This Week

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 to Friday, March 13, 2020
Harriman Institute Atrium, 12th Floor International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Exhibit runs January 21 – March 13, 2020. Exhibit hours are Monday–Friday, 9:30AM – 5:00PM excluding university holidays.

Please join us for an opening reception on Wednesday, January 29 at 6:30pm.

The Harriman Institute is pleased to present the exhibit Vintage: Eastern Bloc 1964, a photo essay documenting the travels of two young Americans behind the Iron Curtain by photographer Hope Herman Wurmfeld.

Hope Herman Wurmfeld is a photographer and author who lives and works in New York City. Throughout her career, she has exhibited her photographs internationally, published several books, and taught photography at Hunter College in NYC for over twenty years. Her work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in NYC, The Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, The Archives of the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., The New York Public Library, the Osthaus Museum in Hagen, Germany and the Princeton University Library Graphics Collection, among others. Herman Wurmfeld has been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome on three occasions, and has received grants from the New York Foundation of the Arts and the New York Arts Council and a Lucie Award for her Dream Garage series.

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Harriman Institute Atrium, 12th Floor International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join us for a reading by author Alexander Stessin, winner of the 2019 NOS Prize for his book The New York Rounds (Нью-йоркский обход).

At the reading Stessin will present his most recent books, talk about the experience of finding his identity as a writer in the intercultural space and the impact his work as a doctor has had on his writing. The reading will be both in Russian and in English.

The NOS Prize was created ten years ago by the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation, with the objective of supporting new phenomena in Russian-language literature.

Click here to register.

Alexander Stessin is a New York-based Russian writer and winner of the 2019 prestigious NOS prize for his latest book The New York Rounds. Having moved to the US at an early age, he graduated from the University at Buffalo Poetics Program. He then went on to study French literature at the Sorbonne, followed by medical school at Cornell University. Despite having been brought up in the US, he writes predominantly in Russian. He has authored three collections of poetry and five volumes of prose. In 2014 he was awarded the Russian Prize (“Russkaia premiia”) from the Boris Yeltsin Foundation for the novel Sankofa (based on his experiences working as a physician in Ghana). His other awards include the Gumilev Prize (2007), Tamizdat Prize (2007), "Moscow Tally" Prize (2011), “Bella” Russian-Italian Poetry Prize (2014), and most recently the NOS prize (2019). Over the past decade he has devoted much of his time to medical volunteer work in different parts of Africa.


Thursday, February 20, 2020 to Friday, February 21, 2020
Deutsches Haus (420 West 116th St at Amsterdam Ave)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Kupferberg Holocaust Center for a two-day conference entitled "The Holocaust in Yugoslavia and the Balkans."

Click here to register.

PLEASE NOTE: Registration does not guarantee a seat. Seating is limited and will be available on a first come, first seated basis.




6:30 pm: Screening of documentary film Besa: Rescue in Albania (2009)

Runtime of 30 minutes
A documentary film about the Jewish rescue in Albania during World War II. A story told by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust who speak about the nobility of the Albanian people who put their own lives in danger in order to save those of their visitors. A touching recollection of events and ordeals that Albanians and Jews went through before, during and after WWII. The documentary was screened at the US Holocaust Museum (April 2011, Washington), Yad Vashem Museum (May 2012, Jerusalem) and at other locations.

7:00 pm: Q&A

Dardan Islami, director

Imam Tahir Kukaj, Albanian Islamic Cultural Center, New York City

Rabbi Kara Tav, New York City

Moderator: Tanya Domi, Columbia University, Harriman Institute


9:00 am: Opening Remarks
9:15 am: Book Talk and Presentation by Georgia State Professor Jelena Subotic

Jelena Suboticauthor of Yellow Star, Red Star: Holocaust Remembrance After Communism

Discussant: Miriam Schulz, Ph.D. candidate, Columbia University and Harriman Institute affiliate

Moderator: Laura Cohen, Executive Director, Kupferberg Holocaust Center, Queensborough Community College, CUNY

10:45 am: Break
11:00 am: Panel Discussion on the Miracle of the Sarajevo Haggadah

Aleksandra Buncic, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University

Hikmet Karcic, author of Dervis M. Korkut: A Biography. Rescuer of the Sarajevo Haggadah

Alexander Korb, Associate Professor of Modern European History, Leicester University

Moderator: Tanya DomiHarriman Institute, Columbia University

1:00 pm: Break
2:30 pm: Panel discussion on the Albanian Rescue of Jews during WWII

Teuta Skenderi, independent scholar and translator

Tanya Domi, Harriman Institute, Columbia University

Gazmend Kapilani, Visiting Chair of Albanian Studies, DePaul University

Ardit Bido, General Director of the National Archives of Albania

Moderator: Laura Cohen, Executive Director, Kupferberg Holocaust Center, Queensborough Community College, CUNY

