The European University at St. Petersburg : the March 2017 Slavonic item(s) of the month

The last few weeks have seen the European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP) pushed ever closer to closing its doors since the university’s controversial investigation by the education ministry’s inspectorate began last summer, with its future now hanging in the balance in the Russian courts.  This blog post looks at recent books produced by EUSP’s excellent publishing arm.

EUSP, a private graduate university, has gained admiration since its foundation in 1994 for its work in the social sciences and humanities, as witnessed by the letters of support it has received in recent months within Russia and across the world (English versions can be seen  here: https://eu.spb.ru/en/news?filter_40=support_letters).  For the librarian, their izdatel’stvo (publishing house) is a great boon.  Their contributions to the fields of art and philology are important acquisitions, but their social science output is particularly valuable, filling gaps in the Russian academic market.  Three EUSP titles have been added to the catalogue this week, and they are our March 2017 items of the month.

L-R ‘Natsiia’, ‘Krest’ianskaia ssora’, ‘Vasilii Kamenskii’

  • Krest’ianskaia ssora / Anna Kushkova (Peasant quarrels;  C212.c.4396).  “This book problematizes everyday quarrel as a type of social interaction in Russian peasant society of the late 19th and early 20th [centuries].  The author argues that quarrel may be used as a new lens for the understanding of social relations in peasant families and peasant society at large after the emancipation of the serfs of 1861 and the judicial reforms of the 1860s” (from the English summary).
    • This is the latest arrival in the EUSP Studia ethnologica series, one of 11 titles in the series bought by the UL so far.  Other books cover diverse subjects such as forced migration and religion and secularisation.  A list on Newton can, until the Newton catalogue is turned off in the summer, be seen here.
  • Natsiia, ili, Mogushchestvo mifa / Aleksei Miller (Nation, or, The power of myth; C204.d.9811).  “Miller explores how such notions as “nation” were formed in Europe and in Russia” (from the English summary).
    • This is our first purchase from EUSP’s Azbuka poniatii (ABC of concepts) series, which produces fairly short books as introductions to certain subjects.  We will purchase any titles that touch sufficiently on Russia.
  • Vasilii Kamenskii : poet, aviator, tsirkach, genii futurizma (Vasilii Kamenskii : poet, aviator, circus man, genius of futurism; 756:37.c.201.50).  Kamenskii is nicely described in the English summary as “a most buoyant figure of his epoch”.  The volume consists chiefly of works about him (they “vividly demonstrate [his] life-asserting temperament; he is portrayed as one of the first pilots, a discoverer of new forms in poetry, circus man, self-advertiser, designer, printer, master of performance and holder of Soviet orders”) but also include pieces by him.  The publication includes two separate facsimile reproductions of his early work.  These can be consulted in the Map Room.
    • The Kamenskii book is the UL’s seventh title in the EUSP Avant-garde series, which contains beautifully produced books on avant-garde art and literature, many involving facsimiles.  A list of these can be seen on Newton here.

The three inserts (facsimiles rear left and front) from the ‘Vasilii Kamenskii’ book.

Mel Bach

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