Page 1

emprIS e

International Studies Program Magazine Middlebury College

First Issue


Fall 2008


inside empr



Adventurous Undertaking




Meet Our Track Directors


Next Year: A New Course on Sri Lanka


Big Houses, Bigger Dreams: Research in Ecuador


Playing with Poetry in Southern Arabia


International Space Station? This is Mission Control


To Understand the Culture– Work


Looking Back to Understand Ourselves and Others


Questions of Sovereignty in the Frozen North


Microfinance in a NonCapitalist Country


Russian and East European Studies Affiliated Faculty


Two Plus One


Yes You Can!


Greetings from the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs (RCFIA)


Why Study Abroad for a Full Year?


Featured images from Middlebury College’s 2008 Study Abroad Photo Contest


We Are “Green”

Editor-in-Chief: Thierry Warin Layout/Graphic Design: Carolann Davis Contributors: Caitlin Arnold, Ian Barrow, Thomas Beyer, Jeffrey Cason, Jessica Audrey Clayton, Carolann Davis, Miguel Fernandez, Mai Ann Healy, Guntram Herb, Michael Katz, Michael Kraus, Samuel Liebhaber, Ronald Liebowitz, Kevin Moss, Cynthia Packert, William Pyle, Rosa Ravenoki, Elana Wilson Rowe, Ira Schiffer, Tatiana Smorodinska, Stephen Snyder, Allison Stanger, Jacob Tropp, Anna Vassilieva, Thierry Warin, James West, and Larry Yarbrough. Cover Image: Inside metro station in Moscow by William (Bill) Mayers. Proof Readers: Martha Baldwin, Carolann Davis, Ioana Literat, and Charlotte Tate. This magazine may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the editor-in-chief. Responsibility for content lies solely with its contributors. emprise: adventurous undertaking


Adventurous Un


ndertaking W

175 STUDENTS, the second largest major on campus deserved its own magazine. Well, it’s done. The International Studies (IS) Program has its magazine: Emprise. Who else has collaborators covering more than 12 countries and 34 cities all over the world? CNN? The Economist? Sure. And also the IS major at Middlebury College! I know I am exaggerating, but let’s pause. Is it unreasonable to envision a magazine that will build on our students and faculty’s expertise to give us a deeper understanding of an international matter bringing at once some political, economic, and cultural backgrounds? ITH APPROXIMATELY

The IS major has three components: (1) a discipline ranging from history to political science, (2) a language, and (3) a regional specialization (Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, South Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe). Students become experts in both one disicipline and one region. The IS magazine benefits from the cultural immersion of our collaborators–students, alumni, and faculty members. They are all over the world, and this incredible resource now has a venue to express itself. You will find, for instance, an article from Professor Ian Barrow and one from Professor Samuel Liebhaber. This magazine has two dimensions: one geographical and one temporal. In its geographical dimension, the magazine aims at connecting students on campus to students abroad during their junior year.

The sharing of experience is an important element of having a successful semester or year abroad. In its temporal dimension, the magazine aims at connecting current students to alumni. By offering a voice to alumni, it allows them to share their post-Middlebury College experiences as well as new developments in their profession. You will also find in this magazine advice and updates on the requirements for the international studies major. The International Programs Office plays a key role in the major, and in this issue Professor Jeff Cason, Dean of International Programs, covers the rationale of spending a full year abroad. This major, in particular the Russian and East European Studies track, and the international breadth of Middlebury College owe a lot to the late Professor David Macey. President Ronald Liebowitz reflects on David’s career at Middlebury College. This issue is dedicated to David with, as you will see, a stronger emphasis on Russia and Eastern Europe. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Professor William Pyle and our program coordinator, Carolann Davis. K

Thierry Warin —Director, International Studies Program



Photo: Bob Handelman

he always treated them as adults because he believed they were genuinely interested in the subject matter and to treat them any other way would undermine our mission as educators. He challenged his students and expected much from them. He treated his colleagues the same way, yet his penchant to take the alternative view to what were near-universally held positions made for rich and always entertaining discussion.

President Ronald Liebowitz, Middlebury College

Article by President Ronald Liebowitz


COLLEGE LOST A GEM of a colleague and friend on August 10th. David Macey, professor of history and Russian studies, scholar of pre-revolutionary Russian agrarian reform, and architect of the College’s extensive programs abroad, passed away from complications following surgery. HE

At a gathering to remember David earlier this semester, ten speakers provided moving tributes


to David, and each of them conveyed, in their own way, a similar appreciation and affection for our former colleague. They retold stories of his teaching, of his scholarship, of his administrative contributions to the College, and of his admired personal qualities. To know David as a teacher and scholar, one had to understand his independent, contrarian, and some would say stubborn ways. He never pampered his students; indeed

I had the pleasure of teamteaching with David twice: we taught a winter term course on contemporary Soviet society (1985) and another winter term course in the Soviet Union on Gorbachev’s Reforms (1989). Both were highlights of my teaching career, and each helped to make me a better teacher, courtesy of David’s unique pedagogical style. I also came away from our team-teaching experiences having learned much and having gained new insights on Russian history and culture. David’s scholarly interests focused on agrarian reform in prerevolutionary Russia, and he was the author of numerous publications on the topic, including an influential book titled Government and Peasant in Russia, 18611906: The Prehistory of the Stolypin Reforms. When the Soviet system imploded in the early 1990s, and issues of private property and land

embering ownership in Russia were main themes in the field, David’s work on Stolypin, for the second time, took on great significance. It also led to David’s remarkable scholarly productivity from the early 1990s until his untimely death. Perhaps David’s greatest legacy at the College, and one from which future generations of Middlebury students will benefit, was his visionary work as our director of

off-campus study from 1995 to 2006. He oversaw the growth in our Schools Abroad from five Schools in five cities (all in Europe) to today’s eight Schools at more than 30 locations, including sites throughout Latin America, China, and Egypt. He was a firm believer in having students fully immerse themselves in the language and culture of the country in which they studied, because, he argued, by “getting into the culture” in every

way possible, they learned about their hosts, but also so much about themselves and their own culture. But it will be David’s sense of loyalty to his friends that translated into a desire to help others, be it the students in his class whom he relished teaching, or the new faculty member David so often befriended and mentored, that will be missed most. L

DAVID A. J. MACEY 1942 - 2008 7

Meet Our Track

MIGUEL A. FERNÁNDEZ is director of Latin American studies and Associate Professor of Spanish in the department of Spanish and Portuguese. He is also currently serving as the faculty associate in admissions. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Middlebury College and received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in Hispanic Studies. Miguel’s primary field of research is 19th-century Argentine literature with a focus on the gauchesca. He has published numerous articles in an assortment of journals looking at the intersections between literary, cultural, and historical discourses. He is currently exploring connections between literature and evolutionary thought. Miguel is a co-director and editor for Latin American literature and cultures of Decimonónica, a Journal of 19th-century Hispanic cultural production (


GUNTRAM H. HERB is director of European studies and Professor of Geography. He studied geography at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Germany and the University of California at Berkeley, and received his Ph.D. from the University of W isconsinMadison. His publications include the four-volume reference work, Nations and Nationalisms in Global Perspective: An Encyclopedia of Origins, Development, and Contemporary Transitions (ABC-Clio, 2008. Co-edited with David H. Kaplan); Perthes World Atlas (Klett Perthes/McGraw-Hill, 2006. Editor-in-chief); Nested Identities: Nationalism,Territory, and Scale (Rowman & Littlefield 1999. Co-edited with David H. Kaplan); and Under the Map of Germany: Nationalism and Propaganda, 1918-1945 (Routledge, 1997). He is past chair of the Military Geography Specialty Group and the European Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. He currently serves on the editorial board of the journal National Identities.


