Notes from Underground: Countercultural Print Material from Samizdat to Zines

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 -
4:00pm to 6:00pm

CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S020 (Belfer Case Study Room)

This panel will explore countercultural self-published print literature from the USSR and the United States, and current questions related to acquisition and access in university libraries.
Typed or handwritten, carbon- or photocopied, folded and stapled, and passed among grassroots networks, underground publishing has played a significant role in responding to the dominant political and cultural forces of its day. What can we learn from looking at both the historical processes of production and the physical objects they produced? What questions are raised by the collection of such ephemeral materials in university archives? Beginning with the case of dissident samizdat materials in the Soviet Union, the panel will look toward contemporary countercultural zines in the United States and opportunities to engage with these publications in university and grassroots libraries. Themes for discussion include the use of digital humanities to study material ephemera, and the challenges inherent to preserving and studying these works.


Jessie Labov, Senior Fellow, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University; Assistant Professor, Ohio State University; coeditor, Samizdat, Tamizdat, and Beyond: Transnational Media During and After Socialism
Alana Kumbier, Critical Social Inquiry Librarian, Hampshire College; author, Ephemeral Material: Queering the Archive
Marylène Altieri, Curator of Books and Printed Materials, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Honor Moody, Cataloger, Published Material, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Moderator: Svetlana Rukhelman, Research Associate, Department of Comparative Literature and Library Assistant, Davis Center Collection, Fung Library, Harvard University

Sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

For more information, please call 617-495-4037.