Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Approaches to Understanding a Former Enemy

A Times  article, mostly about the Fulbright Program and how the Russians study America (and not vice versa). Hannah Chapmann, a recent Stetson Russian Studies graduate is teaching in Gori, Georgia this year through the Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant program. 

MOSCOW — For decades, American studies in Russia and Russian studies in the United States, were, at the heart of it, enemy studies.

Now, two decades into the post-Soviet era and two years after President Barack Obama promised to "reset" U.S. relations with Russia, these studies have broadened to include the environment, émigrés, Alaska and native cultures.

"I even see the reset as a symbol of this," said Yefim Pivovar, rector of the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow.

"What used to be known as American Sovietology in the past has also changed; it has different goals," said Mr. Pivovar, an expert on émigré history who was a Fulbright Scholar in 1993 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, one of the centers of Russian studies in the United States during the Cold War.

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