Jeff first traveled to Russia in 2010 with a fellow Saint Martin's professor and a group of students before returning in 2013 as a Fulbright Scholar. He lived and taught at Petrozavodsk State University (an overnight train ride northeast from St. Petersburg). He met no politicians on his travels (well, a couple of mayors), but did meet and work with everyday Russians. He will show slides from his trip, including a side trip to Chernobyl and Ukraine at the start of the civil unrest, and discuss his experiences in this often misunderstood country.
Jeff Birkenstein is a professor in and previous chair of the Department of English at Saint Martin's University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 2003; he has a second MA in TESOL/EFL, also from Kentucky. His major interests lie in American and world short stories; food; and, cultural criticism, especially post-9/11 narratives.
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