Category Archives: Conferences

Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung: Das Romantisch-Fantastische – The Romantic Fantastic

September 18th–23rd, 2019 at the Free University of Berlin, Cinepoetics – Center for Advanced Film Studies and Department of Film Studies

Romanticism again and again! In autumn 1979, Michael Ende’s novel The Neverending Story was published in the Federal Republic of Germany. Even to Ende’s contemporaries, Bastian’s journey to Fantastica and back seemed to be the beginning of a revitalization of romantic longings and ideas within popular culture. Almost at the same time, US-American cinema discovers the genre of fantasy film. The motif of Campbell’s hero’s journey, a world that needs healing and the interconnectedness of all things becomes a constitutive trait of these films’ poetics. On the one hand, the corresponding novels and films emerged in answer to the uncertainty of a bipolar world – fear of the atomic bomb and nuclear fallout as ultima ratio of the Cold War – and the nascent awareness of environmental vulnerability. On the other hand, they, like their famous predecessors, have been accused of a penchant for escapism and ill-conceived inwardness.

A similar area of tension can be observed in the fantasic today. Once again, the potential of recent speculative fiction as well as its critique seem to be indicating a core collection of romantic notions. Like at the end of the 18th century, romanticism and the fantastic provide a corrective to the frigid, mercantile rationality of a world that no longer knows any secrets. In light of contemporary political, economic and ecological distortions, speculative fiction is looking for ways of rethinking the world – and man’s place in it. And once again, the fantastic is accused of turning its back on hard facts and necessities to take refuge in sentimentalized other-worlds.

Based on these findings, the conference will pursue two goals: First, it intends to take a critical look into the relationship of romantic ideas, poetics, and images to possible genealogies of the fantastic. What is to be gained by locating fantastic works in a romantic tradition? Does this dialogue facilitate a deeper understanding of the continued effect of romanticism or poetics of the fantastic? Second, the resilience of speculative fiction’s inherent capability for critique is to be scrutinized in reference to its romantic origins. Can the relation between fantastic worlds and everyday reality be conceptualized in a way that forgoes the dichotomy of critical realism and ahistorical escapism? Would it be possible to illustrate, using its stories, images, and audiovisual presentations, the untenability of accusations which label the fantastic as being politically reactionary and aesthetically conservative – or do the subversive moments in its poetics remain marginal?

All contributions are welcome which examine the complex relationship between romanticism and specific implementations/ of the fantastic, its types and genres, protagonists, and media, on a theoretical, historical, and analytical level.
Possible Topics:

  • • Universal poetry and worldmaking (atmosphere, synesthesia, science and art as modes of knowing and experiencing)
  • • Media of the supernatural: romantic concepts of media and their influence on the mediality of the fantastic
  • • Romantic conceptions of history and the faculty of historic imagination as driving forces of the fantastic (recourse to the Middle Ages)
  • • Fairy tales, myths, and legends as genres and modalities of fantastic narratives
  • • Traditions of gothic fiction in modern fantasy
  • • Updating gothic topoi in contemporary horror cinema (for instance ghosts, living dolls and possessed clerics in the Conjuring-franchise, or witches and religious mania in folk horror)
  • • The beautiful and the sublime, the gruesome and the grotesque as models for poetics of affect in horror and fantasy
  • • Romantic imagery and its influence on visual forms of the fantastic (art, comic, film, series, computer game etc.)
  • • Forms, practices and theories of the fantastic in the era of romanticism (ghost and witch lore, demonology, phantasmagoria etc.)
  • • Soundscapes which establish a quasi-natural stance beyond the human (as in Dark Ambient or Drone Metal)
  • • Poetics of fantasy as modes of magical thinking
  • • Romantic poetics and the becoming-fantastic of the ordinary
  • • Forms of romantic love in fantasy
  • • Fantasy as a form of political romanticism

As usual at GFF conferences, there will be an open track for all lectures which are not directly related to the topic of the conference. Hence, we are open to further proposals.

