Last November we invited thirteen college students from across the country to spend a weekend in our Department to learn about the Ph.D. Program in Slavic Languages and Literatures. Our faculty and graduate students presented their current research projects, discussed their work as translators, and shared their experience as language instructors. The cultural highlight of the event was the public screening of the video recording of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin performed by the famous Moscow Vakhtangov Theater.
Our visitors came from diverse backgrounds and had a wide range of interests. We were very much impressed with their knowledge, dedication to study, and social engagement. And while they learned from us about our work, we learned from them about the future of our field. Over the past ten years, our Department has been consistently moving toward interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches to research and teaching, and our conversations with these remarkable young men and women reassured us that this is the future of our field. A focus on Slavic languages and literatures serves as a point of departure for the investigation of a whole range of issues related to the major concerns of today’s world: security, environment, social justice, diversity. Our research and teaching cover a wide range of countries and cultures, which offer incredibly rich and diverse materials for education and research for the future generation of scholars.