XLVII RSACS International Conference Program «Преодоление: выработка идеалов и их отображение в культуре США — Overcoming: Cultivating Ideals through Overcoming Barriers in American Culture»

Plenary Opening Session  

December 1,  Wednesday 6.00 PM

  1. Dr. Larisa Mikhaylova

RSACS Academic Secretary

Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State Universuty,Russia

Plenary Speakers Introduction


  1. Cynthia Lazaroff

 Cynthia Lazaroff is the founder of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy and NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and author of Dawn of a New Armageddon, a personal account of the Hawaii missile scare amidst escalating nuclear dangers, published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on Hiroshima Day. Cynthia is engaged in Track II citizen diplomacy and mediation efforts with Russia and has founded groundbreaking U.S.-Russian exchange initiatives since the early 1980s. Cynthia is dedicated to catalyzing efforts in U.S.-Russia relations to reduce the nuclear risk and to working with people in Russia and all countries to move towards a world without nuclear weapons.

Cynthia Lazaroff Opening Words — American Studies Conference Moscow 12-1-21


  1. Professor Nikolai Popov

PhD in History, Leading Researcher

RAS Institute of the USA and Canada, Moscow, Russia

American and Russian High School Students –Direct Connection Against the War Threat


Section 1. Journalism

Coordinator Professor Yulia Balashova (St.-Petersburg State University, Russia)

December 2, Thursday  11.30 AM – 2.30 PM


  1. Yulia Balashova

St.Petersburg State University, Russia

Russian and American Almanacs Calendar Invariant

Comparative media researches are one of the most demanded areas, however, in fact, they have not actually been sufficiently developed in the historical aspect. The media comparative approach is based primarily on the socio-political, not the general cultural factor, which is not always adequate to the historical and journalistic realities. This type of publications as an almanac emphasizes the cultural code. Comparison of the Russian and American traditions of publishing almanacs is being undertaken for the first time. In these two diverging traditions, almanacs have historically functioned in the different cultural environments: elite – in the  Russian culture, and popular, mass –  in the American version. Nevertheless, almanacs  comparative typological invariant  reveals the unity associated with the mediatization of the calendar, the seasonal reading circle. As the main empirical material, the almanacs of the period of formation are considered, by the 18th  –  19th centuries.


  1. Linna Liberchuk

Independent Scholar, Moscow, Russia

The Ideals and “Pitfalls” of the Founding Fathers’ Actions: Interviews with Accomplished American Historians at the Library of Congress

Interaction and mutual influence of American history and culture presented through interviews in а book “American History. Conversations with Master Historians” (2019) by D. Rubenstein, a philanthropist, investor, founder of “patriotic philanthropy”. Using the chapters which discuss the Founding Fathers, the presentation shows (1) key points of interviews with historians in regard of unusual historical, cultural and social events in the country’s past: the Founding Era of the nation. The “Congressional Dialogues” program at the Library of Congress was designed for members of Congress, (2) the book includes a part of these “Dialogues”, which was presented to the general readers in Washington, DC at the popular bookstore “Politics and Prose” (2019) and at the National Press Club (2020) for national and international journalists, (3) inspiring moments of biographies of “giants” – George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin with focus on ideals which motivated them (e.g. independence, freedom, readiness to give up power, international relations, diplomacy), as well obstacles of the crisis we never knew: an unsupported military budget, hierarchy, dynasties and partisan biases, inconsistency of political processes and segregation, excessive trustfulness and personal mistakes. Conclusion: (1) The book is a powerful tool of studying interview techniques through international communication. A civilizational shift in 1776 affected the complicated, difficult and confusing world as our world does now. David Rubinstein’s exceptional professionalism in asking questions shows authors’ knowledge of history, enthusiasm and humor. (2) The collection of interviews presents different opinions about historical decisions which changed the course of the nation, the Founding Fathers’ destinies illuminating their values, respect for ordinary people, priority of revolutionary ideas in private lives. This book is an effective source for historians, political scientists, international journalists in a search for strategies for the international cooperation.

  1. Ekaterina Aleshina

Penza State University, Russia

Overcoming Communicative Barriers: the problem of the 20th century American politicians’ rhetoric effectiveness

The talk is devoted to the problem of effectiveness of the 20th century American politicians’ public rhetoric. Effectiveness is an important parameter of the text regarded, predominantly, among other text characteristics. The effectiveness of a public political speech in a conflict situation can be considered means of overcoming communicative barriers. This becomes evident while studying certain speeches by American politicians pronounced in conflict situations (speeches by G.W. Bush, B. Obama, D. Trump and others).  The talk features an attempt to consider the issue of public political rhetoric effectiveness in the context of the theory of speech communication factors (Blokh, 2013). Especially relevant for overcoming communicative barriers are the following factors: target content of speech, personal status of the speaker and that of the audience, the factors of presupposition and postsupposition which are associated with the ideas the speaker and the audience have of each other. Presupposition and postsupposition play a defining role in terms of making the speech effective. Successful political rhetoric of American politicians demonstrates the speakers’ awareness of the conflict situation determined by social, historic and cultural factors as well as of the audience’s mood.


  1. Irma Kumylganova

Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Freedom of Speech and Public Safety in Pandemic Reality

The research explores the transformation of regulatory scopes in a new segment of the profession – the so-called drone journalism. The next challenge to the First Amendment is considered on the example of a specific case recorded by the Columbia Journalism Review on the current map of offenses and repressive actions against journalists 2during the spread of coronavirus infection. The expansion of methods of collecting and presenting information, other technical capabilities and possibilities of new journalistic forms, on the one hand, and various interpretations of the “public security” concept, on the other, aggravate legal and ethical risks in the information communications and escalate the problem of ambiguous interpretation of the relevant part of the Bill of Rights.


  1. E.V. Shapovalov

Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Aesthetic Choices in Contemporary American Documentary Cinema as a Way of Reflecting on Social and Political Issues

The fundamental problem concerning modern political documentary lies in contradiction between artistic endeavor and political message. A study of this problem could help to develop a framework to distinguish political documentary from on-sided and biased films.

The present paper will provide an overview of different research approaches to determine the role of political documentary in modern culture. The main difference lies in the problem of deciding what comes first, aesthetic value or political statement. As a result of studying different point of views, it has been concluded that artistic tools often provide the audience with opportunity to objectively evaluate events shown in the film.

This conclusion is supported by analysis of documentary films released in the past two years. Reviewed examples include films that cover subject matters varying from historical to recent events in American politics. Examples are meant to show how modern filmmakers approach entrenched media frames as well as certain elements of cultural code. Recent trends in American documentary cinema prove that artistic approach is the key that helps to develop a more profound understanding of social and political realities. Thus, documentary cinema remains a connection between aesthetic values and ideals and real social problems of modern times.


  1. Nikolay Zykov

Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

 Reflection of the social ideal in the materials of the Voice of America

The theme of American ideals and social institutions has been and remains one of the main for the oldest international broadcaster of the United States. Its main task is to cover issues of a democratic social order, the foundations of legislation, the practical work of the electoral system at all levels. It was the main one throughout the history of the radio station. And now, on the broadcaster’s website, considerable attention is paid to it. Analytical materials have been published on this topic. They note that the Americans have adopted the experience of different countries, including Greek democracy, while supplementing it with the local specifics inherent in America. Since the creation of the first colonies on the American continent, the founding fathers of the United States deeply comprehended the issues of the socio-political structure of settlements in the United States. Also, the Russian department regularly covers issues of the political life of immigrants from Russia, Russian-speaking Americans, for example, their participation in election campaigns at various levels, the topic of American-Russian cultural ties. Journalists often visit Fort Ross in California, associated with the history of Russian America. In recent years, the project “A great trip to America” has been successfully developing. Each new film of this project tells about one of the states, but not only with the use of historical material. Americans are sensitive to their traditions. This also applies to the social and political sphere, election campaigns. The last presidential election campaign was difficult, moreover, it took place against the backdrop of a pandemic of the new coronavirus infection. The Russian service covered these events in a balanced manner, not taking sides. These materials became an event and gained great popularity among the audience.


