The Psychology, Geography, and Architecture of Horror: How Places Creep Us Out

Why do some types of settings and some combinations of sensory information induce a sense of dread in humans? This article brings empirical evidence from psychological research to bear on the experience of horror, and explains why the tried-and-true horror devices intuitively employed by writers and filmmakers work so well. Natural selection has favored individuals who gravitated toward environments containing the “right” physical and psychological features and avoided those which posed a threat. Places that contain a bad mix of these features induce unpleasant feelings of dread and fear, and therefore have become important ingredients of the settings for horror fiction and films. This article applies McAndrew and Koehnke’s (2016) theory of creepiness to the study of classic horror settings and explores the role played by architecture, isolation, association with death, and other environmental qualities in the experience of creepiness and dread.

Read More
Fall Reading List: New Fiction and Memoir

Fall is officially in full swing. The weather is getting cooler and it’s about time to stay inside with a good book! This fall, we’re very pleased to supplement our scholarly publishing program with a strong list of exciting general interest books. Check out our Fall Reading List below, featuring several new and forthcoming books: a rare translation of Uzbek literature into English, a collection of contemporary Russian short stories, a translation of an award-winning memoir, and more.

Read More
An Interview with Luba Jurgenson and Meredith Sopher, Author and Translator of Where There Is Danger

In Where There Is Danger (originally published Au lieu du péril, Verdier, 2014), Jurgenson meditates on what it means to live between two languages—in this case, her native Russian and adopted French. Earlier this month, we released a Fall 2019 Literature in Translation Sampler featuring an excerpt from Where There Is Danger (download it here). Today we bring you an interview with Luba Jurgenson and Meredith Sopher exploring the ins and outs of bilingualism, the process of translating the book, and more!

Read More
The changing character of antisemitism

The changing character of antisemitism and the changing motivations behind it have made it notoriously difficult to define and categorize, although today we have the benefit of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, which recognizes the continuities between the “old antisemitism” and “contemporary antisemitism” in the form of certain, although not all, criticism of Israel.

Read More
National Translation Month 2019: Featured Literature in Translation from Azerbaijan, France, Russia, and Uzbekistan

Happy National Translation Month! We’re celebrating all month on the blog—earlier this week, we published a guest post from translator Christopher Fort on the legacy of Uzbek writer Abdulhamid Sulaymon o’g’li Cho’lpon and his unfinished dilogy Night and Day.

Today, we’ve put together a sampler full of excerpts from four novels, a memoir, a book of essays, and a collection of short stories, translated from Russian, French, and Uzbek.

Read More
Uzbek author Cho’lpon’s Equivocal Legacy and Its Importance in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan

Stalinism undoubtedly robbed the Uzbek people and the world of an incredible talent at a young age—Cho’lpon was most likely 41 when Stalin’s secret police, the NKVD, took his life—but it is because of Stalinism and Cho’lpon’s erasure from Soviet Uzbek life that the author is so interesting and enigmatic a figure today. The absence of information about his life and his oeuvre echoes across history and continues to affect how Uzbek audiences relate to the author. This absence provides opportunities for individuals to offer differentiated and heterogenous interpretations of the author’s biography, his art, and consequently, Uzbekistan’s past, present, and future.

Read More
PRESS RELEASE: Academic Studies Press and De Gruyter enter partnership

“We are looking forward to working with De Gruyter to increase access to the scholarship that we publish – especially outside of the US, and we are pleased to be part of yet a further initiative that confirms that smaller and medium-sized publishers can cooperate in the face of a rapidly changing publishing landscape,” said Igor Nemirovsky, Director & Publisher, Academic Studies Press.

Read More
The Most Significant Russian Films of the Last Decade

Rimgaila Salys has just published The Contemporary Russian Cinema Reader: 2005-2016, an update to her two-volume Russian Cinema Reader. This new volume surveys the most significant modern Russian films of 2005-2016. Designed to supplement undergraduate courses in Russian film and culture, the reader draws on seventeen films, all available with English subtitles. Some are freely available online.

Read More