Monthly Archives: March 2010

Screening of “Last Happy Day,” March 13

Saturday, March 13

Screening: “Last Happy Day”

7 pm, Cobb Hall 306, 5811 South Ellis Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60637

Contact Sabrina Craig,, for details.

New York filmmaker Lynne Sachs presents The Last Happy Day, an experimental documentary portrait of Sandor (Alexander) Lenard, a Hungarian medical doctor and Sachs’ distant cousin. In 1938 Lenard, a writer with a Jewish background, fled the Nazis to a safe haven in Rome. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service hired Lenard to reconstruct the bones— small and large — of dead American soldiers. Eventually he found himself in remotest Brazil where he embarked on the translation of Winnie the Pooh into Latin. Sachs’ essay film uses personal letters, abstracted war imagery, home movies, interviews, and a children’s performance to create an intimate meditation on the destructive power of war.

In conversation with Classics Professor Michèle Lowrie (who acted as an adviser on the film), Sachs will discuss her cinematic process for making this portrait of a doctor who saw the worst of society and ran. From Lucretius’ sublime but wise “On the Nature of the Universe” to Euripides’ lurid Bacchae to Michael Ondaattje’s harrowing vision of Billy the Kid, Sachs will review the range of literature that fed her creative process. In the same spirit of experimentation, she will screen her companion piece, Cosmetic Surgery for Corpses (10 min., 2010) which witnesses a group of Latin scholars confronted with the haunting yet whimsical task of translating a newspaper article on Iraqi burial rituals into Latin.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Classics, the Rhetoric and Poetics Workshop, and the Ulrich and Harriet Meyer Fund of the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies.

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Eurasian Regional Language Program in Osh, Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz, Uzbek), Deadline: April 1

American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS invites
applications for the 2010 Eurasian Regional Language Program for language
study at our growing language center in Osh, Kyrgyzstan.

Applications for the Fall 2010 and Academic Year 2010-2011 programs are due
April 1st, 2010. See for
applications and more information.

The Eurasian Regional Language Program in Osh provides graduate students,
advanced undergraduates, scholars, and working professionals intensive
instruction in Uzbek and Kyrgyz. Participants may enroll in semester,
academic year, or summer programs. Courses are designed to strengthen
speaking, listening, reading, and writing proficiency in Uzbek or Kyrgyz.

Program features include:
*Core language courses focusing on grammar and lexical studies, phonetics,
vocabulary development, and conversational skills;
*Area studies, literature, and culture classes for advanced students;
*Classes conducted in small groups of three to six students or in private
*Native-speaking faculty with extensive experience teaching foreign students;
*Homestays with local families;
*Undergraduate or graduate credit from Bryn Mawr College;
*Pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C.;
*and logistical support provided by local American Councils offices.

Applicants with at least two years of college-level instruction in Kyrgyz,
Uzbek, or Russian are eligible to apply to the program.

Substantial fellowships are available through American Councils from U.S.
Department of State (Title VIII) and U.S. Department of Education
(Fulbright-Hays) grant support. Recent program participants have also
received fellowship support from the National Security Education Program
(, the Benjamin A. Gilman International
Scholarship (, and the U.S. Department of
Education Title VI (FLAS).

American Councils also offers intensive language study programs in Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
and Ukraine. For more information on these programs, visit

Questions can be sent to

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Thirteenth Midwest Medieval Slavic Workshop, U of Chicago, April 23

The following is a preliminary program for the 13th Midwest Medieval Slavic Workshop and is subject to change.

Thirteenth Midwest Medieval Slavic Workshop

University of Chicago, April 23rd, 2010

9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Preliminary Program


Valentina Pichugin

“Medieval Russian Literature in Post-Soviet Russia”


Bill Darden

“Ungrammatical sentences in original East-Slavic religious writing produced by imitation of bad translations from Greek”


William Veder

“There is a Rift in Likhachev’s Textology”


David J. Birnbaum, Quinn Dombrowski, Predrag Matejic

“Adventures in Digital Filigranology”


Andy Dombrowski

“Orthography and the Jer shift in the Novgorod birch-bark Letters”

12:00-1:00  LUNCH  BREAK


David Miller

“The growth of everyday literacy reflected in land documents of the Trinity-Sergius monastery 1400-1600”


Christian Raffensperger

“Russian-Polish Dynastic Marriages: A Consanguineous Mess”


Brian J. Boek

“Congenital Cruelty or Hereditary Curse: The Divorce of Vassilii III and the Origins of Ivan the Terrible”


Elena N. Boek

“Trials of the Three-Handed Mother of God: Framing and Reframing the Miraculous from Serbia to Russia”


Ann Kleimola

“Convent, Cossacks, and Local Community: A Tangled Social Relationship”

Contact: Valentina Pichugin,

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Turkish Language Courses offered at Boston University Summer Term

Turkish language courses offered at Boston University Summer Term.

First-Semester Turkish CAS LT 111

Introduction to spoken and written Turkish and fundamentals of Turkish grammar, with oral drills and written exercises. 4 cr. Tuition: $2120

Summer 1 (May 18-June 24):
A1 Mon./Tues./Wed./Thurs. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Roberta Micallef

Second-Semester Turkish CAS LT 112

Prereq: CAS LT 111. Completes introduction to modern Turkish grammar, with emphasis on development of aural and written comprehension, as well as writing and speaking abilities. 4 cr. Tuition: $2120

Summer 2 (June 28-August 5):
B1 Mon./Tues./Wed./Thurs. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Roberta Micallef

Registration details can be found at:

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Call for Papers: “Tolstoy, Live in Seoul,” Institute of Russian and CIS Studies at Korea University, Deadline: April 10



The International Tolstoy Conference at Seoul 2010

OCTOBER 1-2, 2010

On the centennial of Leo Tolstoy’s passing, the Korean Association of Rusists
invites academic faculty, independent scholars, and graduate students
working on Leo Tolstoy to submit abstracts for an international conference at
Seoul, October 1-2, 2010.  The conference aims at analyzing legacies of the
great Russian master not only in literature and arts but also in other disciplines
such as philosophy, education, and science. Looking back at Leo Tolstoy in
the age of globalization ultimately leads us to reconsider the writer’s place for
the present and future.  New methodologies and perspectives to cast a light
on Tolstoy’s life and work are particularly welcome.

The following themes are to be considered for panel topics:

– Why Still Tolstoy?

– Revisiting Tolstoy in 21st Century

– Digital Tolstoy

– Tolstoy Beyond Literary Text

– Reconsidering Tolstoy’s Life and Legacy

– Tolstoy in Life

– Tolstoy in East Asia

– Tolstoy, Text, and Communication

– Glocal Tolstoy

All international participants will be provided with two nights accommodation in

For questions, please contact Saera Yoon at  To
contribute, please send a proposal to the above e-mail by April 10 2010.
Paper proposals should include a title and a 300-word abstract, along with a
short curriculum vitae.
Saera Yoon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Division of General Studies
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST)
(tel) 82-52-217-2012
(fax) 82-52-217-3109

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Russian Language Teaching (K-16) Methodologies Seminar, Concordia Language Villages (Bemidji, MN), June 27-July10

Second Language and Immersion Methodologies for  STARTALK Russian Teachers Grades K- 16
Dates:  June 27 – July 10, 2010
Location:  Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, Minnesota

Description:  The Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century and principles of second language and immersion pedagogy serve as the framework for this four-credit graduate level course.  A residential program designed for K-16 teachers of Russian, the participants will enhance their understanding of best practices in teaching Russian through participation in language learning groups and activities at Lesnoe Ozero, the Russian Language Village of Concordia Language Villages.  Active participation in the Russian Language Village program will be accompanied by class discussions about the methods observed and current research on second language acquisition.  Observation, participation in, and analysis of a variety of methodologies in action at Lesnoe Ozero will help participants define their personal instructional philosophy.  The use of music to teach Russian will be highlighted in the program with discussions facilitated by guest presenter, Dr. Laurie Iudin-Nelson.   Because of the building configuration of the Russian Language Village, participants will be able to live on-site for this experience, participating in the daily schedule as observers and co-leaders of activities as appropriate.  They will also have their own classes to discuss professional readings, share observations, and prepare materials for use at Russian Language Village and in their classrooms.  The seminar will be led by Donna Clementi, Director of Education and Research at Concordia Language Villages.  Dr. Laurie Iudin-Nelson, Director of Russian Studies and Head of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, will be a guest presenter.   Lara Ravitch, Dean of the Russian Language Village, will serve as the program director.  Four graduate credits will be awarded for successful completion of the course.

Program costs:
$1680  Tuition for the four-credit graduate course ($420/graduate credit)
$500    Housing and all meals at the Russian Language Village

Full scholarships in the amount of $2180 are available to all participants.  In addition, each participant will receive up to $300 to defray the costs of travel to Bemidji, Minnesota.

Donna L. Clementi
Director of Education and Research
Concordia Language Villages
901 Eighth Street South
Moorhead, Minnesota  56562

You may reach me at my home office:
14 Penbrook Circle
Appleton, WI  54913
home phone:  920.734.1170
cell:  651.341.9445

Preparing young people for responsible citizenship in our global community

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Easter Egg Decorating Lecture, Polish Museum of America, March 19

*Easter Egg Decorating Lecture *

7:00 p.m. March 19, 2010 at the Polish Museum of America

984 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Chicago, IL. 60642

Many people are often familiar with egg decoration that reflects a particular ethnic group. This lecture will present some of the more popular forms of Ritualistic Egg Decorating, and some less so, as practiced not only in Poland, but by it’s neighbors, and those cultures surrounding them. This is a deep, yet rich folk tradition that is shared by Slavs, and non Slavs alike in this part of Europe, that predates Christianity, and one will get a chance to glimpse, and explore the unique and interesting ways that these eggs have been decorated over centuries. Also during this time some of the history, folk legends, and traditions that revolve around the decorated egg, will be addressed. This is a rare opportunity for the senses to experience the myriad of colors, patterns, intricacy, or simplicity that makes these eggs so special. It is believed that one will walk away with a greater understanding, that makes these so very much more than just decorated eggs, and how it relates to the Springtime/ Easter holiday which has held such a special place in our hearts.
*/Note: No part of this lecture may be recorded by any means./

*Admission: $5.00*


Background of the speaker:

*Arnie Klein*, a traditional folk artist, has been decorating eggs for the last 48 years. His work has been primarily the wax resist/ batik method of Pisanki, but additionally he has researched, studied, and put into practice numerous other techniques of egg decoration that are both traditional and non traditional, as practiced in Central Europe. These decorating techniques are reflective of Poland as well as such places as, Ukraine, The Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, and Bulgaria, to name a few. Some of these techniques are, Linear Batik, Drop pull, Wax relief, Scratch Work, Acid Etched, as well as numerous others. Mr. Klein has been recognized as a, “Folk Artist”, by numerous institutions, museums, associations, and organizations, as well as for his continual work on the folk traditions of Central Europe, and the Diaspora. He has also been a participant in a large variety of presentations, and festivals of folk culture such as Michigan’s, “Who’s Story”, The Smithsonian Institute’s, “Festival Of American Folk Life”, as well as many such festivals throughout North America, and Europe. Additionally, he has given lectures, presentations, and exhibitions, on The Ritualistic Egg Decorating Traditions, Embroidery and Textile Traditions, and other Folk Life topics. Mr. Klein grew up in Hamtramck, Michigan, which has been know for it’s huge population of Polish émigrés, and other ethnic groups settling in Hamtramck, and the surrounding Detroit area, during the early part of the previous century, and beyond.

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13th Annual European Union Film Festival, Gene Siskel Film Center, March 5-April 1

March – 13th Annual European Union Film Festival

Gene Siskel Film Center

164 N. State Street

$10 General Admission, $7 Students, $5 Members

Visit for more information

The Gene Siskel Film Center welcomes you to the 13th Annual European Union Film Festival, the largest showcase in North America for the cinema of the European Union nations.  All 27 EU nations are represented in this year’s festival, which includes 59 feature films, all Chicago premiers.

The festival bring the best European to the Midwest, with film by well-known directors as well as films by new directors just making their im­pact outside of their native countries.

Whether you crave thrillers, love stories, crime dramas, comedies, historical epics, or documentaries, this festival has them all.

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Undergraduate Essay Prize (Univ. of Chicago), Chicago Center for Jewish Studies, Deadline: April 16

Undergraduate Essay Prize

The Chicago Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to announce its first competition for a prize of $500 for the best essay on any topic relating to Jewish Studies, including (but not restricted to) the study of Judaic history, culture, thought, classical and modern texts, and languages.

The essay prize competition is open to all students currently registered in the College of the University of Chicago. The essay need not have been written for a course in Jewish Studies or for a course taught by a faculty member in Jewish Studies.

Essays should be submitted no later than 5pm on Friday, April 16, 2010 to Daniel Hantman (Tel: 773-702-7108), Walker 213, 1115 E. 58th St. Chicago IL 60637. Applicants should submit both paper and electronic copies of the application. Paper copies may be mailed or dropped off; electronic copies should be e-mailed as Word attachments to

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Call for Papers: Conference on the Contemporary Russian-Speaking Jewish Diaspora, Deadline: May 14

Call for Paper Proposals

Conference on the Contemporary Russian-Speaking Jewish Diaspora
November 14–15, 2011, at Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, with the cooperation of the American Councils for International Education and the Russian Foundation for Humanities, invites submissions of paper proposals for an international conference on the Russian-speaking Jewish diaspora that has been formed over the past four decades.

The emigration of about 1.5 million Jews from the former Soviet Union (FSU) in several large waves since the mid-1970s—more than three times as many as those who remain—has affected Jewish life in its successor states and in the host countries. The post-1989 migration of Jews from the FSU, for example, constitutes the single largest immigration in the sixty-two-year history of Israel and the largest group of Jews to come to the United States and to Germany since the early twentieth century.

This conference will focus on how Russian-speaking Jews in the late 20th–early 21st centuries have affected the cultures, politics, and economies of Israel, the United States, and Germany, as well as the “sending” countries of the FSU. Conferees will consider whether Russian-speaking Jewry constitutes “a global community,” and how this recent migration challenges the larger concepts of “identity” and “diaspora” across geographic and national borders.

Suggested Themes

We are interested in papers from a range of disciplinary perspectives that address the history, evolution, and future of Russian-speaking Jewish communities, cultures, and identities. We encourage papers that move beyond the description of particular populations or institutions and introduce analyses of the problems, paradoxes, contradictions, and challenges involved in thinking about the Russian-speaking Jews.

The following themes are suggested as guides for the formulation of topics for paper proposals:

  • Globalization, Transnationalism, and Ethno-Cultural Diasporas in the 21st Century
  • Political Behavior, Social Mobility, Commercial Activities, and Cultural Endeavors
  • Definitions of Jewishness
  • Cultural Expressions of Russian-Speaking Jews
  • Media and Communications
  • Future of the Russian-Speaking Jewish Diaspora

For a fuller description of the suggested themes, please see our Web site at
Papers will also be considered on any other themes relevant to the contemporary Russian-speaking Jewish diaspora. Note that the working language of the conference is English: all papers must be submitted and presented in English.

Submitting a Proposal

Junior and senior scholars in the humanities and social sciences, as well as others working in relevant areas, are eligible to apply, irrespective of citizenship or country of residence. Proposals should be submitted via the conference Web site at

Submissions must include:

  • a completed online application form
  • a project abstract of approximately 250 words
  • a 2-page curriculum vitae (CV) listing education, publications, fellowships and awards, and recent work and teaching experience

The deadline for submitting proposals is May 14, 2010. All materials must be submitted in English. Decisions will be announced by July 1, 2010. Presenters must submit their final conference papers by September 1, 2011. Selected papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume.

Harvard University and cooperating funders will cover presenters’ expenses for travel, lodging, and meals. A modest honorarium will also be provided (contingent on presenter’s eligibility to receive payment).

Project Organizers

Zvi Gitelman, Professor of Political Science and Preston R. Tisch Professor of Judaic Studies, University of Michigan
Lisbeth L. Tarlow, Ph.D., Associate Director, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University

More Information

For additional information about the conference, please see or contact

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