Dyson Seminars in the Humanities & Social Sciences
Spring 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019
12:10pm - 1:10pm
Room W610, One Pace Plaza, New York City

Speakers: Iride Lamartina-Lens, Susan Berardini, Modern Languages and Cultures, Eugene Richie, English, and Alex Muino '19, Modern Languages and Cultures and Peace and Justice Studies, Pace University.

Book: Women Staging Women


WOMEN STAGING WOMEN (Estreno Plays vol. 41, 2018), coedited by Iride Lamartina-Lens and Susan Berardini, includes the collaboration of Professor Eugene Richie, English and Alex Muino '19, Modern Languages and Cultures and Peace and Justice Studies. The two plays in this volume were written by and about exceptional women who have impacted our literary and spiritual worlds.  The Glass Ceiling by Laura Rubio Galletero (b. 1979, Barcelona), translated by Rachel Toogood, centers on two twentieth century American poets, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, and their complicated relationship with one another as well as with their artistic craft. The Glass Ceiling was first staged in 2016 in Madrid by La Pitbull Theater Company under the direction of Cecilia Geijo. Amma's Hug by Yolanda Dorado (b. 1969, Cordoba), translated by Eugene Richie and Alex Muino, is based on the real life of Indian humanitarian and spiritual leader, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma). The play focuses on authentic human connections and reminds us that a single act of kindness can indeed change hearts and minds. It was part of the 365 Women a Year: A Playwrighting Project (2015), and it received a dramatic reading in Madrid (2015) under the direction of Vicenta Ndongo.

The book presentation will feature dramatic readings of selected scenes from each play.


Monday, April 8, 2019
12:10pm - 1:10pm
Room W608, One Pace Plaza, New York City

Speaker: Johannes Remy, Visiting Assistant Professor, Columbia University

Paper: The Russian Empire and the Non-Dominant Ethnic Groups of its Western Borderlands

About the Speaker:

Professor Johannes Remy received his PhD from the University of Helsinki, Finland (2000). He taught at the same university until his immigration to Canada in 2009. He has taught at several Canadian universities, including York University in Toronto and Carleton University in Ottawa. In 2015-16 he was Postdoctoral Research Fellow at College of Europe Natolin (Warsaw, Poland). His recent book Brothers or Enemies: the Ukrainian National Movement and Russia from the 1840s to the 1870s (University of Toronto Press 2016) won the Canadian Association for Ukrainian Studies Book Prize and the Ivan Franko International Prize in Ukraine, both in 2018.


The ethnic groups of the western borderlands that the Russian empire acquired in 1654-1815 can roughly be divided into two categories. In the beginning of the 19th century, Swedes, Germans, and Poles had their own nobility and well-developed literary high culture, while Finns, Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians had neither. Ukrainians were a non-dominant group on the Polish-dominated Right Bank of the Dnieper river, while on the Left Bank they had their nobility that was only beginning to develop literary culture in vernacular. The imperial policies regarding the non-dominant groups varied across time and lands. Sometimes, the imperial politicians wanted to support the non-dominant groups that were perceived as more harmless than the dominant ones. However, the adherence to traditional social structures and the strive to disseminate Russian language and culture prevented the government from applying such policies consistently.