January 2024 Newsletter


Dear Readers and Authors,

We wish you all a Happy New Year!

We began 2023 lamenting Russia’s war against Ukraine, and we must start 2024 the same way. Last year we worked hard to provide an unbiased scholarly forum dedicated to promoting the free and civil exchange of knowledge and ideas about film, media, and digital cultures in central and eastern Europe. We dedicate ourselves to this goal in 2024 and beyond.


We published two new issues in 2023: 

No. 16: “The Haunted Medium II: Moving Images in the Russian Empire”

Edited by Rachel Morley, Natascha Drubek, Oksana Chefranova, and Denise J. Youngblood

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17892/app.2023.00016 

This issue, the second of two parts (The Haunted Medium I may be found here), features articles seeking to reconfigure the topography of cinema at the end of the Russian Empire and to interrogate the routine assignment of ‘Russian’ nationality to prominent producers, directors, screenwriters, actors—ignoring frequently complex biographies.

The issue opens with the editors’ introduction, “Haunted by Empire: Decentring ‘Early Russian Cinema’”, and a comprehensive bibliography on early moving images in the Russian Empire that is still a work in progress. All authors and other experts are invited to collaborate and add references for other publications. Please suggest relevant additional sources in a comment, ensuring that you give the references in the format prescribed for bibliography entries in the Apparatus style guide.) In the same file, we also have started a common filmography grouped by pre-revolutionary studios which is still very rudimentary – a nice job for an intern who would like to practise their transliteration skills.  

The Haunted Medium II features five articles by Clea Wanner, Vera Ustiugova, Stasya Korotkova, Anastasia Kostina, Anna Tropnikova, and two Groundworks pieces by Volodymyr Myslavskyi and Ekaterina Artemeva and Maria Nesterenko. The issue also includes a Book Lab by Ilmira Bolotyan and E. Susanna Weygandt on a 2015 exhibition of feminist art in Moscow, P. Stuart Robinson’s article on Captain Volkonogov Escaped, as well as Zbyněk Tarant’s research on antisemitic trends in Czech websites. Additionally, the issue includes an interview with Oksana Bulgakowa and Vladimir Paperny, four book reviews by Alesha Serada, Yuri Leving, Asja Makarevic, Peter Kenez, and one report on the conference “Cinéfemmes: Women’s Cinema of the 21st Century” (Hagen 2023) by Sebastian Cwiklinski.

No. 17: “Decolonising the (Post-) Soviet Screen I”

Edited by Heleen Gerritsen with the assistance of Lukas M. Dominik

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17892/app.2023.00017 

Drawn from the exciting offerings at the 2023 goEast symposium and beyond, the first part of the double issue features Heleen Gerritsen’s editorialAnisa Sabiri’s essay on Central Asian cinema, five articles on the cinema from Central Asia, Ukraine, Sakha, and Kabardino-Balkaria – by Assiya Issemberdiyeva, Adelaide McGinity-Peebles/Natalya Khokholova, Kseniia Bespalova, Serhii Ksaverov, and Serian Carlyle, as well as one Groundworks piece on Estonian animation by Andreas Trossek, plus two book reviews by Ivana Medić and Serguei A. Oushakine, as well as two conference reports: “Doing Women’s Film and Television History” (Sussex 2023) by Arielle Woods and “The cinema of Andrei Zviagintsev” (St. Denis 2023) by François Goglin.

Departures and Arrivals in 2023

We bid farewell to our review editor, Evgeniia Trufanova (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), with sincere thanks for her contributions.  

We are currently searching for new team members and welcome nominations (including self-nominations), which should be sent to Natascha Drubek. For details, see below.* 

We also welcomed Adelheid Heftberger (Head of Film Access at the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, Germany, and a former editor at Apparatus) to the editorial board. Adelheid has been a key supporter of this journal since its inception. 

Profile:  Introducing Denise J. Youngblood

This is the second in a series of profiles introducing Apparatus team members.

Denise J. Youngblood, Professor of History Emerita at the University of Vermont (USA), joined the Apparatus collective as associate editor in 2020. She brings to this role her extensive background in the history of Eastern Europe and Russian Empire/USSR/Russian Federation, as well as her broad knowledge of the cinemas of these regions. 

