RIT symposium offers comprehensive look at Russian literature, music, art and film

Daylong event—‘From Russia With Love’—will be held April 18

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Rochester Institute of Technology’s increasing global reach is opening doors for faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts to underscore the importance of creating opportunities for cross-cultural understanding and global awareness. One such opportunity is the symposium “From Russia With Love: Literature, Music, Art and Film,” an examination of Russian politics, philosophy and art. The free, daylong event will be held 8:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in RIT’s Campus Center.

“From Russia With Love” includes academic papers, roundtable discussions, a musical performance by the RIT String Quartet, a film screening of The Mermaid, stage productions of Dostoevsky’s The Grand Inquisitor and Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, and book and poetry readings.

Other symposium highlights include:

• “Red, White and Blue: Jazz in Russia from 1920 to the Present,” Carl Atkins, Department of Performing Arts and Visual Culture, RIT

• “Flashy Pictures: Comics, Social Activism and Russian Youth,” José Alaniz, University of Washington

Waiting for America, reading and book signing, Maxim Shrayer

• “Tolstoy’s Jesus Versus Dostoevsky’s Christ: A Tale of Two Christologies,” John Givens, University of Rochester

• “To Depict the New Woman is to Invoke Her: Public Awareness Advertising and Russia’s ‘Boost the Birthrate’ Campaign,” Elena Sommers, Department of English, RIT.

“‘From Russia with Love Symposium’ is an opportunity to facilitate new discussions about a strategic corner of the world,” says Sommers, senior lecturer in global literature, and symposium organizer. “Russia continues to fascinate, yet it remains an enigma. It is important to move beyond post-Cold War conversations and mentality into a new space where we can foster long-term partnerships in the fields of arts, science, and cutting edge technologies. This symposium hopes to encourage interdisciplinary connections and contribute to the RIT spirit of global inclusiveness. My plan for next year is to begin working on ‘The Globe Goes to the Movies,’ an international film symposium at RIT.”

For a complete symposium schedule, go to www.rit.edu/cla/english/events.php or http://library.rit.edu/oajournals/index.php/russia/index.

The symposium is sponsored by RIT’s College of Liberal Arts and Honors Program, Department of English and M&T Bank. For more information, contact Sommers at elena.sommers@rit.edu.