This event will bring together two scholars who are currently living in Columbus: Brandon Harvey (an American dual MA/MPA student in the Center for Slavic and East European Studies) and Teresa Temu (a Russian-speaking African Studies scholar born in Belarus to a Belarusian mother and Tanzanian father). Brandon and Teresa have both studied in Russia, a country that despite having citizens and visitors from Asia, Europe, the U.S. and Africa, sees itself as almost exclusively white. How do Black Americans and Black Russians cope with the way Russians react to their identities? What kinds of positive interactions are common? How does Russian vocabulary about Blackness sound to an English-speaker? Are there regional differences, and if so, what do they tell us about Russian urban and rural spaces? How have famous Blacks in Russia and abroad and/or African/U.S. Black music factored into the picture? Each speaker will describe and analyze their own experiences in Russia, and they will respond to questions from the moderator, Dr. Angela Brintlinger (CSEES director and Professor of Russian) and the audience. Given the importance of Russian language, culture, and influence for people all over the world, this conversation will aim to get at the issue of Blackness in Russia and help further understanding of potential conflicts and complications as well as opportunities for Black students in Russia.
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