MICHAEL KRAUS, Frederick C. Dirks Professor of Political Science, directs Russian and East European studies. Native of Prague, he earned his Ph.D. in politics at Princeton. He is the recipient of national fellowships from the National Council of Soviet and East European Research, Ford Foundation, IREX, Fulbright-Hays, Rotary International Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council. His publications include Irreconcilable Differences? Explaining Czechoslovakia’s Dissolution (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000); Russia and Eastern Europe After Communism:The Search for New Political, Economic, and Security Systems (Westview, 1996), Perestroika and East-West Economic Relations: Prospects for the 1990s (NYU, 1990) and articles in the Journal of Democracy, Current History, Foreign Policy, Politique Internationale, New England Review, European Affairs, and other journals. He has held research and teaching appointments at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Columbia University, George Washington and Charles University (in Prague) and served as a consultant to various government, non-government, and private organizations, such as the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of European Affairs and Booz Allen Hamilton.

CYNTHIA PACKERT is director of South Asian studies and professor and chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture, where she teaches a full range of courses on all aspects of Asian art, including a survey of Asian art (India, China, Japan), Indian painting, Islamic art, Journey of the Three Jewels: Buddhist Art, Sacred Arts of Japan, Tibet and the West, and Bollywood and Beyond. Her research specializes in Hindu art and religion in India, with a focus on the visual practices centering on the worship of the Hindu god Krishna. She has just completed a book manuscript, tentatively entitled Material Boy:The Art of Loving Krishna, and has published several articles and given numerous talks on various aspects of her research. Her most recent publication is Bathing Beauties: Cooling Krishna and Radha, Igniting Devotional Desire, for a forthcoming publication entitled Performing Ecstasy:The Poetics and Politics of Religion in South Asia (New Delhi: Manohar, forthcoming 2008). She is also the author of The Sculpture of Medieval Rajasthan (Leiden: EJ Brill, 1997). She has been the recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities, Mellon, and Middlebury College Ada Howe Kent Research Funds. Her new research focuses on new Hindu temples in the diaspora and their visual cultures and practices.


STEVE SNYDER teaches Japanese language and literature, directs East Asian studies, and chairs the Department of Japanese Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Yale University. He has done research on several occasions in the Department of Comparative Literature and Culture at the University of Tokyo, most recently during 2002-2003 while on a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship. He is the author of Fictions of Desire: Narrative Form in the Novels of Nagai Kafu (Hawaii UP, 2000), and is the co-editor of In Pursuit of Contemporary East Asian Culture (Westview, 1996) and Oe and Beyond: Studies in Contemporary Japanese Literature (Hawaii, 1999). He has translated works by Oe Kenzaburo, Ogawa Yoko, Murakami Ryu, Yu Miri, and Yoshimura Akira, among others. His translation of Kirino Natsuo’s OUT was a finalist for the Edgar Award for best mystery novel in 2004. His translation of Nagai Kafu’s Rivalry was published by Columbia University Press in 2007. He serves as U.S. advisor to the Japanese Ministry of Culture for its project to promote the translation and publication of contemporary Japanese fiction.


JACOB TROPP is director of the African studies major and minor, associate professor of history, and Spencer Fellow in African Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in African history at the University of Minnesota, where he also participated as a funded scholar in the MacArthur Interdisciplinary Program on Global Change, Sustainability, and Justice. His dissertation, “Roots and Rights in the Transkei: Colonialism, Natural Resources, and Social Change, 1880-1940,” received the 2003 award for best dissertation in environmental history from the American Society for Environmental History. His research on social and environmental history in the Eastern Cape of South Africa was the basis of his 2006 book Natures of Colonial Change: Environmental Relations in the Making of the Transkei (Ohio University Press, New African Histories Series) as well as several articles published in African history journals. His current work pertaining to South Africa includes research on colonial era conflicts over health and healing rituals in the Eastern Cape and the filmed reenactment of a 19th century anti-colonial rebellion during World War II. He has also embarked on a new project of a more transnational nature, exploring the international connections between U.S. government programs on Native American reservations and Western development efforts overseas in the mid20th century.

International Studies Mission Statement The international studies major provides a carefully constructed blend of language, regional, disciplinary, and global courses that, together with study abroad, seeks to impart to students a deep understanding of a specific geographic region, as well as its place within an interdisciplinary and transnational context.

OLIVER LARRY YARBROUGH is the Tillinghast Professor of Religion and is director of Middle East studies. He has been at Middlebury since 1983. A scholar of early Christianity, Larry has traveled widely in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. As chair of the Religion Department, Larry created the Scott Symposium, which has addressed many issues related to religion and contemporary issues. Two of the symposia have examined religion and conflict throughout the world. In preparing for a course related to one of these symposia, Larry met with religious leaders in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, and Mostar who were taking part in reconciliation efforts. The picture shows Larry in Mostar, with the new bridge over the Neretva River in the background. A symbol of renewal, this bridge replaced the one built by the Ottomans in 1566 and destroyed in the war of the 1990s.

In pursuit of this mission, the major is designed to ensure that all IS majors graduate with (1) advanced competency in a language taught at Middlebury, sufficient to read scholarly materials and engage in complex interaction with native-speaking professionals in their field of concentration; (2) broad exposure to the historical and cultural heritage of their region of focus; (3) solid grounding in one or more of the liberal arts disciplines other than language; and (4) an understanding of the transnational and global context that affects all regions. International education in a liberal arts context should encourage students to transcend the confines of their own backgrounds and upbringing, apprehend the world through others’ eyes, and in the process achieve a deeper understanding of themselves and their place within their own cultures. These transformations are prerequisites for living and working effectively in an increasingly interdependent world.