4:00 pm: Final Remarks by Tanya Domi and Laura Cohen


The Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center (KHC) at Queensborough Community College, CUNY uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism, and stereotyping. Established in 1983, it was one of the first research archives devoted to the Holocaust on the East Coast. The KHC’s facilities include a permanent exhibition about the Holocaust as well as a rotating gallery space, and in 2011 the Center was the recipient of a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The current exhibit, Survivance and Sovereignty on Turtle Island: Engaging with Contemporary Native American Art, is the first time 16 Native American and Indigenous artists are showcasing their works about mass atrocities and genocide at a US Holocaust center (on view through May 22, 2020). The KHC offers approximately twenty public programs and special events for Holocaust survivors, as well as host over 150+ tours reaching over 2,000 students and community members annually.

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join us for a talk with Ilya Gerasimov (executive editor of Ab Imperio) and Marina Mogilner (University of Illinois at Chicago), two of the authors of A New Imperial History of Northern Eurasia (Russian edition 2017; English translation forthcoming).

A New Imperial History of Northern Eurasia is the first synthetic work produced within the rising field of the new imperial history of post-Soviet space to be formatted as a popular history course for a general audience. The work aims to convey complex methodological ideas and findings from advanced scholarship in plain language and without footnotes. The biggest challenge in its development was to produce a coherent analytical model and a radically new historical narrative that could be accepted by the bitterly polarized national historiographies in post-Soviet countries and various national schools of Russian studies in the West.

Written by the four editors of the field’s flagship journal Ab Imperio over a period of more than ten years, A New Imperial History of Northern Eurasia was first serialized in Ab Imperio before appearing as a two-volume book in Russian that was included in the top-10 Russian publications at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair. Now, the authors are revising the book for publication in English. The authors are: Ilya Gerasimov, the executive editor of Ab Imperio; Marina Mogilner, the Edward and Marianna Thaden Chair in Russian and East European Intellectual History and an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Sergey Glebov, an Associate Professor of History at Smith College and Amherst College; and Alexander Semyonov, a Professor and Chair of the Department of History at the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia.


Monday, February 24, 2020
1:00pm - 2:30pm
411 Fayerweather Hall

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Department of History for a lecture by Elena Osokina (University of South Carolina).

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join us for a presentation by Anatoly Motkin, founder and president of StrategEast.

The StrategEast Westernization Index 2020 assesses the processes of adherence to Western values in post-Soviet countries outside of Russia across five dimensions: political, legal, economic, cultural, and lifestyle. 

This second edition of the Index, like the first one released in 2018, is the only report to analyze the fourteen countries of the post-Soviet, non-Russian region (PSNR) as a whole. It measures each country’s wholesale integration into the Western world across many sectors and is prepared by experts from the region.

The present edition of the Index has additional features revealing both a static and a dynamic picture of Westernization in the post-Soviet countries outside of Russia. This second edition shows trends in political, economic, and legal Westernization, and by extension, the effectiveness of efforts by Western institutions operating in the region.  

The Index is intended as a tool for public institutes, both in the post-Soviet, non-Russian region itself, and in the West.

Anatoly Motkin has over two decades of experience in the development of media and political projects in Eurasian countries to support various programs and combat corruption in the region. He has devoted much of his career to assisting the processes of Westernization in Eurasian states through the launching of a variety of media, political, and business initiatives aimed to drive social awareness and connect communities. He has successfully invested in multiple technology startups, such as one of the most popular messaging apps and the ridesharing service, which was recently acquired by the on-demand ride service Gett.

Thursday, February 27, 2020
Harriman Institute Atrium, 12th Floor International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join us for a panel discussion dedicated to the late journalist and publisher Viktor Perelman (1929-2003), the creator and sole editor of the Russian-language literary and political magazine Vremya i my (Time and We).

Beginning in 1975, 152 issues of Vremya I my were published over a span of twenty-five years in several countries: first in Israel, and then in France, the United States, and Russia.

On the pages of Vremya i my, Perelman published such authors as Joseph Brodsky, Viktor Nekrasov, Alexander Galich, Sergey Dovlatov, Pyotr Vail and Alexander Genis, Naum Korzhavin, Boris Khazanov, Friedrich Gorenshtein, Saul Bellow, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and many others. Perelman also introduced readers to a great many artists who went on to become well known, such as Mikhail Chemiakin, Ernst Neizvestny, Mikhail Turovsky, Lev Zbarsky, Yuri Krasnyi, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid. Vagrich Bakhchanyan illustrated a total of sixty-six covers of Vremya i my when it was published in the United States.


Alla Perelman

Irina Perelman-Grabois

Aleksandr Genis (Radio Liberty)

Yasha Klots (Hunter College)

Moderator: Mark Lipovetsky (Columbia University)