Summer 2020 Virtual Educators Workshop: K-14 Education during COVID-19 in the U.S. and Abroad

By Stephanie Porter (Outreach and Programming Coordinator, REEEC)

On July 28-29, 2020, the area studies centers of the Illinois Global Institute (Center for African Studies; Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies; Center for Global Studies; Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; European Union Center; Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center) hosted a summer virtual educators workshop, “K-14 Education during COVID-19 in the U.S. and Abroad”. The workshop was designed for primary and secondary school educators, community college faculty, and librarians. Illinois educators could earn up to 6 professional development hours for attending.

With almost 120 participants from all over the world, the workshop incorporated interdisciplinary lectures, roundtables, and vibrant discussions about online educational resources, tips on teaching with technology, assessment, and perspectives from educators (both in the U.S. and abroad) about teaching during the pandemic. Presenters ranged from University of Illinois and Parkland College faculty, K-14 educators in other states, to educators from countries like Brazil, Poland, and Peru. Participants were especially impressed by the ingenuity of teachers working in areas where most of their students do not have access to widespread, stable internet connections. Many recounted how difficult the sudden shift to online learning was on themselves and their students, especially on those students with less resources and support at home. 

Throughout the 2-day workshop, participants and presenters touched on questions of social justice, student engagement, teacher support, and the digital divide – all topics that were relevant to educators from different countries. They noted the many similarities and differences in their experiences, and actively used the chat feature on Zoom to communicate with each other – frequently providing feedback and suggestions.

Despite the uncertainty and challenges for the academic year ahead, the workshop participants appreciated the professional development opportunity of connecting with their counterparts from many different countries, reflecting on the past year, and learning about tools and approaches for effective distance learning from other educators’ experiences.

Stephanie Chung Porter is the Outreach and Programming Coordinator at REEEC.

Breaking Stalin’s Nose: New Curriculum for Middle Schools

Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin centers around Sasha Zaichik, a ten year old boy living in Moscow with his father during Stalin’s great terror. Sasha idolizes Stalin, and is excited about his upcoming initiation into the Young Pioneers of the Communist Party. But the night before the initiation his father, a high ranking member of the secret police, is himself arrested. The narrative follows Sasha on this day, the day he has waited for his whole life, as his world is turned upside down, and he begins to question everything he has been taught. breaking-stalins-nose

To provide insight into propaganda, political culture, citizenship and everyday life in the Soviet Union, the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center has recently developed a module for middle schools around this novel. Building on the interactive website that accompanies the book, the lesson plan also invites students to consider issues around political participation and indoctrination more broadly. This module fulfills Common Core Standards ELA-LITERACY.RL. 6.1.- 6.2., ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.3 to 6-8.4, Illinois State Goals 14.c.3, 18.B.3a, and 18.B.3b.

In order to gain access to the materials, users will be asked to fill out a request form. Once the form is completed, users will be directed to the materials via a link on the form’s thank-you screen. REEEC will send any additional materials needed (films, books, etc.) at no charge. For more information please contact REEEC program coordinator Katrina Chester at For additional instructional materials and opportunities for curriculum development, please consult our page For Teachers or subscribe to our K-12 listserv at

New Community College Curriculum Module: Everyday Life under Late Socialism

In Spring 2013, the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw kindly donated three copies of its recently created Kolejka/Queue, an educational board game that tells the story of everyday life in Poland at the tail-end of the communist era. Kolejka simulates the challenges families faced in terms of obtaining consumer products and services in a socialist economy of shortage. It provides players insight into the workings of planning, the informal economy, the system of blat and party patronage, and the state socialist appropriation of private time.

Source: Kolejka Instructions (2011).

To help students gain critical understanding of daily life under socialism, REEEC has recently developed a set of curriculum guides for high school and community college instruction around this game. The individual and group activities ask students to observe the temporal, social, and emotional aspects that defined socialist consumption and invite them to identify the formal characteristics of daily life. Students will also contemplate on how people’s subjective experience varied based on their membership in a particular social category and the kinds of goods/services they sought to obtain. Lastly, in the framework of a class role-play, they will consider socialist democracy at work and compile a prioritized list of reforms to meet the demands of their “wider socialist society”.

