November 2014 Events

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Concert: "All-Night Vigil: Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky" 

The Festival Choir of Madison


When: Saturday, November 1, 6:30pm lecture, 7:30pm performance

Where:First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 University Day Drive

Sponsors: The Festival Choir of Madison


About the Event: Written nearly 35 years before the more famous Vespers by Sergei Rachmaninoff, the All-Night Vigil by Tchaikovsky was written in an attempt to ensure that church music in Russia retained a uniquely Russian flavor. The work, containing settings from three “overnight” canonical hours (Vespers, Matins, and First Hour), is a beautiful representation of the Russian liturgical repertoire.


Join us for a pre-concert lecture, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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Concert: "Polish Jazz Duet" 

Grazyna Auguscik & Paulinho Garcia


When: Saturday, November 1, 7pm

Where:The Brink Lounge's Nightclub, 701 East Washington Avenue


About the Event: Chicago-based acoustic duo Grazyna Auguscik and Paulinho Garcia will be performing at the Brink Lounge's Night. Together, they mix their respective Polish and Brazilian backgrounds together to produce a totally unique sound: delicate and smooth, but wtih a groove. Be prepared to be transported around the world as the duo sings original pieces and jazz covers in Portuguese, English, Polish and Spanish. 


Tickets: advance $10, at the door $13  (tickets can be purchased at the club's website or by calling their number)




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Film screeing: "The Heart above the Castle (Srdce nad Hradem)"

Czech film series - The Play's the Thing: Václav Havel, Art, and Politics


When: Tuesday, November 4, 4:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, the Department of Political Science, the Global Legal Studies Center, funding courtesy of the University Lectures Committee


Jan Němec | 2007 | 48 min | Czech with subtitles


About the Film: In The Heart above the Castle, Havel takes director Jan Němec behind the scenes of the 2002 NATO Summit in Prague. Traveling into areas normally inaccessible and interviewing people normally unreachable (heads of state, for example), the footage shows a surprisingly “human side” of top politicians, capturing comical commentaries, hesitancies, and small stresses, and bringing the formal world of politics and the grandeur of NATO into the realm of the everyday.


About the Series: Václav Havel (1936–2011), the dissident and imprisoned dramatist who went on to become a world-renowned statesman as first president of the Czech Republic, changed the course of twentieth-century history by mixing theater with politics and peacefully ending communism in his country. His plays, filled with metaphor and pointed innuendo, exposed the failings of the system, and Havel became a hero in an epic struggle. This program is based on the places and people that Havel knew, from the influential Theatre on the Balustrade, where his theatrical career began, to his friendships with filmmakers of the Czech New Wave, and to his political ascendancy in Prague.




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"Russia as a Recruited Development Donor"

Patty A. Gray, Lecturer in Anthropology, National University of Ireland Maynooth (“Maynooth University”)


When: Thursday, November 6, 4:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, the Department of Political Science, the Global Legal Studies Center, funding courtesy of the University Lectures Committee


About the Speaker: Professor Gray researches a variety of phenomena in Russia, within a broader European context, from an anthropological perspective. She has been carrying out ethnographic fieldwork in Russia for over 20 years, at field sites ranging from the western capitals to the Russian Far East and North, investigating such topics as the rise of indigenous activism among Siberian peoples in the 1990s, the privatization of collective farms, the political economy of reindeer herding, and the impact of foreign missionary activity and humanitarian aid coming into Russia. More recently she has turned her attention to international development aid going out of Russia as well as the role of online social media in Russia’s 2011-12 street demonstrations. She is the author of The Predicament of Chukotka’s Indigenous Movement: Post-Soviet Activism in the Russian Far North (Cambridge); she has published on Russia’s aid program in European Journal of Development Research and Anthropology Today.


Professor Gray is a CREECA alum, having taken CREECA’s postgraduate certificate alongside her PhD in Anthropology from UW in 1998. She went on to a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany (where she met her husband of 11 years, Michael Ladisch, a librarian who grew up in the former GDR). She subsequently taught at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, achieving the status of tenured Associate Professor before succumbing to the exotic temptation of a permanent Lectureship in Ireland.


