When Andres Fernandez (MARS-REERS ’18) first visited Hungary through an American Field Service exchange program during the 2010-11 academic year, he fell in love with the country. But he was also shocked by the blatant anti-Semitism, racism and nationalism that he observed from the people around him, including his host father. A few years later, he had a similar experience in Russia. Read more.
Sarah Calderone (SIPA ’18) has been interested in the treatment of migrants in Russia since 2012. That year, as a junior at Drew University, she received a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. State Department to study Russian in Vladimir—a small city about 120 miles outside of Moscow. Calderone spent two months there, and was struck by the negative attitude toward migrants that she encountered. Read more.
Miriam Schulz, Ph.D. Candidate in Yiddish Studies and winner of the 2017 Hosenfeld/Szpilman Prize, is featured in the Student Spotlight on the website of Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
When Maria Snegovaya, a doctoral candidate in Columbia’s Department of Political Science, started researching the rise of the radical and populist right in Eastern and Central Europe back in 2013, she had no idea just how globally relevant the topic would become. Then, three years later, radical and populist right movements gained unexpected prominence in both Western Europe and the United States. Read more.
Bradley Gorski, a doctoral candidate in Columbia’s Department of Slavic Languages, has devoted the majority of his time at Columbia to the study of Russian literature in the wake of Soviet collapse in order to understand how culture responds to institutional upheaval. Post-Soviet literature, says Gorski, formed as a set of reactions to perceived inadequacies in the literary system. Read more.
In late September 2016, Joss Meakins (MARS-REERS ’17), a University Consortium (UC) Fellow, traveled to Moscow’s Higher School of Economics for UC’s annual two-day conference about Euro-Atlantic relations in the post-Cold-War era and beyond. The UC, which launched last year thanks to a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, is a partnership between six leading institutions in North America, Europe, and Russia, that promotes training, research, engagement and policy outreach on Euro-Atlantic issues critical to addressing the crisis in Russia-West relations. Read more.
In January 2014, Diego Benning Wang (MARS-REERS, ’16), then an undergraduate student at New York University (NYU), traveled on a tourist visa to the North Caucasus, a politically unstable mountainous region in the southwestern corner of the Russian Federation. He was returning to the area for the second time in six months in hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of the land and its cultures in the wake of the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing—the attack was executed by ethnically Chechen émigrés with ties to Dagestan. Read more.
Abby Downing-Beaver (MARS-REERS ’16) has always been fascinated with languages and the cultural nuances they convey. Growing up in Missouri City, Texas, she tried to learn as many as possible. Unfortunately, her high school offered only French and Spanish, both of which she was already studying. Then her mother, a journalist, discovered a newspaper listing for a Russian language class at the Russian Cultural Center in downtown Houston. Read more.
Andrew Dolinar (GSAS, HR ‘16) was a sophomore studying sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, when he received a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study Russian in Kazan. It was summer 2012, and Russia’s second largest and most cosmopolitan city, St. Petersburg, had recently passed a law banning the “propaganda” of LGBT relations to minors. “Being a queer American in Russia while all this was happening was fascinating,” says Dolinar. While in Kazan, he made an effort to meet people in the queer community. Read more.