The module fulfills Illinois State Goals 16.A.5a-b and National Social Studies Standards in World History for the 20th Century Since 1945. The lesson plans are accompanied by a bibliography of recent scholarly literature on everyday life and a list of additional instructional resources (relevant works of fiction, printed primary sources, documentaries, motion pictures, digital photo archives, websites, blogs and other lesson plans). For additional instructional materials and opportunities for curriculum development, please consult our page For Teachers or subscribe to our K-12 listserv at

Zsuzsánna Magdó is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of History. Her research interests include modern eastern Europe, nationalism, minorities, religion, state socialism, utopian thought and practice.  She expects to defend her dissertation “Inventing a Godless Nation: State Atheism and Socialist Culture in Romania, 1948-1989” in May 2015.

REEEC Multimedia Library: New Acquisitions for Instructional Use

These new titles along with other holdings of the REEEC Multimedia Resource Library are intended to assist university faculty and K-12 teachers who are interested in incorporating cinematic and other multimedia materials into their courses and studies. The Center’s policy is to provide access to its collection free of charge to the following: University of Illinois faculty, graduate students, registered student organizations, K-12 instructors and university/college faculty across the United States. In general, first priority is given to University of Illinois faculty teaching Russian, East European, and Eurasian area studies courses. The collection is for educational purposes only. The Center does not lend films to individuals for private viewing.The Center does not lend materials outside the US.

These acquisitions were made possible with the generous support of Title VI National Resource Center Grants from the United States Department of Education.

Turkish Titles

ArafAraf/Somewhere in Between. A film by Yeşim Ustaoğlu (2012, PAL, 124 min, color). See trailer on Youtube.

Course Relevance: rural economy, modernization, youth, gender, sexuality, social conditions, Turkey.

Official Synopsis: Araf – ‘Somewhere in Between’, relays the tale of two youngsters, Zehra and Olgun, who are stuck in kind of limbo in their lives. This life passes by in a service station where everything seems transient and vacuous, the only thing that keeps them going in their banal monotonous 24 hr work shifts is their naive youthful expectation of excitement and change on the horizon.  When they are off  they escape by watching the trashy daytime TV shows which tantalizingly promise an easy quick passage to a glamorous life. Read more…

Awards: Best Actress Award (Tokyo Film Festival), Black Pearl Award for Best Narrative Film (Abu Dhabi Film Festival).

Reviews: NYFF Review, Hollywoodreporter, The Match Factory.

Interviews with Yeşim Ustaoğlu: NYFF Press Conference – Richard Peña discusses with her the latest film as part of New York Film Festival’s Main Slate; discussing “Araf – Somewhere in Between” with Mike Fishman on Independent Film Now after it’s screening at the New York Film Festival, 2012.


MutlulukBliss/Mutluluk. A film by Abdullah Oguz adapted after Zülfü Livaneli’s 2002 novel by the same title (2007, PAL, 105 min., color). See trailer on Youtube.

Course relevance: gender, the body, patriarchy, religion, Turkey.

Synopsis by World Cinema: When a young woman named Meryem (Özgü Namal) is raped, her village custom requires that she be killed in order for the dishonour to be expunged from her family. A young man named Cemal (Murat Han), the son of the village leader, is given the task but at the last moment he has doubts. The pair go on the run, followed close behind by local thugs intent on killing the girl. Luckily enough, Cemal and Meryem meet up with a charismatic man named Irfan, an ex-university professor who is embarking on a sailing trip, and needs a crew. Seems Irfan is running away too–in his case from a dead marriage and an empty life. Together this unlikely trio set forth on a voyage that will change all of their lives. Read more…

Awards: Best Cinematography, Best Music, Jury’s Award (Ankara International Film Festival, 2008) Audience Award, Prize of the Young Film Makers (Nüremberg Film Festival, 2008), Audience Award (Miami Film Festival, 2008), Audience Award (Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, 2007), , Golden Orange (Anatalya Golden Orange Film Festival, 2007).

Reviews: New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle.


FetihFetih 1453/Conquest 1453. A film by Farouk Aksoy, 2012 (162 min., color). See trailer on Youtube.

Course relevance: Ottoman empire, nation, memory, popular culture, neo-Ottomanism, Turkey.

Synopsis: The film is opened in Medina during the time of the prophet Muhammad (627). Abu Ayyub al-Ansari tells other sahabas that Constantinople will be conquered by a blessed commander and army. Read the full synopsis on Wikipedia.

Reviews: New York Times, Washington Post, Filmadeus, Film Journal, The National, The Guardian, Daily Star, Today’s Zaman.

