Conference Report, 2003

December 5-12, 2003, Moscow
Supported by Grant No. № S-RS500-04-GR-012

The conference took place at the Moscow State University, Department of Journalism.

Over 120 participants from 35 cities took part in section and plenary meetings during the week, with 89 papers delivered by people from 35 cities and 51 universities (a list of cities and Universities represented is attached).
Young and distinguished scholars came from various parts of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus to present their papers and discuss problems of interaction between Literature and the Arts in the USA and concerning interaction of American culture and World culture. Five American scholars took active part in discussions. Among them Professor Irwin Weil, who came to our conference for a twentieth (!) time, Professor Ronald Bosco who was a co-chair for Thoreau discussion, and a Fulbright lecturer Alan Lelchuk.
In 2003 the grant gave the researchers from such distant cities as Chita and Kemerovo an opportunity to be present at the meetings in person, but not all travel expenses have been reimbursed due to lack of funds (in order to pay at least a portion we had to reduce payments to 12 persons and still lacked the money to pay Olga Ushakova from Tymen altogether).
The Program was more varied this year, with the special stress on interaction of various media in 7 sections:
1. Multimedia Journalism.
2. The Nineteenth Century – to the Twenty First.
3. Contemporary Prose and Contemporary Culture.
4. American Drama.
5. Ethnic Literatures in the USA and Multiculturalism.
6. Women in American Culture.
7. Interaction of the American and World Culture.

But besides traditional sections this time there has been four Round table discussions: For the seventh time there was a traditional Round Table Discussion: “Imprints: Image of America and Image of Russia” (coordinator Prof. Yassen Zassoursky), for the second time – “Fantastic in the Arts” (coordinator Ph.D Larisa Mihaylova) which was considered important enough to announce for the next year too. Two new discussions also attracted a considerable attendance – “Author as Teacher: Democratic Experience. Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Hawthorne” (coordinated by Prof. Tatyana Venediktova and Prof. Ronald Bosco) and “Border/Hybrid Consciousness” (ccordinated by Prof. Tamara Denisova)
All the participants got the Program and the collection of Conference Materials with Abstracts and short variants of 43 papers printed in Russian and English. This year more people managed to prepare short articles and not just the abstracts, which helped to make the publication of the conference a more substantial resource for scholars in the field.
The collection of this year together with collections of three previous years has been donated to the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

As the previous year, some extra time went to mailing the reimbursements for the tickets which we received from the participants only by the end of March, 2004.

Larisa Mihaylova,
Conference Secretary