The World Affairs Council’s 'Teach Russia' conference--“Russia & the Post-Soviet States: Culture, Continuity & Crisis”--brought together more than 100 local educators and general community members for a full day of workshops, presentations, and rich perspectives on the region. The conference talks and breakout sessions explored key questions, issues, and trends in post-Soviet politics and culture.
Morning Keynotes by two experts on the post-Soviet region---Sarah Henderson, Associate Professor of Political Science at OSU and Doug Foster, PhD candidate in Geography at UO—laid the foundation for a day with many highlights, including:
Former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kenneth Fairfax speaking on “Making Sense of Central Asia” (an overview of the five Central Asian nations of the Former Soviet Union) and “Russia on the World Stage” (an overview of the way economic, trade, energy and political Trends are playing out since the fall of the Soviet Union);
Elena Bogdanovich Werner, Teacher of Russian Cultural Literacy in the North Clackamas School District delivering a talk on “Russian and American Cultures: A Comparison”;
Workshops on dance and arts traditions of Russia and the post-Soviet region, contemporary Russian film, 'Understanding the Ukraine Crisis', and an authentic luncheon of traditional Russian fare.
Many educators and community members at the conference shared their feedback on the day:
“It was WONDERFUL! Very interesting, productive, very well organized as always.”—Natalie Verdi (native of Armenia)
“Loved the current event focus. Thanks for a great day!” --Anonymous
“As always these WAC Educational Events are so wonderful and very useful.”--Anonymous
"I attended the Teach Russia Conference this past weekend. Thank you so much for putting it together. It was wonderful and the best educational conference I have ever attended! I loved the information presented and different viewpoints. It was very intriguing and interesting. The caliber of the presenters was amazing. If you have such a conference again I would go in a heartbeat! --Ilya Babiy (former resident of Ukraine and Georgia)
The World Affairs Council was joined in presenting the conference by the following co-sponsors:
PSU Office of International Affairs
PSU Russian Flagship Program
Portland Khabarovsk Sister City Association
Many thanks to our co-sponsors!