Exploring the Russian Republic of Dagestan with Dr. Nina Wieda

Exploring the Russian Republic of Dagestan with Dr. Nina Wieda


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Dagestan is an autonomous republic within Russia and one of Eurasia’s best-kept secrets. It’s located on the slopes and in the mountain valleys of the highest mountain range in Europe: the Northern Caucasus. Our conversation will examine the many unique lifestyles and cultures which have thrived in this isolated environment and attract curious travelers.

With a population of about 3 million, Dagestan consists of about 70 ethnic groups speaking about 40 distinct languages. Some of the languages maintain unique linguistic features that help us understand the nature of language and of human civilization. People of Dagestan also profess all four major world religions: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism. The region contains religious monuments dedicated to all four religions, as well as idiosyncratic ancient structures, such as multi-story mountain towers and burial cities equipped with boats.

The highlight of our conversation will be an exploration of the city of Derbent – one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and the oldest city in Russia. It is likely to be the location of the legendary Caspian Gates, also known as the Gate of Alexande (a fortification built by Alexander the Great to defend his empire against barbarians.) Dagestan’s valuable geopolitical location on the narrow strip of land between the Black and the Caspian seas made it a coveted prize for many empires throughout history, including Iranians, Russians, and the Ottomans. However, no empire ever fully conquered this mountainous region, and the distinct local culture still celebrates freedom and independence above all values.

Led by an expert on Dagestan, Nina Wieda, this interactive seminar will illuminate the fascinating world of Dagestan's unique history. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the region and its fascinating culture.

Nina Wieda is a native of the Caucasus living in Chicago, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in Slavic from Northwestern University and an MA in Nationalism Studies from Central European University. Nina also has experience in journalism, advertising, and consumer research – her writing has been published in three languages. She wrote her Master's thesis about the Northern Caucasus region. Dr. Wieda currently teaches at Northwestern University near Chicago.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
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(6)
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L
Lucy H (Hatfield, GB)
Fascinating overview of a hidden gem

Extremely interesting and well presented.

T
Tara Gurber (Chicago, US)
Great presentation

Dr Wieda always give a great and interesting presentation. This one was no different. We are considering traveling to Dagestan !!! She is so knowledgeable and likable.

C
C.J. Feinberg (Moraga, US)
Outstanding visit with Dr. Nina Wieda to Dagestan!

Dr. Wieda is an outstanding presenter! She's so knowledgable and passionate about her subject and conveys her fascinating information with passion. She works hard to speak clearly. She's absolutely delightful. My friend, Adrian, and I have attended many of her programs and have thoroughly enjoyed and learned a great deal from each one. SHe's a great asset to Context and we look forward to other program offerings by her.

L
Larry Levine (Boardman, US)
An excellent seminar about little-known Dagestan!

This was another of Dr. Nina Wilda’s wonderful seminars — very well-prepared and presented with enthusiasm. I knew virtually nothing about Dagestan, an ancient, diverse and gorgeous mountain land. A nice mix of maps, old photographs, current photographs, video of music and dance, ancient history, beautiful scenery, and daily life of the people of today. Interesting section on the 4 major religions and 40 languages of this small land.

D
Debra B. (Casper, US)

Excellent presentation of the history, culture, religions, languages, of a remote but fascinating country.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
100%
(6)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
L
Lucy H (Hatfield, GB)
Fascinating overview of a hidden gem

Extremely interesting and well presented.

T
Tara Gurber (Chicago, US)
Great presentation

Dr Wieda always give a great and interesting presentation. This one was no different. We are considering traveling to Dagestan !!! She is so knowledgeable and likable.

C
C.J. Feinberg (Moraga, US)
Outstanding visit with Dr. Nina Wieda to Dagestan!

Dr. Wieda is an outstanding presenter! She's so knowledgable and passionate about her subject and conveys her fascinating information with passion. She works hard to speak clearly. She's absolutely delightful. My friend, Adrian, and I have attended many of her programs and have thoroughly enjoyed and learned a great deal from each one. SHe's a great asset to Context and we look forward to other program offerings by her.

L
Larry Levine (Boardman, US)
An excellent seminar about little-known Dagestan!

This was another of Dr. Nina Wilda’s wonderful seminars — very well-prepared and presented with enthusiasm. I knew virtually nothing about Dagestan, an ancient, diverse and gorgeous mountain land. A nice mix of maps, old photographs, current photographs, video of music and dance, ancient history, beautiful scenery, and daily life of the people of today. Interesting section on the 4 major religions and 40 languages of this small land.

D
Debra B. (Casper, US)

Excellent presentation of the history, culture, religions, languages, of a remote but fascinating country.