Next Year: A New Course Article by Associate Professor of History Ian Barrow



and rock fortresses, a Buddha’s tooth and Hindu temples, colonial forts and modern cities, tea gardens and miles of beautiful beaches, Sri Lanka may appear to be the world’s island paradise. But the sad reality is that Sri Lanka, which used to be called Ceylon, has suffered greatly in recent decades. There was, of course, the devastating tsunami of 2004 which may have killed over 27,000. But the island is also experiencing a generations-long war which is estimated to have killed more than 70,000. Sri Lanka’s predicament is not particularly well known in the US, and its history is even less familiar. To help build interest in the island, I hope to offer next year a new course on the modern history of Sri Lanka. Although it will touch on precolonial periods, most of the course will focus on the Dutch colonial period (17th and 18th centuries), the Kandyan Kingdom (18th and early 19th centuries), the British colonial period (19th and 20th centuries) and developments after independence in 1948. Despite its small size and relative obscurity, Sri Lanka is an extraordinarily varied and beautiful country. For five centuries the island was at the very center of


global maritime trade networks that gave rise to the West’s industrial preeminence in the world and permitted colonial expansion. Between the sixteenth and late eighteenth centuries Sri Lanka saw the burgeoning of Portuguese and Dutch colonial power and the gradual decline of almost all its Tamil and Sinhalese kingdoms. During this period Catholic and then Dutch Reform missionaries established roots in coastal regions while inland, at Kandy, the one remaining indigenous kingdom struggled to maintain its political and religious independence. When the British supplanted the Dutch in 1796, they soon extinguished the Kingdom of Kandy and transformed their new territories into vast coffee and, later, tea estates that formed the foundation for a plantation economy. When the island won independence in 1948, there was a widespread belief that the country was united and well-positioned to benefit from the global post-colonial economy. Instead, the rise of majoritarian Sinhalese nationalism has led to policies that have successively weakened and alienated minority Tamils. Civil war began in 1983, pitting the Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan government against Tamil nationalists, dominated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Although government forces have made significant gains in recent months the war is unlikely to end soon. The course will be open to all students, but will be of special interest to those majoring in South Asian studies. X

Professor Barrow at the top of the Sigiriya rock fortress. Dating to the 5th century, the fortress protects a series of beautiful frescoes.

on Sri Lanka


Big H


Houses, Bigger Dreams: Research in Ecuador...


Article and photography by Jessica Audrey Clayton ’09



Ecuadorian road turned from cornfields into a brand-new mansion, I assumed it a weekend escape for a wealthy Cuenca resident. The contrasting splendor of another ten houses in the fields of the next town soon squashed my initial idea. Bumping through the rickety mountain roads of Southern Ecuador, I could tell something crazy was happening. The crazy happenings, as it turns out, are funded by an immense culture of migrants flowing out of the region and sending money back. A mention of the Western Union that sprung up in a farm town when at dinner in Cuenca triggered number of off-hand comments about the flashy mansions and shrinking rural populations. My curiosity peaked, and a thesis project was born. During my time in Ecuador I had developed an odd sort of confidence. After too many whistles, giggles, and “eh, gringita!” shout-outs, a few months solidified my place as a foreigner. By ignoring the gringa stereotypes and using my Spanish and people skills, my foreign status separated me from social stratification, allowing me to relate to all parts of Ecuadorian society. Four hours in a street-side internet café and one certificate in research methods later, I headed back toward the rural mansions, surveys in hand. Two minutes after arriving in town my confidence deflated. A first attempt to turn a friendly conversation into a productive questionnaire brought a sturdy “no!,” under-breath mumblings, and sharp glances from those nearby. A few more failed attempts and the town square became a market. Surrounded by roasting pig and corn, lunchtime had already arrived, and as people began to eat, they became more likely to talk. Time passed all too quickly while I collected my data. Wandering through stalls of food I searched for heads of households who were not busy shucking


corn or selling produce. With practice I found that a successful survey meant twenty minutes of chatting, a strong defense of my position as a simple college student, and intense denial of any authoritative position, including constantly negating an association with the CIA or the FBI. Smiling continuously, I spoke fast to deter the suspicion of foreigners from setting in and stealing my subject’s attention. Sixty-some surveys later, the roasted pig was bare, stalls were dismantled, and I was finally done. Returning to Cuenca I passed the mansions with a new understanding of their meaning, and of the meaning of my presence within Ecuadorian society. As a foreigner I was laughed at, but I also represented an unknown; and in this case, a potential association with organizations that could threaten Ecuadorians and their attempt to move forward. My thesis is based on data; data representing Ecuadorians who risk family members, debt, livelihood, and maybe a few sales by talking to a gringa, all in the fight for a better life. A life that in Southern Ecuador, materializes through the construction of fancy new houses alongside mud huts. K

Pgs. 14-15: Searching for household heads to survey, Jessica Clayton realized she stood out against the stark reality of the every-day work in these towns. Pg. 16: (above) After a few friendly questions, many being surveyed returned to other activities to avoid continuing questions they feared answering; (below) Blocking the old house from sight, the concrete, glass, and metal fence of this house stand out in stark contrast with the surrounding area, but a growing number of the same demonstrate the high quantity of migrants sending money back to the area. Pg. 17: (above) One of many traditional houses no longer inhabited, but used as a drying rack or playhouse for children; (below) The presence of a new Western Union marks the growing demand of rural townspeople in Gualaceo looking for new ways to receive the increasing influx of remittances.


Playing with Poetry Article and photography by Assistant Professor of Arabic Samuel J. Liebhaber


2003, I’VE GATHERED ORAL POETRY AMONGST THE MAHRA TRIBES OF SOUTHEAST YEMEN, A REGION of desert steppe and low mountains bounded to the north by the Empty Quarter and to the south by the Arabian Sea. The Mahra are one of the few indigenous linguistic groups remaining on the Arabian Peninsula, and although the number of current native speakers (~180,000) is relatively high, the Mahri language faces extinction as young Mahra shift to Arabic as their primary language. The Mahri language, (called mehrîyet by native speakers), is a Southern Semitic language and is therefore distantly related to the Semitic languages of East Africa such as Amharic and Tigriñya, (and even more distantly to Arabic, Hebrew, Akkadian, etc.). The Mahri language is completely oral; no written tradition exists for the Mahri language and it remained undocumented until the middle of the 19th century. In fact, it was this lack of a written tradition that initially attracted my attention to the Mahri language. INCE

As a specialist in pre-Islamic and Classical Arabic poetry, I am intrigued by the oral roots of its most esteemed genre: the qasîda, a polythematic ode whose structural narrative and densely-woven imagery remain deeply enigmatic. During my initial fieldwork, I solicited as many long, tribal odes from the Mahra as I could, assuming that they would represent a close Samuel J. Liebhaber analogy to the pre-literary Arabic qasîda. I was not disappointed. The Mahri tribal ode, called Ôdî wekrêm krêm after its characteristic melody, offers a vivid portrait of the feuds, pacts and personal imbroglios that characterized Mahri society until recently. One Mahri poet, Bir La’teyt Gidhî, stands out amongst traditional Mahri poets for the enduring value of his odes. Even though he passed away in the 1920’s, his tribal odes–including the historical events that inspired each one–are still passed down from person to person as memorized texts. During fieldwork in al-Mahra this past summer, I discovered that Bir La’teyt excelled at another form of word-art: short couplets of verse that poke fun at his fellow Mahra. Both “snarky” and sage, these couplets express basic truisms and their memorable format insures their circulation. For instance, Bir Lateyt once caught sight of a haggard-looking man making his way through the market with an infant in his arms. Bir La’teyt was told that the man had refused to grant custody of his child

18 18

in Southern Arabia

Left: The poet ’Awdat bir ’Ali ’Awdat from Qishn. Right: The poet, Hâjj Dâkôn (center), improvising a couplet of verse–called regzît– that will be collectively chanted by the men to either side of him. Regzît couplets are improvised and chanted by squads of men, each representing a different family or clan, whenever the entire tribe gathers to celebrate a wedding. Formerly, regzît were exchanged for all issues that concerned the tribe as a whole. Nowadays, they are restricted to friendly encounters.

to his recently divorced wife and insisted on taking care of the infant on his own. After a sleepless week, the man still refused to compromise with his wife. When Bir La’teyt spotted him, the man was on his way to his parents’ home to have them raise the child. In response, Bir La’teyt improvised the following couplet: gema de-skôyâ kell/be-bdên de-mekhkhelîq/faqh hîsen we-tbôb hâd egism we-tbât/edwêsen thêm/lâ shrâyeb w-lâ ktôb For all of the complaints/in the body of a mortal/there is wisdom and medicine for them. Except for stupidity and human nature/their cure does not exist/neither in folk medicine nor in reading the Qur’ân.

