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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Literature/History/Theory Research Group: Dr Anke Hennig (Freie Universität Berlin) 'From Commodities to Comrades on Gender Relations in Russian Avant-Garde'

16th October 2013, 15:00, A56, Elvet Riverside I, Durham University


The title of the presentation is borrowed from an article by the Russian cultural researcher Ekaterina Diogat´, “Ot tovara k tovarishchu”, in which she came to the conclusion that the Russian avant-garde had developed a special relationship to images and things which one could briefly summarize as being against the depiction of women as things. In this way the abstract art of the Russian avant-garde appeared to provide deliverance from the perpetual present of the reified woman, and constructivist textile designs seemed to clothe models. The emotional depth of constructivist objects presumably comes from the fact that the relationships between people and things also encompass gender relationships.

Biographical note:

 Anke Hennig is a research fellow in the Collaborative Research Centre 626 “Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits” and also teaches at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature at the Freie Universität Berlin. She studied Modern German Literature and Russian Philology in Berlin and Moscow, attaining her PhD in Comparative Literature in 2005. 

In 2012 she was a Fulbright Fellow at the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University and in 2011 was a visiting scholar at UCL, London. She has presented papers in Bregenz, Cambridge, Essex, Florence, London, Lund, Moscow, New York, Vienna, Washington and a number of German universities. She is the author of Sowjetische Kinodramaturgie: Konfliktlinien zwischen Literatur und Film in der Sowjetunion der 1930er Jahre (on the history of Soviet cinematic dramaturgy) and co-author of Präsens: Poetik eines Tempus (on the poetics of the present tense). In addition to numerous articles, she has also edited an anthology of Russian avant-garde texts and co-edited volumes on the present-tense novel, the temporality of film, and the avant-garde. More recently, Dr Hennig’s publications have addressed speculative poetics and the chronotopology of cinematic fiction; currently she is planning a research group on “Retroformalism”.

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