"Know Russia" throughout January at Deschutes Public Library

Posted By:  Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted:  12/18/2018

Revolutions and nesting dolls, vodka and iconography—we’re going to Russia in January at Deschutes Public Library. Examine the country’s history of leaders and power, hear classic Russian fairytales, learn about Russian culture and more. All programs are free and open to the public; registration required for programs marked with an asterisk(*).


Exploring Russian Cuisine*

From the dough for khinkali to stroganoff, this class is sure to entice! Russian cuisine is distinctive and unique. It was formed under the influence of different environmental, social, geographical, economic and historical factors. Join chef Michele Morris in exploring the unique flavors that this cuisine has to offer. Morris is the founder and owner of Kindred Creative Kitchen, which offers cooking and baking classes for Youth and Adults. Space is limited and registration is required for these sessions.


Russian Politics in the 21st Century

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia’s political, economic and social transformation has been uneven and incomplete. After a decade of political and economic upheaval under President Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin promised to restore Russia’s power, both domestically as well as on the world stage. This talk explores how Putin has transformed Russia’s political and economic systems and reasserted the country’s presence on the world stage since coming to power in 2000. Presenter Sarah L. Henderson is an associate professor of Political Science in the School of Public Policy at Oregon State University.


The Russian Revolution

Dr. Leah Goldman (Lewis & Clark College) explores the social, political and economic factors that provided fertile ground for violent change, then details the Revolution’s progress from labor strike to democratic insurgency to Bolshevik coup. Goldman will analyze the role of workers, women and other underrepresented groups in driving the Revolution forward. Further, she will explore the consequences of seven years of upheaval—comprising WWI, the Revolution itself and the ensuing Civil War—for Russian society, as well as the impact of avant-garde social and cultural experiments in shaping post-Revolutionary ways of life.


The Evolution of Russian Iconography

Olga Volchkova shares how tradition influenced her current secular icons, which are inspired by nature, emphasizing the power of plants and the natural world. She will also discuss the use of traditional iconography (the use of symbols to convey meaning) in art. Volchkova is a Russian-born artist currently living in Eugene. She born in Tver, Russia, in 1970, in the former Soviet Union. Many of her relatives were collectivized subsistence farmers living in villages outside of the city, and across the seasons she would leave the city to farm, garden and forage for berries and mushrooms with them.


Vodka Tasting at Bendistillery*

It has been said that alcohol—and vodka in particular—has been a pivotal force in sculpting Russian religion, society, politics and economics. What is it about this distilled spirit that seems quintessentially Russian? Join us for a tour of Bendistillery and try a vodka tasting. See the behind-the-scenes of the distillation process and then taste the fruits of the labors in the tasting room. Registrants will meet at the Tumalo Bendistillery for the tour and tasting. Space is limited and registration is required; must be 21+ for the tasting, but children are allowed on tour and in tap room if accompanied by adult, as per Oregon Law.

· Saturday, January 19 - 1:00 p.m. - Bendistillery | 19330 Pinehurst Road, Bend


The Russian Folktale’s World

Folktales are our oldest stories, and they distill a people’s character and experience in deceptively simple texts. Dr. Barbara Henry (University of Washington) discusses the principle types of Russian folktales and explores one of Russia’s most well-known tales, “The Magic Swan-Geese.” Henry is an associate professor in the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UW. She teaches courses on 19th and 20th century Russian literature and culture, Russian folktales, and Yiddish literature.


For more information about these programs, please visit the library website at People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz Goodrich at or 541-312-1032.                                          

Page Last Modified Wednesday, March 8, 2023