Central and East European Program Lecture Series 2020 -2021
Picturing the Page: Illustrated Children’s Reading and Literature Under Lenin and Stalin
Dr. Megan Swift, Associate Professor, Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of Victoria
Moderator: Dr. Elena Baraban, Associate Professor of Russian, German and Slavic Studies, University of Manitoba
Based on sources from rare book libraries in Russia and around the world, Picturing the Page offers a vivid exploration of illustrated children’s literature and reading under Lenin and Stalin -a period when mass publishing for children and universal public education became available for the first time in Russia. By analyzing the illustrations in fairy tales, classic “adult” literature reformatted for children, and wartime picture books, Megan Swift elucidates the vital and multifaceted function of illustrated children’s literature in repurposing the past. Picturing the Page demonstrates that while the texts of the past remained fixed, illustrations could slip between the pages to mediate and annotate that past, as well as connect with anti-religious, patriotic, and other campaigns that were central for Soviet children’s culture after the 1917 Revolution.
Short bio: Dr. Megan Swift is an Associate Professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Victoria. Her book Picturing the Page: Illustrated Children’s Literature and Reading under Lenin and Stalin was published by University of Toronto Press in 2020 and her edited volume on memorialization of the 1917 revolution, Revolutionary Aftereffects: Material, Social and Cultural Legacies of 1917 in Russia Today, is forthcoming, also with University of Toronto Press. Megan was the winner of the University of Victoria’s REACH award for research-inspired teaching in 2019 and is currently a faculty fellow at Uvic’sCenter for Global Studies.
Sponsored by: German and Slavic Studies Department, Central and East European Studies Program (University of Manitoba, Canada); University of Toronto Press