Russian Scholars Visit Campus for International Colloquium
Sept. 7, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University will welcome a delegation of scholars
from Russia as part of “Childhood & Globalization: An International Colloquium” from
The colloquium will consist of readings and discussions with scholars principally
from Illinois Wesleyan, Illinois State University (ISU) and the Russian State University
for the Humanities (RGGU) in Moscow. Several sessions are free and open to the public.
The event is sponsored by Illinois Wesleyan’s Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
Department (MCLL), the International Studies program at IWU, the Isaac Funk Foundation
and the ISU Department of English.
Altogether, eight scholars from Russia will take part in the colloquium, which will
focus on children’s literature and politics of childhood around the globe. The Russian
scholars are from RGGU and St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts. Co-organizers
for the colloquium are Illinois Wesleyan faculty members Isaac Funk Professor of Russian
Studies Marina Balina and Associate Professor of French and Italian Scott Sheridan.
“United by a desire to investigate such a multifaceted subject as childhood around
the globe, our colloquium attempts to address many different aspects of this issue
– from the politics of childhood and its historical context, to literary production
and various cultural practices and depictions of children in different forms of media,”
The sessions open to the public, which will be at Illinois Wesleyan and ISU, include:
Monday, Sept. 13
2-3:30 p.m., Beckman Auditorium of The Ames Library (1 Ames Plaza East, Bloomington). Film viewing
of First Squad: The Moment of Truth with an introduction by Svetlana Leont’eva of St. Petersburg State University of
Culture and Arts.
5:30-7:30 p.m., Beckman Auditorium. A session titled “Theoretical Approaches to Childhood.” Presenters
will be Professor of English Roberta Seelinger Trites of ISU and Professor of English
Karen Coats of ISU with “Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Literature for Youth”;
Illinois Wesleyan Associate Dean of Faculty Irv Epstein with “Issues of Embodiment
and the Commodification of Childhood in the 21st Century: Some Preliminary Observations”;
Larissa Rudova of Pomona College of California with “Fairest of Them All: Beauty and
Feminine Identity in Post-Soviet Girl Fiction”; and Anna Ozhiganova of RGGU with “Alternative
Childhood: Contemporary Utopian Projects and the Construction of ‘Superior Human.’”
The moderator will be Coats.
Tuesday, Sept. 14
3:30 p.m.-6 p.m., Beckman Auditorium. A session titled “Childhood and Political Action.” Presenters
will be Professor of Russian and East European Literature Anja Tippner of the University
of Salzburg, Austria, with “The Making of a Global Soldier: Soviet Children’s Literature
on World War II”; Senior Lecturer of Contemporary Russian Literature Olga Rosenbloom
of RGGU with “Adaptation of Children of Forced Migrants in Megapolis: The Case of
Moscow”; and Associate Professor of Anthropology Maria Tendriakova of RGGU with “Childhood
at the Crossroads: Between Family Tradition and State Politics.” The moderator will
be Associate Professor of Anthropology Rebecca Gearhart of IWU.
Wednesday, Sept. 15
6:10-8:30 p.m., Schroeder Hall 236, ISU. A session titled “Childhood in Image and Sound” with presentations
by Associate Professor of German and Eastern European Studies Sonja Fritzsche of IWU
with “Once Upon a Heimat: Fairy Tale Films as East German Heimat”; Gearhart with “Changing
Notions of Childhood among the Swahili of Coastal Kenya”; and Associate Professor
of Cultural Studies Oksana Gavrishina of RGGU with “Images of Childhood in the 20th
Century Photography.” The moderator will be Professor of English Jan Susina of ISU.
Friday, Sept. 17
9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m., Beckman Auditorium. The closing session titled “Globalizing Childhood and New Approaches.”
Presenters will be Vitaly Bezrogov and Galina Makarevich of RGGU with “Sovietism,
Russianness, and Globality in the Concept of Childhood: Analyzing Cover Pages of Elementary
Schoolbooks in Russia from 1976 through 2006”; April Schultz of IWU with “Duty and
Desire: Children and Domestic Ideology in Classic Hollywood Film”; Leont’eva with
“Life after Death: Depiction of Soviet Young Pioneers in Contemporary Cartoons”;
Susina with “Globalizing Childhood through Children’s New Media”; and Balina and Sheridan
with “Globalizing Childhood through Translation: French Authors for Russian Children.”
The moderators will be Tippner and Oksana Gavrishina.
According to Balina, in this intellectual exchange, collaboration between the American
and Russian institutions is as important as the topic. “We all share a common goal:
to understand and describe both our diverse history and the current realities of the
childhood experience in a rapidly changing, global existence,” she said. “Our colloquium
provides those scholars participating with a unique opportunity for the immediate
exchange of ideas on this important subject, and this exceptional intellectual climate
will foster future collaboration that will continue long after this initial dialogue
For more information on the colloquium, contact Balina or Sheridan at the MCLL Department
at (309) 556-3044.
Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960