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Culture news, 27.01.2006 14:52

Russian program offers insight into a new culture

culture_program Learning about different cultures is an opportunity that doesn’t happen often in Cedar Falls.

However, organizations at UNI provide the opportunity for students to learn.

The Russian program at UNI is very active and has many events taking place throughout the year, including a five-week study abroad program in Russia in June and July.

Today at Bought Again Books on West 23rd Street, Maria Basom, UNI professor, and Sergei Goncharov, a professor at Herzen State University in St. Petersburg, Russia, will hold a reading from their recent book, “The Cosmos of Russian Life.”

The book explores Russian culture from both Russian and American perspectives, helping Americans to see an accurate picture of the Russian people, one the authors insist is different than the picture presented by western media.

The professors will cover topics ranging from the Russian bathhouse to the metro, from duels to dissidents, from museums to philosophical considerations.

The work grew out of the almost 20-year partnership between UNI and Herzen State University.

Now in its sixth year, the UNI Institute for the Humanities and Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, which hosts UNI students every year, plays an important role in this partnership.

Because of this, the book also includes chapters written by students, expressing their journeys into the world of Russia, original artwork, and photographs of St. Petersburg and its neighborhood.

As noted by both the authors and the students, the journey into Russian culture is also an exploration of one’s own culture.

After the reading, there will be a reception, a book signing and an informal conversation with Goncharov.

Tomorrow, as a part of Language Diversity Week at the Center for Multicultural Education, UNI’s Study Aboard program has scheduled the showing of a Russian movie entitled “Tycoon: A New Russian,” starting at 6:30 p.m.

The movie, sometimes referred to as “the Russian ‘Godfather,’” is a true story based on the life of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

In 1988, Plato Makovski, an idealistic young academic, convinced four brilliant friends to abandon their science studies in favor of the shady world of post-Soviet business.

For more information on UNI’s Russian program, the summer study abroad program to St. Petersburg or upcoming Russian events, stop by the Russian table in Maucker Union on Thursday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Otherwise, the table is normally open between 4 to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays this semester.

Look for the sign or the Russian flag to identify the table.

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