Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Teacher Workshops

Teacher workshops on various aspects of global studies are held regularly, sponsored by CREEES and by Hemispheres: The International Area Studies Outreach Consortium. Workshop topics may cover regional or global issues. Please check the Hemispheres website and the CREEES Events website for upcoming workshops!

Past Workshops

Creating a Path from Novice to Advanced: Best Practices of the Teaching of Russian Language and Culture (June 10, 2016)

Dr. Thomas Garza and Dr. Marina Flider presented techniques to increase the competency of Russian language learners. Participants will leave with a selection of activities to use immediately as well as the tools for creating more activities on their own. 

Click here to acess the "Best Practices" recordings and handouts.

Hemispheres Summer Teachers' Institute: Food: Culture & Controversies (June 6-9, 2016)

The workshop explored food as an avenue to discuss larger issues: economics, history, culture, and struggle. The need for food unites all humans, and yet, it is used as a marker of class, culture, nationalism, and individualism. Food therefore touches everyone, from the consumer to the producer to the policymaker.

Teaching about Refugees: Forced Displacement, Political Asylum, Deportation and Repatriation (April 30, 2016)

Drawing from current and historical examples from around the world, this day-long workshop will address why and how people become displaced, the problems that refugees and migrants face, how they rebuild their lives in new countries, and what happens when they are sent back to their countries of origin. Expert speakers will cover topics of forced migration and, how mass movements of people relate to issues of human rights and social justice in a global society. Presenters will also introduce some of the historical and political processes that led to the displacement of various refugee communities to gain an understanding of multiple perspectives on, and reasons for, the displacement of people.

Hemispheres Webinar Series- Great Works, Great Ideas- "From Peter to Putin: The Enduring Myth of St. Petersburg" (March 9, 2016)

When Peter the Great founded his new Russian capital in 1703, the imagined and forced city of St. Petersburg became the center of Russian art, architecture, and literary culture for the next 200 years. During that time, the city and its denizens became part of a “myth,” a collection of legends and tales connected to the image of the city in cultural texts and in the collective Russian consciousness.

This presentation traces the development of the Petersburg Myth in the literary works of the great writers (including Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tsvetaeva), art (Benois, Kramskoi and “The Wanderers”), and architecture (Rastrelli, Rossi, Quarenghi), focusing on the creation and perpetuation of this salient phenomenon in Russian national culture.

We will examine cultural products (literature, art, film) that represent various perspectives on the Myth, and bring its relevance right up to the 21st century and one of Petersburg’s most (in)famous native sons, Vladimir Putin.

Access the "Peter to Putin" materials here!

Teacher Training Workshop: "Siberian Voices: Mapping Culture, Environment, and Everyday Life in Southern Siberia" (April 26, 2014)

CREEES hosted a teacher training workshop on the UT campus about Siberia, with presentations by UT faculty and presentations of curriculum units developed by recipients of the Siberian Voices Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad.

The project was a four-week study seminar in southern Siberia, a region of the Russian Federation, in Summer 2013, in which a select group of 10 Texas educators, administrators, and advanced university students participated with the goal of cultural immersion, language study, and curriculum development.

2009 Summer Teachers' Institute: "Sense of Place: Intersecting Geography, History and Culture"

How have our changing perceptions of our geographic surroundings led to changes in human society? How do cities and urban spaces reflect the societies that build them? How do those spaces in turn serve as vehicles for creativity, production, and social change? How is the character of a place related to its political, economic, social, and cultural characteristics?

The fields we farm, the cities we build, the spaces we preserve, the borders we protect—within each set of choices we make, we reveal our perceptions of and relationship with the land that surrounds us. By studying the connections between natural geographic features, human settlement, and cultural identity, we can begin to see landscape not as background scenery but as an expression of ourselves and of our historic development. Between the core disciplines of World Geography, World History, and World Cultures, new fields of study are beginning to emerge that explore ways that these disciplines—once studied in isolation—influence each other. 

A Study in Contrasts: Elections and the Political Process in Russia and America (November 10, 2008)

In the politically-charged season that was the US presidential election, the political process was uppermost in everyone’s mind.  Voter registration and campaign fundraising were the highest in history and although Obama led in the polls, the election remained close until the end.  In contrast, Russia’s parliamentary elections in the winter and presidential election in the spring were considered a foregone conclusion.  Despite the fact that Russia is considered a democracy, outside observers disputed Russia's claim of  “free and fair” elections.  The workshop examined how Russia's electoral process differs from America's, examining whether  a multi-party system allows for more political opportunities, or more voter confusion; and whether the continuing predominance of Vladimir Putin affects the relationship between our countries?