I find couplets like these attractive since they, rather than the longer tribal odes, reflect the quotidian practice of poetry that saturates everyday life in Arabia. Bir La’teyt’s tribal odes are important, solemn affairs and their transmission is restricted to the “connoisseurs” amongst the Mahra. His couplets are a source of mirth and are traded around by nearly everyone I met. In order to reconstruct the social environment that gave rise to the Arabic qasîda roughly 1500 years ago, it is important to keep in mind that poetic “zingers” like these represented the bulk of poetic composition. As these couplets became overshadowed by the literate qasîda, they ultimately dropped from the written record. All students of Arabic eventually encounter the masterpiece qasîda composed by the great preIslamic poet, Imru’ al-Qays. One of Imru’ al-Qays’ contemporaries, however, may have been more familiar with the poetic couplet that poked fun at him. O


International Space Statio Interview and article by Caitlin Arnold ’11



to attend the Monterey International Institute in 1996 she probably didn’t expect that in just a few years she would become an essential link between mission control centers in Moscow and Houston. Irina is an interpreter for TechTrans International, a Texas based company providing interpretation services for companies and individuals working in high tech fields. She performs simultaneous interpretation from Russian

to English (and vise-versa) for everyone from medical experts and oil companies to astronauts working on the International Space Station. Irina’s job requires not only extensive knowledge of both Russian and English but also the ability to absorb new information quickly and react calmly and efficiently when faced with high stress situations. She learned much of what she needed to cope with the demanding work of interpretation during her time at the Monterey International Institute.

Irina Yashkova (standing second from right) interprets at a crew welcoming ceremony in Kustanai, Kazakhstan. Cosmonaut Pavel V. Vinogradov (seated center), Expedition 13 commander representing Russia’s Federal Space Agency; astronaut Jeffrey N. Williams (seated right), NASA space station science officer and flight engineer; and spaceflight participant Anousheh Ansari (seated left) landed earlier in the day in the Soyuz TMA-8 spacecraft in central Kazakhstan following their departure from the International Space Station. Vinogradov and Williams spent 183 days on the station.


on? This is Mission Control Irina graduated from Monterey in 1998. There she took classes in both simultaneous (when the interpreter works while the speaker is talking) and conference interpretation (when the interpreter takes notes and then translates during a pause in the speech). All of her professors were required to be doing some kind of work in either interpretation or translation. This allowed them to teach from first hand experience and provided Irina with an in-depth look into the field. According to Irina, her time at the Monterey Institute provided her with a “cutting edge advantage” in the field of interpretation. A typical day for a TechTrans interpreter begins around 7:00 a.m. with a morning telephone conference (there can be as many as 20 different telephone conferences on any given day). During a conference, interpreters work to translate meetings between specialists working in different fields and based in different countries around the world. The number of conferences and the wide variety of individuals involved means that translators and interpreters must ensure that they stay up to date on the terminology for a wide range of fields. Some days interpreters like Irina will be asked to support mission operations for the International Space Station. This requires them to work closely between the astronauts and cosmonauts, as well as mission control personnel in both Houston and Moscow. The support role for an interpreter can range from translating files from the Space Station to interpreting during a space walk. In any case the interpreter must be clear and precise in their work and ensure the use of consistent terminology. Because of the time differences between the

mission control centers interpreters must be able to work at any time. If an emergency situation arises they can sometimes be called on to work extremely long shifts, remaining on duty until the situation is resolved. Interpreters for the International Space Station typically work in shifts of two, alternating every 30 minutes. One interpreter stays “on loop” (that is actively listening and translating) while the other listens as a backup. Interpreters have played a critical role in establishing close working cooperation between space programs in Russia and the United States. As Irina notes “during the 70s there was a gap in cooperation between the two countries, it was only in the 90s that Russia and the US realized they were working in parallel and decided to have a space station together.” Since that time the role of translators such as Irina has been a critical one for the maintenance of a clear and rapid flow of information between mission control stations in Moscow and Houston. N

Irina Yashkova with General Thomas P. Stafford, NASA veteran astronaut at the Apollo-Soyuz exhibit, Stafford Air & Space museum.


To Understand the




Interview and article by Caitlin Arnold ’11 with Jeffrey Cason



ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR and Director of the Middlebury C.V. Starr School in Russia, which is comprised of programs in Moscow, Irkutsk, and Yaroslavl. She has been working with the School since 1997, helping provide students with immersion opportunities in Russia. Through the School in Russia she hopes to allow students the chance to improve their language skills and gain a deeper understanding of Russian culture. One important opportunity for Middlebury students who choose to study in Russia is the chance to apply to work at an internship. According to Dr. Tsikhelashvili, “during 2007-2008 around one third of the students studying abroad in Russia decided to participate in internships.” These internships cover a wide range of disciplines and take place in a number of different areas of Russia. Where a student decides to work can have a big impact on their experience and what they get out of the internship. For example, students working in Moscow are more likely to be interns for larger international corporations. The Moscow internships tend to most closely resemble what would be considered an internship in the


United States. On the other hand, students working in provincial areas will likely work in less traditional job environments. Students working in Yaroslavl and Irkutsk tend to gain more language experience, though they often work in a somewhat less structured environment. The Middlebury School in Russia offers access to a wide variety of internship opportunities. Dr. Tsikhelashvili discussed a number of positions held by students over the years; “One student worked in Irkutsk with an organization called Environmental Baikal Waste. Another worked with the Red Cross to develop AIDS awareness programs for high schools and grade schools.” Other students at the Middlebury School in Russia have taken the opportunity to work for companies such as the New York Times or organizations such as the YMCA. Alisa Ballard, who worked at an internship at the Nicholas Roerich Museum in Moscow remembers the most valuable part of her internship was, “getting to experience firsthand the language and culture of a truly Russian workplace.” In the past student internships have ranged from teaching positions at elementary schools to research work for local NGOs.

