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Russian conference engages aspirational students

Russian conference engages aspirational students

Thirteen Year 11-13 students have visited Oxford High School to participate in their annual Russian conference, helping to improve their cultural knowledge and enhance their A Level studies.

The day comprised of various lectures from professors at Oxford University, discussing topics including the great Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin, the translation of Russian literature and the breakdown of the Soviet Union.

Professor Julie Curtis thoroughly engaged students with her comprehensive lecture about translating Russian literature into English, through the presentation of a Russian poem, that had five different published translations. Despite the poem only containing 33 words in Russian, it required 57 words to render it in the most basic terms of English. Students discussed the merits of each translation, sharing their opinions with the wider group.

Mrs Caroline Wray, Head of Russian at Stamford School, said: “The conference offered an excellent opportunity for our students to experience an enriching array of different lectures on a host of topics, supporting their A Level studies.

“Highlights of the trip, aside from meeting so many other students who are learning Russian, included two particularly interesting talks.

“Sir Christopher Mallaby discussed his experiences of the Cold War, providing huge insights into working as a diplomat in Moscow in the early 1960s and recounting stories of being followed by KGB Agents whilst out shopping. Also listening to Professor Roy Allison talking about his encounters with Mikhail Gorbachev and President Putin proved fascinating.”

Visit to Oxford High School for Russian Conference

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