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BNRU Professor Attends Solzhenitsyn Conference in the USA

Professor Tatiana Novikova was among the speakers at a conference that attracted delegates from around the world

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Nobel Prize-winning author, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The picturesque village of Lyndonville and the nearby town of Cavendish, both in Vermont, hosted the 'Reading Solzhenitsyn' Conference, in honour of the great author, whose US residence was in Cavendish. The event was covered by leading Russian and US media outlets, and Russia's Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, and the Governor of Vermont Governor Phil Scott were among those who sent letters of greeting to the participants. Professor Alexander Strokanov, director of the Institute of Russian Language, History and Culture at Northern Vermont University organised the conference, which heard research by scholars from the US, Russia and China. The one stipulation is that the work is related to Solzhenitsyn. The research was from varied disciplines including linguists, literary criticism, history, political science and psychology. Noted academics included Professor Richard Tempest, from the University of Illinois, Professor Igor Kondakov, of the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow, Vladislav Krasnov, from the Russian-American Good Will Association, and Professor Li Xin Mei of Fudan University in China.

Our own Professor Novikova, from the Pedagogical Institute's Russian Language and Literature Department, delivered a plenary report entitled 'Solzhenitsyn as the Collector and Custodian of the Mother Tongue'. After this she participated in a discussion on the role played by higher education institutions and university professors in enhancing the humanitarian dialogue between the US and Russia. This included a video clip about BNRU's international activities.

The Conference concluded with a visit to Cavendish's local history museum and the Solzhenitsyn family home. The writer's son, Composer Ignat Solzhenitsyn, spoke with the delegates. Professor Novikova recalled,

I asked him whether he knew that there is a statue of his father in 'Nobel Laureate Alley, in front of BNRU, and that it was one of the first monuments to him in Russia. He said that he knew, and that he was sincerely happy about it.

Professor Novikova then presented the Northern Vermont University museum with an album of materials and films about the monument, curated by Anastasia Malakhova, a student of the History and Philology Faculty.

 Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Languages and Academic Writing

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