Andrei Platonov: Style, Context, Meaning

Thursday, February 10, 2011 to Saturday, February 12, 2011
Room 717 Hamilton Hall

Please join the Harriman Institute, Columbia University Seminars, and the Slavic Department for an international conference on the works of Andrei Platonov.

Andrei Platonov (1899-1951), now often called "Russia's greatest prose stylist of the 20th century," owes his reputation to his novels Chevengur, The Foundation Pit, Soul, and Happy Moscow, as well as to his (no less masterful) short story collections Potudan River and The Sluices of Epiphany. In these works and others, Platonov subtly deforms Russian to great effect, making his world seem at once completely recognizable and utterly surreal. At no time, however, does Platonov conduct his stylistic experiments in a void. They are always bound up with political, philosophical, and ethical questions and deeply rooted in Soviet realia.

This conference--the first of its kind in North America--will bring together pioneering scholars of Platonov and Soviet culture to explore his peculiar style, consider it in context, and attempt to make meaning from it.

Participants: Marijeta Bozovic (Columbia), Eliot Borenstein (NYU), Robert Belknap (Columbia), Philip Ross Bullock (Oxford), Robert Chandler (Queen Mary, University of London), Brinton Tench Coxe (Columbia), Evgeny Dobrenko (University of Sheffield), Natalia Duzhina (Gorky Institute of World Literature), Rory Finnin (Cambridge), Boris Gasparov (Columbia), Douglas Greenfield (Temple University), Hans Günther (Bielefeld University), Aage Hansen-Löve (LMU Munich), Christopher Harwood (Columbia), Robert Hodel (Hamburg University), Natalia Kornienko (Gorky Institute of World Literature), Tora Lane (Stockholm University), Olga Meerson (Georgetown), Cathy Popkin (Columbia), Jonathan Platt (University of Pittsburgh), Natalia Poltavtseva (RGGU), Irina Reyfman (Columbia), Thomas Seifrid (USC), Nariman Skakov (Stanford), Valeria Sobol (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Rebecca Stanton (Columbia), Alan Timberlake (Columbia), Nancy Workman (Columbia).