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XХI Fulbright Humanities Summer School "Creative Writing and Curricular Innovation in the Humanities"

XХI Fulbright Humanities Summer School "Creative Writing and Curricular Innovation in the Humanities" took place in Yasnaya Polyana, Leo Tolstoy's museum-estate, on August 27-29, 2018. The school was organized by Tatyana Venediktova, alumna of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar program of 1994-1995 and 2012-2013. Tatyana, professor at the Moscow State University, has been organizing Fulbright Summer Schools in Humanities for many years.

The School's speakers featured such prominent names as Christopher Merrill, Maureen Freely, Maya Kucherskaya, Andrey Astvatsaturov, Ekaterina Lyamina, Alexandra Bazhenova-Sorokina and others, with each discussion skillfully moderated by Diana Nemets-Ignasheva. One of the speakers, Alexandra Bazhenova-Sorokina, shares her impressions:

"This summer school gave me a lot in terms of understanding the US approach to teaching creative writing, which is to a large extent based on giving the students the tools for expressing themselves and for interpreting and elaborating on their own experience. This method seemed to me uneasy to apply with Russian students as our culture values personal experience in a different way, and showing vulnerability or describing your own failures is considered shameful. Yet I was in for a surprise during Ekaterina Lyamina’s lecture on writing about oneself and working with Ego-documents when I found out that the workshop on writing autobiographical texts is an important part of Creative Writing School in Moscow and that its attendants really open up and show great results in terms of writing progress. Alexey Vdovin’s presentation on writing biographies was a very clear and easy to follow description of the working process, which created a sweet albeit false impression that writing biographies is definitely achievable due to a well-thought-out teaching method and the help from the editors."

Photo by T. Venediktova

The Fulbright Program in Russia. Institute of International Education.
Strastnoy Bulvar 8A, 4th floor, Moscow, Russia 107031
Tel: +7.495.966.9353 Contact: info@fulbright.ru