I am Allan Cooper and I'm a professor of political science at Otterbein College in Columbus, Ohio. Most of my research looks at how political identities are transformed during periods of significant social change. For the past 25 years my work has centered primarily on Africa, and lately I've been doing work related to Taiwan and Kashmir.
This will be my first visit to Russia and I'm very excited about it! This is an interesting time in Russian history, and I know there is much I can learn from the people I will be meeting. I am also looking forward to visiting the country that my grandparents lived in. And I am especially interested in living in Kazan. It seems that Kazan and Columbus have many things in common. Both are the capitals of their states, and both are of a similar distance from
their national capital. I have always believed that a measure of the success of political decisions is to judge their effect in the hinterland rather than in the prosperous capital or major cities of the country.
While I am in Russia I will be visited by my daughter (seen in the photo). She will visit during her Fall break from her university classes in London. I am hoping that by the time she arrives I will have learned enough Russian to help navigate her through the shopping districts of Moscow!
I feel privileged to have this opportunity to visit Russia. I look forward to seeing the beautiful countryside and to meeting its respected people.