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Talk on 'Understanding Contemporary Russia' Set for Jan. 28 at U.Va.'s Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library

January 19, 2011 — "Understanding Contemporary Russia," a talk providing an overview of a 2010 summer immersion experience in Russia for K-12 teachers, will be held Jan. 28 at the University of Virginia. The talk – by Kelly Miller, head of programs at the David and Mary Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture – will begin at noon in the Byrd/Morris Seminar Room in the Harrison Institute/Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

The trip was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program and organized through the University of Michigan's Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Miller served as curricular specialist for the trip, accompanying two Russian faculty leaders and a dozen American K-12 teachers from across the U.S. on their journey, first to Krasnodar, a city in southern Russia, and then to Moscow.

In addition to attending classes on Russian language and culture, the teachers participated in Cossack dances, swam in the Black Sea, visited a mosque, toured a sugar factory and ate many crisp cucumbers – and these were just some of their adventures.

In her talk, Miller will present lessons learned and discuss the ways such a program connects with concerns in higher education and libraries.

Miller holds a Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures from the University of Michigan and has taught courses on Russian language, literature, culture and visual art at U.Va., Dickinson College and the University of Michigan.

The event is sponsored by the U.Va. Library Travelogue Series and the College of Arts & Sciences' Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

For information, contact Miller at 434-243-2184 or kellymiller@virginia.edu.

— By Jane Ford

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