Postmasters galleries (both in New York), Mass MoCA, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Marat Guelman Gallery in Moscow; Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros in Mexico City, and the Museu Colecção Berardo in Lisbon.

    About the Exhibition Site Stanton Street Shul is one of the few tenement shuls still left of the 700 LES congregations. Stanton Street Shul is the first American home of Congregation Bnai Jacob Anshe Brzezan (“Sons of Jacob, People of Brzezan”). Incorporated in 1893, the community of Jewish immigrants from the town of Brzezan in Southeast Galicia, (formerly Austria-Hungary, then Poland, now Ukraine), created their place of worship from an existing structure on the site in 1913, within a thriving Lower East Side Jewish community. The shul has since changed with the neighborhood, but has struggled to preserve its old country roots.

  • OPP: ArtsLink Back Apartment Residencies for Artists and Curators in St. Petersburg, Russia

    OPP: ArtsLink Back Apartment Residencies for Artists and Curators in St. Petersburg, Russia

    ArtsLink Back Apartment Residencies for Artists and Curators in St. Petersburg, Russia

    The ArtsLink Back Apartment Residency program provides opportunities for international artists and curators to conduct research, create new work, collaborate with the local arts community, and create special projects in St. Petersburg, Russia. Each residency is designed to enable visiting artists and curators to learn about the Russian arts community, develop their own work, and share information about their work and other cultures with local audiences.

    Deadline: December 15, 2018
    About the Residencies Application and Guidelines

    CEC ArtsLink currently funds residencies for artists and curators from the United States. CEC ArtsLink provides international travel, visa support and insurance if needed, accommodation, and per diem. Artists from other countries are welcome to apply, but need to seek financial support to cover their expenses. CEC ArtsLink will provide free accommodation in the residency space.

    For more information, please contact Residency Coordinator Liza Matveeva at Lmatveeva@cecartslink.org.

  • OPP: SHERA Graduate Student / Independent Scholar Travel Grant

    SHERA Graduate Student / Independent Scholar Travel Grant for participation in CAA 2019

    Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor, the Society is pleased to announce the SHERA Graduate Student / Independent Scholar Travel Grant to defray travel costs through the awarding of up to $1,000 for local travel and up to $1,500 for international travel to one member presenting a paper at the CAA Annual Conference or the ASEEES Annual Convention. The grant is given for five consecutive years (2017-2021), alternating between the CAA conferences and the ASEEES conventions, beginning with CAA 2017 in New York City. The alternating order of the subsequent grants is as follows: CAA 2017, ASEEES 2018, CAA 2019, ASEEES 2020, CAA 2021.

    Applications will be evaluated based on the academic merit of the paper topic and financial need. SHERA is especially committed to subsidizing a graduate student or independent scholar who is attending the conference for the first time and presenting a paper, and who has no local institutional resources for travel support. Eligible independent scholars are those SHERA members who have been awarded the Ph.D. within the previous five years. For the CAA 2019 grant, applications are limited to those who have received the Ph.D. no earlier than 2013. Applicants must be SHERA members in good standing and must submit:

    1. the title and a brief description of their paper (no more than 250 words);
    2. a brief CV (no more than two pages);
    3. the names of the chair(s) and the title of the panel in which the applicant is participating;
    4. and, a brief statement demonstrating need.

    For more information on membership or to become a member, see http://shera-art.org/membership/join-shera.php Within two months after the conference, the recipient is required to submit to the SHERA Board a brief report outlining how participation in the conference furthered the development of their research. If the recipient has to withdraw from the conference for any reason, all funds must be returned to SHERA no later than the opening day of the conference. Applications are due December 9 for notification on December 21. All application materials should be sent to shera.prizes@gmail.com.

  • EXH: PEASANTS, CLANS, AND EFFERVESCENT ABSOLUTISTS!

    EXH: PEASANTS, CLANS, AND EFFERVESCENT ABSOLUTISTS!

    Tuesday, September 4, 2018 to Thursday, October 18, 2018 Harriman Institute Atrium, 12th Floor International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St) Exhibit runs September 4 – October 18, 2018. Exhibit hours are Monday–Friday, 9:00AM – 5:00PM excluding university holidays.

