Part of our Festival de la Francophonie 2017
Russia’s affinity for all things French dates back to the 18th century.
Peter the Great employed French architects, engineers and artists to build St. Petersburg, while Catherine the Great entered into correspondence with the greatest French thinkers of her day, including Voltaire and Diderot.
Russian aristocracy turned to France as the center of high culture and progress; travel to France became a form of cultural and intellectual apprenticeship for Russian nobility.
French became the lingua franca of the Russian court and nobility under Catherine the Great, preferred to Russian in everyday use.
Despite the upheavals of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, France remained a major cultural point of reference for Russia throughout the 19th century – the main source of fashion, cuisine, and culture enjoyed by St. Petersburg high society.
It was therefore no surprise that Paris proved the most popular destination for aristocratic émigrés and intellectuals after the Bolsheviks came to power, becoming home to such famous Russian exiles as V. Nabokov.
Join us for a talk with Irina Ruvinsky, a Professor of Philosophy and Literature at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Talk followed by aspic sampling and vodka cocktail.
Irina received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and she studied French Literature at Sorbonne IV and at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. She teaches French and Russian literature as well German philosophy at several other institutions, including the UIC and the Graham School at the University of Chicago.
Address: 810 N Dearborn St, Chicago
Find other events at Chicago on Evensi!