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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Monika Spivak, a prominent literary and cultural historian from Moscow, will discuss "The Soviet Union's Search for Genius: The Creation and History of Moscow's Secret Brain Institute" on Monday, February 17, at 4:30 p.m. in Reed's biology auditorium. The lecture, which is sponsored by Reed’s Russian and anthropology departments, is free and open to the public. For more information see or call 503/777-7755.

Monika Spivak will lecture on the history of the Brain Institute, which was established by the Soviet authorities in the 1920s for the scientific study of genius. The institute engaged in the preservation of the brains of Soviet citizens who showed outstanding achievement in arts, science, and politics including Maxim Gorky, Vladimir Lenin, and Josef Stalin. In an attempt to find scientific ways to cultivate genius, the institute also collected the personal papers documenting everyday manifestations of genius. Many of the institute’s archival materials have been discovered and published by Spivak.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).

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