April 13, 2018
On April 9, Center for Global Humanities Research Fellow George Young, Ph.D., led a discussion on Russian Cosmism at the Harvard Divinity School’s Center for the Study of World Religions.
Young’s presentation, titled “Russian Cosmism: Traditional Religion as Futuristic Science,” explored the evolution and reach of a movement that emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a tendency in Russian thought to view traditional Russian Orthodox Christianity as a futuristic task of social activism and scientific technology.
This latest appearance follows several other recent publications and lectures by Young, who joined UNE several years ago as an adjunct faculty member in the English Department and currently serves as a research fellow in the Center for Global Humanities.
Young contributed an essay titled “Russian Cosmism: Evolving into Space” to Posthumanism: The Future of Homo Sapiens, which was recently published by Macmillan Reference USA. He also celebrated the release of a new Italian edition of his Oxford University book The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Federov and His Followers, which garnered several reviews.
“George is a tremendous ambassador for the Center for Global Humanities,” said UNE Vice President for Global Affairs and Founding Director of the Center for Global Humanities Anouar Majid, Ph.D. “His vast knowledge of Russian and Slavic studies, as well as his expertise in art, have been a huge asset to our Center. He represents the humanities at their best.”
Last fall, Young also presented a paper at a conference on Cosmism in Lyon, France. He will return to France in June to present another paper in Lyon. Both works are slated for publication in a special issue of Slavic Occitania this fall.
Young received a B.A. in English from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale University. He joined UNE after teaching Russian language and literature at Grinnell College and Dartmouth Colleges from 1965 to 1978. He and his wife Pat are regular attendees at Center for Global Humanities lecture series events on the UNE Portland Campus.