Category Archives: Conferences

Registration for XLVII International RSACS “Overcoming: Cultivating Ideals through Overcoming Barriers in American culture” is open

The concept of Overcoming is suggested as a focus for interdisciplinary discussion of both contemporary period of American culture – such as implications of COVID-19 and its aftermath, crisis of trust in social life and overcoming Trumpism in politics, –  as well as in history with the persistent necessity to overcome various barriers in building and maintaining ideals – be it religious divides or the barriers spawned by immigration status, gender, race or class.


Planned sections:

  • Journalism,
  • American Culture of the 17-19th Centuries,
  • Contemporary Literature and Culture, with a Round Table Discussion on American Drama
  • Ethnic Aspects,
  • Gender Studies,
  • Fantastic in the Arts,
  • Canadian perspectives,

A traditional Round Table discussion: Imprints – Image of America and Image of Russia will also be held and dedicated to the memory of Professor Yassen Zassoursky.

The deadline for applications is October 30. Letters of acceptance will be sent by November 15.

Though the conference was planned to be held on-site, at MSU Journalism Department, 9 Mokhovaya ul., Moscow, Russia,  still, due to anti-COVID-19 measures protraction, the conference will be held online during the same dates – December 1-4, 2021. Platform – Zoom.
Participants and registered listeners will be sent invitation links for conference sessions by November 29.

Registration

https://lomonosov-msu.ru/eng/event/7011/

Themes of RSACS conferences in 1975-2020

  • Conference I: 1975 Literature and Journalism of the USA
  • Conference II: 1976: Periodization of American Literature
  • Conference III: 1977: Great October Revolution Influence on American Literature and Journalism
  • Conference IV: 1978: American Romanticism and Modernity
  • Conference V: 1979: Realism in American Literature
  • Conference VI: 1980: Tradition as a Problem in American Literature
  • Conference VII: 1981: Ideological Confrontation Influence of Studying and Teaching Literature and Journalism of the USA
  • Conference VIII 1982: American Novel and American Society
  • Conference IX 1983: Literature, Journalism and American Political Life
  • Conference X 1984: American Literature and Journalism: Worldviews, Methods, Genres
  •  Conference XI 1985: American Writers and American Society
  • Conference XII 1986: Poetics of American Literature and American Way of Life
  • Conference XIII 1987: Great October Revolution Influence on American Literature and Journalism-2
  • Conference XIV 1988: Ways of Expressing Views in American Literature and Journalism
  • Conference XV 1989: Tendencies of American Literature and Journalism of the 1980s
  • Conference XVI 1990: Tradition and Experiment in American Literature and Journalism
  • Conference XVII 1991: American History and Culture in Literature and Journalism of the USA: Commemorating 500th Anniversary of the Discovery of America
  • Conference XVIII 1992: Reconstruction and Revision of American Literary History: Canon, Feminism, Ethnos
  • Conference XIX 1993: Ethnic Problems in Literature and Journalism of the USA
  •  Conference XX1994: American Literature in the World Literary Context
  • Conference XXI 1995: American Literature and Russia
  • Conference XXII 1996: Changing Styles, Trends, and Epochs in American Literature and Culture
  • Conference XXIII 1997: Literature and Culture of the USA: Poetics and Aesthetics
  • Conference XXIV 1998: Literature in the Cultural Context
  • Conference XV 1999: American Culture and Literature on the threshold of the Third Millennium
  • Conference XXVI 2000: Christianity and American Culture
  •  Conference XXVII 2001: American Culture: Globalization and Regionalism
  • Conference  XXVIII 2002: Mass Culture: An American Experience
  • Conference XXIX 2003: Literature and the Arts
  •  Conference XXX 2004: Freedom of Choice in the American Civilization
  •  Conference XXXI 2005: Word and/as Power: Author and Authority in American Cultural Tradition
  • Conference XXXII 2006 America Real, Imaginary, Virtual
  • Conference XXXIII 2007: Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture as a Medium of Contacts
  • Conference XXXIV 2008: Interpretation of History in American Culture.
  • Conference XXXV 2009: Cultural Pluralism: History, Literature, Art.
  •  Conference XXXVI 2010: Nature and Sustainability of Culture
  • Conference XXXVII 2011: City and Urbanism in American Culture
  • Conference XXXVIII 2012: American Values: Devaluation, Reevaluation, Reconstruction.
  • Conference XXXIX 2013: American Culture in Multipolar World
  • Conference XL 2014: American Culture: From Making a Nation to  Transnationalism
  • Conference XLI 2015  Peace and Conflict Resolution in American  Culture
  • Conference XLII 2016:: Creative Communication: American Culture  as Communication System
  • Conference XLIII 2017: American Humor and Satire:  Functions and Forms
  • Conference XLIV 2018: American and Europe: Forms of Cultural   Interaction
  • Conference XLV 2019: Immigration and American Culture
  • Conference XLVI 2020: “Screening” American History and Dreams: Documents and Interpretation in Cinema and TV