Article of interest: Sultan Erdogan: Turkey’s Rebranding into the New-Old Ottoman Empire


valiVali/The Governor. A film by Çagatay Tosun (2009, PAL, 93 min., color). Trailer on IMDB.

Course relevance: politics, economy, corruption, government, Turkey.

Brief Synopsis: Faruk Yazici is the idealist governor of the Aegean city of Denizli, where a team of engineers from the Turkish Mining Exploration Institute (MTA) have recently discovered reserves of uranium. The governor joins forces with childhood friend and head of MTA engineers Omer Ucar, in a fight against the beautiful and scheming bureaucrat Ceyda Aydin, who actually works to get mines in Turkey under the control of foreign companies. Interestingly, a number of unexplained murders are uncovered only a short while after the governor and the MTA engineers focus on the reserves in Denizli.


gunesi_gordum Günesi Gördüm/I Saw the Sun. A film by Mahsun Kırmızıgül (2009, PAL, 120 min., color). See trailer.

Course relevance: forced migration, emigration, nation, minority, gender, sexuality, civil war, 1980s, Kurds, Turkey.

Official Synopsis: A film dedicated to peace and children… A mountain village perched on the border between two worlds… The home, for generations, of the Altun family… But with the introduction of forced migration policies, the family finds itself wrenched from the village. This is the story of their relocation from east to west. Haydar and Isa Altun arrive with their respective families in Istanbul, where they decide to stay. But Davut Altun, his wife and children set their sights further afield and travel on to Norway… Spanning a period of 25 years, the film recounts the experiences of the three families as they struggle to find their feet in alien surroundings. It is a film that condemns all of discrimination or otherization and argues that war,fighting and contempt for anyone unlike oneself are the very problem itself… The story that unfolds in the film is a story that belongs to us all, to this country, to Turkey…

Awards: Asian Film Award – Special Mention (2009, Tokyo Film Festival), Best Supporting Actor – Cemal Toktaş (3rd Yeşilçam Awards).


yol_1shYol/The Road. A film by Yılmaz Güney (1982, PAL, 114 min., color).

Course relevance: everyday life, 1980 military coup.

Synopsis: Yol tells the story of several Kurdish prisoners on furlough in Turkey. Seyit Ali (Tarık Akan) travels to his house and finds that his wife (Şerif Sezer) has betrayed him and works as a prostitute. She was caught by her family and held captive for Seyit Ali to end her life in an honor killing. Though apparently determined at first, he changes his mind when his wife starts to freeze while travelling in the snow. Despite his efforts to keep her alive, he eventually fails. His wife’s death relieves Seyit Ali from family pressure and he is saved from justice since she freezes but he has an internal struggle and must return to jail. Read more…

Awards: Palm D’Or (1982 Cannes Film Festival), NBR Award (1982, National Board of Review, USA), Critics’ Award (1983, French Syndicate of Cinema Critics), ALFS Award (1984, London Critics Circle).

Reviews: New York Times, Today’s Zaman.


220px-Beş_VakitBeş Vakit/Times and Winds. A film by Reha Erdem (2006, PAL, 112 min., color). See trailer.

Course relevance: youth, social conditions, Turkey.

Official Synopsis: A small, poor village leaning over high rocky mountains, facing the immense sea, flanked by olive yards. Villagers are simple and diligent people who struggle to cope with a harsh nature. They earn their living, on a daily survival basis, out of the earth and of a few animals they feed. Just like the animals and trees around them, they have the knowledge of their temporary existence, hence a sober resignation prevails. Read more…

Awards: Best Turkish Film (2006 Istanbul International Film Festival), Best Turkish Film, Best Supporting Actor, Best Promising Actor, Best Promising Actress (2006 Adana Golden Boll Film Festival), Golden Antigone Mention
Nova Award, Young People’s Award (2006 nt. Mediterranean Film Festival Montpellier), Special Mention for Photography (2007 Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival), Emile Guimet Award (2007 Vesoul International Asian Film Festival), Special Mention for Directing Young Jury’s Award (2007 Nurnberg Turkey / Germany Film Festival), CineBlackSea Best Director (2007 Bucharest Film Festival).

Reviews: The Guardian, ICS.


Issiz Adam

Issiz Adam

Issiz Adam/Alone. A Film by Çagan Irmak (2008, PAL, 113 min., color). See trailer.