Students applying for an internship may decide if they want their work to count as a course credit. If so, they are allowed to substitute the internship for a class, (taking 4 courses instead of 5). For the internship to count as a course credit students are expected to complete a number of additional requirements. These include keeping a journal of their daily work and writing a research paper (in Russian) relating to their internship. Students receiving course credit for an internship are expected to work around 15 hours a week at the internship.. Students who take an internship for credit will also be graded on the work they do in the internship. Internships can serve as a valuable tool for students hoping to get the most out of their study abroad experience. In addition to providing a more diverse exposure to the Russian language, they also allow for important cultural experiences and valuable job training. Like all things though, the value of the internship will depend on the amount of effort and energy students are willing to put into their work. “In Russia a lot depends on how students present themselves and show initiative,” according to Dr. Tsikhelashvili. P

Pgs. 22-23: The Arvat at night; a popular and chic street in downtown Moscow. Right: This is a photo of a street that leads into Red Square in Moscow. Below: Indoor market in Irkutsk, Russia (in Siberia...taken in March, 2008.) On sale are produce, fruits, freshly slaughtered meat...the works. Pgs. 26-27: “The GUM” which was Russia’s first mall (the name means “main department store) The building was completed in 1893. Now it resembles more of a western mall. Photos: William (Bill) Mayers





Looking Back to Understand Ourselves and Others. . .

Memorial to the Partisans outside of Odessa (left to right) Rabbi Ira Schiffer, Dan Sheron, David Parker, Elianna Kan, Aaron Krivitzky, Sarah Black,Yan Min Choo (standing), Kelsey Bakas, Tamy Maye, Nisreen Hejab, Stephanie Astaphan, Linh Dinh, Ashley Bens, Professor Michael Katz, Alex Schloss, Peter John.


Interview by Caitlin Arnold ’11 Article by Caitlin Arnold with C.V. Starr Professor of Russian and East European Studies Michael Katz and Associate Chaplain Rabbi Ira Schiffer



2008 PROFESSOR OF RUSSIAN MICHAEL Katz and Assistant Chaplain Ira Schiffer offered a winter term course titled, “Vilnius and Odessa: The Sacred and the Profane in East European Jewry.” The program presented 14 students the unprecedented opportunity to travel off campus and study first hand the cultural and religious development of two Jewish communities. The course focused on two cities; Vilnius, Lithuania and Odessa, Ukraine. The first week of class took place in Middlebury, where the students prepared for their immersion by learning about Eastern European Judaism from a number of literary and film sources. Following their week long introduction, the students spent two weeks on site attending lectures and touring museums, synagogues and institutions. The centerpiece of the Vilnius segment was a walking tour of the Vilna Ghetto, led by a former internee and partisan fighter in the resistance

Left to right, Rabbi Ira Schiffer and Professor Michael Katz at the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater.


movement. The final week was spent back on campus, where students prepared written and oral presentations based on their reflections and individual research on a variety of topics including the development of Zionism and contemporary Chasidism. Dan Sheron, a double political science and Russian major from California, was one of the students who chose to take Professor Katz and Chaplain Rabbi Schiffer’s course. He was drawn to it due to his interest in his own family history–which is deeply connected with both Vilnius and Odessa and his curiosity concerning pre-war Jewish folk life. These interests were supplemented both by his fascination with the Russian language (spoken as the lingua franca in Odessa) and the opportunity to compare the development of two former Soviet cities. Dan remembers one of the most valuable aspects of the

Jewish cemetery outside of Odessa.

Joining a seniors’ group in song at the New Jewish Community Center in Odessa.

Odessa’s catacombs used by the Partisans in WWII. Photos: Ira Schiffer

experience was the independence to spend time alone, wandering the streets of the city, perhaps on the very same sidewalks that his grandfather had walked along Deribasovskaya Street in Odessa more than 80 years before. For him, meandering through city streets offered a cultural and tactile lens that is impossible to replicate from the inside of a tour van, and over those two weeks, helped him make a number of observations about the post-Communist development of both cities. Dan noted the way in which “the years of Soviet oppression weighed harder on Vilnius than on Odessa. The people in Vilnius were older, grayer, and there seemed to be a sense that the whole place, especially the last remnant of the Jewish community, was crumbling away. In Odessa I felt a stronger sense of continuity and a vibrancy of both culture and everyday life that was absent in Vilnius. Where in Lithuania they strongly resented the Communist era, in Odessa, the

old pillar with the red star of a war-time ‘Hero City’ still stood high in the middle of a major thoroughfare.” Middlebury’s students attending the class came from a wide range of countries, cultures, and religious backgrounds. This diversity gave them the opportunity share their very different opinions and points of view on the topics that the course covered and experiences that they shared together. For Dan, one of the most valuable aspects of the trip was “the conversation sparked between students, and the interesting points that were drawn out through discussion.” Upon their return home the breadth of intellectual expertise that was exhibited in the oral presentations of the students reflected the tremendous value of experiential learning, and the importance of place itself as a primary subject for study. T


Questions of Sovere Frozen North...


reignty in the


Interview by Caitlin Arnold ’11 Article by Caitlin Arnold with Elana Wilson Rowe



change and a growing global demand for fossil fuels are increasingly drawing the attention of politicians and policy makers northwards. Unresolved claims to Artic territory are once again highly placed on the international agenda of countries bordering the Artic Ocean. Unsurprisingly, Russia is no exception. Given the country’s long historical involvement in the North, this region was assigned almost mythical importance during the Soviet period. From the symbolically important planting of a Russian flag on the Artic Ocean floor to redoubled efforts within the UN system, questions of sovereignty over Artic space and rights to the resources of the Artic seabed have become an important issue in Russian international relations and policy making. Elana Wilson Rowe (Middlebury class of 2001) is currently using her joint major in Geography and Russian to delve into these very issues. Her work focuses around examining the hows and whys of Russia’s relationship with the North. Elana began her Russian studies during her freshman year at Middlebury after seeing it on a list of less commonly taught languages. When she went to buy her books she says laughingly, “I was shocked to find that I couldn’t read anything in my Russian text book, there wasn’t anything in English.” The summer of her sophomore year she attended the Russian Language School. She described the program as “long and very productive.” After language school Elana flew to Russia to study abroad in Yaroslavl. She remembers the experience as a great way to learn “not just about the place you’re going to but also where you were before. It gives you a new perspective on things


you would normally take for granted.” She enjoyed the feeling of “just being outside your own context and seeing things in a new way.” While in Russia she analyzed media sources reporting on the conflict in Chechnya and studied the background of the local Jewish community. Her time in Russia provided her with valuable cultural and language experience that she used in pursuing her master’s and doctoral studies at the Scott Polar Research Institute/Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge (U.K.) Currently, Elana is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department for Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI). At NUPI, Elana looks at Russian policy in the far North, with a particular emphasis on Russia’s climate change and natural resources politics. One recent study examined the role that Russia has played in international climate politics, looked at the social, political, epistemic and historical forces shaping Russian climate policy, and analyzed the influence of international consensus positions on Russian domestic political debates. Elana foresees a combination of conflict and cooperation in the international relations of an increasingly open and contested North. While other Russian border conflicts have proved to be a point of tension and conflict, Elana points to a great deal of transnational cooperation institutionalized in the North, from military to environmental cooperation, suggesting that “it will be interesting to see of the tradition of cooperation that has been a characteristic of the post-Cold War politics of the High North will be able to expand to encompass new challenges and pressures.” Z

Pgs. 32-33: Photo taken by Elana Wilson Rowe while doing six months of ďŹ eldwork in Nunavut (northern Canada) in 2003. The view is from Apex, a community near Iqaluit which is the territory’s capital. The white buildings you see are the old Hudson Bay Company trading buildings. Below is a picture Elana took while digging for clams with friends in Frobisher Bay (Nunavut). Right: Elana Wilson Rowe.


