Космический рейс

Meets Thursday evenings 6:30
in Foster 103

I came to the University of Chicago excited about joining a Slavic Department with such a strong profile in film studies. Yuri Tsivian has built a program that includes a renowned Tarkovsky scholar in Robert Bird, an outstanding collection of rare film resources in the library, and a steady stream of top graduate students and visiting faculty like Petr Bagrov, who has been in residence in 2012.

This is also a particularly exciting time to work on cinema of the former Soviet bloc. While in the past films from this region were often not widely accessible, digital transfer has changed everything.

With huge numbers of Soviet films available on DVD or in streaming format, we can now work more rigorously with the catalog, doing close readings by viewing films repeatedly on our own screens or conducting broader critical surveys.

 The time is ripe to follow in the tradition of a former colleague of mine at UC Santa Cruz, Marshall Leicester, who has for many years run a wonderful film series exploring genre in American and international film. Informal and interdisciplinary, the series has consistently stimulated research and collaboration among students and faculty. We can now do something similar with a Slavic focus.

We began in spring 2012, gathering each Thursday evening in Foster Hall. We are following the Leicester model, which includes a workshop element, allowing participants to screen films they are working on and discuss them with the group.

In the coming months we will run a series on the absent father during the Khrushchev period, then begin to explore other national cinemas of Eastern Europe. Contact me ( if you would like to join us or be put on our mailing list.