Saint Petersburg, Russia

Leningrad at War: A City Speaks

Polina Barskova
Oct 24, 8 PM
Library Lecture Room
Free and open to the public

Over one million people—one third of Leningrad’s population—died of starvation, cold, and shelling during the wartime Siege of Leningrad, 1941–1944. To add to the daily food ration of 4.5 ounces of adulterated bread, the populace fed itself on what it could find: wallpaper glue, leather to chew on, dusty crumbs scavenged wherever possible. How did women, men, and children subjected to such catastrophic events relate to their cultural and physical environment? How did people make sense of such horrific circumstances and devise ways to sustain their spirits? Renowned poet and cultural studies scholar Polina Barskova, author of Besieged Leningrad: Aesthetic Responses to Urban Disaster (2017) and Associate Professor of Russian literature at Hampshire College, will share her insights on the glorious former Imperial Russian capital of St. Petersburg, as well as the realities and inner world of Leningraders under siege.

Supported by the Davis Fund for Russian Area Studies.