Contemporary Russian Literature: Online Seminar

Society for Cooperation in Russian and Soviet Studies presents a one-day online seminar in Russian, covering contemporary Russian prose, poetry, and literature for children and young adults. Delivered by Dr Svetlana Bukreeva, live from St Petersburg via Zoom. Aimed at everyone with an advanced-level comprehension of spoken Russian and an interest in Russian language and culture.

The lecture programme focuses on contemporary Russian prose, poetry, and literature for children and young adults. During the first lecture Svetlana will talk about contemporary Russian prose as a many-sided phenomenon. Here are interwoven the traditions of classical realism, postmodernism, Petersburg fundamentalism and spiritual literature. This is a vibrant mosaic where traditional values and new trends exist side by side. And the language of contemporary Russian literature is a mirror reflecting the rapidly changing reality of today. The lecture will cover the work of Evgeny Vodolazkin, Aleksandr Kabakov, Aleksandr Ilichevsky, Mikhail Shishkin, Pavel Krusanov, Elena Chizhova, V. Savitsky, Dmitri Bykov and others.

The second lecture will talk about contemporary Russian-language poetry looking at traditions of classical Russian literature, bold postmodernism, ‘new symbolism’ – ‘vnevizm’*, war poetry, the Russian Orthodox tradition and civic lyrics co-exist and, at times, interact creatively. From the well-known ‘classical’ poets Inna Lisnyanskaya, Oleg Chuprov and Elena Shvarts; through the ‘rebels’ Dmitri Prigov and Timur Kibirov; to the academic poets Olga Sedakova, Maksim Amelin and Vladimir Retsenter; as well as many bright stars not yet aligned to any creative group or trend – all their efforts are united in the search for new ways to express the Russian mentality at the start of the Millenium.

The final lecture will be devoted to contemporary Russian literature for children and young adults. Key themes, problems and characters in children’s books, and poetics, will be considered, using examples from the work of late 20th-century – early 21st-century writers and poets. The focus will be on innovative poetry and prose, adventure books, the educational fiction genre, school stories and modern fairy tales. The language of contemporary Russian children’s literature reflects the deep cultural processes taking place in society, and therefore deserves separate consideration. The lecture will cover the work of A. Likhanov, V. Voskoboynikov, Mikhail Yasnov, Renata Mukha, V. Levin, Artur Givargizov, N. Dashevskaya, G. Knizhnik, M. Loginov, Yu. Kuznetsova and others.

There will be three online lecture sessions, each session consisting of a 45-minute lecture, followed by discussion. Lectures and discussion are entirely in Russian. Participants receive the following supporting materials: lecture handouts (emailed in advance), Dr Bukreeva’s presentations (emailed after the event) and lecture recordings (links emailed after the event and available to view for up to 30 days from 6 November).

Dr Svetlana Bukreeva, Associate Professor, Department of Philological Education, Leningrad Regional Institute of Education Development Dr Bukreeva trained as a teacher of Russian language and literature, before gaining her PhD on Romantic Traditions in American Literature 1850-80 in 2004. She joined the Leningrad Regional Institute of Education Development in 2011 and has taught Russian as a Foreign Language there since 2017. She is also a member of the Special Commission of the Federal Migration Service for St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region that assesses the Russian language competency of individuals applying for Russian citizenship. Her academic interests include teaching Russian literature; methodology of teaching Russian as a Foreign Language; theory and methodology of teaching world literature; cultural dialogue; comparative literature; the synthesis of arts; and contemporary fiction. She is the author of two monographs and over 35 research papers.


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