Blog Archives

PBS Premiere of My Perestroika

My Perestroika is an intimate look at the last generation of Soviet children. Five classmates go from living sheltered childhoods to experiencing the hopes of Gorbachev’s reforms and the confusion of the USSR’s dissolution, to searching for their places in today’s Moscow. With candor and humor, the punk rocker, single mother, entrepreneur and married teachers paint a picture of the challenges, dreams and disappointments of those raised behind the Iron Curtain. Through first-person testimony, verité footage and vintage home movies, this beautifully crafted documentary reveals a Russia rarely seen on film.

The film is part of POV, a social issues documentary film series on PBS. Its television premiere will take place on June 28th. To find times and local channels for the premiere visit My Perestroika will also be screened in theaters around the country this summer. For a list of screening locations and times visit The film will be shown in the Chicago area at the Music Box Theater and at the Wilmette Theater through June 30th.

Posted in: Chicago Events, Uncategorized

Concert: Folksong in the Soviet Era: Identity, Art, and Union, St. Josaphat Parish, Golosa Russian Choir, April 30


Folksong in the Soviet Era: Identity, Art, and Union

GolosaConcert and multimedia presentation

Saturday, April 30, 2011, 7:30 pm, pre-concert lecture at 7 PM

Founded in 1997 at The University of Chicago, Golosa is a Russian choir using folksongs, dance, stories, images, and traditional instruments to tell the story of the peoples who evolved and persevered through the Soviet era, including the Old Believers. The performance will describe cultural exchange between Moscow, Siberia, and the Americas, focusing on the use of sound in heralding regional identity within the context of larger unions. It will also explore folksongs and lore known by Russians and former Soviet citizens from all places, which were maps to navigating through and past the Soviet world.

Pre-concert lecture, 7 PM. Speaker: linguistic anthropologist and choir alumna Kate Graber, University of Michigan.


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“BRIC in 2020” Conference – May 13-14, 2011

“BRIC in 2020″ Conference & Round Table

Friday May 13th – Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Brazil, Russia, India, and China commonly known as BRIC, together constitute more than 25% of the world’s GDP. These countries are projected to grow much faster than developed economies in the next 20 years.

The goal of this conference is to bring together experts on Brazil, Russia, India, and China to discuss social and economic issues facing these emerging economies and how these challenges will affect their political development. Speakers will discuss the implications of this world economic transformation both on domestic politics and on the international order. Is it meaningful to group these countries together? How will these countries use their growing economic power to influence global politics and economic order?

Confirmed speakers include:

Prof. Marcelo Neri – Director of the Center of Social Policies at the Brazilian Institute for Economics

Prof. Harley Balzer – Professor of Government and International Affairs at Georgetown University

Prof. Barry Ickes – Professor of Economics at Pennsylvania State University, Financial Director at the New Economic School in Moscow

Dr. Alexei Devyatov – Chief Economist at URALSIB Capital

Ms Angela Chitkara – Founder and CEO of US-India Corridor

Conference Program and Speakers Information is available on our website:

Please register for the conference by Friday, May 6, 2011

Join our mailing list to get an update and a reminder in a few weeks
Questions? Contact us at

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Lecture: “Islamist Movements across the Globe: Re-Examining Vocabularies in the Public Sphere,” Ahmed Rashid and Prof. Ebrahim E.I. Moosa, March 15

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 • 6:00-7:30 PM

Islamist Movements across the Globe:
Re-Examining Vocabularies in the Public Sphere

Gleacher Center
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

This event is free and open to the public. Register below.

Parking nearby:
  • Equitable Building Parking
    401 N. Michigan Ave. @ Lower Level
  • 201 East Illinois
    Northeast Corner of Cityfront Plaza Dr. and Illinois
  • NBC Tower Parking
    455 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive

The World Beyond the Headlines series is a project of the University of Chicago Center for International Studies

Over the last decade, public discussion of Islam and Islamist movements has been framed largely by the vocabulary of US counter-terrorism strategies and US foreign policy goals often repeated by journalists who cover the Middle East and Central and South Asia. This vocabulary ignores the idiosyncrasies of local forms of government, political counter-narratives, and religious contexts, and in turn undermines the efforts of Western policymakers and journalists to write about and analyze political actors throughout the Islamic world.

