On September 30th, OCREECAS Postdoctoral Fellow and REES Visiting Assistant Professor Ian MacMillen gave a talk entitled "Ethnic Territoriality, Affective Relation, and the Racialization of Tambura Music among Croatia's Roma, Serbs, and Croats." Based on fieldwork in Croatia and Serbia, the presentation examined music's role in interethnic conflict and reconciliation since the wars of Yugoslavia's dissolution.
On December 6th, Ian MacMillen organized a symposium entitled "Romani Music and the "Gypsy" Figure in Media since 1800." Tim Scholl from the Russian and Comparative Literature departments spoke about Pushkin, Don Quixote, and "Stage Gypsies," and the symposium brought in Adriana Helbig, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Pittsburgh, to deliver the keynote on Romani music and advocacy research in Ukraine. Other talks were by students from the class "Roma and "Gypsies" in the Musical Imagination" and focused on Gypsies and witchcraft in 19th-c. opera and on contemporary Romani brass bands in Southeast Europe.
4:30 Keynote Address – ‘Ethnomusicology and Advocacy Research: Theory in Action,’ Dr. Adriana Helbig, University of Pittsburgh
5:30 Panel with Oberlin Faculty and Students – Chaired by Ian MacMillen, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Oberlin Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies
- ‘Don Quixote, Pushkin, and “Stage Gypsies,”’ Dr. Tim Scholl, Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature
- ‘The Gypsy Other: Use of Magic by Gypsy Characters in 19th-Century European Opera,’ Dyani Sabin, Biology Major
- ‘Negotiating (Imagined) Identities in the World Music Market: Mediated Representations of Two Southeastern European Brass Bands,’ Dylan McDonnell, Musical Studies Major
On October 11th, OCREECAS welcomed George Batyi as the 2013/2014 artist in residence. The residency included a performance by Batyi with his band Gypsy Stringz, featuring a special appearance by cimbalom player Alex Udvary. This phenomenal band performed music drawn from throughout the repertoires of Eastern Europe’s virtuosic Romani music traditions as well as genres such as Gypsy Jazz. Batyi also met with the Russian and East European Studies course "Roma and Gypsies in the Musical Imagination" and with the Ethnomusicology course "Introduction to Musics of the World" to talk about his and his family's involvement in Romani musical performance in Western Pennsylvania and Central/East Europe.
On April 5th, OCREECAS welcomed the Šarena Tamburitza Orchestra as its 2012/2013 artists in residence. The residency included a discussion over a Magpie Pizza dinner of the band’s music, career, and role in the Croatian and Serbian diasporas in Ohio. Later that night they gave a performance of their particular style of Croatian- and Serbian-American string-band music from Southeast Europe (for listening as well as dancing). They later returned to give a master class to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music's Balkan Ensemble.
In April 2012, the Oberlin Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies invited the community to join in welcoming Croatian-American tambura virtuoso Jerry Grcevich, the 2011/2012 OCREECAS Artist in Residence, as he discussed his musical career in both Croatia and North America. He has been playing professionally for over 35 years and demonstrated a variety of styles that are representative of the different Serbian and Croatian areas from which they originate. It was followed by a free dance class and a performance at The Dionysus Disco by The Jerry Grcevich Tamburitza Orchestra.
Apr. 18: Jerry Grcevich, Demonstration and Discussion by Tambura virtuoso from 4-5pm at the McGregor Skybar. This event was open and free to the public.
Apr. 18: The Jerry Grcevich Tamburitza Ochestra held a dance class at 6:40pm, followed by a live performance at the The Dionysus Disco at 7pm. This event was open and free to the public.
During that same month, there was a lecture called, "A Chronicle of a Turbulent Century: A Conversation with Kati Marton." Born in Hungary, Kati Marton has combined a career as a reporter and writer with human rights advocacy. She has served as chairwoman for organizations such as Women's Health Coalition and Human Rights Watch and currently serves as a director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. She has also contributed as a reporter to ABC News, PBS, NPR, the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and others. Marton’s Cold War memoir, Enemies of the People—My Family’s Journey to America, was a 2010 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Prize and was hailed by The New York Times as “a powerful and absorbing narrative…[with] all the magnetism and yes, the excitement of the very best spy fiction.” She discussed the significance of her work and the importnace of seeking the truth in an age bombarded with information.
Apr. 10: "A Chronicle of a Turbulent Century: A Conversation with Kati Marton," 4:30pm in the Science Center West Lecture Hall, with an introduction by Peter Jaszi, the grandson of Oscar Jaszi. Book sale and signing after the talk.
During October 2011, the Oberlin Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies co-sponsored a lecture and film series called "Remembering Communism: The Poetics and Politics of Nostalgia." The series marked the twentieth anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The screenings included Goodbye Lenin! and My Perestroika, two poignant films that address the complexity of the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia and the difficulty of both confronting the past and understanding the present. The speakers included three prominent writers - Dubravka Ugresic, Susanne Schadlich, and Grishka Bruskin - all of whom presented unique perspectives on individual and collective memory, and how perceptions of the past affect the modern world.
