Illinois Wesleyan to Host Russian Ethnographer as Scholars at Risk Speaker
December 20, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- An ethnographer from Russia, whose name is not being published
for security reasons, will give a public lecture at Illinois Wesleyan University as
a part of the Scholars at Risk Speaker Series to educate the public about threats
to academic freedom and attacks on scholars.
The lecture, entitled "Family, Women and Survival Strategies in the Caucasus and Central
Asia" will be held on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 4 p.m. in the Beckman Auditorium of The
Ames Library (1 Ames Plaza, Bloomington). The program is free and open to the public.
The ethnographer will discuss the challenges facing women and others in the region,
drawing in particular on her own experiences as a female scholar in Russia.
Her work focuses on gender issues, ethnic identity and traditional life in the North
Caucasus. It has been reported, given the current political situation in the region,
especially in Chechnya, these are all sensitive areas of research. Because of the
need to respect traditional cultures in the region in order to achieve peaceful conflict
resolution, she began feeling pressures to quiet her views.
The scholar received her Kandidatskaya degree from Moscow State University and defended
her doctoral thesis at the Institute of Oriental Studies. She conducted original field
work in social anthropology in Central Asia and the Caucasus from 1980-1999. She taught
courses at Moscow State University, and for the UNESCO International Peace Program
in Spain. She came to the United States first as a fellow at the United Institute
of Peace and later as a Rockefeller Fellow at the Kroc Institute at the University
of Notre Dame. Her major publications include two individual monographs: The Family in the Developing Countries of the Orient and A socio-demographic analysis and Inter-family behavior of Oriental Women.
The scholar is also the editor and a contributing author of two other books, which
were published as a result of her project "Portrait of Oriental Village." She has
had her articles published in numerous Russian, English and American journals.
Illinois Wesleyan is an early founder of Scholars at Risk, an international network
of over 80 colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the world that promotes
academic freedom and defends the human rights of scholars worldwide. Scholars at
Risk members provide sanctuary for persecuted scholars by hosting them as visiting
professors, lecturers, researchers or students. Network members also may host events,
including lectures and conferences, and contribute to research and advocacy efforts
to promote academic freedom.
In 2004 the University hosted Emmanuel Tatah Mentan, a political scientist and former
journalist from Cameroon, as a visiting professor from the international Scholars
at Risk Network.
For more information about Scholars at Risk, please visit: http://scholarsatrisk.nyu.edu or contact Carla Stuart (212) 998-2179.
For information about the lecture, please contact Professor of Educational Studies
Irving Epstein at (309) 556-3098.