  1. Svetlana Kanashina

Moscow Institute of Foreign Relations, Russia

Internet Meme as a Multimodal Instrument of Overcoming Barriers in American Political Communication

Internet meme which is a viral unit of internet communication can be regarded as an efficient instrument of overcoming barriers between a politician and voters in political communication. One of the aspects of internet memes is their functioning as a tool for winning over the voters that is why politicians often resort to using memes in political communication. Internet memes have persuasive power which is based on their vividness, visual expression and emotional input that is why memes are popular and common in political sphere. It is vitally important to apply memes as a political strategy of interaction with voters in the communication with young electorate who are not very susceptible to traditional mass media (TV, the radio, the press), but are highly receptive to social media content where internet memes function. It seems relevant to adduce the example of D. Trump’s 2015-2016 presidential campaign in which one of the central aspects was translating memes in order to establish a virtual dialogue with voters and to elicit support for D. Trump as a nominee for President of the USA.    In the process of political communication memes demonstrate some important and specific features which are multimodality, caricature style and humorous overtones. Multimodality of internet memes is revealed in their ability to transmit information by verbal and visual modalities which allows reaching the effect of vibrant colour, visuality, meaningfulness. Caricature style lies within the connection to the genre of caricature which is full of satire, topicality and metaphors. As for humorous overtones, this feature refers to the tendency of depicting different aspects of political life in a humorous way. Besides, the humorous potential of memes is so diversified that one can come across such comic devices as grotesque, pun, parody, etc.             To sum up, communicating with voters via memes politicians try to embrace modern digital instruments of interaction with the public and to overcome communicative barriers.


Section 2. American Culture of the 17th –19th Centuries

Coordinator Dr. Boris Maximov (Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia)

December 3, Friday  10.00 AM- 12.30 PM.


  1. Irina Khruleva

History Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

“The Character of a Good Ruler” in the context of the political doctrine of New England Puritanism

The paper is devoted to the evolution of the ideas of the New England Puritans about the origin of the institution of secular power, the powers of rulers, their responsibility to the people and the possibility of rebellion against tyrants. The Puritan political discourse of the first half of the 17th century was dominated by the theme of the subordination of ordinary participants in the “Puritan experiment” to wise and pious rulers who care about the “common good”. Unlike the Puritan political sermons and pamphlets of the first half of the 17th century, the polemical literature of the Glorious Revolution period is practically devoid of religious argumentation. The task of the secular ruler henceforth consisted primarily in protecting the “ancient rights and privileges” of the subjects of the English crown, the principle of equality of natural rights of people, not the “true” Puritan faith. The natural-law argumentation of the Puritan preachers was built into traditional theological discourse, nevertheless, their sermons served as an important channel of intellectual transfer, creating favourable conditions for the inhabitants of New England to fully perceive the concepts of the Enlightenment, including those concerning the origin of political power, the preferred model of state structure, the duties of rulers before their subjects, justifying the rights and freedoms of the colonists and guarantees of their observance.

  1. Elena Lioznova

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

New England Puritanism in an era of change: ideological transformations in New England colonies at the end of the 17th and the first quarter of the 18th centuries

This paper seeks to examine the transformation and development of New England Puritanism at the end of the seventeenth and the early eighteenth century. By the 1690s, the religious future of British America worried many Puritan observers, who believed that their own generation was not living up to the model set by their ancestors. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, religion continued to play an important role in the life of New England society, while personal religiosity was in decline. In this period several different and opposing tendencies can be found in the intellectual development of New England. Relying on primary sources, the author states and shows that these tendencies were related, on the one hand, to the dominant religious ideology and attempts to reform the spiritual sphere of life and, on the other hand, connected with the spread of Enlightenment ideas and new scientific reasoning, eventually leading to the transformation of New England Puritanism.


3 George Shaduri

Department of American Studies,

International Black Sea University (IBSU), Tbilisi, Georgia

The Great Awakening of the 18th century: Overcoming Liberalism in the American Religious Tradition as an Expression of the American Identity

Goal and objectives  The objective of the presentation is to show the dialectics of the origin of the Great Awakening as a phenomenon offering the alternative to rationalist/liberal Calvinism, the former being rooted in religious worldview of the first Americans – the Pilgrim Fathers. Correspondingly, the goal of the presentation is to connect the ideals of the Great Awakening with the authentic religious component of the American identity.  Outline  (i) American identity is connected with orthodox Calvinism, brought to the New World by the Pilgrim Fathers, who even in the Netherlands combatted against liberal Arminianism which opposed Calvinism; (ii) Since the end of the 17th c., the American Puritan tradition hosts the tendency of shifting away from Orthodox Calvinism substituting it with rationalistic, liberal Calvinism, bending towards Arminianism; (iii) In the beginning of the 18th c., the revivalist Methodist movement originates in England, which aims at coming back to Evangelical roots. However, theologically it represents Arminianism. Soon Methodism reaches America. However, American Methodism is based on Calvinism and it struggles with rudiments of liberalism (Arminianism) in the American religious consciousness; (iv) Congregationalism becomes the stronghold of the religious awakening in America – democratic Puritanism which is based on Calvinism and which continues the tradition set by the first Americans – the Pilgrim Fathers.  Conclusions  The Pilgrim Fathers are traditionally considered as the founders of the American identity. Their religious creed – Orthodox Calvinism on Congregationalist basis should be considered as spiritual basis of the American identity. Liberal Calvinism, having developed by the beginning of the 18th c. and bending towards Arminianism, represents departure from the religious foundation of the national identity. The Great Awakening of the 18th c., originating as a response to liberal Calvinism and Arminianism, continued the line set by the Pilgrim Fathers, and is viewed by us as an expression of the American identity.


  1. Alexandra Lisitsyna

Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Socio-philosophical and Ethical Aspects of William Lloyd Garrison’s Worldview

In modern socio-philosophical and political literature, disputes continue both about the unilateral and mutual influence of various ideological currents, as well as specific thinkers on each other. Although the legacy of William Lloyd Garrison, a well-known American public figure and one of the leaders of the anti-slavery movement, a representative of the radical wing of abolitionism of the 19th century, has been actively studied by historians, today it seems urgent and important to systematically reconstruct and interpret the ideological and philosophical foundations of Garrison’s views. As the modern researcher C. Sartwell notes, despite the fact that many theorists of American abolitionism of the 1830s-1860s tended to anti-authoritarian and even critical of the state as an institution, thinkers such as Lucretia Mott, William Lloyd Garrison, Josiah Warren, often find themselves on the periphery of the attention of historians of anarchist thought focused on the collectivist tradition within it.

As a social thinker, Garrison proceeded from a position that can be designated as sociological nominalism. The latter, unlike sociological realism, starts from the individual as the last foundation of social reality. This, among other things, explains the refusal to participate in the political struggle, where the interests of various parties and social groups clashed. The laws of the state, contrary to divine institutions, did not have any independent meaning for Garrison. From a bright and uncompromising moral criticism of the institution of slavery, the thinker moved on to a broader philosophical worldview based on the idea of non-resistance to evil, and from this position he subjected the society in which he lived to comprehensive criticism. What alienated moderate abolitionists from Garrison at the same time attracted those of his followers and like-minded people who were oriented towards the traditions of Christian anarchism and non-resistance and for whom the roots of social evil were not in the social sphere of life as such, but in the spiritual sphere.


  1. Boris Maximov

Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

The Overcoming of the Mental Inertia In E. A. Poe`S Survival Stories (The Pit And The Pendulum, A Descent Into the Maelström)

The paper examines ways to overcome the mental inertia, which ultimately help the protagonists of E. A. Poe’s most famous survival stories to stay alive. Particular attention will be paid to the following operations of mind:

А. Relativization of an irresistible external power (force majeure). The hero limits (through measuring) and differentiates (by identifying internal differences) the external threat, which at first appears absolute and incomprehensible.

  1. The objectification of personal misfortunes: the protagonist prefers to consider himself not as a suffering individual, but as an observer of a natural process perceived from the outside. Distancing himself from his personal “grief,” he shifts his attention to the regular “law”.
  2. Experiment: the hero tests the correctness of the hypothesis by experience and corrects it if necessary. In both novellas, direct observation forces the narrator to reconsider initial predictions (e.g., about the method of execution, about the shape and size of the cell, about the time of day, about the rate at which objects sink into the Malstrom funnel).
  3. De-ideologization: the protagonist “cleanses” the objects of their conventional connotations (indoctrinated by society or manipulators). In PaP it is important that the victim resists the religious interpretation of events imposed on him (the pit as a hellhole, the pendulum as inevitable fate, the paintings as symbols of sins committed). By detaching himself from value judgements, the hero can ally with the (disgusting) rats or save himself by jumping into the (perilous) abyss. The same revaluation procedure is in Poe`s “tales of ratiocination” at work (for Dupin, the dirty piece of paper may turn into a precious love letter). It seems to me that the mechanisms for overcoming mental inertia described in PaP and in M highlight some (enviable) characteristic features of the American mentality. These include: (1) The primacy of cognitive activity: observation and generalization are meant as self-sufficient, they require no teleological justification; indicative is “a vague curiosity” (which is senseless, in terms of expediency). (2) Empiricism, i.e. the inductive manner of thinking and the willingness to verify the initial presumptions experimentally (and to correct them if necessary). (3) Progressivism (historical optimism): to resist a superior force makes only sense insofar as one keeps hoping that things will get better in future (in PaP such expectations have been finally fulfilled in a broader, historical context). (4) Pragmatism: the functional, situational value of an object matters for Americans more, then “metaphysical” connotations.


