Keston Public Lectures and Symposia

The Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society hosts at least one public lecture annually and symposia approximately every five years.

2019 Keston Center Diplomatic Forum

Celebrating 100 Years of Czech Independence
The Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society hosted a series of events in commemoration of 100 years of Czechoslovak Independence and the 50 year anniversary of Prague Spring from October 9 to October 12, 2018.

2018 Spring Keston Lecture: Alyona Kojevnikov
The Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society hosted the Spring 2018 Keston Lecture and Panel on Thursday, March 22, at 3:30 p.m. in Kayser Auditorium in the Hankamer Academic Center. Alyona Kojevnikov, former Radio Liberty Moscow Bureau Chief, BBC Russia Service broadcaster, translator for Margaret Thatcher, and Keston College Information Officer, focused on the topic, “Hush! Religion and the Secular Media." A panel including Robert Darden, Professor of Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media; Roland H. Smith, former British Ambassador to Ukraine; and Lynn Tatum, Senior Lecturer in the Honors College responded to Kojevnikov's remarks.

2017 Keston Public Lecture: Dominic Erdozain
The Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society hosted the Fall 2017 Keston Public Lecture and a panel discussion on October 25, in the Armstrong Browning Library. Dr. Dominic Erdozain, Research Fellow at King's College in London and Visiting Scholar at Emory University, presented “Holy Fools: Faith and Freedom in Soviet Russia.” The panel featured Dr. Wallace Daniel, Dr. Julie deGraffenried, and Dr. Philip Jenkins. Refreshments and a book signing followed. Additional sponsors included the Department of History, International Studies, the McBride Center for International Business, and Modern Languages and Cultures.

2017 Keston Public Lecture: Roman Lunkin
Roman Lunkin of Moscow is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow whose expertise is the society, culture and religion of Russia. He spoke on "Today's Russia: Religion, Politics and Society" followed by a panel discussion moderated by Wallace Daniels with participant Xenia Dennen, Chet Edwards and Sergiy Kudelia. A reception preceeded the lecture in the foyer of the Hankamer Academic Building. The lecture was held in Kayser Auditorium. Dr. Lunkin's presentation slides are now available.

2016 Keston Public Lecture: Alice Lunakova
On August 30, 2016, the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society and the Texas Collection hosted a public lecture and reception featuring Alice Luňáková, Keston and Texas Collection researcher, from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Lunakova discussed Czech immigration to Texas in the nineteenth century, "the reasons the Czechs decided to leave their homelands, and the struggles they had at their beginnings." A recording of the presentation is now available.

2016 Keston Public Lecture: Dr. Julie DeGraffenried
Dr. deGraffenried’s presentation examined the anti-religious campaigns of Soviet authorities through the eyes of a child and considered the conflicts between state and family and tradition and modernity, focusing on the children affected by these policies.

2015 Keston Public Lecture: Defenders of the Faith
The event featured Keston Institute Chair Xenia Dennen who spoke on “The Keston Institute and the Defense of Christian in the USSR Before Perestroika.” Dr. Wallace Daniel, Dr. James Warhola, and Dr. Stephen Gardner participated in a panel moderated by Dr. Julie deGraffenried that examined "The Post-Soviet Challenge Today" and spoke to the current situation in Russia, Ukraine and surrounding territories.

2014 Keston Public Lecture: Mariana-Alina Urs
Keston Scholar Alina Urs discussed “Gender and Faith in Former Communist Countries: Yesterday and Today.” Urs works as an expert at the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and Memory of the Romanian Exile, a government institution in Bucharest, Romania. Her current research interests focus on mechanisms of repression during the communist dictatorship in Romania and on church state-relations.

2014 Keston Public Lecture: Alexander Ogorodnikov
Russian Gulag survivor Alexander Ogorodnikov lectured on “My Experience as a Religious Dissident in Russia.” In her introduction, Keston Council Chair Xenia Dennen detailed Ogorodnikov’s personal involvement in the struggle for religious freedom.

2013 Keston Symposium
The 2013 Keston Symposium, held November 14-15, brought together scholars from six countries for presentations, panels, and two keynote addresses.