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Release date: Nov. 15, 2000
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Assistant Director, 404-727-0644, or

Emory Professor Receives Liberty Prize

Mikhail Epstein, Emory University's Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature, has been awarded the Liberty Prize for his contributions to Russian-American culture. This is the second year of the prize, which will be presented annually to two outstanding Russian cultural figures living in America. In addition to Epstein, this year's prize has been awarded to Vagrich Bakhchanyan, an artist and book illustrator who is considered one of the founders of Russian conceptualist art.

"This is an extraordinary award for an extraordinary intellectual, whose presence adds tremendously to Emory College and the university," says Emory College Dean Steven Sanderson. "We are fortunate to have one of the leading contemporary figures in Russian culture among us as a friend and colleague."

Epstein, who has been a member of the Emory faculty for more than 10 years, specializes in 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature and philosophy. He is a graduate of Moscow State University, where he earned the Russian equivalent of master's and bachelor's degrees, and The Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. (Moscow), where he earned his Ph.D. Epstein has been the recipient of numerous research awards, grants, and fellowships, and he has published books, articles and research papers. Epstein currently is a member of the executive board of the International School of Theory in the Humanities (Spain), chairman of the National Society for the Study of Russian Religious Thought (U.S.), and a member of The Academy of Contemporary Russian Literature (Moscow). He will travel to New York in December for the award ceremony and related events, including a reception at the Russian Consulate and an evening of classical music honoring the prize-winners.

The Liberty Prize is juried by four authoritative Russian-American cultural figures, and is sponsored financially by Kontinent U.S.A., a major organizer of Russian cultural events in the United States.

Epstein is a resident of Decatur, Ga. (30033).

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