The Subversive Pedagogy of Belgrade Surrealism -- Aleksandar Bošković and Ansley Morse present "The Fine Feats of the Five Cockerels Gang"


Friday February 10, 2023

4:30 PM – 6:00

Classics Room 110

The Subversive Pedagogy of Belgrade Surrealism


Aleksandar Bošković and Ansley Morse will present their collaborative work on translation and critical edition of The Fine Feats of the Five Cockerels Gang: A Yugoslav Marxist-Surrealist Epic Poem for Children, authored by Aleksander Vučo and accompanied by Dušan Matić’s photo collage illustrations and captions (Brill, 2022). The poem tracks the adventures of five scrappy, resourceful working-class boys who endeavor to free an equally plucky girl from the evil clutches of a convent school (and its fearsome nuns). The co-editors will discuss the historical context within which The Fine Feats came into being (originally published in 1933) along with the surrealist concepts it employs, in order to unpack the latent meanings and emancipatory potential of this societally meaningful pedagogical project. They will also read excerpts from the book and talk about the process of translation.


 Aleksandar Bošković teaches in the Slavic Department at Columbia University and specializes in avant-garde literature and experimental art practices explored through the lenses of comparative media. He is the author of The Poetic Humor in Vasko Pope’s Oeuvre (2008), and co-editor of The Fine Feats of ‘Five Cockerel’s Gang’ with Ainsley Morse (Brill, 2022) and Zenithism: A Yugoslav Avant-Garde Anthology with Steven Teref (forthcoming at ASP). His articles have appeared in scholarly journals (Apparatus, Cultural Critique, Digital Icons, Književna istorija, Russian Review, SEEJ, Slavic Review) as well as in various edited collections. He is the recipient of several grants and fellowships, including Collegium de Lyon Fellowship (2019-2020).


Ansley Morse teaches in the Russian Department at Dartmouth College and is a translator of Russian, Ukrainian, and former Yugoslav literatures. Her research focuses on the literature and culture of the post-war Soviet period, particularly unofficial or “underground” poetry, as well as the avant-garde, children’s literature and contemporary poetry. In addition to The Fine Feats, other recent publications include the monograph World Play: Experimental Poetry and Soviet Children’s Literature (Northwestern UP, 2021), as well as Permanent Evolution, a collection of theoretical essays by the Formalist critic Yuri Tynianov (ASP; edited and translated with Philip Redko), and the anthology F-Letter: New Russian Feminist Poetry (isolarii, 2020, co-edited with Galina Rymbu and Eugene Ostashevsky).