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To be honest, I’m not exactly a fan of the Soviet mid-20th century sci-fi; to me, it seems somewhat lacking in style in comparison to its predecessors, and it was the later works that really made a name for the genre. Then again, it certainly is quite unconventional, and is interesting from many a standpoint other than the literary one.
In our previous article about Russian literature, we’ve only slightly touched upon the subject that I find the most interesting: Soviet science fiction. As a fan of science fiction in general, I’ve always thought that, despite its name, the science aspect of the genre is often used as merely a background for exploring various contemporary psychological and social issues, and allows the writers to create the perfect setting in which to share their perception of human nature and our common future.
Data Science for Culture, Toxicity, and New Perception of Time: Researchers of New Media Discuss Trends in Digital World
Last week, an open plenary discussion on data, digitized culture and digital society took place as part of the interdisciplinary conference EVA 2019 and the Information Society and Technology Week. Experts in the field of Digital Humanities discussed new research projects and challenges. The event’s special guest was Lev Manovich, a theoretician of new media and digital culture and a professor of Computer Science at City University of New York.
It’s a beautiful June day in St. Petersburg, and a holiday on top! Here’re some of our favorite ways to spend a great day in the city.
In April, a group of ITMO students went to Germany for an exchange. Accompanied by their German peers, they went to several cities in Bavaria, explored the local universities, and visited modern laboratories that work in close collaboration with BMW and other major companies. Yulia Usikova, vice director of ITMO’s sports and recreation center Yagodnoye, and student Ekaterina Tkacheva expanded on their experience.
Could folktales be the key to predicting who shall sit on the Iron Throne? If dragons existed, would they be able to fly? And how would they breathe fire? Social anthropologist Daria Vasilyeva and ITMO University postdoc Oleh Ermakov discussed these topics as part of the pop-science talk show “Split by Atoms”, organized by the St. Petersburg Atomic Energy Information Center. CAUTION: this article contains spoilers.
20th century Russian literature is definitely a topic that’s hard to approach; it’s too vast, too complex, and too controversial for one meager article. Then again, we’re not doing some research that would’ve been interesting to a wannabe critic (which I hope you aren’t); rather than that, our intention is to give you a quick overview of the different strands of Russian 20th century prose so you can pick something to your liking. So, let’s take a look at what it’s about!
Is memeology a science? This was the question posed by Taras Sychev, an editor for the online news aggregator Lentach and a “memeologist”. On December 10, he gave a lecture at ITMO University, organized by the Center for Science Communication, during which he talked about the origin of memes, the history of Russian online culture and memeplexes. ITMO.NEWS provides a rundown of Mr. Sychev’s lecture.
Art is never boring. You just need to approach it right to fall under its spell. What you’ll be rewarded with is a whole new (but at the same time, wonderfully age-old) world of beauty, nuance, character, and history, as well as a potentially great new hobby and topic for small talk when the weather just doesn’t cut it anymore. How do I find that approach, you ask then? Here's how to make museum-going less of a yawn and more of a yay, through the example of Russia’s (no hard feelings) best museum, the State Hermitage.
Remember the Lord of War movie? I really liked the joke about suicide novelists being a Russian export on par with caviar and vodka, and only slightly losing to the ever popular Kalashnikovs. Suicide part aside, we are very proud of our literature, and you don’t get to really experience Russia unless you’ve read some. Still, there’s one thing that can discourage you from trying, and it’s the “notorious wordiness” of Russian authors – in fact, many school students get terrified by the mere prospect of having to read War and Peace as the book itself is something that you can kill with. For that reason, we’ve decided to come up with a quick overview – and give you some advice on the shorter titles to start with.