XLVI International RSACS Conference Program

 

Section 1. American Journalism and Culture

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

December 3, Thursday, 10.00-13.00

 

  1. Alina Odoeva

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Institute of International Research MGIMO, Russia

The Dynamics of Television Entertainment Talk Shows in the US

  1. Svetlana Kanashina

Ministry of Foreign Affairs MGIMO, Russia

American Screen Culture In Modern Communicative Space (The Case Of Internet Memes)

  1. Nikolai Zykov

Journalism Department

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Historical themes in the Voice of America videos

  1. Yulia Balashova

Journalism Department

Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia

American TV Shows Deontology

  1. Alina Kuchieva, Maryana Karmova

Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Russia

American vs. Russian Political Journalism on the example of V.Pozner

  1. Ranjbar Daniyal

RUDN University, Moscow,  Iran\Russia

The Evolution of American Political Journalism after 2016

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Plenary Opening Session December 2, 2020

December 2, Wednesday, 5.50 pm 

  1.  Dr. Larisa Mikhaylova

RSACS Academic Secretary, Journalism Department,

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Welcome speech 

 

  1. Maniko Dillon-Barthelemy

Educator, Executive Producer/Director in Southern Belle Production

Louisiana, USA

Social Awareness and reporting (documentary filmmaking)

The speaker will talk about how teaching social responsibility and awareness leads to a better reporting, how her students seek and pitch ideas for social issues films and reporting, and how a single documentary can change the law.

 3. Alberto Galina Mendoza 

Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker, Canada

 Social-issues documentaries: life in front of the camera and beyond

The speaker will explain why he started making social-issues docs, how his team built the relationship with their characters, how tough and how important to make social-issues films and what happens after the cameras are gone.

Maniko Dillon-Barthelemy

Educator, Executive Producer/Director in Southern Belle Production 

Filmography: 

Unlikely sex offenders, film’s description: https://newsheels.blogspot.com/2011/04/unlikely-sex-offenders-film-screening.html

PURPOSE: This session examines the steps taken throughout documentary production to produce a powerful, unnerving, provocative film like “The Unlikely Sex Offenders” that informs the target audience and impacts public policy.

METHODS: Two of the more than 800 Louisiana women who are registered sex offenders after being convicted of breaking the state’s 1805 Crime Against Nature law give gripping details of life as they live with the stares, stigma, and setbacks that define them because of the conviction. A state lawmaker who introduced legislation to change the law during production of the film goes through the history, hypocrisy, and hard road to amending Louisiana’s constitution.  Louisiana State Police explain their role in maintaining the state’s sex offender registry. All perspectives for the film are on-camera in an unscripted, content relevant setting. Weeks of field legal research at Louisiana courthouses, on and off-camera interviews, meetings with potential participants, field research, filming, location scouting, writing, and editing over a six month period culminated with the film screening at the Obama Administration’s Human Rights Film Festival in Washington, DC.

CONCLUSION: The 2010 documentary added the human touch Louisiana lawmakers struggled to make in their efforts to draft and pass legislation that made breaking the 1805 Crime Against Nature law by solicitation, punishable by up to six months in jail, a maximum fine of $500 or both, for a person’s first offense. It changed the punishment from a felony to a misdemeanor, as it relates to adults soliciting adults. The offender must register with police as a sex offender if he or she has been convicted of soliciting a minor on a first offense or after a second conviction of soliciting a crime against nature of an adult. Previously, breaking the Louisiana 1805 Crime Against Nature law as a result of soliciting an adult, meant if convicted, the offender possibly faced hard time in a state prison, was required to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 15 years, and the words SEX OFFENDER were capitalized in red letters stamped on the convicted offender’s driver’s license or state ID, regardless of the offense.