In this The World Beyond the Headlines event, journalist Ahmed Rashid and professor Ebrahim Moosa will challenge the constraints imposed on contemporary public discourse. Following up on his critically acclaimed book, Descent into Chaos, journalist Ahmed Rashid will examine recent political developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while professor Ebrahim Moosa will explore the South Asian madrasa and consider how this important educational institution continues to shape the social and political future of the region.

Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist based in Lahore. He was the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review, for 22 years until the magazine was recently closed down. He presently writes for the Daily Telegraph, London, the International Herald Tribune, the New York Review of Books, BBC Online, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and academic and foreign affairs journals. He appears regularly on international TV and radio such as CNN and BBC World Service. He is the author of three books, including the best sellers Taliban and most recentlyJihad.

Ebrahim E.I. Moosa is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religion at Duke University. His interests span both classical and modern Islamic thought with a special focus on Islamic law, history, ethics and theology. Professor Moosa is the author of Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination, winner of the American Academy of Religion’s Best First Book in the History of Religions and editor of the last manuscript of the late Professor Fazlur Rahman, Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism. He was named a Carnegie Scholar in 2005 to pursue research on the madrasas, Islamic seminaries of South Asia.

Part of The World Beyond the Headlines series. Cosponsored by the South Asia Language and Area Center, the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies.

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Romania at the Festival de la Francophonie, Alliance Francaise – Chicago, March 4

Romania at the Festival de la Francophonie

Friday, March 4, 2011 @ 6:30 – 9:00 pm
Alliance Francaise – Chicago
54 W. Chicago Ave entrance
Children $5, Adults $15

Djembé, raclette, grio, gauffre, tourtière, poutine, thiou… Don’t know what these words mean… or taste like? Come and find out!

ROCX is proud to have Romania represented on the kick-off evening of a month-long festival organized by Alliance Fracaise, celebrating French-speaking people from over 50 different countries. Come to sample delicacies from Romania, Belgium, Canada, France, Morocco, Québec and Switzerland, meet people from all over the world on the dance floor with DJ Lady D spinning La Francofonie, a mix of classics, hits and techno-ethnic. And… pourquoi pas? Belt out your own version of La Vie en Rose and let your inner Céline Dion loose during the Karaoke de la Francophonie. Prizes for the braves! The Romanian pavillion will be sponsored by generous local Romanian businesses.

Pre-register early with Alliance Francaise! Places are limited and this program sells out every year.

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Summer Language Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Application Deadline March 18

The 2011 Russian and East European Summer Language Institute at the University of Pittsburgh will offer the following intensive language courses:

Russian Language Programs (first through fourth year):

Eight Week Session in Pittsburgh, June 6-July 29;

Pitt/Moscow 5+5 Program, June 6-August 12.

Central & East European Languages, Six Week Programs in Pittsburgh, June 6-July 15:

Beginning Intensive Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Bulgarian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, Turkish, and Ukrainian;

Intermediate Intensive Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Polish, and Slovak;

Advanced Intensive Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and Slovak.

Central & East European Study Abroad Programs:

Pitt/Bulgaria 6+4 Program;

Pitt/Montenegro 6+4 Program;

Pitt/Poland 6+4 Program;

Pitt/Slovakia 6+4 Program;

4 Week Programs in Bulgaria, Montenegro, Poland, and Slovakia;

Advanced Mastery Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 6 Week Program in Belgrade, Sarajevo and Zagreb (for advanced and heritage speakers of B/C/S).

Tuition for the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Mastery B/C/S courses will be waived for graduate students specializing in any field of East European Studies due to grants from ACLS.

All courses are equivalent to one academic year of college-level language instruction. Instructional staff who are chosen for their experience, enthusiasm, and commitment to language teaching ensure the high academic quality of Pitt’s SLI program.

Daily contact with instructors, both in class and out, and the use of native speakers in most sections create an environment conducive to effective language acquisition. All programs include extracurricular activities such as film viewing, singing, cooking classes and cultural lectures. The study abroad programs include excursions and cultural programming in the targeted countries.

All applicants may apply for the various scholarships that the SLI has available. Over 90 percent of applicants receive partial or full funding from sources including SLI tuition scholarships and FLAS fellowships.

Undergraduate students are now eligible to apply for FLAS fellowships for summer language study at the intermediate level or above. Further information and applications are available at

Application deadline for scholarships and all study abroad programs is March 18, 2011.

For more information, contact Christine Metil, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburgh, 1417 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Phone: 412-624-5906, email:

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