Course relevance: gender, consumerism, post-modernity.

Synopsis: Alper is in his mid 30s and a good chef at his own restaurant. He loves luxury and spends his life with one-night stands and paid love. One day, his life changes utterly as he walks into a second-hand shop where he first encounters Ada who is in her late 20s and has a shop where she designs costumes for kids. She leads a modest life and one day while looking for a book, her and Alper’s paths cross. Alper is fascinated by Ada’s beauty and starts following her with the book she has been looking for. Read more…

Awards: Best Feature (2009) – Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Reviews: Wild Thyme.


Romanian Titles

220px-ChildrenundergroundlrgChildren Underground. A documentary by Edet Belzberg. (2001, 104 min., color). Trailer on Youtube.

Synopsis: In an effort to increase the Romania’s work force, former communist leader Nicolae Ceauşescu outlawed contraception and abortion in 1966. Thousands of unwanted children were placed in state orphanages where they faced terrible conditions. With the fall of Communism, many children moved onto the streets. Some were from the orphanages. Others were runways from impoverished families. Today there are 20,000 children living on the streets while the resources for sheltering these homeless youths are severely limited. Children Underground follows the story of five street children. Read more…

Course relevance: post-socialism, social conditions, Ceaușescu, pro-natalist policies, youth.

Awards: Special Jury Prize – 2000 Sundance Film Festival, Documentary Achievement Award – Gotham Awards, IDA Awards – International Documentary Association, Vaclav Havel Special Mention – Prague One World Film Festival, nominated for the Academy Award for Best documentary feature.

Reviews: New York Times, New York Magazine, Variety, Village Voice.

Interview with Edet Belzberg: Indiewire – Edet Belzberg’s Children Underground brings the lives of Romanian street children to light by Nick Poppy.


the-autobiography-of-nicolae-ceausescuThe Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu. A documentary by Andrei Ujică (180 min., color, Romanian with English subtitles, 2010). See trailer.

Course relevance: national stalinism, personality cult, Romania, dictatorship, Cold War, Eastern Europe.

Official synopsis: During the summary trial that he and his wife were submitted to, Nicolae Ceausescu is reviewing his long reign in power: 1965-1989. It is an historical tableau that in its scope resembles American film frescos such as those dedicated to the Vietnam War. The three-hour long documentary covers 25 years in the life of Nicolae Ceaușescu and was made using 1,000 hours of original footage from the National Archives of Romania.

Awards: Best East European Documentary Award – International Documentary Film Festival (Czech Republic), Best Documentary, Best Editing, and Best Feature Film – Gopos Awards (Romania).

Reviews: The Washington Post, New York Review of Books, Vladimir Tismăneanu.

Interviews in The Filmmaker Magazine by Brandon Harris, Film Quarterly by Rob White, Cinespect by Ryan Wells.


Hungarian Titles

MV5BMTA3MTg1MDk4NTleQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDQ1NTg1MzE@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_Fateless. A film by Lajos Koltai adapted after the semi-autobiographical novel Fatelessness (1975) by the Nobel Prize-winner Imre Kertész. (140 min., color, Hungarian with English subtitles, 2005). See trailer. Official site in Hungarian.

Course relevance: Jews, Holocaust, World War II, Hungary, memory.

Synopsis: One young man’s devastating voyage through the Holocaust sets the stage for this powerful drama. Gyorgy “Gyurka” Koves (Marcell Nagy) is a 14-year-old Jewish boy living in Hungary when the Nazi pogroms begin sweeping through the country. Gyura’s father (Janos Ban) has his business taken away from him not long before he’s taken away to a concentration camp, and as he’s led away, Gyura agrees to his father’s request to look after his stepmother while he’s gone. Read more…

Awards: Ashland Independent Film Award, Gerald Hirschfeld A.S.C. Cinematography Award – Ashland Independent Film Festival, Golden Berlin Bear – Berlin Film Festival, Golden Frog – Camerimage, Gold Hugo – Chicago International Film Festival, Golden Swan – Coppenhagen International Film Festival,

Reviews: New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Guardian.


English Titles

akAnna Karenina. A film by Joe Wright (2012, 129 min., color).

Course relevance: social change, 19th c. Russia, gender, family, class, Russian literature, Tolstoy adaptations.

Awards: Breakthrough Performer – Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander (2012 Hamptons International Film Festival)

Reviews: The New Yorker, The Observer, The Daily Mirror, Huffington Post.


