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International Conference: Internationale Tagung: "Narrating the Siege. The Blockade of Leningrad and its Transmedial Narratives" (18.-20. Juni 2015, München)

"Narrating the Siege. The Blockade of Leningrad and its Transmedial Narratives"

Prof. Dr. Polina Barskova (Hampshire College) und Prof. Dr. Riccardo Nicolosi (LMU München)
WANN: 18.-20. Juni 2015
WO: Seidlvilla München (Nikolaiplatz 1b, 80802 München, U-Bahn-Haltestelle: Giselastraße)
Filmvorführung am Donnerstag, 18. Juni (17.00-21.00 Uhr) findet  im Vortragssaal des Gasteigs (Rosenheimer Straße 5, 81667 München) statt
Interessenten sind herzlich eingeladen! Voranmeldung bei Dr. Nora Scholz


The Blockade of Leningrad (1941-1944) is more than just an important historical event. Even as the war was going on, the Blockade was being invested with symbolic meaning, and this symbolism has decisively shaped our perception of life under the siege until the present day. The conference will focus on a central aspect of the symbolic representation of the Blockade that up to now has not been examined systematically, namely its narrative dimension.
The main objective of the conference is to treat the Blockade of Leningrad as a narrative phenomenon, since only by narrating the siege is it possible to comprehend it and come to terms with its horrific experience. Narratives help give meaning to the state of emergency, the sudden intrusion of war into everyday life and give coherence to something that was otherwise inconceivable and inexpressible. Narratives are known to give meaning to facts by setting a starting and end point, by selecting events and arranging them in a certain order, by modelling space etc. This explains why from the very beginning the Blockade led to a virtual torrent of narrative representations: diaries, memoirs, poems, novels and plays, films, paintings, monuments etc.
Contributors to the conference will examine transmedial narrative models of the Blockade and will try to formulate a narrative grammar of the Blockade that spans different media, genres and epochs. Among others, the following questions will be crucial to the conference: Which discursive strategies have been applied to create new models of explaining and perceiving the altered reality of the city? Can we identify structural constants in the different media, e.g. on the levels of modelling time and space, of narrative coherence or regarding eventfulness? Which models of media authentication are used in the works discussed, i.e., what is the relation between the mimetic and the anti-mimetic, the factographic and the fictional? Another aim of the conference will be to reconstruct the diachronic development of narrative patterns of the Blockade, beginning with Socialist Realism and continuing on into postmodernism. Finally, the conference will investigate the way official and unofficial narrative strategies have interacted and competed with one another and how they have shaped Soviet and post-Soviet cultural memory of the siege.


Conference venue:
Seidlvilla, Nikolaiplatz 1, 80802 München


Thursday, June 18, 2015

9.30 - 9.40 Welcome
Polina Barskova / Riccardo Nicolosi

9.40 - 10.00
Introductory Remarks: Narrating the Siege. Approaching the Blockade of Leningrad from a new Perspective
Riccardo Nicolosi (LMU Munich)

10.00 - 11.00
Paper: Блокадная тема и соцреализм
Evgeny Dobrenko (University of Sheffield)

Discussant: Eric Naiman (UC Berkeley)
11.00 - 11.30 Coffee break
11.30 - 12. 30
Paper: The Siege of Leningrad as a Socialist Realism Project
Tatiana Voronina (European University St Petersburg)

Discussant: Jurij Murašov (Universität Konstanz)
12.30 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 - 15.00
Paper: Breaking through the Barriers of Time in a Space under Siege: Olga Berggolts
Katharine Hodgson (University of Exeter)

Discussant: Anja Tippner (Universität Hamburg)
17.00 - 21.00 Film screening

Venue: Gasteig, Vortragssaal, Rosenheimer Straße 5, 81667 München


Film screening: 900 Days, by Jessica Gorter (2011)
Film screening: Blokada, by Sergej Loznica (2006)

Discussion with Jessica Gorter and Sergej Loznica
Friday, June 19, 2015
9.30 - 10.30
Paper: Remorse in the Blockade: Experiencing the Reality of the Other
Emily Van Buskirk (Rutgers University, New Jersey)

Discussant: Anja Tippner (Universität Hamburg)
10.30 - 11.30
Paper: "Осада человека": The Anthropology of the Blockade Experience
Irina Paperno (UC Berkeley)

Discussant: Eric Naiman (UC Berkeley)
11.30 - 12.00 Coffee break
12.00 - 13.00
Paper: Coping with Suffering: Sense and Perception, Fields, and Narratives of Theodicy
Jeff Hass (University of Richmond, St Petersburg State University)

Discussant: Yakov Klots (Georgia Institute of Technology)
13.00 - 14.30 Lunch
14.30 - 15.30
Paper: «Пройдемте, товарищи, побыстрее!»: режимы визуальности для блокадной истории
Natalija Arlauskaitė (Vilnius University)

Discussant: Jurij Murašov (Universität Konstanz)
15.30 - 16.30
Paper: «Именно того, что было, я не мог увидеть»: нарратив воспоминания в блокадном тексте Павла Зальцмана
Ilja Kukuj (LMU München)
Discussant: Mark Lipovetsky (University of Colorado)
16.30 - 17.00 Coffee break
17.00 - 18.00
Paper: Блокада в русской печати оккупированных территорий
Boris Ravdin (Society of Russian Culture in Latvia)

Discussant: Yakov Klots (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Saturday, June 20, 2015
9.30 - 10.30
Paper: Письма блокадников как форма самопредставления
Sergey Yarov (European University St Petersburg)

Discussant: Serguei Oushakine (Princeton University)
10.30 - 11.30
Paper: The Siege, Rescripted: the Postwar Lives of Blockade Diaries
Alexis Peri (Boston University)

Discussant: Serguei Oushakine (Princeton University)
11.30 - 12.00 Coffee break
12.00 - 13.00
Paper: Немцы в неформальном коммуникативном пространстве блокадного Ленинграда
Vladimir Piankevich (St Petersburg State University)

Discussant: Martin Schulze Wessel (LMU München)
13.00 - 14.30 Lunch
14.30 - 15.30
Paper: Геннадий Гор в поисках языка
Andrej Muzhdaba (Herzen University St Petersburg)

Discussant: Mark Lipovetsky (University of Colorado)
15.30 - 16.30 Final Discussion
Concluding Remarks


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