  1. Natalia Kuznetsova

Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

The World As a Cipher in E. A. Poe’s “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket”

The main character faces the enigmas and codes in his adventures both on the external and internal levels of existence. On the structural level the world is presented as layered (e.g. conscious – corporeal – external) and each layer has its own pace. Because the paces don’t coincide the layers diverge and life is in danger (Pym slept for three days (conscious level) – he weakened (corporeal level) – the food spoiled (external level)). The solution of this problem is to integrate the layers like in a puzzle box, or in the Rubik’s Cube. If the hero finds the right key, he will put the reality together and manage to escape death (the hero doesn’t act rationally, but nervously and reflexively). One of the structural puzzles is a labyrinth that could be got through by remembering the position of its crossings in a static and unchanging space. The difficulty however is that the world in the novel is unstable, so the rational way to solve this mystery is also impossible. On the level of the encrypted content of the world the hero faces the issue of emptiness and fullness. Emptiness (whiteness) is linked to the initial state of the world. The hero tries to decipher the signs in this emptiness (whiteness) – so his life also depends on this. A clue is not in a rational action but in an irrational one, not in a thought, but in an action (e.g. to turn the object on the other side, or to take apart and put it back together, or to look the other way – all of this can help to overcome the encryption of the world).


Section 3. Contemporary American Culture

Coordinator Dr. Irina Kudryavtseva  (Minsk State Linguistic University, Belarus)

December 2, Thursday, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.


1 Alla Nikulina

Akmulla Bashkir State Pedagogical University, Ufa, Russia

Overcoming Language as a Form of Ethical Breakthrough in D.F. Wallace’s Infinite Jest

The report deals with the opposition of speech and silence as one of the basic conflicts in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. The author of the philosophical novel resorts to Wittgenstein’s concept of language as representation of material “facts”. But the ethical does not belong to the factual sphere and, as a result, cannot be expressed with the help of linguistic means; so “whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”. The language in the novel is treated as the characteristic property of a human being, an elaborate system of signs, allowing people to connect to each other through verbal communication and impact the surrounding world; but at the same time, it appears as a finite and artificial construction that puts impassable barriers in the way of cognition and empathy. The inner spiritual progress that the characters achieve in the novel is symbolically represented as penetrating the boundaries of language and falling into silence; thus, the main characters in the novel, Hal Incandenza and Don Gately, find themselves speechless as the result of their progressive development. Silence in the novel becomes a new type of ethical language that allows spiritually oriented people to communicate without resorting to conventional signs. But the new state is accompanied by experiencing deep physical discomfort and loss of understanding. As the language of ethics, according to Wittgenstein, is incompatible with a common human language, the characters’ final leap into the ethical realm severs their ties with the world of ‘normal’ people and makes further communication with them impossible.


2.Natalia Kopytko

Minsk State Linguistic University, Belarus

The role of the setting in overcoming as it is represented in J.C. Oates’ stories Beauiful Days

The presentation focuses on the role the setting fulfils in representing the psychological phenomenon of overcoming on the example of the life atrocities the characters of J.C. Oates’ stories from the collection “Beautiful Days” (2018) confront with. The emphasis is made on the implications of the place where the actions of her stories are set iand the way it effectively interacts with the forms of psychological time.


  1. Elena Sedova

South-Urals State Humanities Pedagogical University, Chelyabinsk, Russia

“Taste America” as an Educational Project

In a pandemic people have to interact online than offline (conferences, congresses, etc.). This also has its advantages: speakers from different countries can connect to online sessions. The project “Taste America” was implemented on May 30, 2021 under a Small Grant for Fulbright Exchange Alumni. The goal of the project is to ‘taste’ America (baking a traditional chocolate dessert brownie online), learn more about the Fulbright international exchange program, and expand the understanding of the traditions and culture of different countries. The project included two sessions: culinary “show” and meeting with alumni. The presentation and report will focus on the stages of project preparation and its further implementation, feedback from participants and how important such projects are in terms of establishing friendly relations between Russia and the United States.



  1. Olga Djumailo

South-Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Discussions around  the 9/11 novels

The paper’s starting point dates back to the book chapter written by a prominent British scholar Robert Eaglestone “The age of reason was over…an age of fury was dawning”: Contemporary Fiction and Terror” (2009), in which the acclaimed novels of Foer, McEwan, Rushdie, and a short story of Martin Amis, related to the experience of the 9/11 tragedy, are criticized. Eaglestone focuses on the problem of these novels’ as forms that turn out to be incapable of artistic and ethical comprehension of tragedy. The paper offers, on the one hand, an overview of ideas that could serve as both a continuation and a polemic regarding this position. On the other hand, the paper examines the latest trends in the genre of the “9/11 novel “, the creative practice of which proved to be not only productive, but also diverse. Among the significant authors who have turned to this genre are Updike, DeLillo, Beigbeder, Spiegelman, McInerney, Kalfus, Schwartz, and others.


  1. Olga Peredera

South-Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia

‘Cancel Culture’ in Modern Public and Political Life

The paper examines the influence of ‘cancel culture’ on the educational, political, and cultural spheres of society. On the basis of empirical data and the method of situational analysis (case-method), general tendencies generated by the phenomenon of “cancel culture” were identified. The phenomenon of the “culture of cancellation” arose relatively recently, within the framework of the general trend of the “new ethics”, mainly in Western Europe and the United States. According to Dictionary.com’s online dictionary definition, a “culture of cancellation” refers to the popular practice of ending support for public figures or companies after they have done or said something that is considered objectionable or offensive. This practice is carried out primarily on the Internet and is considered a form of group shame. The use of this practice was initially perceived very positively, as a useful tool for solving and publicizing social and ethical problems (for example, racial intolerance, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, harassment, etc.). However, there are also negative consequences of the proliferation of a “culture of withdrawal”. The research and case analysis revealed the following trends caused by the “culture of cancellation” and affecting various spheres of society: 1. “Culture of cancellation” undermines the culture of public discussions in the university environment, prevents the free expression of thoughts and ideas that do not coincide with the opinion of the majority; 2. Generates fear to speak out openly because of the risk of loss of reputation, work, social status, etc., therefore, contributes to the development of a “spiral of silence”; 3. Reputation is gaining more and more value in a society of “public scrutiny”; 4. Can act as a factor of contradictions and conflicts in society (for example, between supporters and opponents of the “culture of abolition”); 5. Can reduce political competition, radicalize the supporters of those values that are not accepted by the majority; 6. The “culture of cancellation” is often practiced due to events in the deep past, which in most cases deprives a person of the chance for correction


  1. Irina Kudryavtseva

Minsk State Linguistic University, Belarus

Representation of History in Cold Mountain by  Ch. Frazier

The paper deals with the specificity of representing the historical past in Charles Frazier’s novel Cold Mountain  (1997). Historical and regional discourses interact in the novel, and this interaction defines its poetics and genre characteristics. The plot of the novel centers on Inman, a Confederate soldier who deserts the war, and on his journey home to his native village Cold Mountain in western North Carolina. The obstacles that Inman has to overcome reflect the class, race and gender hierarchies that existed in American (Southern) society.


  1. Nikita Zhilyakov

Urals Federal University, Ekaterinburg, Russia

The Transformation of Autobiographical Beat-Identity in the Novels Junkie and Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

Within the framework of the comparative genre analysis, the article examines the genre features of W. Burroughs’ autobiographical prose (the novels “Junkie” and “Naked Lunch”) and the transformation of the key image for understanding the novels – the junk. While the beatniks used to be a scandalous American countercultural phenomenon, the fiction of beat writers is a literary fact: an attempt to tell about the ideals of the beat generation and their time through a literary text. Analysis of W. Burroughs’ novels “Junkie” and “Naked Lunch” allows us to see the specifics of the Beat view of American literature and culture, as well as to show the evolution of W. Burroughs’ aesthetic and artistic positions in his early novels, which became the beginning of the beatnik literary experiment.


  1. Elena Antonova

Moscow Institute of Foreign Relations, Russia

In the Name of Q: the Influence of Conspiracy Theories on Public Consciousness

This presentation focuses on the “QAnon” conspiracy theory and its origins, which gained popularity during the presidency of Donald Trump. The author examines the origins of the movement, the public reaction to it and the role of the media in shaping the conspiracy mindset in American society.  Moreover, the author analyzes the cultural context of the emergence of this movement in the United States and the attitude of the scholarly community to it.


  1. Elvira Kharrasova

Kazan (Volga region) Federal University, Russia

The everyday realities of American life in the short stories of R. Carver (based on the collection “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? ” 1976)

Raymond Carver is an outstanding short story writer, a master of short stories of the 20th century. The heyday of his work falls in the 70-80s. He is called the “American Chekhov”, Hemingway’s successor, Burroughs’ brother. The author himself called himself the writer of the “poor workers”. His works are short and at the same time rich stories about ordinary people. Carver wrote short stories in the breaks from hard, low-paid work.