Microfinance in a Non

Gail Buyske


n-Capitalist Country Interview by Caitlin Arnold ’11 Article by Caitlin Arnold


HEN GAIL BUYSKE CAME TO MIDDLEBURY (class of 1976), she originally planed on studying French. She switched to Russian because of the “inclusive, family type atmosphere in the department.” She was also drawn to the language because, “at that point few people were studying Russian and few people studied in the Soviet Union.” Gail attended the Russian language school the summer of her sophomore year and then traveled to Leningrad during the spring of her junior year. Her time abroad not only sparked a lasting interest in Russian culture, but also led her to a career as a microfinance consultant in Russia and the post Soviet countries.

It was during her time abroad that Gail first developed an interest in the Russian economy. Upon arriving in Leningrad her travel group (30 college students, 6 of whom were from Middlebury) was fed a quick dinner. Afterwards Gail went out into the city to try and find an apple, “I don’t know why I expected to be able to buy an apple in Leningrad in the middle of January.” After some exploring, she was able to find a shop selling apples for 1.52 rubles, “I thought, that’s odd why not 1.50 rubles?” Looking around, she found the exact same price in other shops, “that’s when it really sunk in that I was looking at the effects of a planned economy.” This experience, along with others, sparked her interest in the Russian economy. This interest later led her to work as the Chair of the Board of Directors for KMD, offering microfinance loans to small businesses in Russia.

Gail seeks to present microfinance “not as an anti-poverty tool but as a means of growth.” She worked with governments and banks in post-Soviet Block countries to encourage the growth of small businesses through the use of microfinance loans. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the Russian economy broke down into chaos. It was as if everyone just “fell off a cliff ”, they had jobs one day and were unemployed the next. Through microfinance loans individuals have been able to start their own small businesses and reestablish themselves as part of a working economy. Presenting microfinance as a means of growth makes it much more appealing to government policy makers and has helped gain support for microfinance within the Russian government. Gail’s recently published book on the subject is titled: Banking on Small Business: microfinance in contemporary Russia. Gail attributes her fascination with Russian culture with her time spent studying Russian both at Middlebury and abroad in the Soviet Union. She describes the time she spent abroad as a “fantastic social and cultural learning opportunity.” Without her experience with the Russian language she would not have been able to work in most of the positions she has held over the years. For her, studying abroad was a great way to help to “understand things from other perspectives.” Gail’s decision to study Russian and her fascination with the culture has led to a long and successful career working in and with Russian speaking countries. C


Russian and East Europ Affiliated Faculty


DECEMBER, THOMAS BEYER (Russian) delivered a lecture, “Building Bridges. Moscow and Berlin: The Golden Twenties,” at the main branch of the New York Public Library. His book for tourists Now You’re Talking Russian has appeared in its third newly revised edition along with audio CDs. In his spring course on 20th-century Russian literature, he invited students to use new technologies to prepare class projects; these included several wikis and blogs, a radio broadcast, a YouTube video on the Gulags, and a Google Earth overflight for the novel The Master and Margarita. Student projects can be viewed at http://community. HIS PAST

MICHAEL KATZ (Russian) led a J-term course with Associate Chaplain Rabbi Ira Shiffer to Vilnius and Odessa on the subject of “The Sacred and the Profane: Two Sources of East European Jewry.” In April, he participated in a Salzburg Seminar in April on the subject of “Russia in 2020”—the future of Russia in terms of political, economic, social and cultural developments. He also published a translation of Vladimir Pecherin’s memoirs, Notes from Beyond the Grave (Dublin, 2007); and revised second editions of two Norton Critical Editions: Tolstoy’s Short Fiction and Turgenev’s Fathers and Children. Rosa Kavenoki (Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation, MIIS) conducted a three-day workshop on consecutive interpretation for U.S. government linguists in Washington, D.C. She presented research papers at two major international T&I conferences in Moscow and St. Petersburg. She


also continues to provide regular consulting services to TechTrans International (NASA), Masterword (Houston, Texas), and The Russian Translation Company (Moscow, Russia), and edits numerous presentations for Russia’s Sberbank. Rosa has also been regularly consulted by higher education institutions in Russia on issues relating to T&I course curricula. Director of Russian and East European Studies, MICHAEL KRAUS (political science), reports five recent publications, including “Švejnarova zkušební jízda,” (“Švejnar’s trial balloon campaign”) interview with Karel Hvíždala, Reflex, no. 13, 2008, http://www.reflex. cz/Clanek31666.html; “La Charte 77, trente ans après,” (Charter 77 after Thirty Years) in La Charte 77: Origines et Heritages, La Nouvelle Alternative (Paris), vol. 22, no. 72-73, mars-juin 2007, pp. 141-153; “Letter from Prague: A Tale of Two Vaclavs,” European Affairs, nos. 2-3, Summer/Fall 2007, http://www.europeanaffairs. org/index.html; “Did the Charter 77 Movement Bring an End to Communism?” New England Review,Volume 28, Number 2 / 2007; and “Rusko - co od n�j m�žeme �ekat a jakou bude mít budoucnost?” (“Whither Russia? Our Expectations vs. Russia’s Challenges,”), co-authored, Center for Economic, Political, and Social Studies, Prague, No. 20, September 2007. Kevin Moss (Russian) was on leave in 2007-08. In the fall, with an International Research and Exchanges Board grant to research recent gay films in Sarajevo, Beograd, and Zagreb, he returned to a region he once knew well as a student and graduate student. In the spring, he was first in Montreal as a Lillian Robinson Scholar at Concordia’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute,

pean Studies and later spent a month each in Moscow and Budapest. He gave a total of nine lectures at various institutions in Beograd, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Montreal, Moscow, and Budapest. After serving for two years as Director of the Program in Russian and East European Studies, WILLIAM PYLE (Economics) is on sabbatical during the 2008-09 academic year. In the fall, he will be a visiting researcher at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow; and in the spring, he will be a scholarin-residence at the Bank of Finland’s Institute for Transition Economies. In support of a new enterprisesurvey project on land allocation and ownership in Russian cities, he has been awarded large grants from the International Research and Exchanges Board and the National Council of Eurasian and East European Research. TATIANA SMORODINSKA’S (Russian) Encyclopedia of Contemporary Russian Culture (co-edited with Karen Evans-Romaine and Helena Goscilo) is now available in most libraries. The project involved so many contributors from so many countries with so different concepts of time and deadline that she has decided to never attempt anything like that again. Her book on the unfairly forgotten Russian poet Konstantin Sluchevsky (1837-1904), the precursor of Russian modernists, is being published in St. Petersburg this June. She is now at work on a textbook on Russian culture and civilization for intermediate students of Russian, which she sees as filling a gap in students’ knowledge of contemporary cultural images, concepts and idioms.

