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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Beyond Exile: Reclaiming Anna Frajlich (World Literature Today)

Anna Frajlich (Senior Lecturer Emerita, Slavic Languages) is the subject of World Literature Today's "Cultural Cross Sections" (March 15, 2017), titled "Beyond Exile: Reclaiming Anna Frajlich." The profile, written by Alice-Catherine Carls (Tom Elam Distinguished Professor of History, University of Tennessee at Martin), focuses on how "the year 2016 was one of homecoming for famed Polish American poet Anna Frajlich":

"Recently retired from her position as senior lecturer of Polish language and literature at Columbia University, she continues to be active on the lecture circuit, with invitations to Kyrgyzstan, Spain, England, and Lithuania, in addition to several poetic readings in New York City. In 2016 she participated in no less than ten events organized in Poland in her honor during the fall. She had readings in Warsaw at the Polish Writers Association, Warsaw University, and Łazienki Palace as well as readings in Lublin and Szczecin. The pièce de résistance was the first international conference held on October 24–25 at the University of Rzeszów. It was organized jointly by the Institute of Polish Philology of the University of Rzeszów, which specializes in postwar émigré literature, and the Institute of Polish Philology of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland’s most prestigious center of literary studies. Borrowing from one of Anna Frajlich’s poems, the conference was entitled “ ‘Here I am / I inhabit my own life’: The Poetic, Prosaic, and Epistolary Creation of Anna Frajlich.” An art exhibit was also prepared by the faculty of the art department of the University of Rzeszów on the theme of Frajlich’s poems."
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

American's Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has just released the report "America's Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century." In the report Columbia University's Russian heritage language courses, designed and taught by Dr. Alla Smyslova (Director of the Russian Language Program), receive special mention:

Similarly, more two- and four-year colleges and universities should make available curricula designed specifically for Native American languages and heritage speakers, and should find ways to offer credit for proficiency in a heritage language. As in k–12 education, some colleges and universities are already experimenting with such curricula. The Spanish Heritage Language Program at the University of Houston offers special courses for heritage Spanish speakers; students who have successfully completed the intermediate level in this program fulfill the university’s foreign language requirement and are encouraged to enroll in more advanced classes. The Universities of Arizona, Washington, and Oregon all support similar programs, providing new contexts for students’ personal and cultural experiences; locating the Spanish spoken at home within a broader Spanish-speaking world; and featuring service-learning opportunities in local Spanish-speaking communities. And Columbia University introduced a dedicated track for heritage Russian speakers that brings limited-proficiency students to an advanced level in their heritage language in two semesters, while satisfying the university’s undergraduate second language requirement. Each of these programs offers a model that can be adopted elsewhere and be applied to other heritage languages. (pages 23-24)




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Marten Discusses New CFR Report on Bloomberg Radio's "Surveillance"

Kimberly Marten, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science, discussed on Bloomberg Radio's "Surveillance" (March 8, 2017) the new report she authored for Council on Foreign Relations. In the report "Reducing Tensions between Russia and NATO," Marten argues that the United States should support NATO and offer reassurances to Russia. 

We have two clips from the interview: here and here



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Elise Giuliano: How Changing Ukrainian Society Impacts the Chances for Peace

Elise Giuliano, Lecturer in Discipline, Political Science, participated in a PONARS Eurasia commentary series with Samuel Charap, International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Mikhail Alexseev, Sandiego State University. Read the discussion here.


Last month a major battle broke out between Russian-backed insurgents and Ukrainian forces in the town of Avdiivka in Ukraine. Alongside the return of such violence in the Donbas, Ukrainian society has changed greatly since 2014 in ways that impact the chances for conflict resolution. In this two-part commentary series, PONARS Eurasia members argue for the importance of properly understanding regional divergences in identity, public political attitudes and preferences, the sources of the escalation of violence in the Donbas, how the Yanukovych system persists under Poroshenko, and the impact of the Trump administration.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Kimberly Marten Authors CFR Report on "Reducing Tensions between Russia and NATO"

“[Vladimir] Putin’s aggression makes the possibility of a war in Europe between nuclear-armed adversaries frighteningly real,” writes Kimberly Marten in a new Council on Foreign Relations Special Report on tensions between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). She outlines how U.S. policymakers can deter Russian aggression with robust support for NATO, while reassuring Russia of NATO’s defensive intentions through clear words and actions based in international law.
Marten, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University, and director of the Harriman Institute's Program on U.S.-Russia Relations, lays out several scenarios that could lead to a dangerous confrontation, ranging from an inadvertent encounter between NATO and Russian military aircraft or ships to an intentional Russian land grab in Europe. The report, produced by the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations, offers a plan for how the Donald J. Trump administration could work with Congress and NATO allies to lessen the chances of crisis escalation.
You can read "Reducing Tensions between Russia and NATO" here.