Organizers: Michel De Dobbeleer, Alexandre Popowycz & Aleksey Yudin
Do03Okt201318:00Lokaal D2.50, Rozier 44
Visual Representations of Charms Against Fever in Russian IconsToon details
Andrej Toporkov (Rossijskij gosudarstvennyj gumanitarnyj universitet, Moscow)
The tradition of Russian Orthodox iconography has a subject of ‘Archangel Michael defeating seven (or twelve) fevers’. Our forthcoming article deals with this subject in Russian art, its origins, history and social functioning. This seems to be the only case in Russian tradition where a charm’s influence upon an icon can be immediately seen. One may wonder what the mechanism of such influence was. The emergence of this particular image type was rooted in a combination of three factors: 1. the narrative and thrilling nature of the text, not unlike apocryphal narration; 2. widespread perception of such texts as seemingly proper prayers and even parts of a church ordinary against fever; 3. matches between the charms’ imagery and that of popular beliefs about fevers.
Do24Okt201318:00Lokaal D2.50, Rozier 44
The Bdinski Sbornik and the Medieval Tradition of Books About Women SaintsToon details
Maya Petrova-Taneva (Bălgarska akademija na naukite, Institut za literatura, Sofia)
The Bdinski Sbornik (Ghent University library, cod. 408) is the only Slavic manuscript kept in Belgian archives. Its significance as a representative of the medieval South Slavic literary traditions is partly due to the fact that it belongs to a very rare genre – the so-called Meterika collections. These are books containing exclusively women saints’ Lives and sayings of holy women excerpted from the Reading Menaia and various monastic miscellanies (such as John Moschos’ Spiritual Meadow, the Lausiac History of Palladios, etc.). In this form the Meterika collections are designed as a female counterpart to the Paterika or “Books About the Holy Fathers” and were often commissioned or possessed by private women or by female religious convents. As such the Meterika of exemplary stories could be examined as a unique source for elucidating the models of pious behaviour proposed to the Orthodox nuns and noble women, at the same time providing them with a wide range of interesting and exciting readings.
This study deals with a number of little-known Greek and Slavic (Bulgarian, Serbian and Russian) Meterika dating from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries and tries to situate the Bdinski Sbornik among them.
Do14Nov.201318:00Lokaal D2.50, Rozier 44
Semantics and Semiotics in Early Soviet Intellectual HistoryToon details
Ekaterina Velmezova (Université de Lausanne)
The presentation will focus on a particular episode in the (pre)history of semiotics in the USSR in the 1920s-1930s. Interpreting semiotics as a science concerned with signs and as a synthesis or a dialogue between various branches of knowledge permits to distinguish two trends in the (pre)history of Russian semiotics at that time. Representatives of both of them took a great interest in semantics. In particular, an attempt to create an “integral” science was made by linguists, among whom N.Ia. Marr was one of the best-known. Several semantic laws formulated by Marr could be either reformulated in order to be applied to other disciplines (literary studies, anthropology, archaeology, biology) or “proved” by the facts or discoveries drawn from them. Researchers who had never adhered completely to Marrism (R.O. Shor, V.N. Voloshinov, G.G. Shpet) were also interested in semantic studies. Some of them not only aspired to a synthesis of various disciplines, but also reflected upon signs. Both trends influenced the particular orientation of Russian semiotics in the second half of the past century.
Do12Dec.201318:00Lokaal D2.50, Rozier 44
The Baroque Theatre in Central Skopje: Materiality, Space and Aesthetics as Political Tools for Rebranding a NationToon details
Rozita Dimova (Universiteit Gent)
My talk addresses the “baroque effect” and the material changes in central Skopje since 2008, where aesthetics, affect and politics converge to produce altered temporalities incorporating antiquity, erasing traces of socialism, or producing a future vision of shared European cultural legacy. Triggered by the political conflict with Greece over the name Macedonia, the style of the new buildings, monuments and rearrangements of public space have arguably effaced the earlier modernist outlook of Skopje’s city center designed after the 1963 earthquake. These changes have also initiated conflicting reactions among intellectuals, regular people, politicians and artists resulting in a civil social movement most strongly embodied in the so-called Archi-brigade, a self-organized group of architecture students who protested against the recent material changes in Skopje. By disentangling the theoretical complexity in this project, I analyze how affect, aesthetics and materiality turn into a powerful site of politics. I especially focus on the “baroque mechanism” conveyed through the size and grandeur of the buildings or monuments. This sublime effect in the contemporary aesthetic project in Skopje aims to evoke “subjective apprehension” where the subject lapses into a “state of dependence” signified by the affect of wonder and astonishment.
Do13Feb201418:00Lokaal D2.50, Rozier 44
Russische jamben: waar komen ze vandaan?Toon details
Evgeny Kazartsev (Universiteit Gent)
De grondige cultuurhervorming van Peter de Grote gaf ook de impuls tot de ontwikkeling van de Russische poёzie. In die periode ontwikkelt zich de nieuwe versificatie waaraan het principe van de regelmatige afwisseling van sterke en zwakke metrische posities ten grondslag lag. Dit principe leidt tot het ontstaan van de syllabotonische versmaten, met name van jamben, zowel de korte met vier als de lange met zes heffingen. Het reguliere jambische vers ontwikkelt zich in Rusland sinds 1739. Een van de eerste dichters die regelmatige jambische verzen heeft geschreven, was Michail Lomonosov (1711–1765). Zijn eerste verzen ontstaan onder de invloed van de Duitse en waarschijnlijk ook Nederlandse poëzie. De Duitse en de Nederlandse traditie vormden een tamelijk streng model voor het gebruik van jamben. Dit model verandert snel en hevig tijdens de adoptie ervan in de Russische dichtkunst. Nog bij Lomonosov start de evolutie van dit model dat de jambische verzen tot de meest populaire vorm maakt in de Russische poёzie van alle tijden.
