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Intellectual collaborations thrive in environments where ideas are shared, freely and respectfully, among people representing different backgrounds and perspectives. This is why the Neubauer Collegium regularly opens its inquiries and conversations to the public.

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Gulmira’s Fairy Tales

Still from Gulmira's Fairy Tales, 2022. Courtesy the artist and Dianne Beal.
Film Screening

Gulmira’s Fairy Tales

This event features a film screening and artist talk with Gluklya.

"In 2020, I was invited to participate in the research laboratory Space 1520, organized by the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, which focused on Soviet and post-Soviet colonialism. I was at this point already concerned with the issue of exploitation of women working in the textile and fashion industries. During my research with Space 1520, I discovered Kyrgyzstan as a country with one of the largest textile industries, sewing garments for export mainly to Russia. So, I travelled there and finally saw the conditions of seamstresses with my own eyes. This profoundly changed my view of reality.

The video shows the performance of actress Gulmira Tursunbaeva, who plays the role of a TV host telling feminist fairy tales as the video cuts to scenes of dance and street performance. The stories in this film are based on my interviews with the Bishkek seamstresses, material from the human rights organizations Open Line and information about female workers in the USSR from the Moscow archives. The neoliberal structure of the market places responsibility of the working day on the individual. There is no control to limit the working hours as it was during the Soviet era, where seamstresses were coming in at 8 am and leaving at 5 pm. The garment workers become like machines, filled with concern for producing as much as possible, since it is the amount of production that determines the amount of money they will be paid."

Gulmira's Fairy Tales
, 2022. HD 16x9; full color; with sound stereo; 37:38 length.


Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskay, known as Gluklya, resides and works in Amsterdam. She emerged as a significant figure in contemporary art after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Her diverse body of work includes installations, textile sculptures, texts, videos, watercolors, performances, workshops, political demonstrations, visual poetry and conceptual clothing.

This event has been organized by the Costumes and Collapse research project at the Neubauer Collegium. Co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature, the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS), the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago.

Logan Center for the Arts, Screening Room 201

Culture and Catastrophe in Modern Europe


Culture and Catastrophe in Modern Europe

This interdisciplinary workshop will look at how cultural expressions have responded to catastrophic events in modern European history.

Please note: This workshop is closed to the public, for invited guests only.

In the history of modern Europe, episodes of catastrophe have often produced arguments for the importance of the arts, literature, and other forms of cultural expression. This history of cultural work includes periods of enormous creativity in circumstances of great constraint. It also includes acts of cultural supremacy with devastating consequence. This interdisciplinary workshop will explore the links between culture and catastrophe, questioning how cultural expressions have responded to catastrophic events in modern European history. Are cultural practices primarily a salve in such moments? Or have they been capable of prolonging, even provoking disasters? The workshop will be attentive to the relevance of these questions to our present moment, using historical examples to analyze the relationship between calamity and cultural production in the twenty-first century.


Jennifer Allen, Yale University
Jeremy Best
, Iowa State University
Jonathon Catlin
, University of Rochester
Susan A. Crane
, University of Arizona
Jonida Gashi
, Academy of Albanian Studies
Michael Geyer
, University of Chicago
Alice Goff
, University of Chicago
Andrew Hennlich
, Western Michigan University
Kasia Jesżowska
, University of New South Wales
Yuliya Komska
, Dartmouth University
Emma Kuby
, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Philipp Lehmann
, University of California Riverside
Nisrine Rahal
, Wake Forest University
Jonah Siegel
, Rutgers University
Kira Thurman
, University of Michigan
Christoph Weber
, University of North Texas
Christopher Williams-Wynn
, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz

Neubauer Collegium

AI: What If We Succeed?

Stuart Russell head shot
Director's Lecture

AI: What If We Succeed?

At this Director's Lecture, Stuart Russell will consider the possibility of developing a new kind of AI that is more beneficial to humans.

The media are agog with claims that recent advances in AI put artificial general intelligence (AGI) within reach. Is this true? If so, is that a good thing? Alan Turing predicted that AGI would result in the machines taking control. At this lecture, presented as part of the Neubauer Collegium Director's Lecture series, Stuart Russell will argue that Turing was right to express concern but wrong to think that doom is inevitable. Instead, we need to develop a new kind of AI that is provably beneficial to humans. Unfortunately, we are heading in the opposite direction.

Following his talk, Russell will be joined in conversation with Rebecca Willett, Professor of Statistics and Computer Science at the University of Chicago and Faculty Director of AI at the Data Science Institute.

About the Speaker

Stuart Russell is Professor (and formerly Chair) of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and holder of the Smith-Zadeh Chair in Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is co-chair of the World Economic Forum Council on AI and the OECD Expert Group on AI Futures, and he is a US representative to the Global Partnership on AI. His research covers a wide range of topics in artificial intelligence including machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, real-time decision making, multi-target tracking, computer vision, computational physiology, global seismic monitoring, and philosophical foundations. His textbook Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (with Peter Norvig) is used in over 1,500 universities in 135 countries. His current concerns include the threat of autonomous weapons and the long-term future of artificial intelligence and its relation to humanity. The latter topic is the subject of his book Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control.

The Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures