Bartels World Affairs Fellowship

Bringing distinguished international public leaders to Cornell

The world is getting smaller all the time. As a result, to make a positive mark in this world, our young people will have to consider the international perspective of their actions.
– Henry E. Bartels

The Henry E. and Nancy Horton Bartels World Affairs Fellowship was established in 1984 to bring prominent international leaders to Cornell. The mission of the program is explicitly educational – to foster a broadened world view among Cornell students by bringing to campus persons who have distinguished themselves as international public figures.

In addition to delivering a major public lecture for the university and local community, Bartels Fellows spend two or three days on campus in interaction with faculty and students, especially undergraduates. 

2016-17 Bartels Fellow Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich, the 2016-17 Bartels Fellow, is the 2015 Nobel Laureate for Literature. She delivered the Bartels Lecture, "Voices from the People: The Rise and Fall of the Russian-Soviet Dream," on September 12, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. at the Statler Auditorium.  

Svetlana Alexievich
Svetlana Alexievich was the 2016-2017 Bartels Fellow.

A writer of international renown and a dedicated critic of her country's dictatorial regime, Svetlana Alexievich has created a literary nonfiction genre that she calls “novels of voices.” Her prose, drawn from hundreds of interviews, weaves the words of her subjects into an artful condensation of a panorama of souls.

Alexievich’s five prose volumes, including War’s Unwomanly Face and The Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future, represent a history of a people’s mentality. Each book questions not only the meaning and meaninglessness of political ideologies, but also the very makings of humankind. 

Alexievich’s books have been translated into 47 languages and published in 52 countries. They have formed the basis for a dozen plays, and more than 20 of her scripts have been filmed as documentaries.

Among her awards are the Nobel Prize in Literature 2015; the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade 2013; the French Prix Médicis essai 2013; the Best Book of the Year Prize 2013 by the French literary magazine Lire; the Ryszard Kapuściński Award for literary reportage, Poland, 2011; the Angelus Central European Literature Award, Poland, 2011; the National Book Critics Circle nonfiction award, USA, 2006; the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize, Germany, 2001; the Robert Geisendörfer Radio Play Prize from the German Academy of the Performing Arts, 2000; the Témoin du Monde award in France, 1999; the Best Book on Politics of the Year by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Germany, 1998; the Andrej Sinjavskij Prize, Russia, 1997; and the Kurt Tucholsky Prize, Swedish PEN Club, 1996.

Svetlana Alexievich was born in Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine, and currently lives in Minsk, Belarus. 

Media Coverage: Cornell Chronicle, Cornell Daily Sun, Einaudi Center, CornellCast Video  

Past Bartels Fellows