New Socialist Game from Poland

imagesKolejka/Queue: The Board Game. Created by Karol Madaj (Warsaw: Institute of National Remembrance, 2011).

Course relevance: everyday socialism, shortage, economy, corruption, 1980s, Poland, Eastern Europe, post-communism, memory, K-16.

Description: The Queue is a board game that tells a story of everyday life in Poland at the tail-end of the communist era. At first glance, the task of the 2 to 5 players appears quite simple: they have to send out their family, which consists of 5 pawns, to various stores on the game board to buy all the items on their randomly drawn shopping list. The problem is, however, that the shelves in the five neighborhood shops are empty…

Kolejka in News and Reviews: Spiegel Online, Associated Press, BBC News.

Gameplay Runthrough (1 and 2) and Final Thoughts on Youtube. 3 copies available in the REEEC Multimedia Library.

Story Time at the Urbana Free Library

REEEC and the Urbana Free Library hosted this year’s second Slavic Story time on March 2nd. Children listened to a lesser known Russian folk tale “The Animals’ Revenge” from James Riordan’s collection Russian Folk Tales (Oxford, 2000) and made a cat mask for themselves. The curriculum also included the Russian version of the children’s song “Rain, Rain, Go Away.”

“Animals’ Revenge” follows the story of a sly fox as she takes advantage of a half-witted old tomcat and hoodwinks the other animals of the forest. Mislead into thinking that the tomcat is the new governor of the forest, the fox – his alleged queen – forces the bear, the wolf, the deers and the squirrels to provide luscious meals in exchange for protection from the tomcat, a supposedly frightful monster. Yet, when the tomcat by a sudden turn of events wanders out of the fox’s den and the animals see him, they realize that they had been duped and swear to take revenge on the fox.

Tae Gyeong in his cat mask

Tae Gyeong in his cat mask

REEEC will hold this academic year’s last Slavic Story Time at the Urbana Free Library in early May. Children will hear an Uzbekh fairy tale, learn an Uzbekh children song and make a dopi for themselves.

Youth Literature Festival

On October 4-6, the College of Education hosted its fourth Youth Literature Festival. This annual event celebrates literature in the lives of youth by bringing together local and national authors, illustrators, poets, and storytellers to share their stories, craft, and enthusiasm with children, teens, and adults. Organized in collaboration with the University Library, author visits to area schools and libraries, as well as a writing contest for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, are also central to festival activities.

REEEC participated in the Community Day Celebration on the last day of the festival. Thanks to the Center’s display put together by our graduate assistant, Ryan Eavenson, children could immerse themselves in the beautifully illustrated translations of fairy tales from Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

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REEEC also informed parents and K-12 teachers of its resources and outreach activities, such as the Slavic Story and Craft Curricula, and the bi-monthly Slavic Story Time at the Urbana Free Library. Last but not least, both young and old were invited to make a Firebird mask and learn, thereby, about one of the most persistent symbols of Russian folklore and national culture. As David Galloway explained, “The Firebird as an icon is revered by the Russian peasants while at the same time alarming them. A symbol of power and wealth, it is always depicted as being large, strong, and shining like gold. The Firebird has inspired many stories and plays, including a famous ballet by Igor Stravinsky simply called  The Firebird.” The Annotated Afanas′ev Library, Courtesy of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature, University of Pittsburgh.

The Youth Literature Festival was a great chance to meet with a diverse section of the community in Illinois, and  disseminate the opportunities that REEEC has to offer. Thanks to the help of the organizers from the College of Education and the Center’s staff, REEEC was able to reach over four hundred children and adults, who expressed their enthusiasm by flaunting their firebird masks throughout the day. Next year, it shall be no different.

New Online Module for the 2011 Curriculum Development Workshop on the Bosnian Genocide

Violence Overload? Promoting Sensitivity to Human Suffering: The Case of Bosnia

In 2011, REEEC brought together a group of scholars and educators to design a campus workshop to support secondary school teachers and community college faculty in developing curriculum material that addresses crimes of genocide. Reflecting on the case of the Bosnian War of the 1990s, the workshop explored the challenge of teaching students to think about the complex social and psychological dynamics of national, ethnic, and religious violence in a way that avoids reinforcing stereotypes about the social groups involved, and that which promotes sensitivity to human suffering. The material encompasses Illinois Compiles Statues 105 ILCS 5 School Code, Section 27-20.3, the mandate to address in public school curriculum, crimes of genocide across the globe in order to “defer indifference to human suffering.”

