Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Books Behind Bars:" Russian literature and incarcerated youth

Admittedly it isn't often the IRB-SBS receives protocols from the Slavic Language and Literature department at UVa. It probably isn't that usual for incarcerated youth in juvenile detention centers to discuss Tolstoy. When you are working with someone named Andy Kaufman, perhaps it is best to expect the unusual. Andrew D. Kaufman, UVa professor Slavic Language and Literature professor and expert in all things Tolstoy, expanded his passion for sharing Russian literature beyond his UVa classroom to help improve the lives of incarcerated youth in juvenile detention facilities. Kaufman developed the course for "Books Behind Bars" and with the help of UVa undergraduates, they run discussion groups helping the incarcerated youth to learn about Russian literature. Featured on UVa alum Katie Couric's show, the program highlights the benefits of studying the humanities. Kaufman is set to release a new book entitled Give "War and Peace" a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times.

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