    Artist Anne Bobroff-Hajal has a PhD in Russian History and is the author of the scholarly volume Working Women in Russia Under the Hunger Tsars. Her extensively researched polyptychs are satirical commentaries on how Russia’s ruling elites have historically taken advantage of their unique geographic situation to amass and maintain power. She means for her art to honor and serve the dispossessed and forgotten.

    Bobroff-Hajal’s work draws formally on the similarities among icons, political cartoons, animation storyboards, and graphic novels, all of which tell stories in pictures. Her tales are told across centuries to the Infant Stalin by three tsarist godparents: Ivan IV, Catherine the Great, and Peter the Great. Each polyptych is “narrated” via the artist’s original lyrics set to the tune of Kalinka, in a series of tableaux which viewers “read” through numbered frames or simply from left to right. Bobroff-Hajal’s goal is to beguile viewers to identify and engage with forces that have shaped power structures in Russia and other parts of the world.

    Intellectually, Bobroff-Hajal’s work brings together disparate fields’ analyses of Russia: historians of ideology who have observed Russian elites’ centuries-old use of the threat of invasion to unify the country behind an autocratic leader; global history scholars like Perry Anderson who wrote that “Eastern Absolutism…was the price of [Russians’] survival in a civilization of unremitting territorial warfare;” geographers who have described Russia as “the least defensible country on earth” because of its vast flatland steppes devoid of natural barriers to invasion. Putin today is only the most recent Russian ruler to manipulate threat of invasion across the plains to support extreme appropriation of wealth and power from the populace for the benefit of ruling elites.

    Bobroff-Hajal’s 110-page fully illustrated catalogue is now published online, with extensive historical analysis and info about her artistic process. Please click here to access the catalogue. For best results view using the “full screen” function.

    Historian J. Arch Getty wrote,

    Anne Bobroff-Hajal’s art combines deep historical knowledge with humor and artistic talent that speaks to audiences ranging from school children to professors. I cannot imagine a more distinctive and iconoclastic combination. In her formidable painting of Ivan IV, his stern face conveys a series of meanings, and the postures of his underlings depict patronage and clan relationships that reflect the latest historical research on the 16th century. Her paintings of Stalin with Bolshevik patronage clans show a similar skill and informed artistry that also capture recent research. Her Catherine the Great, who ‘flies’ by means of stilt-walking serfs hoisting her and her heavy decorative gold wings, does more, and more vividly than many books on Catherine. The whimsical style of her work allows it (like icons of old) to tell stories on many levels, ranging from the nearly comic to an accomplished complexity. Her work is truly unique and deserves a wide audience.

    From the artist:

    “I’ve been asked how I can bear to spend so much time painting brutality and horrors. I do it because art—with its color, beauty, satire, story, whimsy—is the tool we humans have to lift us from despair as we investigate the sources of atrocities so as to combat them in the future.

    How do elites—not only in Russia, but the world over—amass the power to do such terrible things to less powerful people? What are the resources rulers use to accumulate power? How do they exploit those resources to maintain their omnipotence? How have some some regions of the world been able to wield dominion over other regions?

    Russian absolutism, as historian Perry Anderson observed, not only began earlier than in Europe, it “outlived all its contemporaries, to become the only Absolutist State in the continent to survive intact into the 20th century.” The 1917 collapse of the Tsarist autocracy was followed a decade after the Bolshevik Revolution by the rising Joseph Stalin’s “Communist” autocracy. That in turn collapsed in the 1990s, to be followed a decade later by the rise of a new autocrat-in-the-making, Vladimir Putin. Why do distinctive historic cycles recur in each region of the globe, and how can they be broken?

    I believe that each land’s distinct geography presents singular opportunities for elites to build and sustain power. In particular, Russia is by far the planet’s largest flat landscape. Geographers have called Russia the least defensible terrain on earth because of its lack of natural barriers against hugely powerful neighbors. My art explores the web of interconnections between Russia’s unique geography—both natural and human—and its rulers, clans, and laboring classes. I paint the social system Russia’s geography gives rise to, the elites it empowers, and hundreds of tiny portraits of individual people straining to achieve their goals within that system.

    It may seem obsessional to paint so many three-inch-high portraits in such a time-intensive way, often using a magnifying glass to paint each face and detail. But I create art to honor and hopefully serve the dispossessed and forgotten. My goal is for my art to delight viewers to identify forces that have shaped varying power structures in different parts of the world, in order to illuminate how they might create change within their own.”