6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Leitmotiv in Russian Novels of the 19th and 20th Centuries

June 11, 2015 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
Very few readers notice that the general plot structure of three of the greatest Russian novels of the 20th century – Doctor Zhivago, And Quiet Flows the Don, and Lolita – is the same, because the authors have unwittingly described the same situation. Each story features main heroines, symbolizing Russia, who are defiled by their fathers (or step-fathers) and then run away with lovers and bear dead children. Incest becomes a metaphor of power that depraves the country through criminal methods of governing. In Nabokov's case, the topic of defilement and forbidden passion is always connected with the threat of prison (Invitation to a Beheading, Bend Sinister, preface to Lolita, and Lolita itself: in attempting to become free from obsessive desire, the hero falls deeper and deeper into an abyss of dependence and fear. It is the best metaphor for the 1917 revolution which only deteriorated the conditions of Russian life). Meanwhile, the main hero hopes that the fulfillment of sinful wish would cure him, but it is a great delusion both in moral and social terms. This plot line first appeared in Tolstoy's novel, The Resurrection, which in essence predicted Russian history for more than 100 years.

Transparency, Governance, and Foreign Policy: Meeting the Challenge in the Americas

June 09, 2015 // 1:30pm — 5:00pm
Throughout much of Latin America, the "golden years" of economic growth during the last decade's commodity boom have given way to economic decline or stagnation. At the same time, a mobilized citizenry is demanding better government performance. These two factors have focused unprecedented attention on rule of law deficits and official corruption. Meanwhile, relations among countries of the hemisphere have grown more complex. As much as the region has welcomed the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations, the options for international insertion now extend far beyond the Western Hemisphere.

Latin American Energy: Issues and Prospects

May 19, 2015 // 11:30am — 1:00pm
Experts explored energy issues for the Latin American and Caribbean region, in this seventh event in the Wilson Center’s Regional and Global Energy Series.

Global Trends in the Next Decade: Implications for U.S. National Security, Diplomacy, and Development

June 04, 2015 // 10:00am — 12:00pm
The world is more connected than ever before, but also more complex. Big, transnational trends like climate change, urbanization, and migration are changing the calculus of geopolitics, while local-level inequalities persist. “[Change] seems to be spinning around us so fast,” said John Hempelmann, president of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, which honors the legacy of the late senator from Washington State. How can today’s and tomorrow’s leaders adjust to global trends?

Blurring Borders: National, Subnational, and Regional Orders in East Asia

June 01, 2015 // 9:15am — 3:30pm
In Japan and China, resurgent nationalism has reinforced the political importance of the region’s most powerful nation-states, fed international tensions in the region, and created additional challenges for U.S. policy.

Afghanistan’s Unsung Heroes: Reflections of Afghan Women Leaders and Implications for U.S. Policy

May 27, 2015 // 2:30pm — 4:30pm
In Afghanistan, the future of women is highly uncertain. International troops have left the country, and Afghanistan’s new government is exploring the possibility of reconciliation talks with the Taliban. The new book Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders, by Sally L. Kitch, chronicles the stories of two Afghan professional women, Marzia Basel and Jamila Afghani, as they navigate both patriarchal culture and international intervention.

Urban Violence: Building Safe and Inclusive Cities in Latin America

May 13, 2015 // 9:00am — 11:00am
Join us for a panel discussion on policy options for building safe and inclusive cities in Latin America based on recent field research conducted in several major urban areas in the region.

The Sahel Beyond the Headlines: Population, Environment, and Security Dynamics

May 12, 2015 // 9:30am — 5:00pm
Speakers from the Sahel and US-based experts will engage in solutions-oriented policy dialogues that address demographic trends, reproductive health, food security, and peacebuilding. Additional cross-cutting themes throughout the discussion will include gender, youth, and health.

Is the United States at a Crossroads? Domestic and Global Dimensions

May 15, 2015 // 9:00am — 12:45pm
In this half-day conference, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and leading experts from journalism and academia discussed the role of the United States in the world today and the future of U.S. immigration policy.

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