Two win Critical Language Scholarships from U.S. State Department
"The Shattered Chronicles of Svetlana Alexievich," who won the 2015 Nobel Laureate in Literature, will be discussed in a panel on Tuesday, March 29, from 4:15 – 5:45 p.m. in Blaustein Humanities Center, Ernst Common Room. The event is free and open to the public.
A reading group brought three faculty members and six students together for four weeks this semester to discuss Alexievich's two books available in English, "Zinky Boys" and "Voices from Chernobyl." The students in the group range from first-years to seniors, among them Slavic studies and English majors, students of Russian language, and one mathematics major. According to Professor of Slavic Studies Andrea Lanoux, "It was an amazing group of students who love literature and talking about books."
Although Svetlana Alexievich received international recognition upon receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in October, 2015, to date only two of her six major works are available in English translation. This event will present the opportunity to learn about her entire body of writing from Connecticut College scholars of Slavic studies, who will speak about all six of her major works.
According to Professor Lanoux, Alexievich invented her own genre — collective, first-hand witness accounts of major historical events. Alexievich records individual narratives of events in personal interviews (usually numbering 500 to 700 per book), then retells, reorders and represents them in the form of a many-voiced chronicle that offers myriad views of a single historical moment. "Her chronicles tend to focus on traumatic events and extraordinary human suffering, and thus they are 'shattered' in two senses: they break monologic historical narratives into individual human experiences; and they convey violent, life-shattering trauma on a very personal level," says Lanoux.
Faculty members who will present on Alexievich's books in Russian are Christopher Colbath, Learning Specialist and ESOL Coordinator and adjunct faculty in Slavic Studies; Petko Ivanov, Lecturer in Slavic Studies; Eileen Kane, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Global Islamic Studies Program; Lanoux; and Laura Little, Instructional Designer/Director of the Language and Culture Center. The students Aneeka Kalia '16 and Mitch Paro '16 will present on the books in English, "Zinky Boys" and "Voices from Chernobyl".
The event is sponsored by the Department of Slavic Studies at Connecticut College and the Connecticut College President’s Fund for Faculty-Student Engagement and will be preceded by a dessert reception at 4 p.m.