The Amherst Center for Russian Culture presents the 2016 Vadim Filatov Memorial Lecture 


Times and Places, Break-throughs and Challenges  


Artistic Director, Voronezh Chamber Theater; Founding Director, PlatonovFest


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2016 • 4: 30 PM • 202 Webster Hall 

(Reading Room of the Russian Center)

MIKHAIL BYCHKOV, widely known in the Russian performing arts community as the founder of the Voronezh Chamber Theater and the International Platonov Festival, was chosen this year as chair of the jury for the Golden Mask National Theater Prize, Russia’s equivalent of the Tonys, in recognition of his contributions to Russian theater.  

In the words of John Freedman, the most authoritative observer of contemporary Russian theater scene, Bychkov transformed a one-room basement affair into a "spectacular new multi-purpose building in the center of Voronezh that not only turns out ground-breaking theater but also serves as a major meeting place for art, artists and art consumers from all over Russia.” Bychkov's perspective on the place of Russian theater in the cultural transformation that has taken place over the past quarter of a century is especially valuable because he has played a leading role in shaping and developing theater in Russia’s regions, which is where the visionary theater-makers of the New Russian Drama movement have come from, and which are now viewed, in Moscow and Petersburg as incubators of the most far-reaching cultural experimentation. 




"Non-Fiction as a Substitute for Fiction in a Post-Totalitarian Society: The Case of Svetlana Alexievich" 

A talk by Professor Ilya Kukulin (Russian National Research University of the Higher School of Economics). Prof. Kukulin will speak about Svetlana Alexievich. Alexievich, who recently won the Nobel Prize in Literature for her non-fiction, in which she draws from historical fact and oral histories to address such subjects as the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the Chernobyl disaster. Kukulin’s most recent book, on Soviet montage, was awarded the Andrei Bely Prize last year, the oldest independent literary prize awarded in Russia.

Friday, February 12, 2016 at 4:30 PM at the Amherst Center for Russian Culture (Webster Hall, 2nd Floor).



"Who, What Am I?" Tolstoy Struggles to Narrate the Self

Irina Paperno (Professor and Chair of Slavic Languages and Literatures - University of California, Berkeley) Speaks about her recent book on Tolstoy's non-fiction: diaries, letters, memoirs, treatises, and more.

Monday, May 4, 2015 at 4:30 PM at the Amherst Center for Russian Culture (Webster Hall, 2nd Floor).

Slawomir Mrozek's Strip-Tease and Andrei Sinyavsky's Pkhentz: Bringing Slavic Absurdism to the Operatic Stage

A talk and presentation by Dr. Dylan Schneider '06

Dylan Schneider received his Ph.D in music composition from the University of Chicago in 2013, having studied with composers Shulamit Ran and Marta Ptaszynska. Strip-Tease is the 27-minute opera Dr. Schneider created for his dissertation, and he is now working on a companion piece based on the short story by Andrei Sinyavsky who for many years as a Russian dissident published his prose under the pseudonym Abram Terz. Dr. Schneider will discuss both the Polish and Russian texts and the operas for which they serve as librettos against the larger background of Slavic absurdism during the 1960s through 1980s which they reflect; a screening of Strip-Tease will follow.

Please join us for this event on Thursday, February 26th, at 4:00 pm at the Amherst Center for Russian Culture (Webster Hall, 2nd Floor).

A reception will follow the presentation.


U.S.-Russia Relations: From Reset to Rethink

The Amherst College Center for Russian Culture presents a talk by Dr. Andrew Kuchins ’81, a senior fellow and director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

He is an internationally known expert on Russian foreign and domestic policies who publishes widely and is frequently called on by business, government, media, and academic leaders for comment and consulting on Russian and Eurasian affairs.

Please join us for this event, Monday, April 7th, at 4:30 pm in the Cole Assembly Room (the Red Room) first floor, Converse Hall on the Amherst College Campus.

Opera critic David Shengold '81 will present a lecture (with musical examples) on: Out of Steppe: Borodin's Prince Igor and Operatic Russia's Seductive "Other"

Friday, February 28 at 4:00 p.m.

