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Current research seminars

2016/17 research seminar programme

Semester 2

For the information on past seminars, please visit our Seminar Archive.

Tuesday 25 April 2017
Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and Eastern European Studies (CRSCEES)
Iryna Clark (University of St Andrews)
‘Mediating “Civil Society” in the Belarussian Press: The Colour Revolutions’
‘Civil society’ remains a topic of debate among politicians, scholars and the wider public in both established western democracies and increasingly, in countries in which non-liberal governments curtail societal freedoms. The political activism witnessed in post-Communist regions over the previous and current decades raises questions about citizens’ ability to mobilise society to protest and change the future course of their country. The presentation will provide an analytical insight into the country-specific terms used to describe civil society within the Belarusian media environment. It will also demonstrate how the articulation of ‘civil society’ shifted over time and in response to contextual conditions focusing on the Republic of Belarus. Given the role civil society was expected to play in post-Communist democratisation, the presentation will go beyond the normative rationale and provide an insight into the complexity of the social, cultural and political contexts that determine the uneven and complicated path of post-Soviet development.
5pm, Buchanan Building room 216


Thursday 27 April 2017
Arabic Public lecture and book launch
Raymond Scheindlin
Vulture in a Cage: Poems by Solomon Ibn Gabirol
Author and translator Raymond Scheindlin will present his new book, Vulture in a Cage, and the eleventh-century poet at its center, Solomon Ibn Gabirol, one of the most celebrated poets and philosophers of the medieval Judeo-Arabic Golden Age. The author of delicate and intimate devotional poetry that holds an honored place in the liturgies of many Jewish communities, Ibn Gabirol also wrote personal poetry, in which he speaks of his intellectual ambitions and his frustration at having to live among the unthinking; laments his ailments and his social isolation; praises his friends and savages his enemies. Dr. Scheindlin’s new book emphasizes this personal aspect of Ibn Gabirol’s poetry with translations that read like poetry while hewing closely to the meaning of the poet’s words. In this talk, he will illustrate various aspects of Ibn Gabirol’s poetic persona by reading and commenting on selected poems.
Raymond P. Scheindlin is professor of medieval Hebrew literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, where he received his training in Hebrew literature. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University for his dissertation on an Arab poet from Muslim Spain. In addition to his research on medieval Hebrew poetry in its Arabic and Islamic background, Scheindlin has published many translations of the great poets of the Judeo-Arabic Golden Age, especially in his books Wine, Women, and Death; The Gazelle; and The Song of the Distant Dove. He has also published an annotated verse translation of the Book of Job. A former provost of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Scheindlin is a former Guggenheim fellow; a former Cullman fellow at the New York Public Library; and recipient of the cultural achievement award of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.
6pm, The Byre Theatre, Studio

Tuesday 2 May 2017
‘Le Moustachu avec les Lunettes 2’
Danced piece by the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance
On songs composed and sung by Jean Ferrat after poems by Louis Aragon, and musics by Engelbert Humperdinck and Vivaldi.
Choreography: Benoît Egloff
Dancers: Sophie Archer, Dylan Boswell, Emilie Christie, Stevie Craib, Sarah Greene, Will Hodson, Rob Jackson, Kaja Jurkowska, Sarah Lyall, Tori Partridge, Jess Scobie, Joy Smith, Jourdan Walker, Tom Wohlfahrt.
LMALL2 is re-visiting a choreographic research previously devised to post-graduates from across Europe in 2010. Rejecting the utilisation of speech, it explores narrative choreography integrating the use of a set, props, body language, musicality, costumes, dancers’ technical and creative skills, without being literal.
The performance is organised within the context of the RSE funded research project on 'Poetry and Performance: Embodied Poetic Experience in Public Spaces', a collaboration between the Centre for Poetic Innovation and a number of partners, including the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance. It will be followed by a discussion with the choreograph and the dancers, whose aim is to explore :
1. how the choreographer and performers have engaged with the textual elements of the performance.
2. how members of the audience react to the danced piece and conceive of the link between choreography, music and words.
3. the way members of the audience and performers engage with each other.
For more information about the project and/or if you have any questions regarding this event, please contact Dr Elodie Laügt (el40) and visit the Centre for Poetic Innovation website:
12-1pm, Byre Theatre Auditorium

Tuesday 2 May 2017
Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and Eastern European Studies (CRSCEES)
Shaun Walker (The Guardian Moscow Correspondent)
‘The Long Hangover: memory and revolution in Ukraine and Russia’
Shaun Walker is Moscow Correspondent for The Guardian. For more than a decade, he has reported extensively from across Russia, Ukraine, and the former Soviet countries. His book, The Long Hangover, a study of memory politics in Russia and Ukraine, will be published by Oxford University Press in autumn 2017.
Shaun spent most of 2014 in Ukraine, witnessing the Maidan Revolution in Kiev, the annexation of Crimea and the uprising in East Ukraine. Since the outbreak of hostilities, he has travelled regularly to the region and provided some of the most authoritative analysis of the conflict. This talk, and his upcoming book, will explore the role of history and memory in these events.
5pm, Byre Theatre Conference room

Wednesday 3 May 2017
Translating Opera
Professional soprano Megan Read will be joined by university staff (Julia Prest, Jane Pettegree) and students of Modern Languages (Elizabeth Galbraith, Teddy Day) to sing a series of arias, recitative passages and choruses from Gluck’s opera, Iphigénie en Aulide in the original French and then in a gently modernized English translation prepared by students on FR4110 Translating French Opera.  Followed by questions and discussion.
1pm, Rehearsal Room, Younger Hall

Wednesday 3 May 2017
Byre World Film Series
Wild Tales (2014) by Damián Szifron
7pm, The Byre Theatre

Thursday 4 May 2017
Professor Alan Knight’s (St Antony’s College, Oxford)
'"Forjar Constitución": The Making and Meaning of the Mexican Constitution of 1917'
5pm, Buchanan room 216

Tuesday 23 May 2017
Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and Eastern European Studies (CRSCEES)
Katya Rogachevskaya (Lead Curator East European Studies at the British Library)
‘Revolution on Display: 1017 at the British Library’
5pm, Buchanan Building room 216

Friday 26 May 2017
Public Lecture
The University of St Andrews Cultural Memory Research Group presents:
Prof Alison Landsberg (George Mason University)
Title to be confirmed
5pm, Parliament Hall