Advance ticket sales have ended but plenty of additional tickets remain available at the door.
Profs and Pints DC presents: “How Zelensky Found His Voice,” a linguistic portrait an unlikely Ukrainian president and world hero, with Ksenia Turkova, linguist, Voice of America journalist, former news anchor in Russia and Ukraine, and guest lecturer at American universities.
As Ukraine continues to defend itself against Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s 44-year-old president, Volodymyr Zelensky, looms on the world stage as a voice of courage. Quotes from his speeches get translated into other languages and go viral. Who by now hasn’t heard the phrase, “I need ammunition, not a ride?”
As recently as four years ago, however, Zelensky was hardly someone who seemed likely to rise to such a role. After all, he was raised speaking Russian, not Ukrainian, and actually long had been assumed to be pro-Russian by much of Ukrainian society. Until being elected president in 2019 he had spent his life acting in comedies. He’s held political office on TV, but never in real life.
Come learn about how Zelensky has emerged as such an inspiring leader from Dr. Ksenia Turkova, a trained linguist with more than two decades of experience as a journalist for independent Russian and Ukrainian news outlets. Dr. Turkova previously gave an outstanding Profs and Pints talk painting a vivid linguistic portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and her take on President Zelensky promises to give audiences a rich understanding of why Zelensky stands as such a formidable political foe.
She’ll discuss how Zelensky has gone from being someone who admitted a lack of fluency in Ukrainian to someone who sometimes (reassuringly) admits to forgetting certain Russian words. She’ll also look at how his manner of speaking was shaped by his career as a comedian, leaving him comfortable uttering populist statements or cracking bawdy jokes. And she’ll discuss how Zelensky has evolved since the Russian invasion, and what his utterances say about what makes him tick.
Although Zelensky and Putin different greatly in terms of the substance of what they communicate, the style of how they communicate matters greatly as well. You’ll emerge from this talk with a better understanding of how words matter in national politics and on the world stage. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in. The Bier Baron will be requiring event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.)
Image: President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on a visit to the Kyiv region in April. (Ukrainian government photo / Creative Commons.)