The GFF offers two scholarships of 250 euros each to students to help cover their travel expenses to the conference. Please indicate if you would like to be considered when submitting your abstract.

Deadline for abstracts and short biographies (max. 2000 characters): January 1st-February 28th, 2019. 
Submission of constituted panels (3-4 speakers) is encouraged.
Submission form and further information available at: www.gff2019.cinepoetics.fu-berlin.de.

For additional inquiries, mail to: gff2019@fu-berlin.de.

Conference Board: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Jan-Hendrik Bakels, Regina Brückner, Jun.-Prof. Dr. Matthias Grotkopp, Dr. Tobias Haupts, Dr. Daniel Illger, Cilli Pogodda, Prof. Dr. Michael Wedel

Program of the XLIV International RSACS Conference “America and Europe: Forms of Cultural Interaction” December 5-8, 2018

December 5, Wednesday, 6 pm  Room 103

Plenary Opening Session 

  1. Professor Yassen Zassoursky

RSACS President, President of the Journalism Department,

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

American Language: A Project of the 18th Century by Jonathan Edwards 

 

Section 1: Journalism

Coordinator Professor Yassen Zassoursky

 (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia)

December 6, Thursday, 10 am – 12 am  room 217

 

1.Nikolai Zykov

Journalism Department,

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

American-European Cultural Links in the Programs of the Voice of America

 

The topic of cultural relations has been and remains one of the main subject in the programs of the oldest international radio station in the United States, rising throughout the history of the work of the broadcaster. It is about the deep interrelation of cultures of the former colony and the countries of Europe, contacts of cultural figures and ordinary citizens. Such contacts contribute to the establishment of mutual understanding in the international arena. These programs have long been remembered by listeners.

Continue reading

XLIV International Conference Schedule

DaySectionRoom
December 5, Wednesday
10.00-17.30Registration217
18. 00 - 19.00Opening Plenary session103
19.00 - 20.00Tea and Pirozhki217
December 6, Thursday
10.00-12.00Section 1. Journalism
Round Table on Midterm Elections
217
13.00-14.00Excursion to Maxim Gorky museum
16.00-19.00Section 3. Contemporary American Culture217
16.30-18.30Section 2. American Culture of the 17-19 Centuries333
December 7, Friday
10.00 – 12.00Round Table Discussion
Imprints: Image of America and Image of Russia
103
12.00 - 15.00Lunch break
15.00 - 18.00Section 6. Fantastic in the Arts217
December 8, Friday
10.00 – 13.30Section 4. Ethnic Aspects of American Culture103
13.30 - 14.00Lunch break
14.00 - 18.00Section 5. Gender Aspects of American Culture103
18.00 - 19.30Closing session103
20.00 - 21.00Farewell dinnerCafe Paul Bakery

Abstracts of RSACS XLIII International Conference

American Humor and Satire: Functions and Forms
December 7-9, 2017

December 7, Thursday, 12.00 Lecture Hall 201
Plenary Opening Session

1. Professor Yassen Zassoursky
RSACS President, President of Journalism Department,
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Greetings to the Conference participants

2. Professor Irwin Weil
Northwestern University
Evanston IL, USA
From Mark Twain to Jokes over the Hot Stove – a stroll through American Humor

Mark Twain had a profound notion about the irregularities, disparities, and laughable nature of American Life, Religion, and Pretensions.

American anecdotes, many of them in the Twain tradition, know how to send up our national and personal pretensions: from politics to religion, from medicine to psychiatry, from legal life to the after-life in both heaven and hell.

