This summer the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, the Center for West European Studies, and the Center for Global Studies partnered for an educator workshop. The one-day event was designed to consider current electoral trends in Europe and Russia. More than 20 middle school, high school, and community college educators from around Washington learned about current electoral, economic, and multicultural issues facing Europe and Russia and equipped themselves with the tools necessary to teach these complicated and controversial subjects in their classrooms.
Many of the day’s talks were recorded for podcasting after the workshop.
The Rise of Neo-Nationalists in Russia
Michelle O’Brien, a doctoral candidate in the Sociology Department and a Graduate Fellow at the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, studies the complex relationship between conflict and migration in Russia, Tajikistan, and East Germany. She spoke about the electoral success of Vladimir Putin and brought to light relationships between certain groups in Russia, such as the Night Wolves biker gang and the Russian president. She also emphasized the importance of films in instruction, speaking about “Putin’s Kiss,” a film that she explained could be used in a classroom setting.