Russia and Eurasia Events
December 12, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Few are aware that prominent figures in the Belarusian opposition movement are motivated by Christian conviction. Journalist Geraldine Fagan will trace how Lukashenka’s restriction of religious freedom prompted Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants to turn to democratic activism, as well as their rediscovery of religious freedom as a long-standing core value of Belarusian identity. Her findings draw on interviews conducted in Minsk in the aftermath of the December 2010 presidential election, including with Christian opposition activists subsequently jailed.
December 05, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Russia has a long, complicated history with jazz, reaching back to the 1920s. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian jazz has been undergoing a fertile period of revitalization, both in the classroom and on the bandstand. In 2011, Larry Appelbaum traveled to Russia to meet with academics, critics, broadcasters and musicians in order to consult on the vision and planning for a Russian Jazz Archive and Research Center. He will discuss the challenges, prospects and progress toward the opening of the archive, scheduled for 2012 in Yaroslavl.
Book Discussion: Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921-1941
December 01, 2011 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
During the 1920s and 1930s thousands of European and American writers, professionals, scientists, and artists came to record their impressions of the "Soviet experiment." The interwar pilgrimage of these Western intellectuals and fellow-travelers remains one of the most notorious episodes in the political and intellectual history of the twentieth century. This talk presents findings from Michael David-Fox’s latest book, based on extensive research in formerly secret Soviet archives.
November 28, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
This illustrated talk will explore why Tolstoy continues to be such a politically explosive figure in Russia today. As well as providing an overview of the writer’s often fraught relationship with the Tsarist regime, it will show how the Soviet government systematically sought to suppress his religious and philosophical legacy after 1917, and how the Kennan Institute played a crucial role in preserving it.
November 22, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Dennis Deletant, Visiting Ion Ratiu Professor of Romanian Studies at Georgetown University and formerly professor of Romanian studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College in London charts the operations in Romania between 1939 and 23 August 1944, the date of King Michael’s coup against Antonescu.
November 21, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Historian William Benton Whisenhunt will discuss the story and events behind the recently reissued memoir Marooned in Moscow, first published just months after Marguerite Harrison’s release from a Bolshevik prison in 1921. The book provides a fascinating account of Harrison’s entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and her increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. Whisenhunt will explain who Harrison was, how she got into this kind of work, and give examples of her extraordinary work at this critical time in Russian history.
November 17, 2011 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
November 17, 2011 // 8:30am — 10:30am
Spotlight on Central Eurasia Series // The speaker will discuss his book, a compelling study of the divergent political courses taken by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan in the wake of Soviet rule. McGlinchey examines economics, religion, political legacies, foreign investment, and the ethnicity of these countries to evaluate the relative success of political structures in each nation.
Peasants Under Siege: The Collectivization of Romanian Agriculture, 1949-1962—On Creating Communist Authority in Everyday Life
November 16, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:30pm
Gail Kligman, professor of sociology at UCLA and director of UCLA's Center for European and Eurasian Studies will discuss her latest book entitled Peasants Under Siege which explores the collectivization campaign in Romania (1949-1962) and its far-reaching effects.
November 15, 2011 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
The speaker will compare inter-war Germany and post-communist Russia, and compare both nations’ very different political paths. Like in Weimar Germany, in today’s Russia, fascist actors are present, and nationalism is widespread in the population. The post-Soviet Russian situation is, however, distinct from the inter-war German one in that the party system is heavily manipulated and the third sector remains underdeveloped. Fascists have thus neither had a chance to use elections nor did they have the opportunity to penetrate civil society in order to build up political support. The continuing presence of a resolutely authoritarian, yet non-fascist "national leader" (Vladimir Putin) is a hindrance for the country to become a liberal democracy, but makes it, for the time being, also improbable that the Russian regime will transgress towards fascism.