"Although obshchenie is an old cultural practice in Russia, during late socialism it became particularly intense and ubiquitous....and emerged as a new 'cult'."
* "[The] term has no adequate equivalent in English.... It is different from just 'hanging out' with friends, as used in the United States, because it involves an intense and intimate commonality and intersubjectivity, not just spending time in the company of others." (Alexei Yurchak, Everything was forever, until it was no more : the last Soviet generation, Princeton University Press, 2006)
We are here to share with our friends and significant others the enigmas of our Russian soul, shaped by an unprecedented social experiment in the long-extinct country of victorious socialism.
Everybody knows what Russian ballet or vodka are, but do you want to get a taste of what an informal intellectual social gathering would be?
We want to create a space, a circle open to all friends of Russian high culture and spirituality, regardless of their knowledge of the language.
Let us look together at the writers, philosophers, and movie directors who shaped our view of life under the regime of suppression and concealment that we were struggling to break through.
Please join us if you are interested in obshchenie.
This talk is about the history of science and technology:
The force of buoyancy was discovered by Archimedes in the third century BC. This force keeps boats and airships afloat. An inquiry into the principle of buoyancy produces results which are not only scientifically interesting but also historically intriguing. The specifics on how Archimedes solved Heron's golden crown problem are simple and yet have eluded almost two millenniums of published scientific thought. Archimedes has left no description on how he solved this problem, however 200 years following his death, Marcus Vitruvius takes upon himself to describe the procedure. Despite of being wrong, the Vitruvius' approach is still frequently used today. Galileo Galilei was the first to have noticed this error and has suggested a correct method with significant improvements.
The potluck dinner wit follow as usual, please bring your favorite dish:-)