This talk explores a fascinating yet little-known chapter in the history of literary and cultural diplomacy during the Cold War—the popularity of the American author Kurt Vonnegut in the Soviet Union during the 1970s. Phillips will touch on several fundamental questions regarding Vonnegut’s "Soviet chapter": What was it about Vonnegut’s writing—the style, the content, and the received messages—that so appealed to readers and literary critics in the 1970s Soviet Union? Were Vonnegut’s works censored, and if so, what exactly fell prey to the infamous “Red Pencil” of the Soviet censors? Phillips draws on interviews with readers to track the surprising "social life" of Kurt Vonnegut's ideas in Russian/Soviet translation.
Sarah Phillips is Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University.
Livestream at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM9CgNTgIB8&feature=youtu.be
This lecture series is a collaborative effort to showcase an area studies specialist from each center focusing on the Russian, East European, and Central Asian world region. The series is sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University; the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley; the Russian, East European & Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University; the Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies at the University of Michigan; the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin; the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center at Indiana University; the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Pittsburgh; the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia at the University of Wisconsin - Madison; the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies at The University of Chicago; and the Center for Slavic and East European Studies at The Ohio State University.