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Iva Glisic

Iva Glisic

Iva Glisic is a historian of modern Russia, Italy, and the Balkans. She is the author of The Futurist Files: Avant-Garde, Politics, and Ideology in Russia, 19051930 (Northern Illinois University Press, 2018). Iva was a researcher at the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and an Honorary Visiting Fellow of the School of History at the Australian National University.

Iva Glisic reviews 'Red Closet: The hidden history of gay oppression in the USSR' by Rustam Alexander

June 2023, no. 454 24 May 2023
In July 1986, at the onset of the Glasnost era, a program featuring a discussion between American and Soviet women on a range of contemporary issues was broadcast on Soviet television. Reflecting on the prevalence of sex in US popular culture, an American participant asked her Soviet collocutors whether this was also the case in their country. The response was curt: ‘There is no sex in the USSR. ... (read more)

‘The Milk of Dreams: The return of the Venice Biennale’ by Iva Glisic

ABR Arts 07 June 2022
The 59th Venice Art Biennale is an invitation to imagine. After the pandemic caused the event to be postponed for just the third time in its 127-year history (the other two instances being the two world wars), there was hope at the beginning of the year that this would be ‘the Biennale of rebirth’, marking a return to some kind of normal. Amid widespread global crisis, this could easily be dis ... (read more)

Iva Glisic reviews 'Internationalist Aesthetics: China and early Soviet culture' by Edward Tyerman

June 2022, no. 443 25 May 2022
‘We are drawn to this China, even though we still do not know China,’ wrote Soviet avant-garde writer and theorist Sergei Tretyakov in 1925. ‘But we must get to know China, we must get to know it well, and we must get to know it quickly.’ Tretyakov’s call was underpinned by a real sense of political urgency: the failure of socialist revolutions across Europe had prompted a Soviet pivot t ... (read more)

Iva Glisic reviews 'Stalin’s Library: A dictator and his books' by Geoffrey Roberts

April 2022, no. 441 23 March 2022
The books we read and collect can provide telling insight into our lives. Indeed, bookshelves often draw the immediate attention of our guests, who seek to discern clues about us from the titles that we have accumulated. With Stalin’s Library: A dictator and his books, Geoffrey Roberts takes on the role of a curious visitor perusing the impressive library of Joseph Stalin (1878–1953), who, as ... (read more)

Iva Glisic reviews 'The Other Side of Absence: Discovering my father’s secrets' by Betty O’Neill

November 2020, no. 426 22 October 2020
The realisation that our parents are not exactly who we understood them to be can be a profound rite of passage. For some it comes with no forewarning: a random event leads to an accidental disclosure, or substantiates an old rumour. For others this realisation takes shape in a less acute though no less transformative manner. With The Other Side of Absence: Discovering my father’s secrets, Betty ... (read more)

Iva Glisic reviews 'The Great Cauldron: A history of southeastern Europe' by Marie-Janine Calic, translated by Elizabeth Janik

October 2019, no. 415 25 September 2019
South-eastern Europe is a region defined by ambiguity: with few clear geographic boundaries or consensus over its correct appellation, it is a palimpsest bearing the marks of Balkan, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman, and central European cultures. As the identities of the region’s inhabitants have shifted across the centuries, their position within the European imagination has never quite set ... (read more)

A Window on Italy – The Corsini Collection: Masterpieces from Florence (Art Gallery of Western Australia)

ABR Arts 26 February 2018
The final week of February in Australia means, among other things, that another summer is almost over. Yet in contrast to the fleeting nature of lived experience, a new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia calls attention to the enduring power of art to capture and convey human passions, fears, and values. A Window on Italy – The Corsini Collection: Masterpieces from Florence is a ... (read more)

Iva Glisic reviews 'Who Lost Russia?: How the world entered a new Cold War' by Peter Conradi

August 2017, no. 393 26 July 2017
Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency has redefined many features of US politics, not the least of which has been the nation’s relationship with its former Cold War nemesis. ‘Wouldn’t it be nice,’ Trump asked while campaigning, ‘if we actually got along with Russia?’  This call for stronger Russian–American relations should have been unremarkable, particularly as it echoed a desi ... (read more)