An Open Dialogue

moscow buildings

Russian professors win State Department grant

by Tony Moore

While U.S.-Russia relations aren’t exactly at their warmest, Assistant Professor of Russian Alyssa DeBlasio and Associate Professor of Russian Elena Dúzs have been awarded a grant that aims to bridge the divide academically.

Through the U.S. Department of State’s U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program, the pair has been granted $76,573 for a scholar exchange with the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH), home of Dickinson’s study-abroad program in Moscow. The program is designed to be an academic and pedagogical exchange and will be carried out in person in Carlisle and Moscow and via online avenues.

“We’ll be holding workshops, brainstorming how our two institutions might work together more closely and sharing best practices in liberal-arts teaching,” says DeBlasio. In Russia, DeBlasio and Dúzs will help develop new English-language seminar-style courses, while their Russian counterparts will bring the Russian classroom experience to Dickinson and expose the broader student body to the best in Russian educational methods.

One visiting scholar from Russia will be teaching a course in American photography in the Department of Art & Art History, and another Dickinson professor, Associate Professor of History Christopher Bilodeau, will travel to Moscow to hold a workshop for historians on open-access digital archives and strategies for using these collections in teaching.

“Dickinson has been partnering with RSUH since the early 2000s, and our relationship has remained strong and productive throughout the ups and downs of U.S.-Russia relations,” DeBlasio says. “[RSUH’s goals] are very much in tune with the leading values of a Dickinson education, and so we're excited to share curricular and pedagogical methodology with our Russian colleagues.”

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Published December 4, 2014