The Body in Eastern European and Russian Cinema

Conference exploring bodies, affects and sensations in Eastern European and Russian films


21-22 June
University of Greenwich
Queen Anne Building
London SE10 9LS
FREE but booking essential at

Keynote presentations:  

Nebojsa Jovanovic, Department of Gender Studies, Central European University and Freelance Researcher, Sarajevo: Contesting the cinematic "totalitarian body": A case of Yugoslav cinema in socialism

Elzbieta Ostrowska, University of Alberta, Canada: title tbc

Emma Widdis, Department of Slavonic Studies, University of Cambridge: Silence, Sensation and the New Soviet Self in Early Sound Cinema

Deleuzian Bodies

Renata Sukaityte, Faculty of Communication, Vilnius University, Lithuania: Non-functional bodies and the mise-en-scene of desire in Kristina Buozyte’s films Collectress and Vanishing Waves
Elzbieta Buslowska, University of the Arts, London: ‘Give me a body then’ - Bela Tarr’s world of non-Human becoming
Calum Watt, Film Studies, King’s College London: Bela Tarr’s disastrous bodies  

Star Bodies
Andrea Virginas, Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Romania: Female stars, men’s films? Romanian films from the 2000s
Paulina Kwiatkowska, Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw, Poland: Actress, figure and character - Lucynna Winnicka in Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s and Grzegorz Krolikiewicz’s films  

Body, Affect, Senses
Malgorzata Bugaj, University of Edinburgh: Exploration of the body in Gyorgy Palfi’s Taxidermia
Agnes Petho, Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Romania: The ‘chemistry’ of art(ifice) and life: embodied paintings in East European cinema
Olena Dmytryk, Faculty of Geography, University of Cambridge:Haptic heteronormativity? Embodiment in Soviet cinema of the 1960s-1970s
Nicholas Reyland, Music and Film Studies, Keele University: From rupture to rapture: Kieslowski’s musical bodies  

Bodies at the end of Communism
Izabela Kalinowska-Blackwood, Stony Brook University: Striptease and the end of Communism
Mari Laaniste, Estonian Literary Museum and Academy of Arts: A shape of one’s own: the identity issues reflected in Priit Parn’s drawn bodies
Paulina Gorlewska, Institute of Audiovisual Arts, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland: The rotten relic: Stalin’s bodily presence on the screen  

Embodying the Czechoslovak New Wave
Anna Koch, University of Oxford: The face of the body in Jan Nemec
Grazyna Swietochowska, Culture Studies Department, University of Gdansk, Poland: The everyday body and the ceremonial body in the Czechoslovak New Wave
Susanne Sklepek-Hatton, Department of History, University of Nottingham: Decomposing/negating the public female body: analyzing Chytilova’s Daisies (1966) and Panelstory (1979)   

Body and Female Agency
Alissa Timoshkina, Film Studies, King’s College London: ‘I am an Ox, I am a Horse, I am a Woman, I am a Man’: Female body and Soviet history in The Commissar
Elma Porobic, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, Croatia:Bodies that speak: finding voice in Begic’s Snow and Zbanic’s Grbavica
Anna Batori, University of Glasgow: The representation of female bodies in Mungiu’s 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days      

Soviet Bodies
Zoe Aiano, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universitat in Berlin, Germany: The Body Politic and the Body Electric: Man and the Machine in the work of Dziga Vertov
Andrea Matosevic, Centre for Cultural and Historical Research of Socialism, Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Croatia: From enthusiasm to oblivion: imagining shock workers through documentary and feature movies Srdan Atanasovski, Institute of Musicology SASA, Beograd, Serbia, and Ana Petrov, The Archives of Serbia: The body, land, and sound of Socialist Yugoslavia: voluntary youth labour actions on the screen   

War Bodies
Ira Osterberg, University of Helsinki, Finland: The War Veteran genre and the body of the hero in Aleksei Balabanov’s Brother (Brat, 1997) 
Alisa Voznaya, University of Oxford, and Olesya Khromeychuk, University of Cambridge: The female body in ‘male wars’: representation of Ukrainian and Chechen women in the context of war  

Vulnerable Bodies in Contemporary Film
Lorant Stohr, University of Theatre and Film Art, Budapest, Hungary: Conflicting forces: bodies in Kornél Mundruczó's films 
Hajnal Kiraly, Centre for Comparative Studies, University of Lisbon, Portugal: Leave to live: Bodies as ‘spaces-in-between’ in contemporary Hungarian and Romanian cinema
Ilona Hongisto, Department of Media Studies, University of Turku, Finland: Vulnerable bodies, consolidating frames: documentary cinema on North Eastern Europe 1990-2010  

Bodies and National Trajectories
Marija Katalanic, Institute for Historic Cultural Research, Humboldt University, Berlin: Looking at the female body in Croatian film as an attempt to understand Croatia’s view on nationhood
Adriana Stefanel, University of Bucharest, and Andreea Toma, University of Bucharest, Romania: The female body in Romanian cinema: a longitudinal analysis Metin
Cavus, Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey: The struggling post-Communist body as a primary site of conflict  

Conference themes:    

In recent decades, much attention has been paid to theories revolving around the body, the senses, and affect in cultural studies in general, and film studies in particular. After what Brian Massumi has referred to as the ‘waning of grand narratives’, and the loss of confidence in previously established categories of inquiry, there has been a growing feeling in media and film theory that the body and the senses are central to an understanding of our culture. Ideas around the body, affect and sensation do not, however, provide theorists with a new stability; rather, these aspects are configured as fluctuating entities and unfinished projects.  

While much research has been conducted within film studies into the representation of the body in Western European cinema, much less attention has been paid to bodies, affects and sensations in Eastern European and Russian film. Eastern European and Russian cinema provides exceptionally fertile ground for research into the body, due to its preoccupation with topics such as war trauma, the Holocaust, migration, exploitation, sex work, rape, abortion, memory, as well as the ideal Soviet bodies propagated under the regions’ Communist regimes and the dissident bodies and affects that challenged them. The purpose of this conference is to showcase and exchange views on the role of body, the senses and affect in Eastern European and Russian cinema, both in its specificity and in its similarity to the types of bodies and affects found in other international film cultures.  

Polish Cultural Institute
Copyrights © 2009-2019 Polish Cultural Institute. All rights reserved