"Geography is a really broad field that includes the cultural and social environments," Medvedkov said, explaining both her love for and knowledge of classical music. "Like most Russian children, I was raised on classical music and took rigorous lessons five days a week for five years."
Medvedkov will not only discuss music, but also the impact Westernization had on Russia at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and explain the different movements in art and literature in the changing social environment.
"Many continue trying to create Russian music, believing that they shouldn't look to the West but follow their own destiny," she said.
The night of Russian music includes "Introduction to Khovantchina" by Mussorgsky, "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" by Rachmaninoff and "Symphony No. 5 in E minor, op. 64" by Tchaikovsky.
"I am taking students to the concert and hope they have an opportunity to meet Olga Kern," Medvedkov said. "She is fantastic – a magnificent performer."
Medvedkov received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Moscow State University and her Ph.D. in the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geography in Moscow, where she worked before coming to Wittenberg in 1989. She is a Fulbright scholar who teaches courses on globalization, urban and population geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and a regional course on Russia and Central Eurasia. Medvedkov team teaches the geography of East Asia and a special course titled "Moscow: Urban Development and Local Politics," which is followed by an optional summer term in Russia.
Medvedkov co-founded Wittenberg's Russian immersion program in 1999, which allows 10-13 students biannually to study Russian politics, history, communications, and Russian society and culture in-depth for four weeks following Commencement. Medvedkov has also published extensively, including a book titled Soviet Urbanization, which received very favorable reviews. She co-authored chapters in books titled Russia's Fragmented Space, The Changing Trends in Russia's Urbanization, Cities of the World and numerous articles in professional journals. Her most recent work is a chapter in the book titled Moscow in Transition, which is scheduled to be published this year.
The Springfield Fire and Police Departments are among the community organizations Medvedkov's GIS classes have assisted in the last eight years. The efforts of one of her GIS classes resulted in a $2.5 million grant for the Marriage Resource Center, a Springfield-based non-profit organization.
Written By: Phyllis Eberts
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