Alberto Galina Mendoza 

Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker 

Filmography: 

The Heart of the Children: Supporting Children with Refugee Experiences (https://vimeo.com/95486159)

This short doc was commissioned by the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia, as an educational video-documentary for teachers in the Vancouver region with a duration of 10 min approximately. The purpose was for the teachers to learn about immigrant children recent arrivals and integrated into the education system, to understand these kids were probably dealing with trauma and how this is usually identified and how art therapy can help them deal with their emotions better and at the same time allowing better integration into Canadian education system and culture. The author uses kids’ art and poetry and their experiences to drive the mini-doc.

Million Dollar Med$ (https://www.milliondollarmeds.com)

This is a long in-depth documentary about rare diseases in Canada. The film won the Jack Webster Awards for the best health sciences journalist work. This project also was awarded the Edward Murrow Awards in New York, the USA for the best international small news organization.

XLVI RSACS International Conference Schedule

Day Section Zoom Meeting link
December 2, Wednesday

 

17.40-20.00

 

 

 

Opening Plenary Session

Plenary session

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89319925526?pwd=dGV3bDd4bWx6Z2ZYb0ZlNTF1QUF2UT09

Идентификатор конференции: 893 1992 5526

Код доступа: 542597

December 3, Thursday

11.00 – 14.00

Section 1. Journalism Тема: Zoom meeting invitation – Zoom Meeting Section 1  Journalism Larisa Mikhaylova

Время: 3 дек 2020 10:00 AM Москва

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87486615293?pwd=V2h6SnZVcmF3NGtCUjZRY0pFSFBrUT09

Идентификатор конференции: 874 8661 5293

Код доступа: 810656

14.00 – 15.00 Lunch break
15.00 – 18.00 Section 3. Contemporary American Literature and Culture Zoom Meeting Section 3 Contemporary American Culture Larisa Mikhaylova

Время: 3 дек 2020 03:00 PM Москва

Подключиться к конференции Zoom

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82567062902?pwd=UVo1SDBhSGg1L0lLL1BuOWFRbHc1QT09

Идентификатор конференции: 825 6706 2902

Код доступа: 042417

18.00-19.30 Section 2. American Culture of the 17th-19th Centuries Zoom Meeting  Section 2 American Culture of the 17-19 centuries Larisa Mikhaylova

Время: 3 дек 2020 06:00 PM Москва

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83114678024?pwd=VWlkdFRUL00rZWswYU1sbi9TMFBqdz09

Идентификатор конференции: 831 1467 8024

Код доступа: 392480

December 4, Friday
13.00 – 15.00

 

15.20 – 18.00

Section 4.

Ethnic Aspects of American Culture

 Zoom Meeting Section 4 Ethnic Aspects Larisa Mikhaylova

Время: 4 дек 2020 01:00 PM Москва

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87207089113?pwd=Sno2SFJMSHM4VU56TWxXaVB2VmV5QT09

Идентификатор конференции: 872 0708 9113

Код доступа: 331335

15.00 – 15.20 Coffee-break
20.00-21.00 Discussion with Alberto Galina Mendoza and Maniko Barthelme

here is the link to her film  to be discussed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u7xl9hppXY&feature=youtu.be

 

Discussion with Alberto Galina Mendoza

Время: 4 дек 2020 08:00 PM Москва

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87391071230?pwd=ZU1RY0pkb2lzcENyMkZPQVIrT3ovZz09

Идентификатор конференции: 873 9107 1230

Код доступа: 807554

December 5, Saturday
11.00 – 13.00 Section 5. Gender Aspects of American Culture

 

Zoom Meeting Section 5 Gender Aspects Larisa Mikhaylova

Время: 5 дек 2020 11:00 AM Москва

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87468105386?pwd=Q2dLcUpiYmRtTWlHeGlkamNuQ2hXQT09

Идентификатор конференции: 874 6810 5386

Код доступа: 347829

13.00 –14.00 Lunch break
14.00 – 16.00 Section 6.

