TALK: “I AM FRAGILE AND SMALL”: VERSIONS OF MASCULINITY IN SOVIET UNOFFICIAL POETICS

In “’I am fragile and small’”: Versions of Masculinity in Soviet Unofficial Poetics,” Ainsley Morse will examine the presentation of masculinity (usually that of the lyric speaker) in the work of several unofficial poets of the late Soviet period. As an institution, unofficial literature occupied a powerless position vis-a-vis officially published literature; yet, unofficial poets drew on the tradition of predecessors including Vladimir Mayakovsky and Daniil Kharms to construct a lyric presence that combined exaggerated weakness (“loserdom”) with the implicit power of the voice and word. Ainsley Morse is a scholar, teacher and translator of Russian and former Yugoslav literatures. Her research focuses on the literature and culture of the post-war Soviet period, particularly unofficial or “underground” poetry, as well as the avant-garde and children’s literature. Her Ph.D. is from Harvard University. She has taught lately at Dartmouth College and UCSD; in 2018-19 she will be a visiting professor at Pomona College.

Sponsored by the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, Program in Comparative Literature, and Translation Studies