Upcoming and Past Events
3/8/23 - 3/16/23
"The East Slavic languages and their speakers: Socio-cultural history and contemporary status of Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian," Lecture by Prof. Curt Woolhiser
6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13 | Mandel Reading Room 303
This lecture will provide an overview of the historical evolution and contemporary status of the three major East Slavic languages: Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian. With their roots in the medieval state of Rus’, the three countries share an important common linguistic and cultural heritage, which, in light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and support for the repressive Lukashenka regime in Belarus, is now, more than ever before, being reevaluated by many Ukrainians and Belarusians. Extensive language shift toward Russian in the Soviet period among both Ukrainians and Belarusians led to a situation in which many citizens of Ukraine (especially in the east and south) and a majority of Belarusian citizens speak primarily Russian rather than the “titular” national language. This situation led to post-Soviet government and grassroots efforts in Ukraine and Belarus to promote the Ukrainian and Belarusian languages as important components of national identity, which, in turn, generated resistance on the part both of some segments of the Russian-speaking Ukrainian and Belarusian population, as well as the government of the Russian Federation, which has made defense and promotion of the Russian language in what it calls the “Russian World” an important component of its foreign policy in relation to former Soviet republics.
Curt Woolhiser is а Lecturer in Russian and Slavic Linguistics at Boston College and an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. His research interests include comparative Slavic linguistics, sociolinguistic approaches to the study of language variation and change, structural and socio-pragmatic aspects of bilingualism, language policy and language conflict in post-Soviet Eastern Europe and Eurasia, language attitudes and language ideology, language and identity, and language and political borders. In 2013 and 2019 he conducted focus group interviews in a number of cities in Ukraine and Belarus with young “new speakers” of Ukrainian and Belarusian – individuals from Russian-speaking urban families who have consciously switched from Russian to Ukrainian and Belarusian as their primary languages of intra-group communication.
Eastern Slavic Songs Concert
7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 | Mandel Atrium
The Boston-based ensemble ‘Grunya’ performs traditional songs from different regions of Russia, as well as from Ukraine and Belarus. The members of the ensemble are not professional singers; among them are people of different occupations, backgrounds, and ages. Through singing, ‘Grunya’ develops a language environment for the families, supports language skills for the children, discovers the Slavic people's culture and history, and practices a joyful way of celebrating holidays and important life events.
‘Grunya’ will present seasonal ritual songs and spiritual verses from Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian traditions. Comic songs will accompany the play of puppets (made by an artist Ksenia Litvak). Spectators will be able to participate in round dances called khorovods and games while listening to the balalaika and gusli tunes.
Русский чай will be taking place on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the Spring 2023 semester, from 6-8 p.m. in Shiffman 121. Each event will be themed, with those themes including:
- St. Valentine's Day
- Crafts Night
- April Fools Day
- Board Games Night
"Broken Ties" Film Screening and Conversation with Andrei Loshak
6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, Mandel G11, and 12:30-1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, Online
The Russian Studies Program is screening the film "Broken Ties," a portrayal of families divided by the current war in Ukraine, on Thursday, October 6. The next day, you will have the opportunity to speak with the film's creator, Andrei Loshak, over Zoom. Please see the separate page for these events (link located in the sidebar) in order to register to attend.
The Hunter and His Game: Seeking Nature in Turgenev's Stories
2:30-3:50 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Shiffman 123
Fall 2022 Lemon Cake Lecture
Featuring Thomas P. Hodge, Chair of Russian Studies at Wellesley College
"Tango with Putin" Film Screening and Discussion
From 6:30-9 p.m. onday, Sept. 19, the Russian Studies Program hosted a screening of "Tango with Putin" aka "F@ck This Job," followed by a conversation with Natalya Sindeeva, the founder of independent channel "Rain TV" (now banned in Russia), and Vera Krichevskaya, the film's director.
Русский чай (Russian Tea)
Russian Teas will be taking place at 6 p.m. Thursdays during the Fall 2022 semester (with the exception of Nov. 16, which is a Wednesday). As usual, each Русский чай will have a theme, and they will take place in Shiffman 121.
Unity Week Against the War
March 8-12, 2022
March 8: You can stop by the table for International Women's Day to learn about the holiday and to celebrate women in your life. You can also participate in a fundraiser to support Ukrainian refugees by buying a sunflower hair pin. Later in the day, there will be a lesson on the Russian alphabet with the goal to teach someone who doesn't know Cyrillic letters how to read and write anti-war posters. Please bring your non-Cyrillic-writing friends! Russian and Ukrainian candy will be offered.
March 9: The first event is the ECS Chocolate Cake Lecture on Tolstoy's "War and Peace." Although already planned in advance of current events, it will be relevant to the ongoing situation.