Fantastic in the Arts

 

Zoom Meeting Section 6 Fantastic in the Arts Larisa Mikhaylova

Время: 5 дек 2020 02:00 PM Москва

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88410027597?pwd=cHZJaVpDL3FSdHYyanphVC9ES2Q3QT09

Идентификатор конференции: 884 1002 7597

Код доступа: 910612

16.00 – 17.00 Coffeе-break
17.00 – 19.30 Round Table discussion

«Imprints: Image of Russia and Image of America»

Zoom Meeting Round Table Imprints Images of the USA and Russia Larisa Mikhaylova

Время: 5 дек 2020 05:00 PM Москва

Подключиться к конференции Zoom

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86904815684?pwd=WlhUdkhZUUY3L0pxR1lTSU84cEhnUT09

Идентификатор конференции: 869 0481 5684

Код доступа: 356076

19.30 – 20.30 Closing Plenary Session Zoom Meeting Closing Session Larisa Mikhaylova

Время: 5 дек 2020 07:30 PM Москва

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89815557179

Идентификатор конференции: 898 1555 7179

 

RSACS XLVI International Conference Theme

The theme of the XLVI International conference of the Russian Society for American Culture Studies at Journalism Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University will be “White, Silver and Black Mirrors: ‘Screening’ of American History and Dreams”

Cinematic and TV representation of any aspects of American culture will become for the first time the focus of analysis at our multidisciplinary conference.

The dates of the conference will be December 2-5, 2020.

Planned sections:

  • – Journalism,
  • – American Culture of the 17-19th Centuries,
  • – Contemporary Literature and Culture, with a Round Table Discussion on American Drama
  • – Ethnic Aspects,
  • – Gender Studies,
  •  Fantastic in the Arts, with Round Table  dedicated to Ray Bradbury’s Centennial
  •  Canadian perspectives, 

A traditional Round Table discussion: Imprints – Image of America and Image of Russia will also be held.

Additional panel discussions suggestions are accepted until March 15, 2020 at larmih@gmail.com Registration link will be made available at March 30.  

XLV RSACS Conference “Immigration and American Culture” SCHEDULE December 4-7, 2019

Day Section room
December 4, Wednesday
10.00-13.00 16.00-17.30
  18.00-20.00
Registration
 
Opening Plenary Session
217
233
20.00-21.00 Tea and Pirozhki 217
December 5, Thursday
12.30 – 14.30   Section 5. Gender Aspects of American Culture             217
14.30 – 15.00 Lunch break  
15.00 – 18.00 Section 1. Journalism 217
17.30-19.00 Round Table discussion “Herman Melville Bicentennial” 103
December 6, Friday    
10.30 – 13.00 Section 3. Contemporary American Literature and Culture 217
13.00 –14.00 Lunch break
14.00 – 16.00  
16.30 – 19.00
Section 4. Ethnic Aspects of American Culture 320
16.00 – 16.30 Кофе-брейк 217
14.00 – 16.00
  16.30 – 19.00
Section 8. Geography of the US and Spatial Aspects of
American Culture  
103
December 7, Saturday    
10.00 – 11.30 Section 6.  Fantastic in the Arts   217
11.30 –12.00 Lunch break
12.00 – 13.30 Section 7. Canadian Dimension of American Culture 217
13.30 – 14.00 Coffe-break 217
14.00 – 18.30 Round Table discussion «Imprints: Image of Russia and
Image of America»
103
18.30 – 19.30 Closing Plenary Session 103
20.30 – 21.30 Farewell dinner кафе

Program of the XLVth RSACS International Conference

December 4, Wednesday, 6 pm  Room 233

Plenary Opening Session

  1. Professor Yassen Zassoursky

RSACS President, President of Journalism Department,

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Welcome speech

2. Professor.Andrew Wiget

Albuquerque University, USA

Moby-Dick: Melville on Demons, Demagogues and Democracy

3. Professor Pavel Balditsyn

Journalism Department,

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

The Way and the Fate of Chinese Immigrants in the USA in Images of the Chinese-American Literature

The object of the address is to comprehend the secret of Chinese immigrants’ success in the USA. Immigration is often tragic, Chinese immigration at the beginning was a double tragedy. It meant to lose their native names and relatives, their own ancient language and culture. They were humiliated and despised in America, depicted as aliens and “The Yellow Peril” and forbidden the country for long sixty years. But in some decades after the abolition of the infamous Exclusion act Asian immigrants were called “The Model Minority”.