3. Professor Pavel Balditsyn
Journalism Department
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
Traditions of American Humor from Mark Twain to Woody Allen and Jon Stewart:  Continuity and Changes

Initially there were two extreme trends in the American humor from the times of Benjamin Franklin: the first is pursuit of established and true facts and drive for serious social and moral thought and criticism; the second is exuberant fantasy and wild grotesque imagery in tall tales of the frontier and romantic extravaganzas of Washington Irving and Edgar Poe. Mark Twain was the perfect master of both extremes and combined them in his works: he did it in a short letter on St. Patrick; he wrote at the same time phantasy of a young Satan making miracles and political pamphlets versus tyranny, chauvinism, and imperialism. Therefore, he was generally recognized as the maker of the American comic tradition.
The American culture developed as open and responsive to many world traditions, and its character was plural and complementary from the beginning of the 19th century. Mark Twain followed not only Shakespeare and Franklin but also Cervantes and Voltaire, he knew his direct precursors – tall tales and works of literary clowns of the South-West. In the age of multiculturalism the American humor absorbed new elements especially of Afro-American and Jewish laughter notably in cinema, and stand-up comedy in the halls and on TV.
Staginess and visual appeal were important features of the American humor from the times of Mark Twain: comic speech was mainly vernacular and used extralinguistic means – facial expression, gestures, tone, intonation, and persona at last. This drift increased in the last century when humor expanded into new visual arts – cinema and TV , performed in media culture with its collective authorship and industrial creation. Artemus Ward and Mark Twain did their work single-handed, Woody Allen and Jon Stewart work in groups of coworkers. For example, Jon Stewart made his satirical news program The Daily Show with more than 30 co-authors. It is impossible to host a comic show 4 days a week and 42 weeks in a year otherwise.
Polyphony and dialogism are the main patterns of fiction and humor of Mark Twain and contemporary American comic writers and showmen. They try to debate and travesty the traditional and authoritative discourse. Limits of tolerance changed greatly from the times of Mark Twain, but the burden of humor remains as ever: laughter breaks social rules and moral standards. Its backbone is to say the truth and reject all lies in contemporary society under any circumstances.

Section 1: Journalism (coordinator Dr. Yuliya Balashova, Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia)

1. Yuliya Balashova
Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia
Historical Dynamics of the American Almanacs Development in Global Context

Especially important for intercultural communications are those media which are not compromised by propaganda or ideological battles. The almanac as a type of publication is this kind of media. Historically, almanacs were widespread in the USA, as in many countries in Europe and Asia. A comparison of the historical path of the almanac’s development in the United States with other countries gives reason to make a conclusion about the particular pragmatism of the American culture in the whole. This feature manifestation is the almanacs satirical variety development in the United States.

2. S.V. Kanashina
MGIMO, Moscow, Russia
Internet Meme as a Modern Comic Genre in the USA

The development of information technologies and the emergence of the Internet have led to the evolution of traditional comic genres in the USA. A unique cultural phenomenon – internet meme – appeared within American internet communication 15 years ago (see picture 1). Broadly speaking the internet meme is an internet communication phenomenon consisting of verbal (textual) and non-verbal (visual) components and having a special square design. It is typical of internet memes to be humorous, topical, expressive, and the humor is often original and goes beyond the bounds of all the conventions. To convey humor the authors of internet memes use different means, for example, pun, allusion, grotesque, absurd. Different real facts of American life, famous people, events of social importance are laughed at in internet memes. Thus the internet meme can be regarded as a modern comic genre in the USA which keeps the tradition of independent and authentic American humor.

3. Irina Arkhangelskaya
Higher School of Economics -Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Political Discourse of the US Late Night Comedy Shows of the 2000-2010s

The US Late Night Comedy Shows give politicians opportunities to present their programs, strengthen the existing image, or ruin a negative stereotype. TV humor-shows make it possible to reach the audiences that are not much aware of politics, young people being among them.
The role of Comedy Central‘s projects: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (2000 – 2015) and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (2015 – present), in forming the political agenda are being analyzed in the report.
The style, themes, approaches to picking up guests and interviewing them of The Daily Shows’ are compared with those in The Late Show with David Letterman (2000 – 2015) and The Tonight Show with David Leno (2000 – 2014).

