Welcome to English Language Evenings


English Language Evenings is an independent, open, public English-language lecture forum in Moscow, having hosted more than 240 meetings and ~200 different speakers since starting in 1998.

Meeting usually twice a month from September/October to late May, ELE hosts (mostly) native English speakers, often prominent and/or interesting individuals from Moscow's greater English-language and/or foreign-resident community, visitors, et al, giving lectures on topics of their own choosing.

Among the PURPOSES of ELE is the providing of an intelligent-intellectual evening in Moscow in English, the presentation of a wide variety of topics and speakers, and the promotion of more personal contacts between the speakers and Russians in Moscow. ELE is, in the context of Moscow, a kind of distant descendent of the Lyceum Movement started in 19th century America, and a direct one of "Penny University" in Santa Cruz, California.

All visitors, Russians and "expats" are welcome!

The Host

The HOST of the club is the founder, Stephen Lapeyrouse, author of "Towards the Spiritual Convergence of America and Russia", essayist, private English language tutor, and editor for newspaper English; American.


ELE has now hosted 240+ meetings with ~200 SPEAKERS from many countries: from astronauts to adventurers, ambassadors and attaches of various embassies; Fulbright scholars; visiting and resident professors; well-known Moscow journalists (from the Moscow Times, Moscow News, Russia Journal, etc.) and international TV and radio correspondents (BBC, VOA, Sky News); social activists; heads of institutions (e.g. AmCham, Moscow Carnegie Center, Amnesty International), and just interesting individuals, et al, on a wide variety of lecture topics. To view a full list of previous speakers/lectures, click here.

Attendance Fee

The lectures COST 100 rubles to attend. And since money can often cause misunderstandings, please let it be stated clearly that this is just a small "community institution", the personal project of the host, and is in no way intended to make money. Part of each evening's money goes as a modest support to the library itself, to the speakers (as an honoraria of thanks for their time and effort), and lastly towards various ELE expenses. Should anyone have a problem attending due to the entrance fee, please simply mention this to the host, and a discrete arrangement for free entrance can be made. Many speakers' honoraria over the years have gone in their names to well-known Russian charities: ROOF, ARC, Moscow Animals, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Nastenka, et al.)


Lectures, travelers, writers, adventurers, et al! If you would like to give a public lecture in Moscow, contact the host of ELE. Contact: sllapeyrouse@hotmail.com


Lectures are held in the: Chekhov Library/Cultural Center Strastnoi Bulvar 6 Moscow (Just north of the Metro Chekhovskaya street exit -- somewhat across from the large cinema at Pushkin Square -- look for the "6" on the building; go through the tunnel/arch to the back side of the building. Take the first gate/door immediately as you exit the tunnel.) Click here for map!

Here you can find a link to Chekhov Library web site, and this is a link to Library page on Facebook


Meetings are usually, but not always, Fridays, so pay close attention to dates! Lectures usually start at 19:00, followed by Q&As, discussion, comments, etc; and ending about 21:00.

Notifications on ELE activities


A Selection of Publications on ELE activities

English Language Evenings on Wikipedia

David Wansbrough's Pages

Passport Magazine on Solzhenitsyn talk

The 17th season, 2014/2015

The 17th season, 2014/2015, will begin September 19, 2014,and lectures will be added gradually during the weeks and months.

To review the past season, 2013/2014 -- 16th Season, click here.

To view the 15th (2012/2013) season speakers, click here.

NOTE: There are sometimes unplanned but necessary changes in lecturers and/or ELE dates. This is rare, but it does happen. If you are on the email list (see above) you will be notified asap; if not, it is recommended to check back here before a lecture to confirm. Efforts are made to let people know when changes occur; but best is to check here just in case.

This is the temporary relocation place for ELE. Probably till December.

September 19, 2014

"What is 'Goodness'?" (Following on his talk on "Beauty" last ELE season, and a coming talk on "Truth" -- he will have addressed the three verities of many philosophers.)

David Wansbrough

October 3, 2014

"Custine and Co: Foreign Writers in Russia through the Ages"

Jennifer Eremeeva, Author, Blogger.

October 17, 2014

"What is 'Truth'?" (Following on his talk on "Beauty" last ELE season, and his talk on "Goodness" on September 19 -- in this lecture David will address the final of the three verities of many philosophers.)

David Wansbrough

October 24, 2014

"How I Was a Journalist on the Eve of the USSR"

Ann Cooper, Award-Winning Journalist and Foreign Correspondent (NPR, et al); hosted in conjunction with US Embassy International Speakers program.

November 7, 2014.

"Poka Russia -- Reflections at Departure after 24 Years."

