Wittenberg Professor Presents April Global Education Speaker Series Program
Published April 2, 2011
Springfield, Ohio– Wittenberg University Professor of Sociology Jerry Pankhurst, noted scholar of the societies of Russia and the Post-Soviet region, presents “Why Do the Russians Do That? Understanding Russian Culture” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in 105 Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning, 737 N. Fountain Ave.
The presentation is part of the nine-year-old Global Education Speaker Series, a monthly program that raises awareness of global and local ethnic cultures while building bridges of intercultural understanding. All Global Education Speaker Series programs are free and open to the public.
Pankhurst will discuss perceptions and information about the Russian culture, He will explain how Russians have never been atheists, and that organized religion is growing in Russia. The legacy of 70 years of communism is very real in Russia, but one of the big stories of the 20 years since the fall of the Soviet Union is the re-establishment of a complete sphere for religion, which includes Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and other faiths. He will explore dynamics in Russian families: Why do they have so few children? Why is the lifespan for men so short?
“I would also like to talk about the reasons for problems in the sphere of family life in Russia today, especially those related to extremely low fertility,” Pankhurst said. “I think there are connections between family problems, religious changes and the potential for the development of democracy in Russia, and I hope we can explore these connections in my talk.”
Guests are invited to bring questions and topics they would like to have addressed.
In addition to teaching about the societies of Russia and the Post-Soviet region, Pankhurst teaches on the sociology of religion and political sociology. He has co-edited two books of original articles on Soviet society, Contemporary Soviet Society (1980) and Understanding Soviet Society (1988) and has contributed articles to several scholarly collections and professional journals.
Pankhurst received his B.A. degree from Justin Morrill College of Michigan State University and was awarded his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. He also completed additional graduate studies at Leningrad State University and Harvard University. He joined the Wittenberg faculty in 1984.
The Global Education and Peace Network organized in response to Study Circles, which discussed reactions and responses to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The monthly speakers series includes presentations by community members focused on issues of local and global importance that give citizens an opportunity to consider their role in a democracy to build a better world.
For more information, contact Nancy Flinchbaugh, fair housing/mediation coordinator for the City of Springfield’s Community Development Department at (937) 324-7696.
Written By: Phyllis Eberts