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Alligator-snout Shoes, Man-purses, and Gray Winter Days: Life in Kyiv, Ukraine

September 05, 2006

Category: Academics, English, Events, Faculty


During the 2005-2006 academic year, Dr. Philip Acree Cavalier, Assistant Academic Dean and Associate Professor of American Literature at Catawba College, was a Fulbright Scholar in American Literature in Kyiv in the former Soviet Republic — now independent nation — of Ukraine. He lived in Ukraine with his wife and three young children, taught American literature at two universities in Kyiv, and lectured around the country. His two oldest children attended Ukrainian public schools. What the family experienced was difficult, intense, and, according to Dr. Cavalier, "transformed the way we understand post-Soviet life and the legacy of the Soviet Union."  

In his upcoming address at the Catawba College Community Forum, Dr. Cavalier will discuss the challenge of daily life in Ukraine, the vastly different living conditions there, and the problem of the language barrier. He will talk about the challenge of living where one is not (at first) familiar with the hardships of a true continental winter. Dr. Cavalier will also describe some fascinating differences in culture and customs between the United States and post-Soviet Ukraine.

Dr. Cavalier's personal history is fascinating in its own right. He began his education as an economics major at Swarthmore College with the intention of pursuing a career in finance. His interest in literature eventually won out, however, and he completed a Masters Degree in English at the State University of New York in Buffalo and then his Ph.D. in English, with Honors, at Northeastern University. He has numerous publications and conference presentations to his name and has taught at Catawba College since the year 2000. He was named Catawba's Teacher of the Year in both 2002 and 2003.

Come hear Dr. Cavalier in person at the opening presentation of the 2006-07 Catawba College Community Forum at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ralph W. Ketner Hall on the campus of Catawba College. Admission, as always, is free and the public is invited to attend.  

  • Read Cavalier's Notes from Kyiv

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