This talk attends to the main perceived cultural differences in definitions and expectations of friendship, focusing primarily on the speaker’s experience in America and in her home post-Soviet region. A selection of literary references provide helpful illustrative parallels.
Tanya Zaharchenko is a guest researcher in the Department of Literature at the University of Oslo. After completing a master’s in Russian and East European Studies at Oxford University, she worked at the United Nations Development Programme and the Children’s Defense Fund. She subsequently returned to academia and earned a PhD from the University of Cambridge in Slavonic Studies with the dissertation Where Currents Meet: Post-Soviet Fiction of Kharkiv, Ukraine (published in 2016). 2014–2015 she was a fellow at the Center for Historical Research at the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg and the following year was an Einstein Fellow of the Daimler and Benz Foundation and the Einstein Forum. She studies cultural memory, the relationship of identity and nation, and dissident movements. Her most recent publication is “Ninth Circle: Intellectuals as Traitors in the Russo-Ukrainian War,” which appeared in Collaborators and Deserters in Contemporary European Politics of Memory: Formulas of Betrayal (2017).