From the Harlem Renaissance to Black Lives Matter to Pussy Riot, literary scholar Jennifer Wilson discusses intersections between critical race theory and Russian studies. She shares her experiences as a person of color studying abroad in Russia and her impressions from teaching the first class on African-American literature at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU).
Jennifer Wilson is a Postdoctoral Fellow for Academic Diversity in Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in Russian literature of the 19th century with an emphasis on the nexus of sexuality and radical political thought. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2014 where she also earned a graduate certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her publications include "(Drag)ging Tolstoy Into Queer Theory: On the Cross-Dressing Motif in War and Peace" in Tolstoy Studies Journal and "Staging Sex on the Soviet Stage: Meyerhold's ‘Woe to Wit’" in the Pushkin Review. She is also the founder of the Association for Students and Teachers of Color in Slavic Studies, now the Association for Diversity in Slavic East European, and Eurasian Studies (ADSEEES).
References from the episode:
- Jennifer Wilson’s blog Teaching Race in Russia: Dispatches from “The Harlem Renaissance: From New York to Tashkent”
- The Association for Diversity in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ADSEEES)
- Kate Baldwin’s Beyond the Color Line and the Iron Curtain: Reading Encounters between Black and Red, 1922-63 (Duke UP 2002)
- Steven Lee’s The Ethnic Avant-Garde: Minority Cultures and World Revolution (Columbia UP 2015).
- Pussy Riot music video I Can’t Breathe
The Eurasian Enigma, the Davis Center's new podcast, features informal and informative conversations about the region that intrigues us so much. Give us 20 minutes and we’ll give you a chance to learn from the experts—from energy policy to cyber surveillance, from arts and literature to contemporary journalism. Subscribe on iTunes, TuneIn, Soundcloud, or Stitcher, and don't miss an episode!