What is the explanation of such an achievement? Chinese immigrants in the USA kept true to their traditional rules and values: “golden mean”, “to live in harmony with others”, “harmony but not sameness”, “to seek common ground while reserving differences”. One more slogan was: “The weak shall conquer”. They need to submit in circumstances of assimilation. At the same time Chinese migrants desired to become real Americans and to take principles of personal freedom and equality of all people, self-reliance and individualism, justice and democracy. Their strategy was to gain two homelands – China and America and to get twofold pride and patriotism. It was not a simple task. There were many losses and deaths, but love prevailed. Love to both countries and cultures. This way put a total overturn of traditional gender and generation roles of China, a hyphenated discourse and poetics of Chinese-American literature which use paradoxes and oxymorons, like that: “We are Americans now, we live in the tundra / Of the logical, a sea of cities, a wood of cars”.

Round Table Discussion “Bicentennial of Herman Melville”

Coordinators Dr. Louisa Bashmakova (Krasnodar, Russia) and  Dr. Andrew Wiget (Albuquerque, USA)

1.Andrew Wiget

Albuquerque University, USA

Moby-Dick: Melville on Demons, Demagogues and Democracy

Most readers who manage to finish reading Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick conclude perhaps that  the essence of the story is the obsessive hunt by a mad captain Ahab who seeks revenge on a particular white whale who had bit off his leg.  In my experience, modern readers are either puzzled, annoyed, frustrated or defeated by the book. They want to get on with the chase, for which they have been made to wait 35 chapters until “The Quarterdeck” scene, when the manic plan is revealed, after which the climactic confrontation is postponed by another 98 chapters, which scatter among the narrative many chapters of exposition describing the business and technical aspects of whaling, whose only purpose seems to be to add length and not substance to the book.  Such a reading reflects at best an unprepared reader, at worst a juvenile one. It is my purpose to argue precisely for the value of Moby-Dick as a literary masterpiece that, while addressing the concerns of  Melville’s age, also speaks directly to the most urgent questions of our time:  not only the present war on nature, that takes many forms from climate change to the extinction of species, but more importantly to the dangerous political relations that make such a war possible. 

Two broad historical trends must frame any reading of Moby-Dick.  First, between 1820 and 1850 the new United States of America expanded westward  across the continent to its western shores, and thence to the furthest reaches of the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic.  During the same period, the population multiplied three times in 30 years, much of it through a massive increase in immigration.  The second was the growth of industrial capitalism, which by the end of the century would make the United States the most industrialized nation on earth.  These two trends sustained the rise of American imperialism, which was driven by violence against Nature, the successful destruction which validated America’s Manifest Destiny, in what Richard Slotkin so aptly called, “regeneration through violence.”

The anxieties and contradictions of antebellum America, which would eventually erupt in Civil War, were very close to Melville, who had the early sympathies of a Jacksonian Democrat.  He brought these anxieties and contradictions aboard the ship called Pequod, aptly named after the bloodiest seventeenth-century Puritan massacre of Indians. Any reading of the novel which overlooks these matters and prefers to “cut to the chase”, is both sterile and  juvenile.  For Melville, the voyage of the Pequod  in Moby-Dick is the sailing forth of the United States, burdened by the nightmares of its past, enchanted by its vision of the future, and struggling all the while to understand what kind of leader is required to make democracy just and humane on the one hand and profitable on the other.