Carver’s realistic texts are excellent material for studying the peculiarities of American life in the 60s and 70s. He is widely regarded as a working-class singer, the man who captured the dominant codes of American culture. His prose showed how those who are oppressed by the system live. It was precisely for the unattractiveness and realism that Carver was repeatedly criticized, because the reproduction of such images in literature harmed the country, the country where everyone should smile.

The almost photographic accuracy of Carver’s realism allows us to use his texts as anthropological material to recreate the image of America in the 1960s and 70s. The main topics are the Vietnam War, identity problems, alcohol and drug addiction, the state of the institution of the family, etc. Carver’s description of social problems is not a goal, but a part of the world reproduced in Hemingway’s journalistic style.


  1. Irwin Weil

Northwestern University, Evanston, USA

Overcoming Provincialism In the Twentieth Century

Having been born in 1928 in the Midwestern American City of Cincinnati – also on the border between the North and South, I grew up with all the prejudices and general provincialism of the American Midwest, not to mention the South.

Up through the 1940’s I knew very little about Europe or its multi-national cultures, not mention a country whose stamps bore the identification of CCCP, which I took to be English letter


This began to change in 1947, when I enrolled in the University of Chicago, a place that had given refuge to many great German Jewish scholars, who had fled the horrors of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Among other great educational experiences, I had the remarkable experience of reading a fairly long novel by a certain Fedor Dostoevsky, whose name I had never heard before. I had to wonder where were these Karamazov Brothers whose experiences opened many parts of the human soul.

I immediately wondered if I would ever encounter the actual existence of this land called the Soviet Union, or, more simply Russia.

The next year I began to learn the subtle differences between the vinitel’nyi and tvoritel’ny padezhi.

Wonderfully, in the late 1940’s President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Khrushchev sign a treaty for cultural exchange between our countries.

In 1960 I had the privilege of a first visit to the country called the Soviet Union, connected with the same place called Russia.


Section 4. Ethnic Aspects of American Culture

Coordinator Dr. Oxana Danchevskaya (Moscow State Pedagogical University, Russia)

December 3, Friday  1.00 PM – 3.00 PM


  1. Oxana Danchevskaya

Moscow State Pedagogical University, Russia

On the Impact of Fatalism on the Health of Native Americans

American Indians, like all indigenous peoples, are prone to fatalism. These beliefs have a significant impact on people’s lives and health, often not for the better. In the talk, the main areas of life influenced by the belief in the predetermination of events will be listed, with a more detailed analysis of issues related to the health of Native Americans, and possible reasons for their fatalistic views will be indicated.


  1. Zhanna Konovalova

Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia

The 1619 Project as Reframing of American History

The paper addresses the journalistic project of The New York Times aimed at reevaluation and reframing of national American history with the focus on its Afro-American component. The 1619 Project was initially created as a series of essays revising the key notions of American history, such as its starting point, the role of the Founding Fathers, Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. The essays were published in special issue of The New York Times Magazine and as an interactive digital platform, however currently they have exceeded the scope of journalism, having become a significant social and political phenomenon. The author comes to the conclusion that The 1619 Project is a narrative oriented to critical rethinking and discrediting of the key mythologems and ideologemes, rooted in national American consciousness, which, in turn, leads to creation of new American mythology.


  1. Dmitry Vorobiow

RAS Institute of the USA and Canada, Moscow, Russia

The Black Panther Party: Myths and Reality

The political and social organization Black Panther Party (BPP), whose years of activity occurred in the late 1960s and the first half of the 1970s, continues to have a huge impact on the African-American community. Black sunglasses, leather jackets and berets, a raised hand with a clenched fist, the «black power» slogan – all these external attributes of Black Panthers have become an integral part of the pop culture of black America. In turn, the ideological origins of a number of modern African American social movements, including Black Lives Matter, can be found precisely in the activities of the BPP.  In the last decade, a course towards idealizing the activities of the Black panther has also become noticeable – a special emphasis is placed on social programs for organizing assistance to the poor, its support of the Black feminism & anti-war rhetoric, as well as confrontation with law enforcement agencies accused of racism and abuse of power. The activities of the BPP, portrayed as a true champion of the rights and interests of the African American community, in fact, turns into a kind of heroic epic.  To understand the real picture, it is necessary to consider in detail the activities of this organization, both from an ideological and practical point of view. The ideology of revolutionary nationalism, which the BPP adhered to, was a fusion of the principles of black nationalism and socialism, primarily Maoism. The Black Panthers, who dreamed of destroying the capitalist system in the USA through a world revolution of the colored population, also showed sympathy for the Cultural Revolution in China, declaring the need for a profound transformation in the consciousness of the African-American community. The organization’s ideology was also imbued with hatred of the police, which the Black Panthers viewed as the social institution most heavily racist. At the same time, in the ranks of the organization there were quite a few asocial elements with a criminal mentality, including unemployed youth from the ghetto and former prisoners.  The real activities of the BPP were controversial, but at the same time, we cannot fail to notice the importance of this organization in the history of the African American community.


  1. Anna Sebryuk

National Research University HSE, Moscow, Russia

 Assimilation and Authenticity: The Identity Crisis of American Jews in the U.S. Literature (a Case Study of Bernard Malamud’s Short Stories)

The development of Jewish American literature goes hand in hand with the history of Jewish immigration. At first, it mainly reflected the struggles of immigrant life, then,  the stable but somewhat alienated existence of the Jewish middle class and, finally, the unique moral dilemma of the Jewish community: the choice between assimilation and the revival of tradition. Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth, the masters of Jewish American fiction,  illustrate this phenomenon of duality. They wrote about the American Jews who suffer from alienation and seek to join the mainstream, to find themselves in American society.  As a writer of the post-war period, Bernard Malamud was especially concerned about the struggle of Jewish immigrants to restore their lost identity or build a new one. Malamud’s characters are wanderers, deprived of their home, career, income, language, family and friends, and often of their faith. The aim of the study is to examine how the identity crisis and the choice between assimilation and authenticity are realized in the work of Jewish American writers, namely Bernard Malamud, one of the great American writers of the twentieth century. The author also touches upon the topic of the post-Holocaust consciousness in Jewish American literature.


  1. Alexey Borzov

Vladimir State University, Russia

“Converts” and the Peculiarities of the Сontemporary Orthodox Christian religiosity in America

Eastern Orthodox Church divided into several administratively independent jurisdiction is a fast-growing religious group in the United States. During the last few decades its growth has been caused not by immigration from the Old World or the reproduction of the Eastern Orthodox diaspora but rather by the influx of American converts. Converts generally come from the Roman Catholic Church and conservative evangelical Protestant denominations. The input of converts has had a considerable impact on Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States. The role of recent converts in the formation of the contemporary Orthodox Christian tradition in the U.S. is being discussed by American Orthodox Christian columnists as well as by scholars, such as Oliver Herbel, Lydia Bringerud, Sarah Riccardi-Swartz. On the one hand, converts import with themselves some elements typical of the American socio-cultural and religious ethos: emphasis on the Scriptures, attention to the socio-political activism of the Church, an important role of the laity in church affairs, in general, a more democratic character of the church structure. On the other hand, converts taken by religious enthusiasm sometimes tend to reproduce literally some archaic elements of the “foreign” Orthodox Christian tradition. For example, some women-“converts” are eager to observe the traditional Eastern Orthodox dress code, which has been rejected by the Orthodox Christian immigrants and their descendants. Among the religious praxes, there is a sort of cult of “elders” (“starets”) which is alien to the religious traditions in the U.S., but rather typical of the Orthodox Christianity in Russia. Converts from conservative evangelical Protestant denominations sometimes hold pro-monarchy political views. In some cases, these trends (“americanization” vs. aspiration to literal reproduction of the Old World religiosity) would juxtapose which could be seen in involvement of many politically and socially conservative Orthodox Christians in the contemporary “culture wars” in the U.S.


  1. Irina Morozova

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia

History of Finnish Americans as an overcoming of ethnic and cultural borders in K.Marlantes novel The Deep River

History of Finnish Americans as an overcoming of ethnic and cultural borders in K.Marlantes novel The Deep River. The paper focuses on one of the pressing problems of modern humanitarian knowledge – the problem of the overcoming of  the ethnic borders, on the   self-identification of hybrid cultures, in particular, the culture of the Finnish Americans. The ethnic diversity of the United States leads to a constant intersection of various cultures, giving rise to the uniqueness of contemporary American literary life.  National, cultural, personal identity associated with the revision of the traditions that were assimilated in their diaspora acts as the main problem of multiculturalism – the ideology of plurality and diversity. Self-identification strategies may include the definition of one’s religious, ethnic, gender determination. Very often, the community’s collective trauma and its overcoming,  and collective memory of the historical past can act as a strategy.  Basing on K. Marlantes’ novel “The Deep River” the paper  examines the process of   the ethnic borders overcoming built on the dialogical interaction of the Anglo-Saxon and Finnish cultures. The paper actualizes the problems of the interrelations of the two cultures, the transformation of archetypal images, the reflection of collective memory in the works of contemporary Finnish American writers.