Continue reading

Abstracts of RSACS XLII International Conference “Creative Communication: American Culture as Communication System” December 7-10, 2016

 

thumbnail-2016

December 7, Wednesday

5 pm                           Opening Plenary session                                                       room 232

Keynote speaker:

Svetlana Sigida, Doctor of Art

Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory

Cooperative Creativity in the Art of Opera in the late 20-early 21-st Centures: the Minimalists Composers Ph.  Glass and J. Adams with Theater Directors R. Wilson and P.Sellars (exemplified in “Einstein on the Beach”,”Nixon in China” and “Doctor Atomic”)

 

6.30 pm – 8 pm          Tea and pirozhki                                                                   room 217

 

Section 1. Journalism

Coordinator Prof. Irina Arkhangelskaya (Nizhny Novgorod, aib@sandy.ru)

8 December 8, Thursday 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm  room 103

  1. Irina Arkhangelskaya,

Higher School of Economics -Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Online Version of USA Today as a Communication platform with Electorate during the US 2016 Presidential Campaign

The dynamics of developing main themes and communication character of candidates with voters in the online version of USA Today (September – November 2016) during the US 2016 presidential campaign are considered in the report.

The analysis of politicians’ agendas (economic issues, taxes, migration problems, international relations) is based on 100 materials (news, analytical reviews, commentaries, interviews, sociological polls). Special attention is paid to the contexts in which names of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are mentioned.

One of the most popular US papers USA Today is «mainstream» mass medium. It forms opinions of average Americans and plays an important role in communications between political elites and electorate.

During the presidential campaign, the resource journalists did all their best to stay neutral. The elections results have been unexpected for the newspaper’s editorial board, as seen in commentaries and analytics.

  1. Nikolai Zykov

MSU Journalism Department, Lomonosov State University, Russia

American Culture in Multimedia Format in the Voice of America Coverage

 American culture has always been and remains one of the most important ones for a leading American international broadcaster. One of its main tasks is to promote American culture in the world. This is the same in the present transition from radio to Internet broadcasting. In recent years the emphasis is on video, as it allows, for example, to quickly cover news, Hollywood news, cultural events and more. Traditions were established in the Russian edition of radio era and continue today.

  1. Tatiana Biryukova

Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Origin of Hypertext Journalism: a case study of the FEED magazine)

 The 1990s was a time not only of dot.com boom, it was also a time of hypertext theory boom.  Branching nonlinear text with hyperlinks, which initially has been described by Ted Nelson, seemed to be more appropriate for the computer era then a linear text.  It is no wonder that hypertext theory had an impact on journalistic theory:  in the 1990s there were plenty of theoretical articles, which acclaimed a range of advantages of hypertext over print journalism.  The turning point for the development of hypertext journalism was the creation in New York in 1995 of one of the first online magazine – FEED.  The authors of FEED put into practice many Internet-specific features, which were described by hypertext theorists. Experiments with the interface, hyperlinks and forms of narrative have been here in the foreground.  But the results of these five-year experiments with nonlinear texts now allow to look very differently on the hypertext itself as well as on its possibilities for journalism.

Continue reading

Program of the RSACS XLI International Сonference “Imagining and Building Peace in American Culture” December 4-11, 2015

постер (Мелкий)

December 4. Opening session 5 pm, room 233

 

Keynote speaker

Andrew Wiget.             ‘Make Love Not War'”: Imagining and Building Peace in American Culture

 

Professor Emeritus, New Mexico State University, Albuquerque, USA

Adjunct Professor, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

 

 

Section 1. Journalism

Coordinator: Professor Irina Arkhangelskaya (Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia aib@sandy.ru)

 

  1. Bouchev Alexander

Tver State University, Russia

American Mass Media on Interreligious Communication across the Globe

 The report illustrates the global media discourse on religious issues after event in Paris in the early 2015. Of interest is the approach of critical discourse analysis which is connected with interpretation of stereotyped and axiological elements in the discourse under scrutiny. The author discusses the problem of interreligious communication in the multicultural society. The analyzed example considers characteristics of global mass media political discourse describing Egyptian politics in 2013. Special attention is paid to the need of elaborating cognitive techniques of comprehension of global mass media discourse, and the peculiarities of political discourse shedding light upon nominations and assessments are being analyzed. The author shows stereotyped expressions, axiological connotations of terms and as generic features of political discourse. The paradigm approaches to discourse interpretation in politics are also studied. Of interest are the conclusions about the rhetoric and linguistics characteristics of analyzed discourse. The report suggests changes in the sphere of cultural education.

