Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Culture Wars in Tomorrow’s Russia
Reserve Your Seat (CUID Only) Register for Zoom Webinar Watch on YouTube


Location Note

1219 International Affairs Building
420 W 118th St, 12th floor

This event is in-person for CUID card holders only. In-person attendees must be in compliance with Columbia University’s health protocols for returning to campus. Pre-registration, valid CUID card, valid green pass, and face covering are required for admittance. All other attendees may participate virtually on Zoom or YouTube.


Please join us for a lecture by Russian writer, poet, and journalist Dmitrii Bykov, moderated by Mark Lipovetsky (Harriman Institute). This event is part of our Contemporary Culture Series.

Dmitrii Bykov writes: “The cultural and political consequences of this decade in Russia are already becoming evident. Russia is facing global divisions, diversifications, and separations. The culture war will transform into latent and local wars, which will balance between the “cold” and “hot” state (as is currently happening between Russia and Ukraine). Russian cultural and political elites will remain fragmented, and there will be no more peace treaties or even negotiations between the ambassadors of the future and defenders of the past. But borders between new cultural (and political) groups are not so clear and predictable: old oppositions between the liberals and conservatives, atheists and believers, rich and poor, are becoming increasingly irrelevant. We have to understand and adopt the novel divisions that are creating a new cultural and political map of Russia as we speak. Russia at times appears to be provincial and marginal, but in fact, in Russia we are the first inhabitants of brave new world which faces a dystopia of total mutual hostility. Russia is again becoming an experimental platform for new minds.”


Dmitrii Bykov is a Russian writer, poet, journalist, and biographer. He graduated from the Faculty of Journalism at Moscow State University in 1991, and after teaching Russian literature in Moscow’s secondary schools, became a professor in the Department of World Literature and Culture of MGIMO. He was editor of the weekly Stolitsa from 1991 to 1995, and a columnist at Ogonyok from 1995 to 2009. He is currently an editor for Sobesednik, and has been a longtime contributor to Novaya Gazeta. His biography of Boris Pasternak won the 2006 National Bestseller and Big Book awards, and he has been a visiting lecturer at UCLA, Princeton University, and the Moscow Institute of Teacher’s Education, among other institutions.