This Week

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join us for a talk with Yuri Leving (Dalhousie University, Canada).

Joseph Brodsky was a lucky man: among the glut of talents given him was the gift of visual art as well. The Nobel Laureate never had lessons in drawing, but his sketches are distinguished by the sparseness of the malleable line, their sharp composition, and the ability to convey a mood. Professor Yuri Leving presents on his research, based on over a 300 unpublished drawings by Brodsky from different periods and varying styles and techniques.

Friday, March 31, 2017
9:55am - 5:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join us for a conference bringing together young scholars from the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) and several U.S. Ph.D. students. Sponsored by the Program on U.S.-Russian Relations, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, in partnership with the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 

9:55am - 10:00am Welcome remarks (Kimberly Marten, Barnard College and the Harriman Institute)

10:00am - 11:45am International Conflict and Cooperation in Europe and Asia

Marianna Yevtodyeva (IMEMO). “Conventional arms control in Europe: is there a way out of а deadlock?”

Read Marianna Yevtodyeva's policy memo

Anastasia Nevskaya (IMEMO). “Business as an actor of interstate relations: the case of the EU and Russia.”

Read Anastasia Nevskaya's policy memo

Hadas Aron (Columbia University). “Opening to the East, Benefiting from the West – The Strategic Choices of Hungary.”

Read Hadas Aron's policy memo

Sergei Ignatev (IMEMO). “Challenges and opportunities for relations between Russia and the US in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Read Sergei Ignatev's policy memo

12:00pm - 1:15pm Lunch break

1:30pm - 3:00pm Interactions in the Post-Soviet Space

Ecaterina Locoman (Rutgers University). “The European Union’s Eastern Neighbors and their East-West Foreign Policy Vacillation: Consequences, Challenges and Policy Recommendations.”  

Read Ecaterina Locoman's policy memo

Sergei Rastoltsev (IMEMO). “The resolution of protracted conflicts in the post-Soviet space: implications for Russia-US cooperation.”

Read Sergei Rastoltsev's policy memo

Emily Holland (Columbia University). “Oligarchy 2.0: Rebuilding the Ukrainian Economy and Ensuring Energy Security.”

Read Emily Holland's policy memo

3:15pm - 5:00pm Domestic Actors and Foreign Policy

Alexandra Borisova (IMEMO). “Personal factor in Russian-American relations.”

Read Alexandra Borisova's policy memo

Sergey Kislitsyn (IMEMO).  “Russian government and the Republican party: the question of common ground.”

Read Sergey Kislitsyn's policy memo

Matthew Reichert (Harvard University). “Neo-patrimonialism in Eurasia: Why Policymakers Should Care about a ‘Historical Origins’ Argument.”

Read Matthew Reichert's policy memo

Maria Snegovaya (Columbia University). “Justifying a Counter-Cyclical US-Russia Policy (the Case of Energy Dependence).”

Read Maria Snegovaya's policy memo








Monday, April 3, 2017
1201 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join us for a discussion led by Professor Anna Katsnelson with award-winning Polish graphic novelist Wojciech Stefaniec about his work, inspirations, and the state of the comics scene in Poland today. 

Wojciech Stefaniec (born in 1980) is a Polish graphic artist, illustrator, and author of comics, and is considered one of the most gifted of his generation. He is the author of a dozen comics published in Poland, some of them winners of the most prestigious Polish comics awards. He has twice been awarded the prize of best artist of the year, in 2011 and 2015. In March 2017 two of his books were published in English, Come Back to Me Again, and Noir.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Bohemian National Hall, 3rd floor (321 East 73rd Street)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York for a conversation with Anne Applebaum and James Kirchick about Kirchick's new book, The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age (Yale University Press, 2017).

Once the world’s bastion of liberal, democratic values, Europe is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest. The old pathologies of anti-Semitism, populist nationalism, and territorial aggression are threatening to tear the European postwar consensus apart. With ongoing discussions on America’s role as traditional upholder of the liberal world order and guarantor of the continent’s security, Europe may be facing greater responsibility in dealing with these unprecedented challenges.

Join journalist James Kirchick, author of acclaimed new book, The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age, in conversation with Pulitzer-prize winning Washington Post columnist and author (Gulag: A History, Iron Curtain) Anne Applebaum, for a riveting discussion on the challenges Europe is facing — and why Americans should care. 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
12:00 - 2:00
Mashall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Bldg.)
Please join the Harriman Institute for a talk by Ellendea Proffer Teasley, co-founder of Ardis Publishers and author of Brodsky among Us (Academic Studies Press, 2017).