 2. Nikolai Zykov

Journalism Department

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Adaptation of immigrants into American society in the covering of the Voice of America

 One of the main tasks of the international broadcaster Voice of America is to inform the foreign audience about the social processes in the United States. Interethnic conflicts recently caused serious tensions in society. They were covered openly and frankly. But in in other areas, such as the adaption of immigrants, including the Russian-speaking, things were peaceful. There has been interesting trend.

3. Zagvozdkina Ekaterina

Journalism Department

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

The Times They Are A’Changing:

Collision of values in American society on the representation of

The Beat Generation in the US mainstream media of the 1950s – 1960s

 In the 1960s the American society underwent serious changes and became more liberal in its morals and values. The aim is to examine those changes through the representation of the Beat Generation subculture in the media: what Time and Life magazines wrote on the beats, including the most famous of them: poet Allen Ginsberg, writers Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, at the end of the 50s, when the movement became famous (after the release of Kerouac’s On the Road in 1957 and the birth of the term «beatnik». We have chosen Time and Life as our empirical basis as in that period they had the largest and widest audience in the USA. That is why, we suppose, these magazines expressed the opinion of the average American reader – therefore through the changes in Time and Life we can trace not only changes in journalists’ opinions, but in America itself throughout the decade. Texts are analyzed both directly through the epithets and comparisons, and via context, stories concerning them and attitude towards their works.

  4. Ksenia Omelchenko

Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia

American Propaganda During the War in Iraq

 During military conflicts media becomes a traditional way to implement the foreign policy of any state. This announcement leads to the term «propaganda», and includes spread of views, news, arguments, facts, and ‘fakes’ to form public opinion or idea.

We reviewed the techniques of American propaganda during the war in Iraq in the early years of the war.

During the first week of the war, American networks and British BBC or Canadian CBS showed two different wars. The United States news ignored the Arab victims, anti-war and anti-American protests, the discontent of citizens and the negative aspects of the war, while these topics were covered in Canada and the UK, and in the Arab countries the conflict was broadcast as the invasion in Iraq and the coup attempt.

In 2003, the brutality of the Iraqi people against the Pentagon was shown in the documentary drama “Saving Private Lynch” on NBS with the main character – Jessica Lynch – was tortured as one of the first prisoners of the war.

Direct propaganda has been broadcast on the television station «Al-Hurra», «Radio Sawa» in the magazine «Hai», which were created in 2004 by producer of «Voice of America» in opposition to «Al Jazeera».

The role of mass media in boosting as well as solving the conflict is under consideration.

5. Tarasevich Sophia

Publishing House «Kommersant», Moscow, Russia

Conciliatory Rhetoric: Hide-and-seek or Search for a Compromise?

 Nowadays attention of American and Russian politicians is attracted to three main world conflicts: Syria, Ukraine and Iran. Talking about the military operation against ISIS in Syria, the process of arrangement in Ukraine and searching for a compromise on Iranian nuclear program, they often use conciliatory rhetoric and encourage solving contradictions peacefully. We are interested in analysis of not just contemporary American and Russian politicians’ rhetoric, but also in the forms of communication with public they use. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs started to use actively the form of briefing, previously commonly used by the US State Department. Politicians, ambassadors, and diplomats in Moscow and Washington also do not forget about a powerful tool for promulgating their rhetoric in public – social networks, .Twitter being one of them. Conciliatory mood often recedes when politicians give a speech in front of the inner audience as candidates during election debates. The presentation is based on empirical data collected during April-October 2015: news messages from news agencies Reuters, AP, AFP, TASS, RIA Novosti, Interfax and other media. It also includes the results of social media monitoring (Facebook and Twitter) and official data of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US State Department.

