News Release

News and Public Information Office
Glos Center
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-7592
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Imagine Russia During Miami Festival


Miami University will celebrate all things Russian with "Imagining Russia," a festival of scholarly and cultural events inaugurating the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies March 22-April 1.

Located in Harrison Hall, the center is directed by Karen Dawisha, Walter Havighurst Professor in Russian and Post-Soviet Politics and a top expert on the post-Communist world.

Dawisha will give the center’s inaugural lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 22 in Gates-Abegglen Theatre, Center for Performing Arts.

She will join other Miami faculty to host an "Imagining Russia" symposium Friday, March 23, in the Marcum Conference Center.

The symposium will bring together prominent and emerging scholars from across the country to examine Western perceptions of post-Soviet society. The symposium includes a public lecture by James Billington, Librarian of Congress, at 4 p.m. in 115 Shideler Hall. Billington, one of the most eminent historians of Russia, is creator and host of the PBS series "The Face of Russia."

The most visible part of the festival will be golden onion domes atop the usual twin towers of Harrison Hall. Other events feature the music and art of Russia, as well as programming designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of faculty, staff, students and community members.

Highlights include:

  • Performance by the Moscow Chorovaya Akademia at 7 p.m. Friday, March 23, in Kumler Chapel.

  • "Teachers Imagine Russia" workshop and display for area K-12 educators 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, March 24, in McGuffey Hall. One educator will be presented the $1,000 Havighurst Award for Outstanding Teacher of Russian Studies.

  • Saturday Art reception and display of work by more than 100 students of all ages focusing on traditional Russian arts at 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 24, in the art building.

  • Three separate demonstrations of decorated Ukrainian Easter eggs by Nancy Henderson of Tipp City: 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25 and Thursday, March 29, in the green room, Center for Performing Arts.

  • Recital by Miami choral groups featuring music by Russian composers at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 24, in Souers Recital Hall, Center for Performing Arts.

  • Lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in Gates-Abegglen Theatre, Center for Performing Arts, "What’s So Funny, Ex-Comrades? The Humor of Post-Soviet Russia," by Emil Draitser. Draitser is a professor in the Russian division of Hunter College, CUNY.

  • "Russia Chess: Past, Present and Future" talk by Grandmaster Gregory Kaidanov at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 in the Bystrom Room of the Shriver Center. At 6 p.m. Kaidanov will play 25 local players in a simultaneous chess exhibition in 12 Harrison Hall.

  • "Tolstoy’s Table: Feasting and Fasting in Russian Culture," lecture by Darra Goldstein at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in Gates-Abegglen Theatre, Center for Performing Arts. Goldstein is a professor of Russian at Williams College in Massachusetts, editor of "Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture," and author of several books on Russian cooking.

  • Blini Bash at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 29, in Bell Tower Place. Goldstein will demonstrate how to make the traditional Russian pancakes.

  • Colloquium on Contemporary Russian Politics from 2-5 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in 204 Harrison Hall. Featured will be Nodari Simonia, director of Russia’s Institute of International Economics and International Relations.

  • Performance by Moscow Nights, a trio of Russian folk musicians, 8 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in Gates-Abegglen Theatre, Center for Performing Arts.

  • Performance by the Veronika String Quartet at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the Miami University Art Museum.

  • Exhibition, "Twilight of the Soviet Union," March 21-April 1 in Harrison Hall featuring photographs by Igor Osatuke.
Other activities include art displays across campus, a film series, a dance with music by the Yiddishe Cup Klezmer Band and special displays at King Library. For more information call (513) 529-3303. A complete schedule is available at


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