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Colloquium by Kevin Platt, University of Pennsylvania: Modernism's Long Century



Kevin Platt, University of Pennsylvania


Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 5:15pm - 6:30pm


Building 260, Room 216



Colloquium by Kevin Platt, University of Pennsylvania: Modernism's Long Century

‘Modernism’s Long Century’

February 13, 2013: 5.15pm

Pigott Hall (Building 260), Room 216

During the 1980s and 1990s, scholars and cultural commentators from the left (TJ Clark, Peter Bürger) and from the right (Francis Fukuyama) converged in suggesting that modernism had come to its end—an end at times attributed to the failure of the modernist or avant-garde project, and at others figured as the triumph of a single project for modernity. Yet in the course of the past ten years, it has become clear that that "post-modernist moment" was an ideological-aesthetic blip. Across the globe, the end of the Cold War has been seen as initiating a form of historical experience that has not held sway since the early twentieth century. The character of this experience might be termed, with reference to the conceptual apparatus of Reinhart Kosseleck, a radically open horizon of future expectations. In Platt’s presentation, this commonality of temporal position will make possible a reencounter with the legacy of the European and Russian avant-garde and a cardinal revision of the long history and continued potential of modernism.

KEVIN M. F. PLATT is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Graduate Chair of the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Pennsyvania. He works on representations of Russian history, Russian historiography, and history and memory in Russia. Additionally, he frequently writes on Russian lyric poetry and on contemporary Russian culture in the Baltic. Platt received his B.A. from Amherst College and his Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is the author of Terror and Greatness: Ivan and Peter as Russian Myths (Cornell UP, 2011) and History in a Grotesque Key: Russian Literature and the Idea of Revolution (Stanford, 1997; Russian edition 2006), and the co-editor (with David Brandenberger) of Epic Revisionism: Russian History and Literature as Stalinist Propaganda (Wisconsin UP, 2006). His current projects include a critical historiography of Russia, a study of contemporary Russian culture in Latvia, and a number of translation projects.