ANNA VASSILIEVA’S (Graduate School of International Policy Studies, MIIS) translation into Russian of Vartan Gregorian’s Road to Home was published in Moscow this spring. In addition to teaching courses on Russian and Eurasian politics and society at MIIS, Anna delivered a number of off-campus seminars, including one on the evolution of Russia’s post-Soviet identity at Middlebury’s Rohatyn Center for International Affairs. She was also interviewed about the Russian presidential election and asked to comment on Russia’s military by CNN International. She is now active in developing joint academic endeavors with Middlebury colleagues, including a joint language course and educational modules on nuclear non-proliferation and terrorism studies. JAMES WEST (Professor of Humanities) is looking forward to a sabbatical in 2008-09. In 2007, he published a book and two chapters in edited volumes relating to his research on late imperial Russia: with Iurii Petrov, Moskva Kupecheskaia: Fotographii ushedshei burzhuazii Rossi (Merchant Moscow: Images of Russia’s Vanished Bourgeoisie) (ROSSPEN, Moscow, 2007); Entrepreneurial Discourse and Civic Identity: Imagining a Bourgeoisie in G. Ulyanova, ed., Grazhdanskaia identichnost’ i sfera granzhdanskoi deiatel’nosti v Rossiiskoi imperi (Civic Identity and the Sphere of Civic Activity in the Russian Empire) (ROSSPEN, Moscow, 2007); and Philosophical Idealism and Utopian Capitalism: The Vekhi Authors and the Riabushinsky Circle, in E. Taho-Godi, ed., Vekhi i Russkaia Intelligentsia (Vekhi (Signposts) and the Russian Intelligentsia) (ROSSPEN, Moscow 2007).


Two Plus One...



Pgs. 40-41: Sierra Nevada Range looming over La Alhambra, Spain. Above: Bull Ring and the Mediterrannean, Malaga, Spain; right: The Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain. Facing pg.: PaciďŹ c Trade, San Antonio, Chile.


Article and Photography by Mai Ann Healy ’09.5


SPANISH. UPON completion of the mandatory five year study at my high school, I gleefully eluded linguistic classes my senior year. Nevertheless, graduation day included a brief conversation with my seventh grade professor who, when learning I was off to Middlebury, enviously predicted I would encounter infinite opportunities on and off campus to continue my study of the Spanish

skill of all during this era of globalization is that of linguistic acquisition.


language. “It is sure you will study in Spain,” she said while I smiled politely but thought, “Buh-bye Spanish! Hasta la vista!” Three years later I must admit defeat as I find myself pursuing a degree in International Studies with a focus in Spanish. I write to you from Valparaíso, Chile, already having spent spring semester at Middlebury’s program in Madrid, Spain. And in the end, my time in the European Union, as well as in Latin America, has taught me that perhaps the greatest

The European Union (EU) is a region void of custom barriers, permitting goods and Capital to flow without restriction between multiple countries and languages. There, multilingualism is a necessity, not an option as viewed by many Americans who have the geopolitical advantage of speaking the most widely used language in the world. Overseas, the union of twenty seven countries officially recognizes and functions in twenty three languages, and though English is the most prominently controlled language, recent studies have showed that less than half of the EU’s population can actually speak it well. My time abroad has exposed me to hoards of monolingual travelers, more often than not Americans, who exert frustration when language barriers impede their ability to complete ordinary tasks such as ordering food, buying clothing, or making hostel arrangements. But rather than looking inward, many of these travelers place the blame on the native, incredulously muttering disbelief that someone hasn’t taken the time to learn English, yet every time such a tourist was present, there was almost always a European or Latino American behind them in line, ready to converse in at least two, oftentimes more, languages. It should be of political and economic concern that the U.S., unlike the EU or even Chile, does not encourage foreign language acquisition in its basic educational system. In Brussels, EU officials have discussed the instillation of a 2 +/- 1 policy in that all children should be taught in the native language of their country, English, and one more, in preparation for a world where international movement and communication is becoming seamless and


Above: Summer Royal Palace, San Escorial, Spain. Right: falling houses,ValparaĂ­so, Chile. Below: sunset light on Granada, Spain.


instantaneous. The European Parliament has gone as far to declare foreign language competence a “basic skill” that is necessary to support and further cultural, educational, professional, and personal development. At the same time, down here in Chile, a notable amount of university colleagues walk with remarkable control of English or Portuguese even though their country is nestled within the largest Spanish speaking region on earth. Furthermore, trade talks with China and the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation have encouraged large international firms to push for the acquisition of Mandarin so that negotiations and relations across the Pacific can be improved. The latter strikes me as the most stunning evolution brought about technology; that is to say the idea that Chile, geographically far removed from its Asian neighbors, now realizes and is acting upon the economic and cultural value that Mandarin acquisition holds for its future.

Though the seventh grader in me gags, I am now at a point where I can not imagine my academic and personal life without the adventures and countries that my studies with Middlebury’s international program have brought me. Ultimately, I believe that we are evolving into an age where monolingual civilizations cannot survive, as the time-space compression brought about by improving technology and communication is putting the world at our fingers, and one who cannot speak cannot interact. I

Above: At home in the driest place on earth, Vicunas in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Right, Mai Ann in front of the Medina in Marrakech, Morocco.


The university students I lived with, Hector and Lorena.

My university building.

A university classroom.


Yes You Can! Article and photography by Katherine Lehman ’09



in December of 2007. What a different election than the one we just had here in the United States! First of all, Argentine presidential candidates do not campaign for nearly as long nor invest nearly as much money as do American candidates. There were posters all over the city, but there was not much talk about the race. On the day of the elections I found out my host “family,” three 30-year-old university students, were not even voting —and voting in Argentina is mandatory. They just did not care; it was not worth their time to vote when they knew that the ruling class would take office again. The total lack of enthusiasm caught me off guard. There were a couple of candidates, but it was assumed that one in particular would easily win. This candidate was not only a woman, but the wife of the then-current president. I could not believe that a woman was running for presidency and there was no hype about it. Although Eva Perón led the country for a short while after the death of her husband, President Juan Domingo Perón, the 2007 presidential elections presented the first time a woman would run in the race. In a society characterized by Machismo, I would have thought that a woman in office would receive more attention. Indeed it is amazing that in our more “developed” country, we, until this year, still had not had a woman or non-white president or even vice president. The 2008 Presidential Election was an historical landmark. Presidential nominee John McCain chose a woman as his running mate, one Democratic nominee was a woman and the other an African-American. These factors brought about so much intense discussion among the American public. Everybody had an opinion. What a difference from the election I witnessed a year before in Argentina. The United States is in a time of hardship and transitions which

is one causal factor for the increased participation and interest in the presidential election. The fact that neither an African-American nor a woman had ever run for president only escalated the intensity to a new level. When Christina Kirchner was elected, the event just came and went. There was no buzz around the city, no celebration or excitement. People seemed to barely be paying attention. Because the wife of the previous president was elected, nobody had hope of any change. I asked many people their views on the election and the most common response was, it doesn’t mean anything—nothing will be different. It is sad that in Argentina the citizens do not have enough belief in their country to see positive change. They assume that the incoming party will continue the same politics, help the rich over the poor, and bring no significant changes to the country. It is so profoundly different than Obama’s dynamic campaign slogan of “Yes we can” referring to making changes in this country. Argentines’ mistrust in the legitimacy of their government and their own power to impact the country is a direct effect of previous dictatorships. Even though President Kirchner is a woman, she is still part of the elite ruling class and thus does not signify legitimate change in the eyes of Argentines. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a minority and from the non-ruling political power. Americans believe in him because he is a fresh face, not a product of the current leadership, he has an adverse past that grounds him, and he strives to turn around this country. I hope that this event will shed positive light on the United States in the eyes of the rest of the world, and inspire other countries to believe in seemingly impossible victories. Argentina must reconcile with their past, accept the consequences of the dictatorship, and move forward as proud citizens with the will and belief to turn the country around and see positive change for the common people. E