2008 Summer Teachers' Institute Recognizing Rights and Responsibilities in the 21st Century (June 10-13, 2008)

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” —Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In what ways are governments and other powerful institutions responsible to act toward individuals and toward each other “in a spirit of brotherhood”? How do we define human rights, in the most expansive sense of the term? And how are rights and resources being claimed and fought for around the world? Hemispheres Summer Teachers’ Institute 2008 explored the international context for the rights-related challenges we face today. We looked at specific cases that illustrate how people conceive of and struggle for crucial rights in civil, political, cultural, and economic realms. The workshop program was designed to address the TEKS and TAKS objectives for social studies that deal with topics related to history, government, citizenship, and culture.
CREEES is offering a one-day workshop for secondary school educators. Teachers attend lectures by University professors and then explore ways to incorporate the ideas into curriculum materials for their own classroom use. 

Ten Days that Shook the World: A Retrospective Teacher Training Workshop (November 9, 2007)

On the 90th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution, CREEES invited Texas educators to a workshop that examined the causes and results of this major historical event. Focusing on three eras - the lead-up to the Revolution, the Stalinist period, and the current post-Soviet situation - we explored some of the questions that continue to surround this social upheaval.

The Russian Revolution, inspired by high hopes and ideals, stunned the world. The decade following the revolution saw instead of freedom and prosperity, war, famine, imprisonment and repression. Decades of sacrifice followed. Was the great Soviet "experiment" worth the massive human and social cost? Or was Communism a broken ideology that was doomed to failure? After 70 years the Soviet State dissolved into 15 separate countries. The newly independent states are struggling with issues of civil rights, ethnic tensions and transitioning to capitalist-based economies. These ongoing challenges affect a country that the United States has considered both an ally and an adversary.

2007 Summer Teachers' Institute: Restoring Women to World Studies (June 5-8, 2007)

Recent changes in state, national, and Advanced Placement educational standards call for the inclusion of women’s studies in the social studies curriculum. However, the most widely available resources tend to focus on the experience of women in Western Europe and North America.

Restoring Women to World Studies, Hemispheres 2007 Summer Teachers’ Institute, will explore the situation of women —historical and contemporary—in Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, East Europe and Eurasia, and South Asia. We’ll discuss the contributions of notable women to historical and artistic movements, talk about concepts of gender roles and gendered spaces, look at issues that are driving women’s movements today, and examine the greater context in which all of these take place.

You are invited to spend a week on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin to take part in Hemispheres’ dynamic programming that has won the acclaim of educators, curriculum specialists and district representatives statewide. Bring your toughest questions, your most innovative ideas and your excitement for learning as we bring you the best and latest in research and scholarship from of one of the nation’s largest research institutions.

For more information and a registration form visit the Hemispheres website.

The Environmental Legacy of Soviet Power: A Workshop for Texas Educators (November 15, 2006)

The environmental legacy of unrestrained Soviet-era growth is one of wide-spread pollution and toxic waste. Accelerated economic development has proved to be a boon to Russia, but the negative impacts have continued to increase.

Faced with everything from local blackouts to oil pipeline leaks to cleaning up the residue of former nuclear test zones, Russia and Eastern Europe continue to struggle in their attempt to balance the short term economic rewards of developing energy reserves and increasing economic production, against the long term environmental damage inflicted upon the surrounding natural areas and communities.

2006 Summer Teachers’ Institute: “21st Century Challenges in the Developing World” (June 6-9, 2006)

Hemispheres presented a four-day workshop exploring the challenges facing three quarters of the world’s population. Educators learned more about both the accomplishments and the disappointments of countries that strive to overcome divisive histories, strict governments, and struggling economies.

The Silk Road Revisited: Integrating Central Asia into your Curriculum (November 18, 2005)

Central Asia is a region still swathed in mystery.  The modern nations occupying this vast land of mountains, deserts and steppes still show signs of the Turkic, Mongol, Persian, and Russian influences of the past. While sharing cross-national similarities in historical and political development, peoples, and cultural practices, the new nation-states also have their own distinct characteristics.  In this one-day workshop teachers explored the history, culture, and challenges facing this area of the world.

2005 Summer Teachers’ Institute: “Antiquity and Continuity” (June 7-10, 2005)

Ancient cultures contributed to major intellectual developments within societies and to the evolution of global processes. It is through our increasing understanding of human accomplishment throughout history that we can find the relationship between antiquity and current-day societies. This four-day workshop explored the relationship of continuity and change from the ancient period to the modern era.

Changing Borders: The Balkans in Transition (February 25, 2005)

Social upheaval in Eastern Europe during the past decade has caused national borders to be drawn and re-drawn.  Political questions, ethnic rivalries and immigration issues have come to the forefront in nations throughout the region.  CREEES offered a one-day workshop for Secondary School educators to explore the politics of identity and international relations in this volatile area.

Teaching About Russia Workshop (August 3-4, 2004)

In this two-day workshop, teachers were exposed to current topics and historical events that have shaped the face of Russia, and created materials to use in their classrooms.  This workshop was designed for high school teachers of Geography, Social Studies, and History.

2004 Summer Teachers’ Institute: “People and Place: Human-Geographic Relations” (June 8-10, 2004)

Participants focused on geography's "continuing quest to understand the physical and cultural features of places and their natural settings on the surface of the Earth;" discussed, with UT faculty and graduate students, the varied effects of human settlement on natural environments and those environments' effects on human trajectory; participated in activities designed to turn workshop content into standards-aligned curricular ideas.

2003 Summer Teachers’ Institute: “Explorers, Traders, and Immigrants: Tracking Cultural Contact through Food” (June 9-11, 2003)

Participants discussed cultural contact and traced the historical journey of foodstuffs, spices, and edible commodities from their origins in far-flung corners of the globe to their everyday inclusion as staples of our diets; explored lesson ideas aligned to TEKS standards dealing with exploration, migration, and world cultures; heard presentations from University faculty and staff about historical events connected to the dinner plate.

Folklore and Mythology Around the World (November 2, 2002)

This one-day seminar presented by Hemispheres explored the mythologies that still permeate cultures around the world.

2002 Summer Teachers’ Institute: “On War and Peace: Teaching about Conflict” (June 4-7, 2002)

The four national resource centers at the University of Texas at Austin hosted a four-day institute that examined ways world conflict can be presented in K-12 classrooms. This summer institute was designed for middle and high school teachers of history, geography, politics, cultures, civics and social studies.

Presenting and Re-presenting Islam: Teaching and Studying about Islam in the United States (March 21-22, 2002)

This workshop began with an examination of the ways and means to teach about Islam in the public school classroom. Following this, there were in-depth presentations and discussions on topics including: how Islam is presented in popular media, Islam in the United States, gender and Islam and issues of pluralism.

Faith, Devotion and Worship: World Religions in Central Texas (February 12-13, 2002)

The four NRCs at UT hosted a two-day workshop for K-12 social studies teachers that addressed issues of faith, devotion, culture and identity in world societies. This interactive workshop was designed for middle and high school teachers of history, politics and literature.

2001 Summer Teachers’ Institute: "World Cultures Through the Arts" (June 5-9, 2001)

The four National Resource Centers at the University of Texas at Austin hosted a week-long institute that addressed the study and presentation of world culture through artistic means. This interactive institute was designed exclusively for middle and high school teachers of history, geography, politics, cultures, literature, and fine arts.

2000 Summer Teachers' Institute: "Faith, Culture and Identity: Teaching About Religion Today" (June 5-9, 2000)

A week-long institute on issues of faith, culture, politics and identity in world societies, designed for middle and high school teachers of history, geography, politics, cultures and literature.  A collaborative outreach project of Hemispheres, the four National Resource Centers at UT.

1999 Summer Teachers' Institute: "Cities and Social Change: Contemporary Societies in Area Studies" (June 14-18, 1999)

This workshop explored issues of urbanization, industrialization, and contemporary societies of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Russia and Eastern Europe.  Presentations focused on issues of urban growth and development, the effects of growth on the community, and the ways societies respond to change.  A collaborative outreach project of Hemispheres, the four National Resource Centers at UT.

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  • Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600
    Burdine Hall 452
    Austin, TX 78712