Denise has had long experience as an editor, starting during her PhD program at Stanford University, where she served as a copy editor for the Russian Review. She has also been the editor of the AAASS Newsletter (now ASEEES Newsnet), film review editor for the Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, and book review editor for the Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television and Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema. She is the author of seven books and numerous articles on the history of Russian and Soviet cinema, focusing on the popular films of the silent era, war and Cold War films, history on film, and Soviet-American cinematic relations.  Denise is a frequent reviewer of manuscripts, proposals, and books for a variety of scholarly publishers, granting agencies, and reviewers.

Denise values her involvement with Apparatus introducing her to a vast spectrum of engaging and innovative scholarship. She is diligently working to decolonise her mind, which was initially formed during an intense period of the Cold War and further refined during her dissertation research in Moscow, where she was affiliated with VGIK. Acknowledging her ongoing intellectual journey, she states that her “reeducation is a work-in-progress”.

Apparatus’ Commitment to Open Access Publication

Unlike most scholarly journals, Apparatus is published entirely in Open Access, without a paywall. Our journal is free to readers, but that does not mean it is free of production costs.  These costs are covered by grants, institutional subsidies, contributions and also by the modest Article Processing Charge (APC), which partially covers the high costs of producing articles, especially those with images. For more information, check out our ‘Submission Preparation Checklist’. Under certain circumstances, the APC can be waived (with application to the editor-in-chief, Natascha Drubek). We also offer an Apparatus Community Contribution (ACC)  programme for APC waivers.

We would ask all authors to include references from Apparatus publications into Wikidata and Wikipedia, in the language you are at home in!

Plans for 2024

While we are currently working on the second part of the special issue “Decolonising the (post-)Soviet Screen II”, we are always interested in reader and author comments and ideas for future issues. These may be posted on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/apparatusjournal) or emailed to us at journalapparatus@gmail.com. Follow us on X @ApparatusJourn


Apparatus and Apparatus Press (by DiGZ e.V.) are seeking new talents in book publishing, social media, and IT.

Application Deadline: 31 January 2024

Join our community and become part of our open-access publishing movement!

About Us:

DiGZ e.V., short for "Digitalen Zugang zu Wissen demokratisch gestalten e.V.," is a Berlin-based non-profit organisation dedicated to global Open Access publishing without paywalls. We are growing and expanding our reach! Both our journal, Apparatus, and Apparatus Press are initiatives by DiGZ e.V. Apparatus primarily focuses on Central and Eastern Europe, while Apparatus Press transcends geographical barriers. Learn more about us in our Facebook group, and stay tuned for our upcoming website, CampusDIGZ.

Opportunities Available:

We are seeking two highly motivated team members: a volunteer/intern for the editorial team at the Apparatus journal and an ambitious collaborator to drive the development of our independent academic book publishing division, Apparatus Press, across both digital and print formats. These roles may entail overlapping responsibilities within both journal and book publishing, and we warmly welcome your inventive and forward-thinking ideas.

You could be involved in

  • Working with Manifold Scholar (including Open Peer Review)
  • Managing our new WordPress website
  •  Visual design and production
  • Managing and editing our Vimeo Channel
  • Creating book galleys and assisting with book production processes
  • Creating experimental book formats
  • Developing strategies for Open Access publications
  • Overseeing digital and Print-on-Demand distribution
  • Managing content, submission schedules, and publication processes
  • Conducting plagiarism checks
  • Overseeing social media management and strategy
  • Digital typesetting with Czichold (Transpect converter).

(CSS experience is advantageous.)

Candidate Profile:

Ideally, we are seeking two people: Firstly, a reliable and creative person who is interested in digital and print publishing within the Open Access framework, and someone who is enthusiastic about making a significant impact in the realm of independent academic book publishing. Secondly, we seek a volunteer/intern with a strong aptitude in social media management and a keen interest in digital content creation and online community engagement. Both candidates should exhibit excellent capabilities in communication, meeting deadlines, and managing time effectively.

Payment/Remuneration: To Be Agreed

How to Apply: Compile your introductory letter and a short CV into one file named “your name-DiGZ2024”. Email your application to Natascha Drubek, Editor in Chief, at nataschadigz@gmail.com and/or drubek@zedat.fu-berlin.de.