Greetings from the Rohatyn for


RCFIA will be a home away from home for all individuals interested in things international at Middlebury College.

Allison Stanger, Director, Rohatyn Center for International Affairs and Russell J. Leng Professor of International Politics and Economics.



An internationally oriented resource and research center, the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs (http://www.middlebury. edu/administration/rcfia/) supports the College’s goal of advancing global understanding that radiates from a core linguistic and cultural competency. RCFIA works with a faculty committee to create co-curricular programming that expands opportunities for students and supports faculty in their teaching and professional development. Programs include Executive-in-Residence, Scholarin-Residence, International Studies Colloquium, international symposia and lectures, and outreach activities. RCFIA disseminates current research through our Working Paper Series, and also administers institutional grants in international studies, an undergraduate international research travel grant program, and a sponsored internship program. We work with the Career Services Office and other campus organizations to expand

opportunities for internships and other types of direct experience that give students a sense of how the world looks and works from perspectives other than their own. In any given week, we have a rich array of internationallyoriented programming that we cordially invite you to sample. We aim to be a resource for faculty, staff, and students alike, and are always open to innovative forms of collaboration with other entities at the College or beyond. Thus, we welcome your ideas in all shapes and sizes; please send them my way at the email address found below. For current students, our Web site can keep you apprised both of events and the opportunities we offer for internships and international research travel grants. For alumni, we hope that you can stay tuned to Rohatyn Center happenings through our involvement with the UChannel (See http://www.middlebury. edu/administration/rcfia/uc/ and, our partnership with Princeton, Columbia, and Texas, to bring you cutting edge lectures on public affairs from around the world. Through the UChannel, Rohatyn Center lectures are distributed in a

n Center International Affairs variety of audio and video formats via YouTube, iTunes, and Facebook, among others. You can also access Rohatyn Center events via the video archives section of our Web site ( administration/rcďŹ a/archives/) And whenever you are back on campus, we hope you will drop by and experience the Rohatyn Center live. We host the international studies colloquium over lunch on Fridays, so come up a little early, join us for lunch, and make a weekend of it! Our Web site will tell you exactly what is on tap during your visit, and we love to see familiar faces (best of all those seasoned by time) in the audience. Wherever you may be reading this, we send you our very best wishes from the Green Mountains and invite you to be part of our community for years to come. R

Robert A. Jones ‘59 House. Rohatyn Center for International Affairs conference room.

With warm regards, Allison Stanger


Why study abroad for Article by Professor Jeffrey Cason


NTERNATIONAL STUDIES MAJORS ARE ONE OF THE few majors at Middlebury who are required to study abroad. They are also the only majors who are strongly encouraged—as official policy—to study abroad for the full academic year.

Despite this encouragement, there are many IS majors who do not study abroad for a full year. They explain their decision to study abroad for only a semester in a variety of ways: they like their courses at Middlebury, they don’t want to be away from their friends for such a long period, and they have many extracurricular activities to participate in. I would argue that for many students, the idea of being away for a full year, immersed in another culture away from their familiar surroundings, is simply frightening, and students are worried about being away from home for so long. This is not likely to be an official reason—and students might not even admit this fear to themselves—but it does play into their decisionmaking when it comes to study abroad. One of the most important things for students who are international studies majors is to have a full appreciation for what it is like to drown, for a bit, in another culture. This can be frightening, to be sure, but it is also something that one comes out of, usually quite positively. In my experience, IS majors who study abroad for a single semester do not have a chance to fully commit themselves to the place they are studying. Just as they are getting comfortable in the place they are studying, they have to start their preparations to go home. Studying abroad for a full year, in contrast, allows for a much greater understanding of the place where one is studying. During the first months of study


abroad, one experiences the normal culture shock, the necessary adjustment of expectations, and a struggle with the language, even if one has an impressive linguistic preparation. Middlebury students have better linguistic preparation for study abroad than students from most other colleges and universities. Even so, they confront many challenges when it comes to really becoming fluent in the language and culture of the place where they are studying. And gaining a real fluency and cultural knowledge in a single semester is almost impossible. Many students—especially IS majors—are frustrated if they only study abroad for a semester. They realize— often after it’s too late to change their plans—that they should have studied abroad for a full year. For IS majors, with a bit of planning, it’s quite easy to study abroad for a full year. The IS major was designed, quite consciously, with the idea that students would spend a year of their undergraduate career abroad. Students are able to fulfill regional requirements for the IS major at any of our Schools Abroad, and often, they can also fulfill requirements for their disciplinary focus. In the end, the international studies major is meant to immerse students in a different culture, and there is no better way to immerse oneself than to spend a significant amount of time in an unfamiliar place. This can be uncomfortable and challenging at times, but it is one of the most worthwhile things that an IS major can do. Indeed, this immersion is the reason that students should choose to be IS majors. E

a full year?

Jeffrey Cason, Dean of International Programs and Edward C. Knox Professor of International Studies.


Featured Images from Mi 2008 Study Abroad Photo


iddlebury College’s o Contest . . .


Previous Page: Blue Sky at Night by Maggie Smith ’09 Venice, Italy Clockwise: At Sea by Karyle Wisdom ’09 Chile Birdman by David Miranowski ’09 Paris, France Dhows in Full Sail by Andrea Suozzo ’09 Kenya Domingo en San Telmo by David Small ’09 Chile




Clockwise: Suspended Disbelief by Maggie Smith ’09 Barcelona, Spain Balls of Yarn by Dane Kane ’09 India Paris is for Lovers by Julie Ellenberger ’09 France Bailando by Jessica Clayton ’09 Ecuador


We are “Green” It does seem a bit strange that in the “digital age” we still consume enormous amounts of mashed up, bleached tree pulp, most of which gets used once or twice and then tossed or recycled.

The greenest paper is no paper at all,

so keep things digital and dematerialized whenever possible. The more you do online, the less you need paper. Keep files on computers instead of in file cabinets. Review documents on screen rather than printing them out. Send emails instead of paper letters. Convert to PDF for paperless document sharing.


emprISe 08  

The International Studies Program Magazine at Middlebury College

emprISe 08  

The International Studies Program Magazine at Middlebury College