  1. Tatyana Belova

Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Moscow, Russia

Cultivating Ideals of Heroes Overcoming Émigré Tragedy in Nabokov’s Novels

As a bilingual writer V.V. Nabokov has brilliantly overcome his own émigré tragedy having actually realized himself as a world-famous writer. Thus in his novels he artistically embodied his own ideals of overcoming the expatriates’ tragedy.

So in his first novel “Mary” (1926) he depicts a Russian emigrant Ganin, a former officer who feels himself in Berlin as if he is in a phantasmal world of shades. But due to a vivid memory of his first beloved in Russia, he takes a decision of great importance definitely to change his life.

The bright creative gift of F. Godunov-Cherdyntsev (“Gift”), the alter-ego of the author, does help him to overcome the misfortune of life and realise himself as a writer.

The absent-minded professor of Russian literature Pnin (“Pnin”) gains victory due to his passionate love of the subject and his intensive everyday work at the library. Thus he becomes a full-professor and the Head of the Chair (but later, in “Pale Fire”).

Fortunately, V. Nabokov has actually overcome his own émigré tragedy not only as a world famous bilingual writer but also a leading entomologist, academic scholar and a skilled professor of Russian literature, its enlightener and brilliant translator.




Section 5. Gender Aspects of American Culture

Coordinators Dr. Nadezhda Shvedova (RAS Institute of the USA and Canada, Moscow, Russia) and Dr. Larisa Mikhaylova (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia)

December 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.


  1. Larisa Baibakova

History Department,

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

In Search of a New Architecture for an Ideal World Order: the Participation of American Women in the Pacifist Movement on the Eve of World War I

On the eve of the World War Ι, marked by a number of regional conflicts between the European powers, the search for a peaceful settlement of international disputes was intensified in the United States.  Various social forces, ranging from the highest ranking politicians to representatives of a mostly pacific camp, in which  women occupied a special place, were keen on searching for a new architecture of the ideal world order. However it were the feminists who managed to develop organizational forms of pacifism through the creation of the “Women’s Peace Party”, which planned to organize peaceful mediation between the warring parties. Its most striking action was the holding of a peace conference in Stockholm, where they went on a “peace ship”.


  1. Anastasiya Zhokhova

Department of Government Management,

Lomonosov Moscow State University,  Russia

The Role of the Suffrage Movement for the Political Process of the USA in the 19-20th Centuries

The importance of studying the gender aspect in the political process of the United States is due to the attention to the interaction of the sexes in different historical eras, which led to the development of democratic principles and the reform of society for its normal functioning. The right to vote was not the basic requirement of American women in the nineteenth century, but while women obtained rights to education, property, and earnings, the suffragettes began to think seriously about the political sphere. Suffrage had become one of the leading trends in the struggle for full gender equality. The spirit of civil liberty and personal inviolability have been permeating American society since the proclamation of their state as sovereign. American suffrage had some fundamental differences from the suffrage movement in Europe. Prevalence of protestants in the US religious composition was instrumental, since the Protestant Church espouses the spiritual equality of men and women, and necessity to read sacred texts and then printed books created the need for self-education, which in contributed to the transformation of women’s views on education, religion, and family. In addition, American suffragettes had been closely linking their oppressed status with the status of slaves and were extremely attentive to the colonial question and the situation with the black population. It is against the background of these ideas there were arisen women’s organizations to combat slavery in the United States. When the organizers of the World Anti-Slavery Convention banned women from performing and participating in the meetings in 1840, they held the first Rochester Women’s Rights Convention under the leadership of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott in 1848. When the Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the US Constitution gave African American men the right to vote in 1869, several women’s organizations came together causing the expansion of suffrage demands and the rise of women’s issue popularity. In 1869, Wyoming was the first state to grant women the right to vote. By 1904 the United States had joined the International Woman Suffrage Alliance along with Great Britain, Canada, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, and Germany. Thus, socio-cultural problems in the political process of America in the 19th-20th centuries became the impetus for the transformation of the gender agenda in America, and contributed to the expansion of women’s political rights. In the 21st century, gender perspective plays an important role at all stages of the electoral cycle in the USA.


  1. Stefania Korshunova

Journalism Department

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Modern Dance as a Break of Gender Patterns (US experience)

The “modern” dance direction originated in the USA in the late XIX – early XX centuries. Modernity implies the rejection of dance canons, in particular the division into female and male choreography. All this initially caused misunderstanding among the public. The gender aspect of American culture has literally divided the world of dance into before and after. It is thanks to the “new” thinking of American dancers that a direction has appeared where performers are not divided into a man and a woman. To consider the gender issues of modernity, you should first familiarize yourself with the history of its origin. The founder of the “new dance” was the American dancer Isadora Duncan. She took off her ballet flats for the first time, began dancing barefoot, which caused delight in society. Duncan was trying to create a person who would have a new attitude to dance with a connecting link – nature. For Isadora, it was important that in the future dancers destroy the framework. Another American dancer Martha Grem made an even greater contribution to the improvement of modernity. She continued the tradition of combining dance and nature, brought the animal world into the direction. Then the gender boundaries of male and female dance were completely erased. “Animal” choreography has no gender separation. A woman and a man dance the same choreography. Modernity implies that a dancer, performing choreography, feels the movement as he wants, outside of gender restrictions. Later, a lot of “no” manifestos appeared, and now we can say that one of their main results of this difficult adoption of modernity was the position of society: “There is no gender separation.” Now this is especially true in the culture of America. Art should not be divided only into female and male, it is one. Overcoming the sexual division in dance was a huge step for the development of this branch of art. For centuries, different directions have implied female and male roles, for example, ballet. Modernity refuses any gender labeling. The “new Dance” is freedom. Thus, American culture directly influenced the formation of modernity. Freedom in the perception of the world and a departure from the gender division bring something to the dance that has never happened before. At present, Art Nouveau is the leading trend in Europe and, in particular, in America.


  1. Yulia Andrushko

South-Urals State Humanities Pedagogical University, Chelyabinsk, Russia

Regarding Transformation of Gender Roles in Short Stories of T. Williams’

Williams’s short stories created within 1920 – 1980s reflect author’s notion of male and female psychology, contain protest against traditional puritan culture and social, psychological and sexual behavior models which were prescribed to the author’s contemporary Americans. Williams’s male and female characters’ dynamics, life strategy of the characters, covers matters of sexuality, vitality, corporality were scrutinized.  Williams’s protagonists are of three types. The first one is unlucky gamblers or losers, men and women who evidently follow a victim model. Such characters are afraid of reality, they are helpless in front of the world’s cruelty. Their sexuality and life energy are suppressed with fear, their life strategy is solitary, withdrawn existence, depression or death (The Dark Room, Something by Tolstoy, The Malediction). A number of suchlike characters die of some sudden disease (Oriflamme, The Resemblance between a Violin Case and a Coffin). The second type is escapists. They openly protest against puritan rules and values (Two on a Party, Three Players of a Sommer Game, The Yellow Bird), though amoral behavior hides desperate attempts to find happiness and a fear of human mortality. The third type are winners who steadily follow their way; they possess powerful sexual energy and life strength. As a rule, these characters are from late works: Miss Coynte of Greene, The Inventory at Fontana Bella, Sabbatha and Solitude. They outlive their multiple sexual partners, show leadership qualities and a willingness to fight for their place in the sun. By the given examples of characters it is possible to observe clearly the process of gender roles transformation. In T. Williams’s artistic world men are presents as weak and exposed, they act as sexual objects for women and other men (Gift of an Apple, Hard Candy, Miss Coynte of Greene). Female characters in Williams’s world are more diverse.


  1. Nadezhda Shvedova

RAS Institute of the USA and Canada, Moscow, Russia

Gender Roles in The United States: The Impact Of The Pandemic

The Pew Research Service survey, which was based on a nationally representative survey of 3,143 American adults conducted online from March 18 to April 1, 2020, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Granting the Vote to American Women, found: Progress has been made in the fight for gender equality over a decade, but most believe that the country is still not making enough headway in granting women equal rights with men.

Three quarters of women indicate that gender discrimination is ignored as a more serious problem; 60% of men agree with this. The overwhelming majority of Democrats (85%) consider ignorance of gender discrimination a major problem. The Republicans’ view is different: they consider the mistaken vision of discrimination where it does not exist (53%) as a major problem, rather than the fact that people do not see it where it exists (46%). Female Republicans are far more likely than male Republicans to say that people who ignore gender discrimination are a bigger problem (54% versus 38%).

The Covid-19 pandemic has made its own adjustments: the proportion of mothers who said it would be better for them to work full-time fell from 51% to 44% between 2019 and 2020. The pandemic created problems and obstacles for many Americans, but mothers receive a lot of attention. This exposed many of the problems for American women, but they are not all new. Pandemic concerns have exacerbated questions about the division of household duties and responsibilities between couples, especially as many schools and kindergartens have been closed. There are concerns that the disruptions caused by the pandemic could have long-term implications for gender equality in the workplace. In response, the concerned women’s community and active democratic movement are attempting to resist to prevent the negative effects on gender balance in the country from deepening in all its forms.


  1. Darya Khukhreva

RAS Institute of the USA and Canada, Moscow, Russia

American Women’s Healthсare: Donald Trump and Joseph Biden. Political debate

Health care plays a huge role for the personal, social and economic well-being of women. For a deeper understanding of the situation of women in the United States, the report examines the problems faced by women in the health care system, including access to medical care; health problems related to gender and gender characteristics; differences in health outcomes compared to men; underrepresentation in scientific research; as well as government policies that affect not only women, but also their families.

Women face unique challenges related to their physical health, interaction with the healthcare system, and role in society. The report examines how to integrate women’s needs into health policy discussions and use opportunities to improve women’s health.

The analysis of the political debate in the United States around the issue of women’s health is carried out on the example of the 2020 presidential election, namely on the basis of the election programs and positions of the main presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joseph Biden.

Although all election campaigns and programs undergo certain and natural changes over time, the results of the 2020 presidential election have determined aspects of healthcare that are particularly important for women, as well as the direction in which the US healthcare system will develop in the next 4 years. From the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to the uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act and threats to reproductive health. Thus, the outcome of these elections has serious consequences not only for women, but also for the nation as a whole.


  1. Christina Marshania, Olga Oushakova

Tyumen State University, Russia

Cats or cats? Modern Animalistic Vision in T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

Nowadays the ideas of posthumanistic knowledge popular  and influential in  Human-Animal Studies stimulate the new methodological approaches in the studies of animalism in Literature. The object of this research is T.S. Eliot’s poetic book «Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” (1939) being considered in the context of the Human-Animal paradigm of the Modern era. Modern literary animalism is characterized by certain philosophic and artistic concepts, the specific types of Human-Animal relationships. Eliot’s feline characters are similar to other animalistic images in Literature and Arts of that time (Théophile Gautier, James Joyce, Keneth Grahame, Louis William Wain, etc.). They are anthropomorphic inhabitants of a predominantly urban space of the industrial era with appropriate lifestyle, the habits inherent in the middle class. Eliot blurs the boundaries between a man and cats, although his cats are speechless remaining the object of outer observation. Gender identities bear the prejudices of the time: in Eliot’s poems male cats dominate quantitatively and qualitatively (bright vivid memorable characters). Female cats’ activities do not go beyond the gender stereotypes of the time: they play music (teach vocal to mice), dance (“jellicle” cats dance waltz and gavotte), cook, etc. Eliot’s male cats have the lifestyle of true gentlemen living at the same places as the author of poems (Bloomsbury Square, Pall Mall clubs, etc.). They are excellent gourmets (Gus, the Theatre Cat, drinks gin, Bustopher John, a frequenter of luxury restaurants, knows where to get  the best oysters, etc.). The tastes of these cats correspond to the gastronomic preferences of the wealthy middle class. Overall, all Eliot’s cats are persons of fashion and feline glamor. His characters have bright personalities, extraordinary abilities, lively minds, rich emotional world. Eliot (the Old Possum) affectionately and accurately describes the feline world and its inhabitants. He loves his characters as one loves women and children. In the categories of contemporary gender and environmental studies this poetic vision and types of relationship between humans and animals can be defined as sentimental, patriarchal, paternalistic, anthropo – and Eurocentric, socially marked.


8 Larisa Mikhaylova

Journalism Department

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

When They Go Low We Go High: Overcoming Economic Enslavement by African-American Women  in TV Family Drama Queen Sugar (2016-)


Reconstruction in the American South procured land for the former slaves but did not guarantee the means to retain it, thus changing the type of bondage to a more covert type. The TV series Queen Sugar produced by  Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey at her own channel follows the storyline of a novel of present day in Louisiana based on fact. Three grown up children of a recently deceased Black farmer decide to retain it in operation against a strong monopoly of former plantation family Landrys. Two daughters – a journalist  Nova (Rutina Wesley) and a former manager of a professional basketball player Charlie (Dawn’Lyen Gardner) – join their efforts to combine community interests and encourage people to stand up against the plans to build a private prison instead of their farms. Self-esteem of decent working people is raised through activism against everyday police brutality – these facts of life are shown in the series through a lens of  family connections, where people are capable of redemption. Besides the  sisters, especially memorable is the image of aunt Violet (Tina Lifford) – survivor of husband abuse, who now helps others similar victims, takes care of her grandnephew, gets married to a loving husband at 60 years old but refuses to be taken care of, becomes an owner of a baking shop and says about herself “I’ve got wings.” Resourcefulness and clout bring political power based on community support ‘ this message is pretty straightforward and it sinks in the viewers´ minds very naturally through persuasive performance.


  1. Tatjana Srceva-Pavlovska,

American University of Europe – FON

Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia

Abortion Bans in Trump and Post-Trump era; 

‘Pro-choice’ losing battles in ‘pro-life’s’ war for democracy

This paper traces the global aspects of the “pro-life” vs “pro-choice” divisive debate’s legal frameworks, discussing their content and impact on number of countries in question, with a particular accent on the ongoing changes happening in certain American federal states coinciding with the stronger than ever rise of the national-conservative abortion policy of Trumpism’s ideology, reflecting profoundly in the post-Trump era. The American legislative in past couple of years has changed unfavorably especially in certain federal states limiting strictly the female liberties having set extreme, unprecedented bans in abortion laws, reversing the female rights to dark Middle Ages. Furthermore, this issue presented, currently concerns the most the state of Mississippi’s abortion policy which has been put on hold, awaiting the Supreme Court’s oral hearing this December, thus stirring up even further the American social, political, academic and religious milieu. The paper also offers statistical analysis of recent abortion numbers on a broader scale sketching various points of view, further explaining its medical, philosophical and cultural implications which lead to a current, modern-day general revolt related to the hash obstruction and restriction of the female rights to free and safe abortion. This complex issue will be discussed with examples from feminist literature as well, presenting the extremity and the acts of severe violence manifested through homicide, profound moral erosion, and the deep psychological trauma in cases where reproductive freedoms are being restricted. In addition, some literary analogies of the hypothetical situations when the problem has its consequences will be shown.


  1. Tatyana Kamarovskaya

Maxim Tank Belarusian State Pedagogical University, Minsk, Belarus

Totalitarian Antifeminist Regime in M. Atwood’s Novel  The Testaments

The message of the novel is to condemn  totalitarian  regime and to analyze its manifestation on the level of the state and its influence on individuals. Warning against the extremes of feminism. The distortion of the Bible which became the ideological basis of the state of Galaad.


  1. Natalia Zamorskaya

Moscow Higher School of Social Sciences and Economics, Russia

Instagram Influencers in Russia and America: Digital Representation of Women, Trends and Politics

Instagram is the 5th most popular social network in the US. Globally, it is the #10 most popular mobile applications. The social network reached nearly a billion users per month in January 2021. In Russia, Instagram comes fourth among the most popular social media apps. And its core audience is women – 60,7% of Instagram users are women, against 39,3% of men. This  differs from the U.S, where 51,4% of Instagram users identify as women against 48,6% who identify as men – much closer to equal percentage. The gender imbalance of the Russian Instagram audience leads female influencers to orient their publications towards  traditionally feminine topics,  as these topics tend to trend higher. Meanwhile,  women-oriented content on the American Instagram is just a part of the bloggers’ market. This paper attempts to analyze and compare the audience and content of both countries’ influencers (with more than 2 million subscribers) and points to three main trends. The first is the patriarchal pressure on women bloggers. The second is the avoidance of political content with the Russian audience, which is affected by the gender imbalance of the audience. The third is a boom in marathons and giveaways contests focused on women’s audience subscribers. This work develops a relevant topic of social media research and blogging culture, and it explores gender dynamics in both the US and Russia. The methodology of this research is digital traces research, comparative analysis, and discourse analysis.


