Fairfield University hosts prominent, provocative Russian Studies scholar, Stephen Cohen, for keynote lecture: “The Ukrainian Crisis: Why a New Cold War?”

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (January 26, 2015) - Known worldwide as an expert and provocative scholar in Russian studies, Stephen F. Cohen, Ph.D., professor emeritus of history, Russian studies, and politics at New York University and Princeton University, will deliver the keynote lecture to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies Program (RECAS) at Fairfield University.

Dr. Cohen, who has suggested that current U.S./Russian relations be considered “a new Cold War,” will speak at Fairfield on Thursday, February 5 at 7 p.m. in the Kelley presentation room in the Aloysius P. Kelley S.J. Center. His lecture is titled, “The Ukrainian Crisis: Why a New Cold War?” and is free and open to the public and media.

During the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, which resulted in the ouster of former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, Dr. Cohen spoke in defense of the Kremlin’s actions while challenging people to look at the political situations from all perspectives. Sometimes considered a Putin "apologist," Dr. Cohen noted that he sees himself instead as “patriotic heretic,” interested in engaging the public in honest, unbiased debate.

David McFadden, Ph.D., director of the RECAS program and professor of history, said, “Stephen is a very well known, leading historian of alternatives to Stalinism as well as a leading advocate of Gorbachev’s reforms. We are honored to have him to commemorate the 20th anniversary of our program.”

Dr. Cohen is a frequent media presence on national and international topics, and serves as a contributing editor at The Nation.

Dr. Cohen received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University and, among many other awards and recognitions, received the NYU Gold Teaching Award in 2001. He has been featured on national television including CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC.

The Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program at Fairfield University developed jointly by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Dolan School of Business. It offers students the unique opportunity to take a fresh look at the long-established field of Russian and Eastern European studies.

Cohen Quotes:

"...the origins of the new cold war are to be found instead in attitudes and policies toward post-Soviet Russia adopted by the Clinton administration back in the 1990s and largely continued by this Bush administration …”

“What must be done, however, is clear enough. Because the new cold war began in Washington, steps toward ending it also have to begin in Washington.” “Since the early 2000s, the media have followed a different leader-centric narrative, also consistent with US policy, that devalues multifaceted analysis for a relentless demonization of Putin, with little regard for facts.”

“…these inescapable realities mean that partnership with Russia is an American national security imperative.”

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 26, 2015

Vol. 47, No. 161

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