Carl and Ellendea Proffer first visited the Soviet Union on a university exchange program in 1969. He was a Gogol and Nabokov scholar, she a graduate student writing the first dissertation on Bulgakov. Two meetings during that visit proved to be fateful: Nadezhda Mandelstam, widow of the great poet, and Joseph Brodsky, the future Nobel laureate. A few years later Ardis Publishers came into being with the reprint of Mandelstam's Kamen' (Stone) and the journal Russian Literature Triquarterly. Little of these humble beginnings would predict the enormous significance the press would acquire: Russian publisher of Nabokov and Brodsky, not to mention the scores of literary works by Aksyonov, Bitov, Dovlatov, Iskander, Sokolov, Voinovich, and the Metropol almanac, none of which could be published in the USSR. Ardis has recently attracted a lot of attention from the Russians, not just on account of Brodsky and Nabokov, but the Cold War legacy of Ardis itself.

Ellendea Proffer Teasly is the author of Mikhail Bulgakov: Life and Work, co-founder of Russian Literature Triquarterly and Ardis Publishers, and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 1989.


From Cynthia Haven's review in The Nation:

Eventually, [Nadezhda Mandelstam] led [the Proffers] to Brodsky. The Proffers would fear for the poet’s safety from the beginning of their friendship: Teasley writes that “it is hard for us to think about him without resorting to the words destiny and fate, because those words seem to be in the air around him.” Of her and Carl’s first meeting with Brodsky, in Leningrad in 1969, she says: “The poet is quick to say that he is no dissident—he refuses to be defined in any way by opposition to the Soviet government; he prefers to act as if the Soviet regime does not exist.” She adds: “He talks we are nothing in the face of death, but he exudes I will conquer.”

The Proffers would learn of his tenderheartedness and vulnerability as well as their contraries: his insolence, arrogance, boorishness. Teasley writes, “I am reminded of what Mayakovsky’s friends said about him—that he had no skin.” Brodsky lived in a world of absolutes, and his animosities could be adamantine. In Leningrad, speaking of America, he had insisted that the Black Power movement should be crushed, student protesters beaten by the police, and Vietnam turned into a parking lot. Time would modify these judgments, but it wouldn’t eliminate the thinking behind them: Brodsky arrived in the West with a Soviet template and continued to apply it to the world around him. He possessed a dangerous credo and a magnetic presence. “The most remarkable thing about Joseph Brodsky is his determination to live as if he were free in the eleven time zone prison that is the Soviet Union,” Teasley writes. “In revolt against the culture of ‘we,’ he will be nothing if not an individual. His code of behavior is based on his experience under totalitarian rule: a man who does not think for himself, a man who goes along with the group, is part of the evil structure itself.” Hence, he refused to consider himself a dissident—a label that would have defined him in terms of the government he loathed. “If you had fame, you had the power to affect a culture; if you had fame you were showing the Soviets what they had lost,” Teasley writes. Brodsky was determined that they know what they had lost.

Her book is particularly welcome news for Russians eager to hear about Ardis, for its story is their story, too, and the story of their literature. They were seeing a reflection of themselves they didn’t recognize, like a fairy-tale princess looking into a mirror for the first time—and the image they saw excited them. 

Photo from left to right: Joseph Brodsky, Carl Proffer, Ellendea Proffer (1972).

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Department of Slavic Languages at Columbia University for a lecture by Oksana Bulgakowa and Dietmar Hochmuth, curators of the Eisenstein Project, developed for the Google Cultural Institute.

The slogan ‘Me too’ is the basic formulae of my activity in the field of art. This sort of ‘malice’ forced me to learn how to make passable architectural sketches, shoot films, stage theatrical productions, learn to write articles, ceaselessly be inventing some significant thing or other, without fail to ‘discover’ something in the field of artistic method, etc. etc. The objects of my jealousy are completely unexpected.
---Sergei Eisenstein

Oksana Bulgakowa is Professor of Film Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, and is the author and editor of numerous books on Russian and Soviet film, including a biography of Sergei Eisenstein that has been published in German, English, and Russian.

Dietmar Hochmuth is a filmmaker. In the 1990s he founded PotemkinPress, which has published various theoretical works about Sergei Eisenstein. (Website:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
1201 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join the East Central European Center, the Romanian Cultural Institute, and the Harriman Institute for a talk about writer Norman Manea, presented by Claudiu Turcuș (Babeș-Bolyai University).

Claudiu Turcuș describes the reception of Norman Manea’s work and the writer’s life at the intersection of three specific contexts: Romanian society and culture, world literature and film, and media representations (namely video-interviews and two biopics signed by Ioana Uricaru and René Frölke). He will explore primary sources (novels, short fictions, essays, interviews) and secondary sources (critical studies, reviews, biopics, TV interviews), using a methodology derived from the field of literary and film studies, but also employing concepts such as autobiographical memory, testimonial pact, East ethics and media archive.

