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Discussions about the historical and political aspects of cooperation between Russia and the United States and a poetry reading by internationally known Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko will be part of a celebration Nov. 6 [TUESDAY] at East Central University.

The event is dedicated to the Year of the Russian Language in the World and 200 years of U.S.-Russian diplomatic relations and is organized by the Central Association of Russian Teachers of America (CARTA) and ECU's Russian Area Studies Program. All events are open to the public.

CARTA is an organization that promotes awareness and interest in Russian culture and studies in the United States. Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya,ECU associate professor of English and languages, is the president of CARTA.

With a theme of "Russia-USA: Toward Economic, Political and Cultural Cooperation," the day's events are co-sponsored by the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Houston.

Participants at the first session, which will begin at 2 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center on the first floor of the University Center, will be welcomed by ECU President Richard Rafes,

Nikolay Sofinsky, consul general of the Russian Federation in Houston, and Dr. Duane Anderson, ECU provost and vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Alvin Turner, historian and retired ECU faculty member, will discuss "Russians in Oklahoma."

The first panel discussion, "Why U.S.-Russian Relations Matter: 200 Years and Counting," will begin at 3 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center. It will be chaired by Dr. Scott Barton, dean of ECU's College of Health and Sciences, and led by ECU faculty members Dr. John Ulrich, Dr. Francis Stackenwalt and Dr. Charles Peaden.

Dr. Michael Long of Baylor University will lead the second panel discussion on "The Role of Russian Compatriots in Facilitating Study Abroad Opportunities with Russian Universities" at 4 p.m., also in the Estep Multimedia Center.

Participants will be Desa Dawson, director of world languages at the Oklahoma State Department of Education, and Jody Klopp, executive director of the Southwest Conference on Language Learning and the Oklahoma Foreign Language Teachers Association.

Winners of the CARTA essay contest will be announced at 6:30 p.m. in the Stanley Wagner Ballroom in the Memorial Student Union, and Yevtushenko, who has been called a living classic of Russian literature, will read his poetry. A Russian Tea Room reception will follow, and Yevtushenko will sign copies of his books.

The poet, the best-known of the post-Stalin generation of Russian poets, has taught literature and cinema at the University of Tulsa for 14 years. He has toured more than 90 countries and his works have been translated into 72 languages.

His early poems show loyalty to communism, but by 1955 he had become a spokesman for the young post-Stalin generation. He spoke against the persecution of Soviet dissidents, demanded greater artistic freedom and co-founded the first anti-Stalinist association.

His 1961 poem, "Babi Yar," which denounced Nazi and Russian anti-Semitism, brought him international fame. Since the 1970s he has been active in writing novels, acting, directing films and photography.

For more information about the day's events, contact Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya at 580-559-5293 or


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