2. Alla Nikulina

Akmulla Bashkir State Pedagogical University, Ufa, Russia

Herman Melville as a Pioneer of the U.S. Philosophical Novel

 Although the American mind was never inclined to abstract theorizing, the philosophical novel as a genre appeared in the U.S. national literature at an early stage of its development. H. Melville’s ‘Moby-Dick’ can be classified as a philosophical novel due to its deep consideration of the reality based on metaphysical theories, which are investigated and promoted by the author at all levels of the artistic whole. Western and Russian literary critics made several attempts to single out the dominant concept, connecting it to the philosophy of Spinoza, Emerson, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and even Wittgenstein, whose discoveries, according to K. Evans, Melville anticipated by a century. Anyway, we cannot fail to see Melville’s desire to rely upon well-established philosophical concepts in his investigation of the essence of the world, but we notice, first, that the writer centers his attention on the human rather than the universal, i.e. on practical and ethical consequences of accepting a certain abstract worldview. Besides, realizing the limits of ready-made concepts, Melville strives to reshape them in order to create his own original system. Characteristically, the later development of the genre in the American literature will be dominated by a similar approach, with the emphasis on pragmatic values, synthesis of various philosophic traditions and individual intellectual search.

3. Kirill Ignatov

Department of Foreign Languages and Area Studies,

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Herman Melville in a University Course of US literature: From Screen to Novel

Herman Melville is one of the most popular 19th-century authors among university students in the course of US literature, since the exciting plot of his novels does not limit the text to adventure escapism, which imposes ‘age restrictions’ on, for example, some works of J.F. Cooper or Mark Twain. On the contrary, Melville’s novels due to their multi-layered nature offer opportunities for a variety of readings and a plethora of interpretations. This is reflected in the history of adaptations of the main works of Melville: Moby Dick, Bartleby, Billy Bud, Benito Cereno and others. The popularity of Melville’s works among filmmakers can be used in teaching US literature to encourage students to work independently with the text of the novel. The talk presents approaches based on the principle of indirect goal-setting, which can be used in the US Literature course to stimulate close reading of the novel, independent extracurricular work of students, and collective creativity. The novel ‘Moby Dick’ and its various adaptations are used to illustrate the approaches: from Millard Webb’s silent tape Sea Beast (1926) through the classic British version of John Huston Moby Dick (1956) to Trey Stokes’s modernized version in the form of action movie Moby Dick (2010).

4. Louiza Bashmakova

Kuban State University, Krasnodar, Russia

An April the 1st Showboat on Mississippi: on H. Melville’s Genre Singularity in Confidence-Man

The object of this discourse is Melville’s deep rootedness in genres and forms of American folk and popular culture. The writer’s art of high comedy attracts special attention, with an accent on analysis of Melville’s technique of burlesque, travesty, and grotesque. Principles of comparative literature studies are suggested as the base for analogies with the poetic ideas of Melville’s great predecessors – Cervantes, Shakespeare, Molière, Goethe.

5. Vladislav Alekseenko

Altai State Pedagogical University, Linguistic Institute, Barnaul, Russia

The Conceptual System of the World in Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, or The Whale

Nowadays conceptual study of images in the literary text is important to reveal the author’s idea. In Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, or The Whale it is manifested in the selection of concepts reflected in the writer’s work, in his individual works and in the selection of expressive and visual means. In linguistics, the Conceptual System of the world (CS) is understood as a reflected reality through the prism of concepts formed on the basis of human perceptions of the real world. A unit of the CS is a concept – the content of the concept in the distraction from the language form of its expression, which function is to fix and actualize the conceptual, emotional, associative, verbal, culturological and other content of the objects of reality, included in the CS structure. The mechanism of CS construction and the role of language in these processes were discovered by Rolandas Pavilionis, analyzing the conceptual system of the world from a logical and philosophical point of view. The conceptual system is characterized by the following properties: order of introduction of concepts; continuity of conceptual system construction; continuity of conceptual system. The language means of CS creation are: nominal language means; grammar means of language; figurative means; discursive means; phonosemantics of language. CS with components included in it can be explicated in various ways: as logical and verified tables and diagrams; frames and concepts. The analysis of Herman Melville’s work allows us to speak about the special importance of such basic concepts as «challenge» and «revenge» for the writer. The method of semantic expansion allows us to identify the semantic field of the “challenge” concept, including such units as «struggle», «test», «dare», «dispute», «face», «confrontation», «summon», «try», while the “revenge” concept includes lexical representations of the concepts of «vengeance», «retribution», «vindictiveness», «avenge». Moby Dick is understood as something that can be very desirable, or a goal that must be achieved: the author makes it clear that the captain Ahab intends to pursue the whale across all seas around the world. Other key concepts of the novel are «human obsession» and «destiny», based on the idea of revenge and persecution of inevitable death. Besides, the entire novel is filled with biblical imagery: the artistic form of the work and the biblical names of the characters emphasize the philosophical concepts. Interpretable as forms of public consciousness, they form the CS of the entire work.

