Cornell University

Book Talk: We Modern People

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 4:30pm

Olin Library, 106G
Olin Library, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

By visualizing what could be, science fiction not only influenced the understanding of modernity in Russia, but also shaped actual processes of modernization. Through technological advances in the West and a revolution in Russian print media between the 1890's and 1920's, science fiction rapidly became the platform on which writers and artists, scientists and engineers, philosophers and policymakers imagined and debated the future.

Join us for an Olin Library Chats in the Stacks book talk with Anindita Banerjee, associate professor of comparative literature. Her book We Modern People: Science Fiction and the Making of Russian Modernity (Wesleyan University Press, January 2013) won the 2013 Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Book Prize. We Modern People investigates why science fiction appeared in Russia, before the genre had even been named, and what it meant for Russian society. The book offers a new critical perspective on the relationship between science, technology, the fictional imagination, and the consciousness of being modern, and has been reviewed in Science magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Times Higher Education supplement.

Anindita Banerjee is a member of the Institute for European Studies, the South Asia Program, and the Visual Studies Program, and a fellow of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell. Her research explores the interfaces between techno-scientific, cultural, and social imaginations across Russia, Eurasia, and the Indian subcontinent. She is particularly interested in science fictional literature and media, which play a crucial role in negotiating trans-local practices and global understandings of modernity.

Light refreshments will be available throughout the event, and books will be available for purchase and signing.

Event Type

Author Appearance


Cornell University Library, Olin Library, Sustainability


cascal, Cornell University Library, CUL, book talk, olin library



Free and open to all

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Lynn Bertoia

Contact Phone



Anindita Banerjee

Speaker Affiliation

Department of Comparative Literature

Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity