The Orange Revolution of 2004 brought about many positive changes for the Ukrainian people and the country in its progression toward a more democratic society. A public outcry for the ousting of the former corrupt government symbolized the ushering in of a new era for Ukrainian politics, society, and civic engagement. Moreover, the results were viewed by many as an attempt to divorce Ukraine from its neighbor, Russia, an overbearing sphere of influence. However, one major compromise of the revolution has proven detrimental to the betterment and development of Ukraine: the limitation of presidential veto powers and the right to dissolve the parliament. During his five years in office, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko dissolved parliament twice, in 2007 and in 2008. These dissolutions were an attempt to curb the absurd interparliamentary conflicts over power. The outcome, however, was bleak, since little changed in the modus operandi of the Ukrainian government. In 2009, while negotiating gas contracts with Russia, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko gave the supporters of governmental cohesion cause for alarm. The dissonance between the words of the Ukrainian president and the prime minister became palpable. The gas war was just another manifestation of the discord within the government, proving that a strong government is necessarily a united government. Ukraine, on the other hand, was and still is being pulled in two opposing directions. This struggle within the leadership is even more pernicious for Ukraine within the context of an economic crisis, when the country is most in need of a cohesive, decisive, and democratic government.
This is a comparative research project on non-native and heritage students of Russian. Surveys for both groups were distributed across the Russian Department at the University of Florida to gather data on motivations of second language learners and heritage language learners for taking Russian courses. Another component of this project is to gain a better understanding of what cultural aspects are valued by both groups and if cultural differences have an impact on motivations for learning Russian.
This paper will examine the striking commonalities between Gogol's The Inspector General and Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors, focusing on doubling, and the double layering of linguistic and stylistic elements within the texts of the plays. This doubling creates comedy, moves the plot forward, and exposes striking and hidden truths about human nature. As a literary device, doubling adds to the hyperbole and absurdity of both plays and creates insightful art that transcends the simple socially critical interpretation. Doubling purposefully takes the rationality out of reality. The logical inconsistencies that both Gogol and Shakespeare love to employ connect and set apart their plays and makes them everlastingly relevant.
The Stalinist Purges in the Soviet Union were a time of political repression, severe censorship, and large-scale persecution orchestrated by then-Soviet leader Joseph Stalin as a means to centralize power. The purpose of the purges was to repress potential opposition to his personal authority, as well as eliminate challenges to the state. Stalin’s campaign affected millions of citizens, many of whom were arrested, silenced, deported, or sent to concentration camps. This campaign was so pervasive that it created a dark atmosphere of fear and paranoia in the general populace. However, ordinary Soviet citizens also took part in the purges by denouncing other citizens to the authorities. Whether these accusations were true or false, these people acted as secret informers to manipulate the system to their own advantage. Although the original purpose of the purges was to eliminate opposition through political repression, Soviet citizens participated by turning the purges into a tool to further their self-interest at the expense of others, whether for career advancement, personal reasons, or self-preservation.
Russian influence on American culture began more than 150 years ago. During the last two centuries Russian culture has enriched, deepened, and even transformed American culture in important ways. It is impossible to think of modern American music, dance, theater, film, and literature without considering the enormous contributions of Rubenstein, Tchaikovsky, Balanchine, Stanislavsky, Mikhail Chekhov, Eisenstein, or Joseph Brodsky. This paper examines some of the artistic legacies of great artists from Russia and the Soviet Union and how they are felt in the arts of America to this day.
Since Ukraine’s independence, political awareness of the current linguistic situation has led to the exclusive use of Ukrainian in an effort to help it reemerge as the official language of the state. Major recent policies have targeted the media especially, due to the fact that media has a major effect on populations, and it had previously been presented almost entirely in Russian. However, an interesting situation has developed in that media outlets are finding ways around these rules by having two presenters: one in Russian and one in Ukrainian, reflecting the linguistic divide in Ukraine. This overview of the current linguistic situation in Ukraine will serve to show the reasons for the current language policies and exactly how far these policies have extended.
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 1 is notable for having attracted total derision at its 1897 premiere, which plunged the composer into a deep depression lasting three years. At the behest of family and friends, he enlisted the help of psychologist Nicholas Dahl, with whom he commenced a therapy course. Subsequently, he wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2, one of his most popular pieces to this day. Even though it is generally understood that the reception of the symphony was the catalyst for his depression, a close examination of Rachmaninoff's personal correspondence suggests otherwise. The reception of Symphony No. 1 certainly contributed to Rachmaninoff's long-term depression, but it was neither the only factor, nor the catalyst. While its failure was by no means an insignificant event in his life, his depression was precipitated only by later reflection on the event, compounded by physical illness and other incidental events.