Do13Mar201418:00Lokaal D2.50, Rozier 44
Ivan the Terrible, Gothic Horror and Spectacular PleasuresToon details
Kevin M.F. Platt (University of Pennsylvania)
The October Revolution released the Russian people from an ancient bondage, only to reinstitute an even more complete subjugation of them in subsequent decades. Among those Russians who was thus emancipated and then returned to servitude was Ivan the Terrible. In the nineteenth century, Ivan, like other prominent figures of Russian history, was pressed into the explicit service of political thought in a variety of renditions of the national past, in which he primarily served in the role of despotic negative example of rulership, although at times he was alternately seen as a great hero of Russian political development. Then suddenly, following 1917, the “ideological imagination” all but abandoned Ivan, along with most other figures of Russian history: state-sponsored views of history of the 1920s, such as those of the dean of early Soviet historiography M.N. Pokrovskii, were uninterested in great individuals and in long-dead tsars; and all other visions of the Russian national past lacked political authority. However, this situation was itself not to last. In the middle 1930s, with the rising tide of Stalinist conservatism and hero-worship of all kinds, Soviet public discourse rediscovered the tsars and, in addition to retrofitting the myths of Peter the Great, Aleksandr Nevskii, and others, erected an unprecedentedly positive historical myth around Ivan. This presentation will take up representations of Ivan the Terrible from the anomalous period of the 1920s—I. Tarich’s film Wings of a Serf, the efforts of a popular archeologist, I. Ia. Stelletskii to discover Ivan’s lost “library,” and some key historiographical publications. These were “Gothic” representations of Ivan the Terrible, which revealed the fullest potential of this figure for spectacular pleasures. Investigation of this maximally frightful, yet horrifically pleasurable vision of the Russian past will allow, in conclusion, interrogation of the function of the “Gothic” potential of this figure and of Russian national history as a whole in other periods—in Stalin’s USSR and in Putin’s Russia.
Do24Apr201418:00Lokaal D2.50, Rozier 44
Bohumil Hrabal and the International Avant-GardeToon details
Petra James (Université libre de Bruxelles)
In my presentation I would like to present my book published in 2012 in the publishing house Classiques Garnier under the title Bohumil Hrabal: Composer un monde blessant à coups de ciseaux et de gomme arabique. The book concerns the period of 1950s-1970s, a period of renewal of the avant-garde practices after the Second World War. It focuses on the analyses of collage and montage in the works of Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) in comparison with those of Claude Simon (1913-2005) and of experimental poetry, particularly that of Brion Gysin (1916-1986) and William S. Burroughs (1914-1997)’s cut-up. Without neglecting the different sociocultural contexts of the post- avant-garde in Czechoslovakia and the western neo-avant-garde, this work mainly concentrates on the aspects of memory, history and destruction, the major features of the collages and montages of Bohumil Hrabal. Coming from an avant-garde heritage and infused with subversive power, these collages and montages elucidate the development of the avant- garde after the Second World War that profoundly changed the development of art. Since collage and montage can transcend the boundaries of different art forms, taking into account works of art in the concerned period is an integral part of the analysis. In this period the practice of collage and montage goes hand in hand with the philosophical and ethical reflections on the ruin of western civilization.
Do08Mei201418:00Lokaal D2.50, Rozier 44
Worlding a Peripheral Literature: A Slovenian CaseToon details
Marko Juvan (Znanstvenoraziskovalni center Slovenske akademije znanosti in umetnosti, Ljubljana)
In the wake of its late capitalist renaissance, the Goethean idea of world literature is interpreted either in terms of intercultural dialogism or hegemony embodied in the asymmetrical structure of the world literary system. Launching the concept of Weltliteratur during the emergence of the early industrial globalization, Goethe initiated a long-lasting transnational meta-discourse that autopoietically influenced the development of transnational literary practices. In his aristocratic, cosmopolitan humanism, Goethe expected world literature to open up an equal dialogue between civilizations and languages, encouraging cross-national networking of the educated elite. But his notion of dialogue is marked by the hegemony of Western aesthetic and humanistic discourse, based on the ancient canon of Europeanism. Marx and Engels exposed aesthetic and humanist cosmopolitanism as the ideology masking European bourgeoisie’s global economic hegemony and the world-wide expansion of Western geoculture.
It is within this ambivalence of dialogism and hegemony that the process of “worlding” (Kadir) and nationalizing European literatures has taken place since the early 19th century. To weaker and peripheral literatures such as the Slovenian, the idea of world literature tended to represent a law-giving Other. The lecture will outline the process of worlding and imagining literature in Slovenian language as national. The utopian envisioning and the institutional and medial emergence of a “Slovenised” literary system was intertwined with the unification, purification, and standardization of Slovenian literary language. With self-referential intertextual links to the topoi of Parnassus and Elysium (as epitomes of “classicalness”), Slovenian poetry of the Enlightenment marked the distinction between its ethno-lingual and cultural singularity and the norms derived from ancient classics. Beginning with Prešeren’s romantic universalism, self-reference and intertextuality became more intensely involved in comparing Slovenian verbal art with other modern European literatures, with the intention to be integrated into the emerging system of world literature.