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Dispatches from Mongolia

Written by 4/5/2010

Politics professor Tom Shevory in a classroom in Mongolia.

The theme for this year’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival is “open spaces.” Ithaca politics professor Thomas Shevory knows a thing or two about that.

As a Fulbright scholar, he has spent the past academic year in the world’s most sparsely populated country, teaching American studies, American politics, and international environmental film at the National University of Mongolia.

His blog, “Mongolian Spaces,” chronicles his life in the capital (Ulaanbaatar) and beyond. There is much to learn about this remote nation, writes Shevory: “Mongolian spaces intersect sky and steppe, Russia and China, Muslim, Buddhist, and Shamanist beliefs and practices, deserts in the south (the Gobi) and arboreal forests in the north (Siberia).”

Though on leave from IC, Shevory continues to teach Ithaca students through his blog, by exploring customs, social issues, politics, history, and the environment of a place so remote to Americans.



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