Reception will follow.

Objects of Worship: Icons, Crosses, Pendants and other articles of faith in the Russian Orthodox Tradition

Icons were important both in the Church, daily life and homes of the Russian people. Throughout Russia’s many internal and external struggles, the icon provided a sense of identity, consolation, and renewal. Russian icons express originality and imagination in design as well as the use of color and folk motifs. This exhibit of 18th and 19th century objects includes several painted icons as well as many smaller travelling icons made of brass and brightly colored enamel.

This exhibit is on display in the Center for Russian Culture's gallery and can be viewed Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m.- 1 p.m., and by appointment through November 15th, 2013.


Selections from the Satirical Journal Collection

A temporary exhibit on display in the Center for Russian Culture's reading room. Features selections of satirical art and political cartoons (dated 1905-1907) from the Center's Satirical Journal Collection. This exhibit can be viewed during the Center's normal hours (Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.- 12 p.m.)

Russian-English poetry reading by Maria Stepanova

Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m. (Center for Russian Culture, Webster Hall, 2nd floor)

A winner of Russia's top literary prize, Moscow poet Maria Stepanova will read her original poetry along with new English translations. Stepanova is one of the most visible figures in post-Soviet culture, a founder and editor of today's most influential online journal. As one of the most important poets working today, she addresses contemporary themes through skillfully distorted forms and language. The reading will be followed by a question-and-answer session in English. Sponsored by the Center for Russian Culture, the Russian Department and the Lurcy Lecture Fund.

"Remembering The Rite of Spring," a lecture by Stephen Walsh

Sunday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m. (Center for Russian Culture, Webster Hall, 2nd Floor)

Stravinsky's views on all his most famous works changed over the years, but The Rite of Spring was a particular case, partly because he had difficulty getting the notation of the score as he wanted it, partly because he lost interest in the ethnic aspects of the subject, partly because of issues to do with the way the work was, or should be, performed. The talk traces these changes down the years, and draws some conclusions about Stravinsky's creative methods and his attitudes to his own past work.

Stephen Walsh is a critic and musicologist who is currently Professor in Music at Cardiff University, Wales.

The Birth of Fiction from the Spirit of Music: My Novel "Leningrad" - From Literary Text to Screen Version, a lecture by Igor Vishnevetsky

Wednesday, October 24 at 4:30 p.m. (Center for Russian Culture, Webster Hall)

Vishnevetsky is an Associate Professor of Russian Literature at the American Studio of the Moscow Art Theater and of English at the Russian State University for the Humanities.


A Symposium on Emigre Encounters: Exiles and Their Legacies

Friday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. (Stirn Auditorium)

"Exiles on Screen: Russians in Hollywood" " Screening of "The Last Command" (1928)

Followed by a discussion by Professor Olga Matich (University of California, Berkeley)

Saturday, March 31 (Center for Russian Culture, Webster Hall)

9:30 AM

Opening Remarks

Sergey Glebov (Amherst College/Smith College)

9:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Session I: Émigré Cultures

Chair: Boris Wolfson (Amherst College)

Catherine Ciepiela (Amherst College) : Tsvetaeva and Anti-Colonial Paris

Lazar Fleishman (Stanford University) : Lev Gomolitskii and Russian Poets in Inter-War Poland

Klara Moricz (Amherst College) : Modernist Identities: Artur Lourie and Igor Stravinsky

Sergey Glebov (Amherst/Smith College) : Russian Saids: Critiques of Colonialism in the Russian Emigration

Discussant: Polina Barskova (Hampshire College)

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Session II: Émigré Scholarship and Culture

Chair: Bryn Geffert (Amherst College)

Laurie Manchester (Arizona State University) : Missionizing Diaspora: Colonial Fantasies Among First Wave Émigrés

Alla Zeide (Independent Scholar) : Mikhail Karpovich and George Vernadsky: Two Names in One Breath

Olga Matich (University of California, Berkeley) : The Case of Vasilii Shul'gin

Discussant: Vera Shevzov (Smith College)

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Roundtable Discussion: Émigré Legacies: Archives, Collections, Collectors

John Bowlt (USC), Stanley Rabinowitz (Amherst College), Fr. Vladimir von Tsurikov (Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Jordanville, NY/Foundation for Russian Culture)

For more information, contact Ms. Heather Mabry at (413) 542-2350.