12.Anna Konstantinova

The Kuban State Technological University, Krasnodar, Russia

The Issue of Gender Inequality as Reflected in Anglo-American Phraseology: a case study of the idiom “glass ceiling”

The paper discusses the results of a case study of the idiom “glass ceiling” which has gained popularity in American sociopolitical discourse. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the phrase means “an intangible barrier within a hierarchy that prevents women or minorities from obtaining upper-level positions”. I studied its linguistic, cognitive-discursive features, as well as its metalinguistic role, i.e. its performance as a discursive “guide” for interpreting sociopolitical phenomena. The empirical material is made up of posts, political cartoons, and memes published on social media by American women’s rights activists and Internet communities. I suggested a three-profile approach to the study of the phrase “glass ceiling”. The linguistic profile included the aspects of its origin, definition, syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations. As can be seen from the linguistic profile, “glass ceiling” is a modern idiom that is currently being recycled in discourse in its derivative forms and creative modifications. As the “cognitive profile” of the idiom demonstrates, it encapsulates a universal metaphorical concept that makes the phrase and its derivatives efficient instruments of conveying socially significant knowledge. The interplay of verbal and visual aspects observed in the sampled examples is exploited by authors for framing the issue of gender inequality in the workplace. The following media frames have been singled out: glass ceiling is a real obstacle; glass ceiling is created by men; glass ceiling can be broken; breaking the glass ceiling is a potentially dangerous act; successful glass ceiling breakers are superheroines; the figures of H. Clinton and K. Harris as the epitome of female success. The discursive profile unveiled the variety of the phrase. I can conclude that the prevalent creative use of the idiom in discourse arises from the current sociopolitical environment and reflects the necessity to name the significant changes taking place in the US.


Section 6. Fantastic in the Art.

Coordinator Dr. Larisa Mikhaylova (Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia)

December 3, 4.30 PM-6.30 PM


  1. Ekaterina Fedorova

Trans-Baikal State University, Chita, Russia

Image of the Future in A. Morales’ Dystopia The Rag Doll Plagues

The article provides the main characteristics of the image of the future in Mexican-American (Chicano) author Alejandro Morales’ dystopian novel of the The Rag Doll Plagues (1992). The author focuses on the means of creating a fantastic reality of the future on the basis of generalization and rethinking experience of the past and present.


  1. Larisa Mikhaylova

Journalism Department

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

2021 as a Star Trek Year: Striving to Redefine ‘the Final Frontier’

Audience perception of the struggle to restore the spirit of research, cooperation – the most characteristic features of Star Trek – against the emphasis on conflicts and conspiracies in the recent cycles Discovery and Picard is considered. Viewers who have been waiting for a new series in this universe since 2005, when the Enterprise cycle ended, until the start of Discovery  in 2017  and 2020, when Picard began streaming, now have a whole bunch of adventures: in addition the animated series Lower Decks and Prodigy are also being released. The analysis of the responses demonstrates broad support for a bold scientific vision the ways of space exploration (spore drive), a lively discussion of gender diversity in characterization, renewed entourage, but rather meager analysis of social problems touched on in the series. It is also noticeable that hopes for the development of constructive ideas are pinned on the premiere of yet another cycle – New Strange Horizons, to be developed around the study of new worlds.


  1. Vlada Savenkova, Olga Kolesnichenko

M.V. Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of RAS, Moscow, Russia

The Transformation of Cultural American Landscape Due to Artificial Intelligence Breaks in the Art

The question of a new, artificial cultural and social landscape formation is of current interest for America as for no other country in the world. The US leadership in software, neural networks, and artificial intelligence (AI) development is accompanied, on the one hand, by the global expansion of American culture and it’s changes due to AI breakthrough. On the other hand, informational globalization stimulates the mutual penetration of national cultures worldwide; countries are joining the US advanced cultural AI projects.

Leading American museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Art Institute of Chicago, and others, are actively involved into the transformation of the dialogue with society. The translation of old cultural heritage as well as modern art is rapidly changing – art now is available online, in high-quality on the screen, for the entire world audience. In the Microsoft «Storyteller» project AI helps Metropolitan visitors to form their own personal digital collection, and talks about art in over 60 languages. This is the qualitatively new dialogue between cultural heritage and generation.

Modern artists are looking for new technological forms to express their ideas – digital paintings turn «alive», objects and characters can move enhancing the impact on the beholder. Neural networks can generate various content and are already used to create images, poems and music. Neural networks are not just competing with humans; there is a growing need to revise what it means to be human. Art has always been the pillar in the identification of humaneness. Nowadays American museums open the discussion about the ethics of AI presence in art.

The exhibition «New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century» organized at the Museum of Modern Art in 2019 rose the question what the modern society is turning into. The interweaving of algorithms, digital networks, endless data streams, elemental substances and industrial raw materials compose the chaos, that only machines can lead to order. Machines that «think». But can people trust AI machine in terms of creating the very «material» which makes society a civilization with cultural history?


  1. Yulia Khoroshevskaya

Rostov State Transport University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Otherness Problem in Paolo Bacigalupi`s The Windup Girl

The Windup Girl (2009) by Paolo Bacigalupi won several prestigious awards: the Hugo and Nebula Awards, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Time named the novel one of the “Top 10 Books of the Year” in 2009 and the American Library Association voted “Best Science Fiction Book” it in 2010.

The novel takes place in the twenty-third century, in Thailand. Global warming has caused flooding in a large part of the globe, all carbon fuels have disappeared. Multinational corporations, the so-called “high-calorie companies”, sell genetically modified crops that are immune to disease, but also spread the diseases themselves that attack the seeds. The fictional world is both post-colonial, post-apocalyptic and post-oil, devastated by environmental disasters such as floods and crop diseases.

Thailand in the novel is inhabited by various groups of Thais themselves, as well as dozens of immigrants and refugees from Malaysia, Burma, Vietnam and China. The author portrays highly complex interracial relations in the kingdom, bordering on prejudice and nationalism. This relationship is actually much more complex than simply replicating the East / West dichotomy. Thais perceive representatives of other ethnic groups as Others – something alien that, under no circumstances, can be understood, accepted and assimilated as their Own.

The collision of numerous ethnic groups and cultures on one territory did not lead to their leveling according to the principle of the multicultural melting pot that America once became. On the contrary, it contributed to the strengthening of ethnic contradictions, the deepening of social and cultural inequality. At the same time, the novel does not offer a possible way to achieve a “post-racial” future, but, on the contrary, emphasizes the tendencies of the preservation of ethnocentric / racist ideologies and practices.


  1. Anastasia Kalyan

Journalism Department

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

The Arizona Project “Us in Flux” as a Form of Modern Literature Development in the Media Space

The Arizona project “Us in Flux” is a series of discussions about society, science and social issues – ecology, virtual reality, education, journalism  -based on literary works. The project was created by the Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination in April 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that moment, the media space became the main platform for communication, literature, work and study. Fantastic stories were published twice a month, with subsequent  those video conferences with authors and special guests. A total of 11 episodes have been published at the moment, 22 specialists took part in the discussions. The project’s website presents 11 fantastic stories, each of them has gotten a unique cover made of fabrics and threads.

“Us in Flux” is an example of a literary project of a qualitatively new form: this is an educational phenomenon in which the reader, the author and the social context exist not separately, but in a joint open space. In addition, the project revives the interest in the genre of short stories, offers comprehension of information in a popular video format.


  1. Yulia Toryanik

Chernyshevsky Saratov State University, Russia

G.F. Lovecraft In Modern Popular Culture, Analysis of the Work Somnambulistic Search For The Unknown Kadat

Purpose of the research: to identify mythological plots of antiquity, which became the basis for the author’s literary research. Analyze the role of the hero’s personality in the work of G.F. Lovecraft. The main object of study in Robat is the novel Sleepy Quest for the Unknown Kadat. As a result of the research, actual images of the bestiary of the world by G.F. Lovecraft, which are represented in cinematography, games and art. When analyzing the qualities of the heroes of these works, it was revealed that the main source of motivation for the heroes is sacred horror, which, on the one hand, pushes the hero away from his goal, on the other hand, motivates him to certain actions Sacred in the works of G.F. Lovecraft has a primal character based on fear. An important problem on the way of film adaptation of the works of G.F. Lovecraft is the emotional state of the hero, which is difficult to convey by means of visual instruments, since they have a specific character at the time of religious experience


Imprints: Image of Russia and Image of America                      

Round Table Discussion  in memoriam of Professor Yassen Zassoursky

December 4,  Saturday 5.00 PM – 7.00 PM

  1. G. S. Lapshina

Independent Researcher, Moscow, Russia

Back to the Future?

A century and a half ago Gustavus Fox, Assistant Secretary of the United States Navy, wrote to the Russian Minister of the Navy, vice admiral N. K. Krabbe about an unforgettable “moment in the history of both nations when they both lived the same life, and America shared concerns and joys with Russia”. Fox had visited Russia not long before, in the summer of 1866. Then two US ships arrived at Kronstadt. This was the first official visit to Russia by the American government’s representatives. Following the orders of President Johnson, who wanted to express the friendly sentiments of the US towards Russia, Gustavus Fox delivered the Resolution of the Congress issued in connection with the assassination attempt on Alexander II.

