Saturday, February 16, 2008

Russian Politics

As the Russian Presidential election quickly approaches, I keep asking the same questions of the news I read: Will anything change with the nominal transition from Putin to Medvedev? Will Medvedev be able to influence policies?

It seems as if Medvedev is projecting a more liberal image that befits a focus more toward legal reforms, social problems, and economic issues and away from the raw power of the former KGB and FSB elements in the Kremlin. We shall see...(a common refrain of mine when I think about Russia these days.)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Semester #2

I haven't written at all about my new semester and new courses. This semester I am have a different load of classes. First is the required seminar for History grad students, HIST 900, in which we work on our own personal research, in order to produce an original article length piece by the end of the semester. My research is about public opinion in the Soviet Union, specifically about a poll from May 1960 when a group of Soviet citizens were surveyed on their opinions on the chances for peace between East and West.

My other class is in Global History, where so far we are looking at wide scope theoretical models and categories of analysis, as well as the interchange between geographical areas in History and social science fields.

I'm continuing to take Russian and this semester I added a class to help me for a French exam that I will need to pass to fulfill my 2nd language requirement.

I also found out this week that I will get to go to Russia, back to St. Petersburg, for about two months in May and June this year. I'm really excited!