Lecture by Professor Michael Kunichika, Slavic Department, New York University

Thursday, November 3rd, 4:30 p.m.

"The Battle of the Moderns over the Ancients :  Russian Modernism and the Revival of the Pagan Gods"


Joseph Brodsky: A Symposium at Amherst College

Saturday, October 9, 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

9:30 am - 12:30 pm: Joseph Brodsky: Contexts and Reception. Panel presentation by Catherine Ciepiela (Amherst College), Mikhail Gronas (Dartmouth College),  Andrew Kahn (Oxford University), Maria Khotimsky (Harvard University), Yaskov Klots (Yale University).

1:30 pm - 2:15 pm: Beyond Ideology: Russian Art of the 1950s-1970s from the Collection of Thomas P. Whitney. (Held at Amherst College's Mead Art Museum)

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm: Brodsky in Camera.A Converstaion between photographers Mikhail Milchik (Saint Petersburg) and Jerome Liebling (Amherst).

4:00 pm: Reading Brodsky Together. Group close reading of a poem by Brodsky by Polina Barskova (Hampshire College).

For further information about attending this event (seating is limited) please contact

David Shengold '81 to Talk About Musorgsky's "Boris Godunov"

Sunday October 17, 3:00 p.m.

Opera critic David Shengold '81 will be giving a talk on Musorgsky's opera "Boris Godunov," which the Met will do in a much-anticipated new production this fall. The simulacast of the opera will take place the following Saturday (October 23). A reception will follow David Shengold's talk. This event is open to the public.

Poetry Reading by Arkady Dragomoshchenko & Tatiana Shcherbina
Monday Novermber 1, 7:00 p.m.

The Amherst Center for Russian Culture will host a reading by two prominent Russian Poets, Arkady Dragomoshchenko of Petersburg and Tatiana Shcherbina of Moscow.  Dragomoshchenko is the leader of the so-called language poetry in Russia, and he has colloborated with the American language poet Lyn Hejinian.  Shcherbina became well known as an underground poet in the 80s, and she is also recognized as a translator of French poetry. The poets will read in Russian, accompanied by English translations.

A Late Afternoon of Russian Music

Wednesday, March 9, 4:30 p.m.

Vocal and instrumental selections from Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev performed by:

Julia Moorman '11, mezzo-soprano

Michiko Theurer '11, violin

Dana Kaufman '12, piano

Roger Creed '13, piano

The Amherst Madrigal Singers

Lori Milbiev UM '11, piano

Bor Liang UM '11, tenor

A reception will follow the performance.

Poetry reading by Eugene Ostashevsky

Thursday, March 10 , 7:30 p.m.

Eugene Ostashevsky is a Russian-born American poet. He has published two collections of poems, "Iterature" and "The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza," which showcase his playful erudition. He has edited and translated for the first English-language anthology of writings by the Russian absurdists of the 1920s-30s ("Oberiu"), and also translates contemporary Russian poets. He is currently working on a book about the relationship between a pirate and a parrot. He teaches literature at New York University and is associated with Ugly Duckling Presse in Brooklyn, New York.

Poetry reading by Anna Glazova

Monday, April 11 , 7:30 p.m.

Anna Glazova is a poet who teaches at Cornell University and writes on questions of tradition, translation, and quotation in poetry and fiction.  Glazova has published several studies of Celan's translations of Mandelstam's poetry.  She has translated into Russian works by two prominent figures of European modernism, Robert Walser and Unica Zürn.  Glazova's first book of poetry (Moscow, 2003) was shortlisted for Andrei Bely prize.  Poems from her second book Petlia. Nevpolovinu (Moscow, 2008) appeared in English translation in a volume entitled Twice under the Sun (London, 2008). Glazova will be reading her poetry in Russian with English translations.