6. Anna Doolina

Philological Department

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

«What my own astonished eyes saw…»: The Unreliable Narrator in H. Melville’s Short Stories

H. Melville’s short stories bring to the fore the problem of an unreliable narrator. The narrators in the short stories are often sick. The style and rhetoric of the narrative in the short stories depend directly on the narrator’s temper, and the narrative strategy of each of the stories is determined by their “clinical records”. It forms the second level of the story – about the development of the narrator’s obsessive state. Before meeting face-to-face with the striking phenomenon, the narrators find themselves already endowed with unusual sensitivity due to their physical deterioration (the narrator of The Piazza travels to the mountains after a serious disease, the narrator of the story Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! is also sick). Then, in contact with the object described, the narrators are so strongly influenced that they are no longer able to think clearly, they are “blinded”, become obsessed with what they once saw or heard, their narrative is invaded by long intrusive series of enumerations and repetitions. For example, the formula “I prefer not to” becomes contagious in Bartleby; in Poor Man’s Pudding and Rich Man’s Crumbs the narrator is exposed to the phrases of the poor. Thus, the repetitive phrases of the narrators, undergoing a semantic transformation, form the composition of Melville’s short stories and are in most cases associated with the images and theme of the disease, making the narrators of the short stories unreliable.

Round Table Discussion “Imprints: Image of America and Image of Russia”

Coordinator Professor Yassen Zassoursky (Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia)

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Registration to the XLV RSACS International conference is open

We are glad to announce “Immigration and American Culture”  as the theme of the XLV International conference of the Russian Society for American Culture Studies at Journalism Department of Lomonosov Moscow State Universityin the hope that it will allow looking in more detail at the changing cultural landscape of the USA due to historical waves of immigration on the one hand, and at the complex influence of the present-day immigration policies on American culture, on the other.

The dates of the conference will be December 4-7, 2019.

Planned sections:

  • – Journalism,
  • – American Culture of the 17-19th Centuries, with a Round Table Discussion on Bicentenary of Herman Melville

Round Table: Herman Melville’s Bicentenary (01.08.1819 – 28.09.1891)

Coordinators: Louisa P. Bashmakova, Prof. Emerita, KubSU, Krasnodar, Russia (888lpb@gmail.com), Prof. Andrew Wiget, Lomonosov MSU, and Prof. Emeritus, New Mexico State University, USA (andrew.wiget@gmail.com).

Melville’s contribution to the cultural and literary heritage of America and the world constitutes an immeasurable legacy.  Themes for papers and conversations may vary from biographical issues to historical and theoretical arguments, literary interpretations, or the critical reception or artistic transformation of the writer’s works in the USA and abroad. Presentations of teaching Melville to students are especially welcome.   

  • – Contemporary Literature and Culture, with a Round Table Discussion on American Drama
  • – Ethnic Aspects,
  • – Gender Studies,
  •  Fantastic in the Arts,
  •  Canadian perspectives, 
  • – Geography of the US and Spatial Aspects of American Culture  

Coordinator: Ruslan Dokhov, MSU,  Geography Department

Topics for discussion:

  • US cities: spatial structure and dynamics.
  • Geography of migrations in the US: internal and external flows. Geography of stayers.
  • Ethnic and confessional geography of the US.
  • Political geography of the US: electoral mosaics and regional patterns.
  • Economic geography, the geography of transportation and energy.
  • US regions, regional identity, locality at the age of globalism.


 A traditional Round Table discussion: Imprints – Image of America and Image of Russia will also be held.

Registration form

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