Svetlana Boym was a prolific writer, a charismatic professor, a novelist, and a public intellectual. She was also a fiercely resourceful and reflective immigrant; her most resonant book, The Future of Nostalgia, was deeply rooted in that experience. Even after The Future of Nostalgia carried her fame beyond academic circles, few readers were aware of all of her creative personas. She was simply too prolific, and her work migrated across most people’s disciplinary boundaries-from literary and cultural studies through film, visual, and material culture studies, performance, intermedia, and new media.
The Svetlana Boym Reader presents a comprehensive view of Boym’s singularly creative work in all its aspects. It includes Boym’s classic essays, carefully chosen excerpts from her five books, and journalistic gems. Showcasing her roles both as curator and curated, the reader includes interviews and excerpts from exhibition catalogues as well as samples of intermedial works like Hydrant Immigrants. It also features autobiographical pieces that shed light on the genealogy of her scholarly work and rarities like an excerpt from Boym’s first graduate school essay on Russian literature, complete with marginalia by her mentor, Donald Fanger. Last but not least, the reader includes late pieces that Boym did not live to see through publication, as well as transcripts of her memorable last lectures and performances.