About the Lecture: This presentation explores Russia’s evolving international development assistance apparatus. Russia has a long history of providing foreign aid in its incarnation as the Soviet Union, but the post-1991 period of ‘transition’ seems to function for many observers as a period of selective erasure and re-writing, producing either incredulity that Russia is a donor at all, or suspicion that whatever Russia is up to in this arena, it must be not good. There remains surprisingly little substantive analysis of Russia’s actual development policies and practices (this is a PhD project waiting for a taker). While Russia is sometimes lumped in with the phenomenon of ‘emerging donors’, Russia is really less an emerging donor than a recruited one, targeted in a concerted effort of capacity-building and consulting by global agencies such as the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program, with funding from national aid agencies such as DFID and USAID. However, while this effort attempted to encompass ‘Russia’ as a unitary entity, it has had differential effects among the great variety of Russian actors in different government ministries who participated in the programs. The presentation traces the recent historical development of Russia’s donorship in the context of these capacity-building programs, focusing in particular on tensions between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the fitful attempts to create a dedicated Russian aid agency.

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UW-Madison Russian Folk Orchestra


When: Saturday, November 8, 12:00pm

Where: Grace Episcopal Church, Madison, WI

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia


About the Concert: The UW Russian Folk Orchestra performs at Grace Episcopal Church downtown Madison. Russian and East-European folk music performed on authentic Russian instruments, balalaikas, domras, and bayans. Anna Gubenkova (alto), soloist.






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Polish Christmas Bazaar


When: Satuday, November 8, 9:00am-3:00pm

Where:Knights of Columbus Hall, 5256 Verona Road, Fitchburg

Sponsors: Polish Heritage Club-Madison


About the Event:The Polish Heritage Club of Madison will be hosting a Polish Christmas Bazaar. Come peruse their selection of traditional polish products: breads, chrusciki, kolaczki, poppy seed rolls, amber jewelry, Boleslawiec Polish pottery, toys, children’s books, Polish wooden plates, nativity sets, holiday ornaments, and many more. While your there, don't miss the demonstrations of Polish crafts making, learn more about your heritage at the Genealogy and Polish/Wisconsin history booth, bid in a silent auction, enjoy a Polish lunch (eat-in or take-out), listen to musicians play traditional music, and Vvew a beautiful Szopka (wooden crèche). Everyone is invited to the bazaar. Free admission and free parking. Credit cards are accepted.

For more information, call (608) 239-0398 or (608) 217-2658

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"Criminal Law as an Instrument of Authoritarian Rule: The Case of Vladimir Putin"

Peter Solomon, Professor of Political Science, Law, and Criminology, University of Toronto


When: Thursday, November 13, 4:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, the Department of Political Science, the Global Legal Studies Center, funding courtesy of the University Lectures Committee, First-Year Interest Groups


About the Speaker: Peter H. Solomon, Jr. is a professor of Political Science, Law and Criminology at the University of Toronto and Member of its Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. His books include Soviet Criminal Justice under Stalin (1996, and in Russian 1998 and 2008), Reforming Justice in Russia, 1864‑1996: Power, Culture, and the Limits of Legal Order (editor), and Courts and Transition in Russia: The Challenge of Judicial Reform (with Todd Foglesong, 2000). His research focuses on judicial reform in Russia and Ukraine, where he participates in reform projects (e.g. for the World Bank, OSCE, and the Canadian International Development Agency) as well as on criminal law, procedure, and justice in authoritarian and transitional states. His recent articles deal with the rapid growth in Russia of Italian style plea bargaining; criminalization and decriminalization in post communist transitions; judicial accountability in the post-communist world; and the over (mis) use of criminal prosecutions in the regulation of business in the Russian Federation.


About the Lecture: The first two and a half years of Vladimir Putin’s new presidency (from 2012) saw a surge in changes in Russia’s criminal law, aimed not at making the law work better but to accomplish political goals of a general nature. Some changes provided new restrictions on speech, demonstrations, and the activity of civil society groups, while others represented appeals to conservative social forces. Still other changes continued a struggle between entrepreneurs and law enforcement officials over the criminal law regulation of business, a form of predation serving the needs of state officials seeking to share in its profits. Taken as a whole, the changes embodied a crackdown that contrasted with the policies of “humanizing” criminal law and accommodating the needs of business pursued by President Dmitrii Medvedev.  With one wave of changes coming on the heels of the post-election protests of 2012 and another in the wake of Ukraine’s Euromaidan, the crackdown also constituted a classic response by an authoritarian regime to perceived threats. Vladimir Putin’s use of the criminal law and its administration to secure authoritarian order echoed the instrumental approach to law that prevailed in Soviet times.




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Panel Discussion: "Global Hot Spots: 'A New Russia? A New Cold War? Reflections on a Tense Year'"

Yoshiko Herrera (political science), David McDonald (history), and Irina Shevelenko (Slavic languages).


