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Sochi Olympics Symposium Thursday


Sochi Olympics  Symposium on  Thursday; Opening Ceremonies Viewing on Friday – On Thursday, Feb. 6, Stetson’s Russian Studies Program will host a symposium on  the Russian context for the 2014  Winter Olympics. The Opening Ceremonies and the Winter sport competitions begin on Feb. 7, and take place in the southwest of Russia, in the resort ski town of Sochi.

Guest speakers, Dr. Robert Orttung, assistant director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies and associate professor of international affairs at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and Dr. Jenifer Parks, assistant professor of history at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with Stetson’s Russian Studies faculty, will discuss Soviet/Russian sports, the Olympics, and the political and historical context.

The event, supported by the College of Arts and Science at Stetson, is open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m., in the Faculty Lounge in the Carlton Union Building, 131 E. Minnesota Ave.

“This is Russia’s chance–Putin’s chance–to demonstrate Russia’s preeminent place in the world of sports, politics, culture, and business. It is a moment of great national pride and ambition,” said Russian Studies associate professor Dr. Michael Denner, who has organized this event. “Of course, there is a host of issues that distract from the image that Putin would like to project— human rights issues , especially LGBT rights in Russia , as well as  unrest and terrorism in the Caucasus  and  the current near-civil war in Ukraine. These problems threaten to obscure the rituals and glamour that traditionally surround the Olympic Games.”

The public and campus community are invited to watch the  Opening Ceremonies  of the Sochi Olympics on Friday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m., in the Hollis Center Lounge in an event co-sponsored by the Stetson International Organization. Political science professor, Dr. Eugene Huskey will introduce the event, providing students the cultural and political context of Russia.

“We’re working with assistant professor of communication and media studies, Dr. Jelena Petrovic, to provide social media reaction to the Olympics and the ceremonies,” said Denner. “Toward that end, she and her students will have a number of stations around the lounge for students to follow and participate in new-media coverage of the events.”

Cultural credit for both events will be provided to Stetson students who attend the main portion of the events with current IDs. For further information, please contact Stetson’s Russian Studies program office at 386-822-7381.