In the wake of the government closure of Memorial, a Russian research and human rights organization that documents the history of Soviet state terror, Masha Gessen will discuss Russian memory politics with Marianne Hirsch and Andreas Huyssen. Open discussion to follow. This event is part of Columbia’s Cultural Memory Seminar. Read Gessen’s recent article about Memorial in The New Yorker.
Masha Gessen began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014 and became a staff writer in 2017. Gessen is the author of eleven books, including Surviving Autocracy and The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the National Book Award in 2017. Gessen has written about Russia, autocracy, L.G.B.T. rights, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump, among others, for The New York Review of Books and the New York Times. On a parallel track, Gessen has been a science journalist, writing about aids, medical genetics, and mathematics; famously, Gessen was dismissed as editor of the Russian popular-science magazine Vokrug Sveta for refusing to send a reporter to observe Putin hang-gliding with the Siberian cranes. Gessen is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, a Nieman Fellowship, the Hitchens Prize, and the Overseas Press Club Award for Best Commentary. After more than twenty years as a journalist and editor in Moscow, Gessen has been living in New York since 2013. Photo: © Lena Di