November 30, 2007

Fulbright to Russia, website update

If you were checking out my last post about CEERES's call for applications for the Fulbright-Hays Summer 2008 Group Project Abroad to Russia, I want to point you to the website on our page where we're posting all of the necessary information.

I keep updating it, so keep checking back. And do not hesitate to contact me with questions.

November 19, 2007

Fulbright to Russia opportunity for K-12 Educators

CEERES is pleased to announce a call for applications K-12 educators to travel to Russia and develop innovative materials to bring back to school districts and classrooms.

2008 Fulbright-Hays GPA Short-Term Seminar in Russia
“Discovering Russia: Challenging Stereotypes and Media Myths”

Download application [MSWord] [PDF]
Download flyer [PDF]
*A full website is forthcoming.

June 19- July 23, 2008 [Tentative Program Dates]:
June 19–23 Pre-departure workshop at The University of Chicago
June 24–July 21 Seminar in Russia

CEERES, in conjunction with faculty at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, has submitted a grant application for a Fulbright–Hays Group Project Abroad (GPA) to lead a short-term seminar in Russia on “Discovering Russia: Challenging Stereotypes and Media Myths” for educators. The seminar will take place mainly in the historic cultural city of Vladimir, Russia, followed by trips to Murom, St. Petersburg, and Moscow. The seminar will be preceded by a curriculum development workshop/predeparture orientation to be held at The University of Chicago campus.

For some helpful background information, you check the website of previous similar programs held through University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign here:

Although the Fulbright-Hays GPA grant for this program is still pending (expected notification date: March 2008), we are proceeding with the participant application for the seminar to Russia. Please be aware that the proposed seminar is contingent on the grant funding approval.

Application Deadline: February 22, 2008 (postmarked)

For more information, please contact 773-702-0866, email

Mail application to:
attn Fulbright GPA
5835 S. Kimbark Ave., Rm 323
Chicago, IL 60637

Teaching Science, vis a vis Georgia

I ran into a fascinating article in the Chicago Tribune yesterday, Sunday, Nov 18. It's called "In Georgia, a missing link?", and can be found here.

It's about recent discoveries of pre-historic human and human-like remains in the fertile region below the Caucasus mountains.

I thought this might be of special interest to middle school and high school science teachers looking to bring a bit of international areas into their teaching. But it's also interesting in terms of the economics and state of research in the region.

November 14, 2007

Spotlight: Worldview

Chicago's excellent National Public Radio station WBEZ 91.5 FM produces a valuable and unique show on international issues, current, hot, and historic. In case you don't know about it, it's called Worldview. They cover all world regions, and put out a great show every day of the week. Here:

All of their shows are archived and downloadable, which means you can listen whenever it's convenient for you, wherever it's convenient. And, I think that makes for a very dynamic resource for teachers to use in the classroom.

I just want to highlight a few of their recent programs on the CEERES region. You can see the topics are pretty diverse:

The current crisis in Sakashvilli's Georgia, 11/8/07:

Steve LeVine on Central Asian pipeline politics and his book The Oil and the Glory [mentioned here numerous times!], 11/1/07:

The Perils of Gay Activism in Russia, 10/3/07:

November 12, 2007

new media @ CEERES

As CEERES grows and defines itself as a resource on The University of Chicago campus, and a resource for teachers everywhere, as well as for the general community, we're developing new programs and offerings. Part of the tactic is to put out materials on the web, and this blog is one of those means of conveyance of resources and information.

Today, I'd like to use the blog to highlight a couple of new items that we just posted on-line. We just finished our Bi-annual newsletter CEERES News. It's at press now, but you can get your advance copy in PDF form on our website at

We also contribute to CHIASMOS at the UC. CHIASMOS is an archive of video and audio of many of the public international and area studies events that our partner centers and we put on. It's at A few recent events that took place here this fall that are now available for viewing on CHIASMOS are: the talk by Robert Amsterdam, the legal counsel for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, entitled "Preparing for the Post-Putin Period", and the opening talk the photography exhibit "Time and the Sacred" delivered by the artist Pance Velkov. Soon to appear will be Steve LeVine's discussion of his new book "The Oil and the Glory."

I think I've also managed to stream a couple of radio interviews off of our website. One is an interview with Pance Velkov. The other is an interview with Heather Roberson, the writer of "Macedonia: What does it take to stop a war?", which she did with Harvey Pekar. [N.B. the beginning of each interview recording includes the end of the previous radio show, you get a special treat of music. Thank you to Martha Nicholas and Sasha Belyi for doing these interviews and providing the files). If you try to listen to these interviews and they give you trouble, please let me know.

In house, we're developing quite an eclectic collection of research materials on the various countries of our region, mainly through acquiring faculty collections over time. We're working on building a database of these materials right now, and at that the public will be able to search through what we have.

November 5, 2007

Cinema times

As I've noted often before, the CEERES region is well-represented in Chicago. Not just in its well-known ethnic populations and neighborhoods, but also in its constant cultural offerings. So much so, that I just can't keep up with the events before they've even begun.

Such is the case with the Greek immigrant film festival, concluding now at the Gene Siskel Film Center in downtown. It began in mid-October and is concluding tomorrow. But, there's another shot to catch a full run of films from our region at the Siskel. This Friday (Nov. 9 through Nov.15) the Lithuahian film week begins. Check it out.