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Study group on the Russian revolution

Published: 4 January 2023

The University of Southampton was pleased to host the 48th Annual Conference of the Study Group on the Russian revolution – the first time it has come to the university in its history.

Lively panels on history, politics and culture saw around 40 delegates from a variety of countries discuss some major controversies in the history of the Revolution, and envisaged where future research was likely to lead.

The debates took place in person at Highfield campus in English and Russian.

Wednesday 4 January

Panel 1: Late Imperial Russia: Problems and Prospects

Chair: Semion Lyandres

  • Jonathan Davis, Lenin, London and the Labour Party
  • Jamie Bryson, Portents of Revolution? Okhrana Reports in 1916
  • Alistair Dickens, Russian History from School to University: An Update

Panel 2: The Russian Revolution and Transnational Connections

Chair: Jenny Grieve-Laing

  • Sam Foster, Diverging Paths?: The South Slavic Left and Revolutionary Russia before 1922
  • Anna Lively, Transnational Humanitarian Relief, Press Networks, and Representations of Famine in Soviet Russia and Ireland, 1921-25
  • Marie-Josée Lavallée, Laying Down the Stage for Revolution: the October Revolution, Brest-Litovsk and the Revival of the Austrian Workers’ Movement in Early 1918

Thursday 5 January

Panel 3: 1917 and its Ramifications

Chair: Lara Green

  • Konstantin Tarasov, Citizen soldiers. Civil Principles of the Russian Revolutionary Army in 1917
  • Michael Melancon, Misunderstanding/Understanding 1917’s October Revolution: Bolshevik or Soviet RevolutionGeoff
  • Swain, World Revolution: 1920 Revisited

Panel 4: Petitions and Penality in Early Soviet Russia

Chair: Daniel Orlovsky

  • Lara Douds, Petitioning the Soviet ‘President’: the ‘Priemnaia Kalinina’, 1919-46’
  • Aaron Retish, Prison Poetry: The Language of Revolution in Prisoners’ Petitions
  • Mark Vincent, Shaping the Punitive Empire: Questions of Nationality in the Early Soviet Penal Periphery


Panel 5: Nationalities – Ukraine and the Caucasus

Chair: Charlotte Alston

  • Ridvan Chitil, O. F. Numanzade on Bolshevik Nationality Politics in the Caucasus (Омар Фаик Нуманзаде о национальной политике большевиков на Кавказе)
  • Christopher Gilley, Ukrainian State-Building and Antisemitic Violence: History, Historiography and Instrumentalisation
  • Gary Lawson, Brotherhood of Nations? Centenary Perspectives on the Creation of the USSR. Semashko and the Birth of Soviet Health Resorts in Crimea
  • Grigorii Grigoryev, The image of Najmuddin Gotsinsky (1859-1925) in the historical narratives of modern Dagestanis
  • Roundtable: The Bloomsbury Handbook of the Russian Revolution

Friday 6th January

Panel 6: Revolutionary politics

Chair: George Gilbert

  • Alexis Pogorelskin, The Early Years of Edvard Gylling in Karelia
  • Mark Conliffe, On Citizenry, Revolution, and the Relationship of Anatolii Lunacharskii and Vladimir Korolenko
  • Michael C. Hickey, Solomon Gurevich and the Attempt to Chart a Moderate Socialist Revolutionary Path in Provincial Russia in 1917

Panel 7: Ideology and Rhetoric in Nationalities Policies

Chair: Sam Foster 

  • Stefan Gužvica, From the Taiga to the British Seas: The Russian Revolution as a World Revolution, 1917–1923Ksenia
  • Butuzova, Revolutionary Enlightenment: Ideology and Didactics of Soviet Rebuses (1922–1930)
  • Boris Gorshkov, A Revolutionary Childhood: Ideals, Declarations, Challenges, and Realities  

Panel 8: Culture and Society in Early Soviet Russia


  • Jari Parkkinen, Internationalism, Russocentrism and affirmative actions: Debating the revolution in music in the early Soviet Union
  • Nikolay Sarkisyan, The Historical-Revolutionary Museums of Petrograd-Leningrad, 1917–1941
  • Pavel Stepanov, “International education of the masses”: Screening the Paris Commune in the 1920-1930s Workers’ Club

With thanks to our sponsors: BASEES, and the School of History, University of Southampton.

In association with CEEES (Centre for East European and Eurasian Studies, University of Southampton)

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