Davidson College— Studio R

Davidson College Faculty Seminar Travel in Russia, May 19-June 2, 2014

Welcome to the Studio R collaborative blog.  We invite you to follow along with our group of nine Davidson professors as we discover Moscow and St. Petersburg together.  Take a moment to get comfortable with the navigation: You can learn about the Studio R project, browse individual faculty bios (and their most recent posts), track our progress by date (see the calendar on the bottom-right), or search by category.

We plan to post daily with observations, reflections, and photographs.  Please join us by commenting and  questioning.  To offer you a taste of our plans, take a look at our  itinerary below.  Not included are the various individual meetings which faculty members have arranged with Russian peers or individual research stops at archives, museums, and libraries.  Watch for posts on those meetings as our trip progresses.

May 19: Departure (Charlotte-Munich-Moscow)

May 20: Arrive late afternoon at Moscow Domodedovo and settle in to our apartments near Smolenskaia Square.

May 21: Visit Red Square, including Lenin’s Mausoleum. Tour the Kremlin grounds and museums.

May 22: Lunch and conversation with faculty colleagues at our host institute, the prestigious Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO); Evening theater outing to Zhenovach Studio to see Nikolai Gogol’s “The Gamblers.”

May 23: Visit to the Tretyakov gallery, Russia’s premier museum of Russian art.  Some participants attending “Papa leaves, Mama lies, Grandma dies” at the Meyerhold Center.

May 24: Tour Moscow’s Museum of Contemporary Russia; later visit the Center of Russian Orthodoxy today, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, followed by a visit to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow’s central museum for European art; Dinner with Davidson alumni based in Moscow and Stazi O. (’15), currently studying abroad in Moscow.

May 25: Overview minibus tour of Moscow (hopefully we’ll avoid  traffic)!  Evening theater outing to Fomenko Studio to see Mikhail Bulgakov’s “Theatrical Novel (Notes of a Dead Man).”

May 26: Morning visit to Novodevichii cemetery, famous as the final resting place for famous Russian writers, composers, politicians, and others.  Afternoon at the New Tretyakov, home to Russian modern art and a sculpture garden of discarded Soviet-era monuments.  Meet with former Davidson IIE/Fulbright ATs.

May 27: Early morning Sapsan high-speed train to St. Petersburg.  Afternoon exploring the city.  Evening outing to the acclaimed Mariinskii Theatre to see the Fountain of Bakhchisarai, a ballet based on Pushkin’s poem of the same name.

May 28: Morning overview minibus tour of the city.  Late afternoon and evening at the world-renowned Hermitage Museum.

May 29: Free day exploring and/or researching followed by Shaw Smith’s late-afternoon lecture on Romare Bearden at Smolny College/St. Petersburg State University.  Dinner with Adam M. (’15), currently studying abroad in St. Petersburg.

May 30: Outing to the Catherine Palace in the town of Pushkin, outside St. Petersburg.  A favorite summer palace of the Romanovs, it is perhaps best known for the disappearance (and later recreation) of the Amber Room during the Nazi destruction of the palace in WWII.

May 31: We will explore sites and museums related to the city’s tragic Blockade (the Siege of Leningrad).

June 1: Our last day in Russia, we will explore specific sites related to the Bolshevik Revolution, such as the Aurora, and, weather permitting, take the hydrofoil to “Peter the Great’s Versailles” the summer palace of Peterhoff (sometimes called Petrodvorets).

June 2: In the wee hours of the morning we will depart from St. Petersburg brand-new Pulkovo International air terminal and head back to Charlotte via Munich.

Our blog will continue over the summer and in the coming months and years, as we continue to reflect, share, and develop ideas for the 2017 campus-wide initiative on Revolution.