Norman Manea is a Romanian writer, living in New York City. His writing comprises novels, essays, short prose and his primary topic is the individual destiny in extreme situations (Holocaust, Communist dictatorship, Exile). Manea is the Laureate of the Romanian National Prize for Literature and is the first Romanian writer to be granted the American McArthur Fellowship, as well as the Italian international Nonino Prize, the French Medicis Etranger Prize, the German Nelly Sachs Prize, the Spanish Palau Fabre Prize. He is a member of the Berlin Academy of Art and of the Royal Society of Literature in Great Britain, and he was decorated by the French government with the title of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. 

Claudiu Turcuș is Assistant Professor of Literary and Film studies at Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He obtained his PhD in Humanities (2011) at Babeș-Bolyai University after a fellowship research at Bard College, New York. His research focuses on East-Central European Literature and Culture, Cinema and Criticism. Turcuș has published widely on topics such as the cultural memory of Socialism, the representation of Post-communist transition, intellectual history and the ideology of New Romanian Cinema. His book, Norman Manea. Aesthetics as East Ethics (Frakfurt-New York: Peter Lang, 2016) is the very first monograph on the life and work of this important Romanian-American writer and Nobel Prize nominee.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Brown Institute for Media Innovation, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (2950 Broadway at 116th St), Entry Floor, East Wing

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism for the panel “Follow the Money: Offshore Finance, Russia and Beyond.”

Click here to register.

Revelations from the Panama Papers attest to the global influence of a hidden offshore realm that drives many of the world’s financial transactions and wealth management strategies. Leading academics and investigative reporters increasingly are applying innovative research techniques and data analysis tools to better understand how these complex structures operate and affect global markets. “Follow the Money: Offshore Finance, Russia and Beyond” brings together three experts whose diverse professional experiences provide unique contributions to better comprehending the research methodologies and reporting related to this important global phenomenon.   


Irina Malkova, Editor-in-Chief of the Russian online newspaper Republic and the Harriman Institute’s 2017 Paul Klebnikov Russian Civil Society Fellow.

Giannina Segnini, Director of the Data Concentration Program at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Jason Sharman, Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge and author of “The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management: On the International Campaign against Grand Corruption.” Mr. Sharman is a leading expert in the study of international corruption and money laundering.  

Moderated by Alexander Cooley, Director of the Harriman Institute.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join us for a talk with Jason Sharman, Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations and a fellow of King's College at Cambridge, about his new book, The Despot's Guide to Wealth Management (Cornell University Press, 2017).

An unprecedented new international moral and legal rule forbids one state from hosting money stolen by the leaders of another state. The aim is to counter grand corruption or kleptocracy ("rule by thieves"), when leaders of poorer countries—such as Marcos in the Philippines, Mobutu in the Congo, and more recently those overthrown in revolutions in the Arab world and Ukraine—loot billions of dollars at the expense of their own citizens. This money tends to end up hosted in rich countries. These host states now have a duty to block, trace, freeze, and seize these illicit funds and hand them back to the countries from which they were stolen. In The Despot's Guide to Wealth Management, Sharman asks how this anti-kleptocracy regime came about, how well it is working, and how it could work better. Although there have been some real achievements, the international campaign against grand corruption has run into major obstacles. The vested interests of banks, lawyers, and even law enforcement often favor turning a blind eye to foreign corruption proceeds. Recovering and returning looted assets is a long, complicated, and expensive process.

Sharman used a private investigator, participated in and observed anti-corruption policy, and conducted more than a hundred interviews with key players. He also draws on various journalistic exposés, whistle-blower accounts, and government investigations to inform his comparison of the anti-kleptocracy records of the United States, Britain, Switzerland, and Australia. Sharman calls for better policing, preventative measures, and use of gatekeepers like bankers, lawyers, and real estate agents. He also recommends giving nongovernmental organizations and for-profit firms more scope to independently investigate corruption and seize stolen assets.

Jason Sharman is the Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations and a fellow of King's College at Cambridge. His research is focused on the global governance of corruption, money laundering and tax havens. Sharman's earlier books include Global Shell Games: Experiments in Transnational Relations, Crime and Terrorism (with Michael Findley and Daniel Nielson), The Money Laundry, and Havens in a Storm: The Struggle for Global Tax Regulation. Sharman has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, Financial Action Task Force on money laundering, the Asian Development Bank, and various private sector groups.