Oct. 3: "Remembering Communism," a screening of Goodbye Lenin! at 7pm at Craig Auditorium (Science Center). Open and free to the public.
Oct. 6: "Remembering Communism" Dubravka Ugresic, a prominent novelist, short storywriter, essayist, and scholar gave a lecture at 7pm in the West Lecture Hall (Science Center). Open and free to the public.
Oct. 7: "Remembering Communism" book-signing and reading with Dubravka Ugresic at 12 noon at Mindfair Books. Open and free to the public.
Oct. 11: "Remembering Communism" Susanne Schadlich, writer, journalist, and translator read from and discussed her book, December, Time and Again: The West, the Stasi, the Uncle, and Me, at 7pm in Craig Auditorium. Open and free to the public.
Oct. 13: "Remembering Communism" screening of My Perestroika at 7pm in the West Lecture Hall (Science Center). Open and free to the public.
Oct. 18: "Remembering Communism" Grisha Bruskin, a Moscow-born, New York-based artist gave a lecture at 7pm in the Allen Art Building, Classroom 1. In this lecture, Bruskin showed and discussed various works that formed part of his on-going "Soviet Project" and delt with the theme of "I and It." Open and free to the public.
Oct. 19: "Remembering Communism" the series ended with a lecture by Grisha Bruskin called "Past Imperfect" at 4:30 pm in the West Lecture Hall. Bruskin read and discussed passages from his memoirs, focusing in particular on his childhood in the Soviet Union. Open and free to the public.
On Nov. 17, The Oberlin Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies and Russian House welcomed accordionist and ethnographer Walt Mahovlich as the 2010/2011 OCREECAS Musician and Scholar in Residence. Mr. Mahovlich spoke about the impact of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires on the music of Southeast Europe and also gave a master class with the Oberlin Conservatory of Music's Balkan Ensemble and a performance with his Macedonian band Turli Tava.
During October 2009, the Oberlin Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies offered a 1 credit course called "Contraband Canvases: How Modern Soviet Art Found a Home in the Desert." The course explored the lifework of Igor Savitsky (1915-1984), who rescued 44,000 works of unsanctioned Soviet art, then managed to secure funding to display them officially. Far from Kremlin eyes, the Nukus Art Museum in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan holds the second largest collection of Soviet avant-garde art in the world. Suppressed during Stalinism and the following decades, these works offer fresh perspectives on the art and history of the USSR. The course featured lectures on the history, politics and culture of the area, as well as a screening of the 2010 award-winning documentary Desert of Forbidden Art and a discussion with film directors Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev.
Mon. Oct. 11-14, and 18-20 7-9 p.m, King 106
1 HU credit, P/NP
Russian 136, "Contraband Canvases: How Modern Soviet Art Found a Home in the Desert" began at 7 p.m. in King 106. This minicourse, sponsored by the Oberlin Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies and the Allen Memorial Art Museum, explored the lifework of Igor Savitsky (1915-1984), who rescued 44,000 works of unsanctioned Soviet art, then managed to secure funding to display them officially. The course featured lectures on the history, politics and culture of the area, as well as a screening of the 2010 award-winning documentary Desert of Forbidden Art and a discussion with the film's directors Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev.
Oct. 12: "Contraband Canvases," featured speaker: Assistant Visiting Assistant of History Marko Dumancic provided an overview of Central Asian history.
Oct. 13 "Contraband Canvases," featured speakers: Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature Tim Scholl and Associate Professor of Russian Arlene Forman presented an introduction to Russian Modernist and Socialist Realist art.
Oct. 14 "Contraband Canvases," featured speaker: Associate Professor of Politics Stephen Crowley explored Uzbekistan today.
Monday, Oct. 18
Public Screening of Desert of Forbidden Art in West Auditorium.
This award-winning 2010 documentary highlights the life and achievements of Igor Savitsky (1915-1984), who rescued 44,000 works of unsanctioned Soviet art and founded a museum to display them. Today, the Nukus Art Museum, located in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, holds the second largest collection of Soviet avant-garde art in the world. This collection, suppressed during Stalinism and the following decades, offers fresh perspectives on the art and history of the USSR.
The Oberlin College screening presented a rare opportunity to see the remarkable story of the man and the museum he created and to meet the film's directors Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev. Open and free to the public.
Desert of Forbidden Art: Round Table Discussion with film directors Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev. Open and free to the public.
Oct. 20 "Contraband Canvases," featured speaker, Russian and Soviet art historian, Pamela Kachurin of Duke University delivered the concluding lecture about the Nukus Museum collection. Open and free to the public.