AATSEEL is very pleased to announce the following special events for the 2012 AATSEEL Conference. Please continue to check this page for updates on these, and other special events at the conference.

Keynote Address

What, Then, Shall We Do: Tolstoy's Way

Irina Paperno, University of California, Berkeley.
Abstract In a number of his nonfiction writings, from the early pedagogical essays to the intensely personal treatise on poverty What Should We Do Then? (1884-85), and beyond, Tolstoy pondered and addressed the issue of the individual's, and his own, responsibility to the "other." In this context, he felt profoundly ambivalent about the role of literature, the writer, and education in society. This talk will explore Tolstoy's tortured reflections, their philosophical sources, and their personal as well political implications.

Advanced Seminars

AATSEEL announces two innovative Advanced Seminars to be held at the 2012 AATSEEEL Conference, led by renowned scholars who will provide AATSEEL members with the opportunity to participate in and gain from their knowledge, expertise and practice: Advanced Seminar I: Pushkin's Poetry and its Romantic Contexts, led by Boris Gasparov, Columbia University; and Advanced Seminar II: Reading Too Closely, led by Eric Naiman, University of California at Berkeley. (See below for more information about each seminar.)

Registration in these seminars is required. Participants must be current members of AATSEEL and pre-registered for the 2012 Conference.

To register:  Email Katya Hokanson. Be sure to indicate in your email:
1) that you are a current member of AATSEEL,
2) that you have pre-registered for the 2012  AATSEEL Conference in Seattle,
3) which Advanced Seminar you would like to attend.
Advanced Seminars will continue to be offered at next year’s AATSEEL Conference in Boston in January 2013, when Professr Stephanie Sandler of Harvard University will offer an advanced seminar on contemporary Russian poetry, with a second seminar likely to focus on film.  The AATSEEL Executive Council welcomes suggestions for future topics and leaders.  Suggestions or questions should be directed to Katya Hokanson at hokanson@uoregon.edu.

Advanced Seminar I:  Pushkin's Poetry and its Romantic Contexts

Led by Boris Gasparov, Columbia University. Limited to 20 participants.

The seminar will make an attempt to map Pushkin’s place in the culture of early European Romanticism (1800s-1830s). The problem in question goes beyond Pushkin’s particular works representing conventional Romantic genres (such as his “Southern poems” and elegies), or his indebtedness to particular Romantic figures, such as Byron, Chateaubriand, or Walter Scott. Rather, the seminar is aimed at exploring various aspects of Pushkin’s oeuvre at large in the framework of major categories of contemporary European literature. Among the problems to be considered: constructing the self (Romantic personal mythology), fragmentariness, Romantic irony, dialogism (the role of the “other”), the role of language. 

Suggested reading:
1. Pushkin’s works: Eugene Onegin, The Prisoner of the Caucasus, The Stone Guest, The Bronze Horseman, selected elegies, epistles, epigrams.

2. European Romanticism:
  • Byron, Don Juan
  • Constant, Adolphe
  • Chateaubriand, Atala
  • Büchner, The Death of Danton
  • Austen, Pride and Prejudice
3. Secondary literature:
  • Bethea, David, Realizing Metaphors: Alexander Pushkin and the Life of the Poet (U of Wiconsin Pr, 1998)
  • Greenleaf, Monika, Pushkin and Romantic Fashion (Stanford UPr, 1994)
  • Ram, Harsha, Imperial Sublime: a Russian Poetics of Empire (U of Wiconsin Pr, 2003)
  • The Pushkin Handbook, ed. by David Bethea (U of Wiconsin Pr, 2005): articles by Douglas Clayton, Leslie O’Bell, David Bethea, Harsha Ram, Alexander Dolinin, Boris Gasparov

Advanced Seminar II: Reading Too Closely

Led by Eric Naiman, University of California at Berkeley. Limited to 15 participants.

This session will consider several aspects of  (im)properly close reading. We will take Nabokov as our model for an author whose fiction constantly entices, teaches and punishes his best students.  We will consider the similarities suggested by his work between close reading and sexual arousal, and then, with a paradigm of "abusive [Humbertian] reading" formulated, we will proceed to examine the work of a critic - Jane Gallop - whose writing operates along potentially similar lines.  We will also look at several recent challenges to close reading.  Finally, I will turn my attention to two canonical nineteenth century texts and suggest ways to read them improperly. I will ask several of the participants, who will be limited to fifteen, to suggest in advance a couple texts for improperly close collective reading, an enterprise these volunteers will lead.  We will constantly keep the following questions in mind - is such work primarily performative, or does it leave lasting value, and if so, how can it be best presented for a specific field.  Readings to be provided to participants by December 1, earlier if participants really intend to start before that date.


Czech Language Corpora: Tools for Learning, Teaching and Research

Led by Vaclav Cvrče, Institute of the Czech National Corpus, Charles University
Abstract: This workshop focuses on the use of corpora in teaching Czech as a second or foreign language. Participants will be guided through the process of obtaining access to the Czech National Corpus, and of using the Corpus to create and evaluate basic queries. Specific topics to be addressed include spoken vs. written corpora, morphological tagging, and evaluation and interpretation of findings. These topics will be presented using examples of grammatical and lexical phenomena that tend to be problematic for language learners.

Job Interviewing Workshop

The annual AATSEEL Job Interviewing Workshop is scheduled for 7:00-9:00 pm on Thursday, January 5, 2012. More information about the workshop will be posted soon.