But Fox’s letter spoke not only about this visit to Russia, but also about how Russia in 1863 lent a shoulder to the United States at a difficult moment for them in the Civil War, when British and French diplomacy actively supported the southern states, the Confederation. Then the Russian state supported the unity and integrity of the country and sent two naval squadrons to the shores of America with the aim of politically and strategically influencing the coalition of the European states. Five ships under the command of Rear Admiral S.S. Lesovsky arrived in New York, and this important page in the history of Russian-American relations was widely covered by the American press, especially the New York Herald, and in Russia it was reflected by one of the best Russian magazines of the 1860s. “Sea Digest”, which cited materials from the American press, testifying to the warm welcome by the inhabitants of the Russian ships, cited the speeches of officials at gala dinners. Thus, in Washington, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Colfax, called Russia and the United States great countries and expressed the hope that the friendship of these countries “could become perpetual like stars.” In Boston, to the visit of the Russian ships was devoted a whole brochure, where were cited the words of one of the most honorable citizens of the city that Russia had shown itself to be a “constant and reliable friend.”

Almost 160 years have passed … Should we look back in search of the future?


  1. Victoria Zhuravleva

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia

How Russia аnd America’s “Cold War Of Images” Ended And Began Again

Times change and political leaders come and go in Russia and in the United States, but the long-lived collective and personified images of the other nation are surprisingly resilient and are used to resolve domestic political issues and to construct national identity discourse.   The immutability of the black-and-white system of perceptions was in full force during the Cold War, characterized by the clearly delineated and all-encompassing ideas that Americans and Russians had about each other. At that time comparisons between the demonic American/Soviet Other and the romantic Soviet/American Self played a special role in the fight for hearts and minds of people all over the world.   At that time, as the Cold War was waning, Russians and Americans began to laugh together, clearing away obstacles on the path to cooperation and mutual understanding, and making fun of the stereotypes they had in their perceptions of each other. But these stereotypes and long-lived images have not disappeared from the media, cinema or cartoons on either side of the Atlantic. And during current crisis in Russian-American relations we are dealing with the Cold War imagological legacy, with some expressive modes and tools from the Cold War discourse that have been retrieved and turned to new political purposes.  Appealing both to academic research of the author and to a bunch of political cartoons and other visual primary sources this paper bases on a social-constructivist approach to study of Russian/Soviet-American relations and addresses a broader set of questions: Why did Russians and Americans imagine each other in a particular way and not others in the Cold War era, and why do they do it now? What kind of discursive practices, both verbal and visual, have been used during the Cold War and are still used now to create these images, and how malleable were/are they? How did/do these images function as means of both Soviet/Russian-American communication and self-identification?


  1. Nadezda Azhgikhina

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Cold War Correspondents. Soviet and American Reporters on the Ideological Frontlines (2021) by  Dina Fainberg

A new book by a well-known scholar and media historian Dina Fainberg is focused on the everyday work of American and Soviet foreign correspondents in the USSR and the US  from 1949 until 1991.

The book presents a  unique and comprehensive analysis of both ideological competition and media development in two countries based on rich material from Soviet and American archives. It is also an impressive story of personal relationship and starting cooperation beyond the borders and Cold War frontlines. Fainberg writes about Harrison Salisbury and  TASS correspondent Ivan Beglov, and finds much in common.

” Both developed an in-depth understanding of the other side and sympathy toward its people. And both remained committed to their professional responsibility to help their audience understand the rival superpower and their own country’s unique mission in world history” . The same she finds in other correspondents from two countries and comes to the conclusion that foreign correspondents during the Cold War worked on better understanding and mutual respect, and developed many ideas what came true with Perestroika time.


  1. Kirill Ignatyev

Department of Foreign Languages and Region Studies,

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

‘A Russian Diary’ by John Steinbeck: Overcoming Ideological Tunnel Vision through Cultural Geography

John Steinbeck and the classic of documentary photography Robert Capa visited the USSR in 1947 on the instructions of the ‘New York Herald Tribune’ and the invitation of the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries (VOKS). As a result, the book ‘A Russian Diary’ appeared the following year, but it turned out to be too truthful to become popular in the West, and happened to contain too little optimism to be read in the USSR, where it was published just before the destruction of the country. In the USSR, the material of the trip fell out of scope of researchers, and in the Western tradition, the author’s delight of Soviet optimism has been traditionally explained by the professional work of Soviet propagandists who accompanied the Americans in all their movements in the USSR. VOKS employees, who accompanied the guests in their travels, regularly drew up reports, and also kept records of conversations and interviews with the Americans. Most of these materials were published by Liya Zhdanova, which became a powerful source for research on Steinbeck’s travels in Russia. In the wake of this interest, a new translation of the bool appeared. But even in Russian US studies, the main direction of research was the “exposure of black magic” of VOKS employees, who managed to show the venerable writer only a showcase of the country of socialism, although in the United States at the turn of the century the “biographical” approach already prevailed, and the researchers now tend to explain the charm of Soviet reality through biographical facts from Steinbeck’s life (alcohol abuse, etc.).  At the same time, if we consider the text of the Russian Diary as a literary journey, then there is no need to correlate the image of the country created in the book with any “reality”: the perception of the USSR by the post-war American “experts on Russia”, agitators/informers from VOKS of the late 1940s or their repentant memoirs of the early 1990s. The cultural-geographical approach allows us not to evaluate the author’s sincerity or bias in the assessment, his veracity or political myopia, i.e. not to compare the Russia of 1947 with the country that the reader of the book discovers. The analysis of the text outside of politics, but in the historical, cultural and geographical contexts, is presented in the report.


  1. Tatyana Voronchenko

Trans-Baikal State University, Chita, Russia

At the Crossroads of Cultural Traditions: The Problem of Self-Determination in G. Valdez’ Novel There Are No Madmen Here

The article dwells upon the reflection of self-determination problem in the novel by Mexican-American (Chicana) writer Gina Valdes “There Are No Madmen Here” (1981). The novel raises the issues of a woman’s search for values in contemporary American reality, that represents the polylogue of cultures.


  1. Elena Barsukova

Department of Foreign Languages and Region Studies,

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

The Means of Lexical Representation of Russia in Socio-Cultural Commentaries on the English Translation of Cursed Days by I. A. Bunin

The paper studies the means of linguistic representation of Russia in the socio-cultural commentaries on the English translation of the book «Cursed Days» by I. Bunin (translation and notes by Thomas Gaiton Marullo, American translator and researcher of the Russian Literature). The study has revealed over 400 notes devoted to different aspects of Russian life. The commentaries provide definitions to a vast number of anthroponyms, toponyms, and cultural realia.  Based on the analysis the following dimensions of the image of Russia at the tipping point were identified – Soviet Russia, Russia in the press, Faces of Russia, Russia as a geographic space, and cultural Russia. In most instances, the author of the notes remains neutral seeing his mission in providing essential information for the reader to understand the text. Pejorative vocabulary is mainly concentrated in such conceptual blocks as “the Russian state”, and “Soviet Russia”, with the cultural scene being portrayed in the positive light.


  1. Anna Izvolenskaya

Department of Foreign Languages and Region Studies,

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Translator’s Comment as a Way to Overcome Bias and Barriers: Revisiting Mikhail Bulgakov’s Satire for American Readership

Although Mikhail Bulgakov’s legacy has long earned him a duly place in Russian classics, his name seldom rings a bell with the American reader. Even if it does, it requires the reader to have profound historical background knowledge to fully grasp the nature of the social conflict underlying Bulgakov’s satirical prose, which would otherwise evoke stereotype-driven and therefore wrongful opinions. One example of such biased opinion is the 1990 student feedback obtained by A. Babyonishev and N. Pokrovskaya from Harvard students who had been asked to express their views on Professor Preobrazhensky’s attitude toward proletariat, notably his famous phrase “I do not like the proletariat” (tr. by Mirra Ginsburg). Sadly, the student interpretation of Bulgakov’s 1925 novella revealed total ignorance of Russian history – the primary cause of cross-cultural misunderstanding. To overcome the latter, the American reader needs to be updated on some historical facts and figures as well as see the connections between the historical fact and the narrative. Translator’s commentary that could help build such connections is essential for the proper understanding of Bulgakov’s texts, which are otherwise seen by non-Russian readers as commonplace and bland. To substantiate the importance of translator’s commentary, we turn our attention to 4 popular English renditions of “Heart of a Dog” (or, in some other versions, “A Dog’s Heart”) as well as various metatexts accompanying these translations.

Closing Plenary Session

December 4, Saturday  7.30 PM – 8.30 PM