This content is now available online, and is accessible to any scholar or educator at no cost. In order to gain access to the materials, users are asked to fill out a request form: Once the form is completed, users will be directed to the materials via a link on the form’s thank-you screen.  REEEC will send any additional materials needed (films, books, etc.) at no charge.

These curricula were designed to be used within 9-12 and Community College courses. Additionally, the curricula can serve as supplemental material for collegiate survey courses.

REEEC would like to thank Judith Pintar, Rob Whiting, Richelle Bernazolli, and Elena Jakel for developing the content for the original workshop, and Adam Schmitt for developing the curriculum guides.  REEEC also appreciates the efforts of Adam and Judith to convert the content for online access.

Story Time at the Urbana Free Library

Image from the cartoon “Sebastian the Dragonslayer”, produced by Pannonia Film Studio, Hungary.

On October 20, our Center recommenced its bi-monthly Slavic Story time at the Urbana Free Library. Children listened to the Hungarian fairy tale, “Sebastian, the Dragon-slayer”, and watched the corresponding cartoon from the immensely popular series, Hungarian Folktales (Magyar népmesék), for which production began in 1977. This cartoon is an example of the fetishization of folklore under late socialism, which occurred as communist parties across Eastern Europe merged the socialist notion of the people with romantic conceptions of the folk in a bid for political legitimacy.

The fairy-tale itself is a chain of two stories. The tale of how the young Sebastian turns from a shepherd into a slayer of dragons, and eventually into a king, is preceded by a story of his father and two uncles, who are elevated from utter poverty by a magician, and tested in their humanity. Only the father passes the character test, and as a reward, his son, Sebastian, benefits not only from the magician’s mentorship, but transcends his social origins completely. The story was followed by a sing-a-long of a Hungarian children’s song and craft time, which involved making a dragon.

In the upcoming academic year, REEEC will continue its partnership with the Urbana Free Library. On December 15 at 2:00-3:00 p.m., REEEC will be featuring the Russian fairy tale, Uncle Vova’s tree; children will also learn a Russian song and make a Christmas tree. Please join us for the event!

Global Fest

Baba Yaga riding through the forest in her mortor, swinging a pestle in one hand and a broom in the other.

On March 10, Normal West High School hosted Global Fest. Global Fest is a celebration and promotion of the study of world languages and international studies through educational activities connected to the Illinois Learning Standards for students 6th through 12th grades. Global Fest participants learn about and share the knowledge of the world through introductory lessons in languages of Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East; interactive cultural activities and performances; arts and crafts displays; global knowledge competitions, and exhibits.

REEEC presented “Russian Horror Stories,” to 60 students. During the workshop, students were asked to name favorite horror stories and then broke into groups to discuss what elements made the stories scary.  Then Students looked at pictures of scary characters common in Russian Folklore, one of them being Baba Yaga, and then compared these characters to the scary elements in their own favorite scary stories.  Discussion of Russian folktale characters was followed by a reading of the popular Russian folktale “Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave.”   Students also wrote their names using the Cyrillic alphabet and sampled Russian candy.

More on Global Fest can be found in an article written in the Bloomington Pantagraph :

You can also see their feedback here:

2012 Midwest Slavic Conference

Ohio State University
March 30 – April 1, 2012

The Midwest Slavic Association and The Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (CSEES) are proud to announce the 2012 Midwest Slavic Conference, that will be held at OSU March 30 – April 1, 2012.

Conference organizers invite proposals for panels or individual papers addressing all disciplines related to Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. The conference will open with a keynote address and a reception on March 30th, followed by two days of panels. If you would like to participate, please send a one-paragraph abstract and brief C.V. to by January 7, 2012. Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to submit presentations. Limited funding will be available to subsidize student lodging.

Application Deadline: January 7
Notification of Acceptance: February 1
Panels Announced: March 1
C.V. and Paper Submission Deadline: March 15

Midwest Slavic K-12 Teacher Workshop: Islam Outside the Middle East.” This workshop will take place on Saturday, March 31st and is open to all current and pre-service K-12 teachers of all subjects and grade levels. For more information on the workshop, please contact Ms. Jordan Peters at

For more information…

Center for Slavic and East European Studies at OSU
303 Oxley Hall, 1712 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210