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Lectures in Art History: Joan Neuberger, University of Texas at Austin

Image still from Sergei Eisenstein's Bezhin Meadow (1937)

“The Music of Landscape: Sergei Eisenstein on Nature and Montage”

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Registration will end at 5 pm on January 20. A zoom link will be emailed to registrants 24 hours in advance of the lecture

The living forms of nature played a consistent, though unappreciated, role in all of Eisenstein’s creative work. From the hybrid human-animal sketches of his teens through his mature theory of polyphonic montage, he saw nature, not as something to be controlled, but as a source of individual liberation, a model for understanding film reception, and a blueprint for a utopian socialist collective. This presentation will examine his 1945 essay, “The Music of Landscape,” to show how immersion in nature offered Eisenstein new avenues for developing his ideas about self, art, radical politics, and the productive contradictions of montage.

Joan Neuberger is Professor of History at The University of Texas at Austin. She studies modern Russian culture in social and political context, with a focus on the politics of the arts. Her most recent publication is This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible in Stalin’s Russia (Cornell, 2019), which won the George L. Mosse Book Prize from the American Historical Association, and was shortlisted for the Pushkin House Book Prize and the Kraszna-Krausz Moving Image Book Award. In 2020, she received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Humanities Center to complete a book entitled Global Eisenstein: Immersion in Nature, Art, and the World.

Image credit: Image still from Sergei Eisenstein’s Bezhin Meadow (1937)

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