Continue reading

Invitation to RSACS Conference -2015 “Imagining and Building Peace in American Culture”

Dear Colleagues,
The XLIst International conference of the Russian Society of American Culture Studies will be held December 4-11, 2015 at Lomonosov Moscow State University Journalism Department. It’s theme – “Imagining and Building Peace in American Culture”.

Sections: Journalism, American Culture of the 17-19th Centuries, Contemporary Literature and Culture, Drama, Ethnic Contribution, Gender, Fantastic in the Arts, Canadian perspectives. Besides a traditional Round Table discussion: Imprints – Image of America and Image of Russia will be held and two more – Arthur Miller’s Centennial (coordinator Dr. Maya Koreneva) and Herman Melville’s Literary Legacy (coordinator Dr. Luisa Bashmakova 888lpb@gmail.com).

Suggestions for additional sections and panel discussions are welcome with 300 words description and at least two other panelists’ names suggested until September 1st, 2015.

Official languages of the conference are English and Russian. All participants will understand papers given in English and will provide an English resume of their talk if given in Russian.

The deadline for abstracts – September 10, 2015 (half a page). Please send them to all to larmih@gmail.com
On the basis of delivered and discussed papers, an annual bilingual collection is published.
Conference fee $ 100 US, payable upon arrival, includes also an excursion to Kremlin and a farewell party.
Information about visa support: As it is a lengthy process – please send the needed materials [copy of two first pages of passport and info on place of birth (city and country), affiliation and position, office address, phone and fax numbers, place of visa application, dates of arrival and departure] to the address larmih@gmail.com no later than September 10, 2015.

See you at our conference!

Larisa Mikhaylova
RSACS Secretary

Anglo-American Studies Association’s joint Conference – June 12-13, 2015 Macedonia

The 1st SCARDUS International Conference on Education, Science, Technology, Innovation, Health & Environment (ESTIHE) 2015 is organized jointly by the Association ‘UNIVERSI’ www.universi.mk and the Association for Anglo-American Studies (AAAS) www.aassee.eu

The main aim of this conference is to promote multi- and inter-disciplinary researches on Education, Science, Technology, Innovation, Health and Environment.

Aim and Scope

The 1st SCARDUS International Conference on Education, Science, Technology, Innovation, Health & Environment (ESTIHE) 2015 is held to achieve the main goals:

To promote multi- and inter-disciplinary researches on Education, Science, Technology, Innovation, Health & Environment.

Promoting Linguistic Diversity and Intercultural Communication

Those who work in inter-disciplinary areas are strongly encouraged to contribute to this conference.  However, those who work in specialized fields could also contribute and is expected to broaden their perspective for cooperation with those from other fields.

Continue reading

5th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AMERICAN THEATRE AND DRAMA MAY 25-27, 2016

“LAUGHING MATTERS?: HUMOR IN AMERICAN THEATRE AND DRAMA”
5th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AMERICAN THEATRE AND DRAMA
Málaga, Spain. May 25-27, 2016

Humor in its various forms, as well as the effort to contain it, has been present from the very first traces of a theatrical tradition in America, which opens with an attempt to perform a farce being promptly suppressed by the authorities. Entertainment has always been a key function of American theatre, and humor has been among the most recurrent mechanisms when it came to getting an audience to laugh heartily and send it home in a hopeful, light mood, sure of its values and world-view, and conveniently “humored.” Music, vaudeville routines, slapstick, and countless other manifestations of so-called lowbrow theatrical culture (whether mistakenly or not) were often thought to pose no threat whatsoever to the status quo and the deep-seated convictions of audiences. However, the repeated struggle to repress and control even supposedly innocent forms of entertainment suggests that, in spite of appearances, humor and comedy have been seen as no laughing matters, and have been used in potentially subversive ways to mirror, satirize and criticize the manners and foibles of society in the U.S.
The 5th International Conference on American Theatre and Drama, a collaborative venture between three Spanish universities (Málaga, Cádiz, Seville) and the ATDS, is the continuation of a series of conferences which have brought together hundreds of American drama and theatre scholars from all over the world, and will be held in Málaga in 2016.

Continue reading