Later in the day, you can join us to make your own Cheburashka. Cheburashka is a symbol of friendship and brotherly love. You will have an opportunity to make your own Cheburashka by felting (a simple craft that is accessible to anyone). You can also make hearts or sunflowers using the same process. We have yellow and blue (colors of the Ukrainian flag) for hearts, flowers, and other objects, in addition to brown felt for Cheburashka. If you would like to donate your Cheburashka and/or hearts & flowers to the fundraiser, we'd be very grateful, but you can also keep them for yourselves. May these Cheburashkas bring you peace and comfort!
March 10: This is an opportunity to learn about the western perspective on the Euro-Maidan revolution of 2014 which set in motion a chain of events that led to the war in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. After watching a documentary "Winter on Fire" (98 minutes), you will have an opportunity to ask questions. Professors Steven Wilson (Politics) and Irina Dubinina (Russian Studies) will be contributing to the conversation. Russian and Ukrainian candy will be offered.
March 11: Our second fundraiser with home-made cakes, bliny, and other Ukrainian/Russian dishes. Please stop by and bring your friends to help raise more money for the cause!
March 12: Borsch is a staple for Ukrainians and Russians alike; it is also prominently featured in Polish and Eastern European Jewish cuisines. You will have an opportunity to cook this hearty soup (both meat and vegetarian options) on your own.
Lemon Cake Lecture with Andrew Kaufman (in conversation with Professor Robin Feuer Miller) - Nov. 17
"I am Global Week" — Nov. 13-20
Russian Studies Events in Review Video
Race in Russia — April 9, 2021
A Conversation With DC-Based Jazz Singer Sharón Clark, Professor Yoshiko M. Herrera (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon (PhD. student, UPenn)
(Co-organized by Russian Studies, Brandeis Russian Club, and Politics, with support from the Dean's office.)
Soviet Space Exploration — April 12, 2021
A Conversation With Professor Victoria Smolkin (Wesleyan University)
Co-organized by MIT, Brandeis, Wellesley and Harvard
IN ENGLISH AND RUSSIAN
Russian Culture Week — March 8-13-, 2021
Russian Studies Events in Review Video
Russian Culture Week (March 9-13)
What About Tomorrow?
A lecture on the history of punk music in the USSR and Russia by Alexander Herbert
Make Your Own Cheburashka
Craft your very own Cheburashka, a beloved Russian/Soviet cartoon character. You keep whatever version of Cheburashka you make!
Student Talent Show
Pelmeni Making Night
Come practice your Russian skills and enjoy tasty refreshments at Russian Tea!
An Evening with Vera Pavlova: A Multi-Media Performance of Poetry and Tchaikovsky's Music
Vera Pavlova presents A Multi-Media Performance of Poetry and Tchaikovsky's Music. She will perform her work, "The Children's Album", set to the music by Tchaikovsky.
2019 Mega Language Lunch
Русский чай (Russian Tea)
Russian Studies Event in Review Video
Русский чай (Russian Tea)
2016 International Video Competition
Chekhov, Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre: Against the Backdrop of the Century
Featuring Anatoly Smeliansky, Russian theatre writer, scholar, and critic and head of the Moscow Art
Theatre (MXAT) School for Academic Studies
Teleconference with Russian Students at Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law
Russian Culture Week 2016: March 7-11
Traditional Russian Dolls Workshop
In Memory of Our Murdered (Jewish) Children: Hearing the Holocaust in Soviet Jewish Culture Student Talent Show
Russian Movie Night
Author Event: Ludmila Ulitskaya
I Am Global Week Presents: "Tuva: A Turkic-speaking, throat-singing, Buddhism/Shamanism-practicing culture of the Russian Federation"
Featuring Rossina Soyan, Fulbright grantee and teaching assistant for the Russian Language Program
I Am Global Week Presents: "Ukraine 2015: National Identity and Civilian Volunteers During War"
Featuring Matthew Kupfer '12
I Am Global Week Language Lunch
"A Replacement Life": A Reading and Conversation with Boris Fishman
Moderated by Professor ChaeRan Freeze
Russian Contemporary Film Festival (Exclusively at Brandeis!)
Presented by the Brandeis Russian Studies Program and Eurochannel.
September 24: My Dad is Baryshnikov
October 1: Another Year
October 8: The Admirer
October 15: Thirst
October 22: Jolly Fellows
October 29: The Admirer
Check out the feature in The Brandeis Hoot!
Featuring Dmitry Bykov
Spring 2015 European Cultural Studies Lemon Cake Lecture: "Bakhtin and the Actor"
Featuring Caryl Emerson
A. Watson Armour III University Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Russian Culture Week 2015: March 2-7
Russian Tea (Русский чай)
"Fame and Fortune: On Writing a New Life of Tchaikovsky"
Featuring Philip Ross Bullock, Professor of Russian Literature and Music at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wadham College
Russian Club at the Global Bazaar
"The Other Stories in Anna Karenina: A Translator's Perspective"
Featuring Rosamund Bartlett, PhD
Poetry Reading with Vera Pavlova
For more information about Vera Pavlova, visit verapavlova.us.
Image: Vera Pavlova (left) and Professor Irina Dubinina (right) listen as a student reads one of Ms. Pavlova's poems in translation.