Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




The Post-Human as the New Other: Cyborgs, Fembots, and Androids in Russian Television Series

This event was held virtually as a Zoom webinar and streamed via YouTube Live

Please join us for a meeting of the Russian Film Club with speakers Tatiana Mikhailova (Columbia), Elena Prokhorova (William & Mary), and Sasha Prokhorov (William & Mary). Moderated by Daria Ezerova (Harriman Institute) and Mark Lipovetsky (Columbia University). This event is part of our Contemporary Culture Series.

The interest in robots and androids in Russian film and television has come and gone since the second half of the 20th century, from the success of Planet of the Storm (1961) and The Adventures of Elektronik (1979) to near-oblivion in the 1990s. In the 2010s-2020s, with the series like Better Than Us (2018) and Project “Anna Nikolaevna” (2020), cyborgs, fembots, and androids returned to the Russian screen. While the interest in the topic may stem from the global success of the likes of Westworld and Blade Runner 2049, these series offer a fresh way of commenting on Russian realities, touching upon the issues of gender, power, and corruption, and posing a broader question of what is compelling about the post-human as a theme in Russian television.

Better than Us is available on Netflix.
Project Anna Nikolaevna is available on YouTube.

Russian Film Club: New Russian Cinema

2021 Webinar Series

Organized and moderated by Daria Ezerova (Harriman Institute) and Mark Lipovetsky (Columbia)

FEBRUARY 24, 7:00 PM
New Sci-Fi Horror: Sputnik

(Egor Abramenko, 2020)

Eliot Borenstein (NYU), Tomi Haxhi (Columbia), Julia Vaingurt (UIC)

MARCH 8, 7:00 PM
Adapting Russian Classics to the 2020s: Dead Souls

(Grigorii Konstantinopolskii, 2020)

Lioudmila Fedorova (Georgetown), Ilya Gerasimov (Ab Imperio), and Anne Lounsbery (NYU)

MARCH 23, 7:00 PM
New Historical Cinema II: Dear Comrades

(Andrei Konchalovskii, 2020)

Pavel Khazanov (Rutgers), John MacKay (Yale), Peter Rutland (Wesleyan)

APRIL 6, 7:00 PM
The Post-Human as the New Other: Cyborgs, Fembots, and Androids in Russian Television Series

Tatiana Mikhailova (Columbia), Elena Prokhorova (William & Mary), Sasha Prokhorov (William & Mary)