When: Friday, November 14, 1:30-2:30pm

Where: The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

Sponsors: Wisconsin Alumni Association and the UW Division of International Studies, with support from the Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia


About the Panel: “Is this a different Russia than it was one year ago?” One reads a lot of commentary these days making precisely this assertion: the combination of nationalist fervor in favor of the Crimean annexation, equation of any dissent with treason, and massive popular support for Putin equate to a qualitatively different Russian society than that which had existed until the Crimean annexation. If Russia is (or is not) different, what can we expect to happen in the coming months? Is there anything the United States can do to improve relations with the Russian government? Or, are we in for a new period of “cold war” relations regardless of any action we might take? Are there any grounds for hope that the situation could improve within Russia? You’ll find compelling answers to all these questions from this distinguished panel of experts.


Please register at


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Film Screening: "Stones for the Rampart"

24th Annual Polish Film Festival


When: Saturday, November 15, 1:00pm

Where: Marquee Theater, Union South

Sponsors: UW-Madison Polish Student Association, The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia


Robert Glinski | 2013 | Polish with English subtitles


About the Film: The story is a slightly fictionalized account of real lives of young people from the Polish underground movement during World War II.








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Film Screening: "Walesa"

24th Annual Polish Film Festival


When: Saturday, November 15, 3:00pm

Where: Marquee Theater, Union South

Sponsors: UW-Madison Polish Student Association, The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia


Andrzej Wajda | 2013 | Polish with English subtitles


About the Film: Walesa captures the metamorphosis of a simple man – from an electric technician at the Gdansk shipyard who fought for labor rights to a charismatic leader   who awoke the desire for freedom in millions of people and led to change that exceeded their wildest dreams.




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"German Foreign Policy Perspectives on Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the Middle East: Impact on the Transatlantic Partnership"

Hans-Ulrich Klose


When: Thursday, November 20, 5:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, the Center for German and European Studies, the Madison Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany, and Middle East Studies


About the Speaker: Hans-Ulrich Klose will be on campus as Dr. Henry A. Kissinger Speaker  for the American Council on Germany. He is anAdvisor to the Robert Bosch Foundation.  He is the former Chairman of the German-American Parliamentary Group and a former Member of the German Bundestag (MdB). Prior to that position, he was Coordinator of German-American Cooperation in the Federal Foreign Office. He has also served as Vice Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag since October 2002. His previous positions include Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag, Vice President of the German Bundestag, Chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag, and Treasurer of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.  A former Governing Mayor of the City of Hamburg, Mr. Klose was first elected to the Bundestag in 1983. Mr. Klose was also the Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation in the Field of Intersocietal Relations, Culture and Information Policy at the Federal Foreign Office from 2010 to 2011.


About the Lecture: Mr. Klose will give an overview of German foreign policy positions on recent developments in Russia and Ukraine, the role of Turkey in the Syrian crisis, and emergence of IS in the Middle East.  He will discuss this in the context of the Transatlantic Partnership with particular reference to the NATO alliance.




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Balkan Dancing

Intemperance Collective


When: Saturday, November 22, 6:30-11:30pm

Where:Folklore Village, 3210 County Road BB, Dodgeville, WI 53533


About the Event: Drop the books and head to the country for an evening.  Folklore Village, located 37 miles west of Madison, features the zany, eclectic Intemperance Collective for its Fall Folk Fare Fundraiser on Saturday, November 22. 


The Intemperance Collective consists of five Madison-area musicians who play foot-stomping dance music from the eleven countries lining southeast Europe’s Balkan Mountains.  Dances, all of which will be taught, include traditional line dances of villagers, whirling skirts of young women, and zesty yells, kicks, foot slaps, and twirls with roots in Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey, among other countries.  Musicians are Ed Feeny on the tangy tamboura;  David Grindrod pounding melody and rhythm on accordion and bass domra;  Greg Smith, master of complex tupan drumming;  Anna Purnell, sizzling on vocals and trumpet;  together with gadulka artist Flora van Wormer, who traveled to Bulgaria to learn the language and music.


 The evening starts at 6:30 pm with a potluck supper, and ends at 11:30 pm, but not until you've danced to the Prairie Bayou Cajun Band and open-to-all Folklore Village Orchestra too -- 3 bands, 6 callers, and 100+ folk themed items.


For more information, contact Madeline Uraneck:



















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