Call for Applications: International Summer School for Belarusian Studies – 2010

The Center for Belarusian Studies at Southwestern College (Winfield, KS) invites undergraduate and graduate students to participate in its second International Summer School of Belarusian Studies from July 7 to August 6, 2010 in Hajnówka, Poland. 

The program, co-sponsored by the Poland-based Belarusian Historical Society, will be held at the Belarusian Cultural Center and Belarusian Lyceum in the town of Hajnówka in the Podlasie region of northeastern Poland, an area of great natural beauty and home to Poland’s ethnic Belarusian minority – an ideal setting for the study of Belarusian language, history and culture, as well as for the study of a broad range of issues relating to cultural diversity and minorities policies in the expanded EU.



Coursework will include intensive Belarusian language instruction (beginning and intermediate levels and individual advanced-level tutorials) and lectures in English and Belarusian on Belarusian history, literature, contemporary politics and society. The program will also include a regional studies component, with lectures and events focusing on the history, culture and current status of the Belarusian minority in Poland, as well as of the Podlasie region’s other ethnic groups, including Poles, Jews, Tatars, Lithuanians, and Russian Old Believers.


The Summer School faculty will include instructors from Białystok University and the Belarusian Lyceum in Hajnówka, as well as visiting instructors from a number of Belarusian universities. Additional guest lectures on Belarusian history, politics and culture will be given by visiting researchers from Europe and North America.


Participants will have a choice of hotel accommodations at the Belarusian Cultural Center, or homestays with Belarusian-speaking families in Hajnówka.


Coursework will be supplemented by a rich and diverse cultural program, including visits to Belarusian minority cultural organizations and media outlets, meetings with Belarusian writers and artists, films, concerts, and excursions to important sites related to Belarusian culture and the other cultures of the Podlasie region: the city of Białystok, the recently restored Orthodox monastery and Museum of Icons in Supraśl, the Białowieża (Biełavieža) National Park (the largest and ecologically most diverse remnant of the primeval forests of the Northern European plain), the historic town of Bielsk Podlaski, the Holy Mountain of Grabarka (the most important Eastern Orthodox pilgrimage site in Poland), the 17-century Great Synagogue in Tykocin, the Tatar mosque in Kruszyniany, and the Borderland Center in Sejny, a unique institution dedicated to preserving the rich multicultural heritage of the borderland region and promoting dialogue and mutual understanding between its many ethnic groups and cultures. In mid-July students will also have the opportunity to attend Basovišča, the annual festival of Belarusian rock music organized by the Belarusian Students’ Association in the town of Gródek (Haradok) east of Białystok.


At the end of the program, from August 7-21, students will have the option of traveling to Belarus on a guided tour including Hrodna, Słonim, Navahrudak, Mir, Niaśviž, Minsk, Połack, Viciebsk, Mahiloŭ, Pinsk and Brest. The trip will end with a tour of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, including important sites related to the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the modern Belarusian national movement.


The program cost, including tuition, room, board, cultural program and excursions is $3,000 (the cost of the optional Belarus tour at the end of the program will be announced as details become available). Financial aid from the Center for Belarusian Studies will be available.


For further information and application materials, please contact the program director: Dr. Curt Woolhiser, Harvard University, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Barker

Center 327, 12 Quincy St., Cambridge MA 02138-3804; e-mail:; tel.

(617) 495-3528.


Please note that the deadline for all applications is April 30, 2010.


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