Erin Bouma, EL teacher, English editor, author

November 21, 2014

"Mani and Manichaenism"

Mani was Iranian prophet and the founder of Manichaeism, a Gnostic religion of 3rd century AD in the Sasanian Empire. He was also a writer and painter of miniatures. Manichaeism absorbed and claimed to surpass the teachings of Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Christianity. Based on a dualism of Light and Darkness and Good and Evil in the world -- its ideas directly or indirectly influenced much subsequent thought and belief, even onto today. Mani declared himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. As a Gnostic religion it spread east from Iran to China and west from Mesopotamia to the Roman Empire up to the Middle Ages, and beyond.

Abolghasem Esmailpour, Professor of Ancient Iranian Culture and Languages, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran -- author, mythologist.

December 12, 2014

"The Future of Ancient Poetry"

Martin Cooke, Performance Poet, Theatre Director and Actor.

There will probably be only one ELE in December, due to other commitments.

2015 Lectures TBA: January 16, 30, February 13, 27

January 16, 2015

"How to Become a Prime Minister or CEO!"

Dr. Sam Potolicchio -- Distinguished Professor and Department Chair of Global Leadership Studies at the Russian Presidential Academy for National Economy and Public Administration, Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University, USA, and President of Preparing Global Leaders Foundation, Moscow, Skopje, and Amman.

January 30, 2015

"Becoming an Adventurer: What Does It Take to Become an adventurer? "

Galya Morrell -- Russian-American performance and multimedia artist, reporter and photographer, co-founder of Expedition Avannaa and Ole Jorgen Hammeken -- Greenlandic polar explorer, educator, author and actor actor and co-founder of Expedition Avannaa

February 13, 2015

"English: Whose Language Is It Anyway?"

Philip Gill, EL teacher and language consultant

February 27, 2015

"Shakespeare: The Unfinished Drama of Our Becoming Human"

Andrew Wolpert -- Former lecturer in literature, language, history of art at Emerson College, England; currently at the teacher training college Freie Hochschule University in Stuttgart with a focus on English language, culture, history, art of the Renaissance, William Shakespeare, Language and Christology; lectures world-wide and gives seminars on Literature, Philology, and the History of Art.

Andrew Wolpert's interview on William Shakespeare and Rudolf Steiner

Andrew Wolpert in ABC radio program "The Ark" - "Esoteric Aspects of The Last Supper" (transcript is available)

March 13, 2015 NOTE: This event will take place in the "reading room" of the Chekhov Library.

Quiz Night! -- So you think you know Russia? Prove it, take the test! Prizes for the brightest & best!!

Luc Jones, Commercial Director Antal Russia (a leading mid-to-senior level executive recruitment agency)

March 27, 2015

"The Unconscious Mind: Where Does the Idea Come From?"

Roger Smith, author, retired Professor Lancaster University (UK) in science, intellectual history.

April 10, 2015

"The Soviet-American Sail of 1989: Remembering the Adventures and Lessons of that Atlantic Ocean Journey 25 Years Later"

Mary Shea, recent alumni program manager of Eurasia FLEX, and now Eco Green Committee Chair at the Anglo American School.

The New York Times (March 20, 1989): "Soviet-American Group Plans Voyage for Peace"

"25 years after the Soviet-American Sail - We're still in the same boat" by Nadine Bloch (July 26, 2014)

April 17, 2015

"Stories That Change Perception" -- David about this lecture: "Remarkable individuals influence our lives. In retrospect we find that there were moments when we really felt alive because our minds, no, our whole essence, seemed more capable of understanding our existence. Why are some people are more remarkable and individualized than others?"

David Wansbrough, poet, painter, author, speaker

May 8, 2015

"Stories from Life...What Is Considered 'Normal'?"

Every person has a "Baseline for Normal" created from family, culture, environment and experience. This familiar condition of "normal" is regarded by many people as healthy or OK because it is so common; however in actuality, the baseline often is quite unhealthy. Starting in 2002, Marilyn Murray has had the unique opportunity of listening to the personal stories of over 2,800 persons who were raised in the former USSR.. She will share portions of these stories as they reflect the "Baselines for Normal" of these participants and their families. She will discuss the long-term effects of unhealthy norms and the results of changing to healthy, new baselines.

Marilyn Murray, Professor, Author, President - The Murray Method International Center, Moscow

May 22, 2015

"A View from The Bench -- A US Trial Judge's Perspective"

Judge George Hardesty, Jr.

May 29, 2015: Four-in-One ELE! (NB: This will be the last ELE lecture of the 17th season, and the last lecture of "ELE I".)

This will be a 4-in-1 ELE. There will be: 1. A review of the history of ELE I, with an introduction of the host of ELE II: John Harrison, 2. A book launch of Stephen's second book: a collection of essays newly translated into Russian, 3. A time for remembrances of ELE, and farewells to Stephen (moving to Concord, MA), 4. A small party!

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