Translation Workshop

Led by Sibelan Forrester, Swarthmore College
Abstract: This year's AATSEEL Translation Workshop will focus on almost-finished versions of poems from any Slavic language. If you would like to present a poem you are working on, contact Sibelan Forrester. Everyone is welcome to attend! The Translation Workshop is a friendly laboratory where sharp-eyed readers are as welcome as translators, and where anyone with an interest in translation can enter the conversation.

Pedagogical Explorations of Conceptual Metaphor

Led by Victoria Hasko, University of Georgia
Abstract: This workshop focuses on exploring the pedagogical value of conceptual metaphor analysis in an advanced language classroom. The presenter will demonstrate that metaphors are not merely ways of speaking, but represent the ways in which a community thinks and acts, grounded in specific kinds of culturally organized experiences. The workshop first considers how metaphors (and related forms of figurative language) are constructed; next it will discuss cross-cultural differences in metaphors, with a particular focus on metaphors in Russian and American English; it will then explore some of the most recent pedagogical approaches on teaching and learning metaphors in second language classrooms. Participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm ideas for lesson plans that explore the intersection of language and culture through select conceptual metaphors.

Workshop for Graduate Students on Course Design

Led by Julia Mikhailova, University of Toronto
Abstract: An informal roundtable discussion for graduate students on designing a course in literature, film and culture. Participants in the roundtable will discuss teaching techniques, setting course goals and selecting materials.

Russian through Theater: A Class Resulting in a Real Stage Bilingual Show

Led by Julia Nemirovskaya, University of Oregon
Abstract: This workshop will offer participants the opportunity to explore ways of teaching Russian language and culture in the process of preparing a performance. It will focus on several basic questions: choosing the right play; making the show bilingual for the audience; modifying the script; introducing Russian directions and warmup exercises; games and exercises; grading in a Russian Through Theater course; introducing topics in theater arts and history; involving students at different levels of proficiency in Russian; managing stage set, costumes, PR and other technical support on low/no budget; organizing group work; involving the native speaking community and organizing tutoring.

Russian Poetry Events

At the 2012 annual AATSEEL meetings, several Russian poetry events will be presented. To stimulate conversation among poets and scholars, events will include several poetry readings, followed by discussion that will be led by a commentator. Panels include "Russian Poets in America," and "Contemporary Poetry and the Visual Arts (featuring the works of Rafael Levchin and Aleksandr Ocheretiansky)". There is limited space in the schedule, but the selection committee tries to showcase a wide variety of poets each year; submissions are invited until October 1 of the year preceding the meetings. For more information, contact Stephanie Sandler. Each year, when funds are available, an invitation is also extended to a poet who would not normally attend AATSEEL meetings; previous poets have included Vera Pavlova and Aleksei Tsvetkov. These presentations are made possible by AATSEEL members' contributions to the AATSEEL Poetry Fund.

Coffee with Leading Scholars

The AATSEEL Graduate Student Committee is pleased to present informal coffee conversations with leading scholars. Information about coffee conversations at the 2012 AATSEEL Conference will be posted soon.

Film Screening

My Perestroika

AATSEEL is pleased to announce that there will be a screening of the award-winning, critically-acclaimed documentary, My Perestroika.

My Perestroika follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times – from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Using a wealth of footage rarely seen outside of Russia – including home movies from the USSR in the 1970s – the film combines an intimate view of the past with the contemporary lives of these former schoolmates, painting a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionment of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.

“Enthralling …'My Perestroika' gives you a privileged sense of learning the history of a place not from a book but from the people who lived it."
Stephen Holden, New York Times (“NYT Critics’ Pick”)

“My Perestroika is a terrific film for classroom use in courses on post-Soviet Russia. No other film documents so beautifully and vividly the effects of enormous social change on the lives of everyday Russians, together with amazing and instructive documentary footage. I included the film in my freshman seminar, “Russia after Communism,” along with a class visit from director Robin Hessman, and many students remarked that it was a high point in the course.”
-Andrea Lanoux, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Slavic Studies, Connecticut College

"My Perestroika is exactly history as we want it to be for students.... a perfect text for stimulating our own conversations in the classroom." Mark D. Steinberg, Department of History, University of Illinois & Editor, Slavic Review
There will be a discount on the educationally-licensed DVD of My Perestroika available for attendees of the conference. Details can be found in the program. For more information on the film, please visit http://myperestroika.com. For information about the DVD, please visit: .http://www.newday.com/films/myperestroika.html.


AATSEEL President's Reception and Awards Ceremony

Plan to join AATSEEL President Nancy Condee for the annual AATSEEL President's Reception and Awards Ceremony at 9:00 pm on Friday, January 6. AATSEEL awards for teaching, research and scholarship recognize outstanding contributions to the field in Excellence in Teaching (Secondary and Post-Secondary); Distinguished Service to AATSEEL, Outstanding Contribution to the Profession, and Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship. AATSEEL book awards recognize the Best Contribution to Language Pedagogy, Best Contribution to Slavic Linguistics, Best Book of Slavic Literary/Cultural Criticism, and Best Translation into English. Hors d'oueuvres and cash bar.

Graduate Student Reception

AATSEEL President Nancy Condee invites graduate students at the 2012 AATSEEL Conference to a reception to meet senior faculty. The reception is scheduled for 9:00 pm on Thursday, January 5, immediately after the Job Interviewing Workshop. Wine and cheese will be served.

Reception Hosted by the University of Washington Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literature and the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington welcome AATSEEL participants to Seattle, and warmly invite them to a reception at 6:00 pm, Saturday, January 7, Cedar B room, Hyatt Regency Bellevue. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served.