THE GREAT BRITAIN – RUSSIA SOCIETY
Autumn Session (September-December 2017)
Priority booking period for members until August 31st 2017
Book early – and book often.
2 talks will be held at Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square. Nearest tube stations are Holborn and Tottenham Court Road. 3 talks will be held at The Open Russia Club, 16 Hanover Square, Mayfair, London W1S 1HT. Nearest tube station is Oxford Circus (Victoria and Central lines). Walk down the west side of (Lower) Regent Street. Take the first right into Princes Street. Cross over Harewood Place, and No. 16 is about 3 doors further on. Doors open at 6.30 p.m. Or walk west along the south side of Oxford Street until you reach McDonalds, on the corner of Harewood Place. Cross over to the west side of Harewood Place, and walk down this short road, then turn right into Hanover Square. No 16 is about 3 doors along. 2 talks (one of which is free of charge) will be at the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES), 16 Taviton St. WC1H 0BW. Nearest stations are Euston & Euston Square. Cross over to the South side of Euston Road. Walk down Gordon Street. Take the first left into Endsleigh Gardens and then first right into Taviton Street. The SSEES building is half way down on the right hand side. When we sell books we can accept only cash. We cannot accept debit or credit cards.
PRESENTING A POWERFUL PROGRAMME WITH
A SUCCESSION OF SUPERB SPECIALISTS!
Wed 20 September, at Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square Wine at 6.30 pm Talk starts at 7.00pm.
“DYNASTIC RULE: MIKHAIL PIOTROVSKY AND THE HERMITAGE”
GERALDINE NORMAN OBE
Geraldine Norman has published two books about the Hermitage 20 years apart. “The Hermitage: The Biography of a Great Museum” came out in 1997 and “Dynastic Rule: Mikhail Piotrovsky and the Hermitage” in 2016. Her lecture will trace the extraordinary changes in the museum over this period and how they came about: expansion, with a vast new wing – 800 rooms and 5 internal courtyards – in the General Staff Building devoted to the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries; globalisation: the opening of branches in Holland, London, Las Vegas & all over Russia, with plans for Barcelona and Shanghai; a new vast ‘open storage’ facility Staraya Derevnya on the edge of the city with English and Russian language tours. The early years, following Perestroika, saw a desperate fight for survival with the US, Canada, Holland & other Western countries trying to help. Support for Yeltsin in the 1996 election and a working relationship with Putin have gradually fed state money into the transformation of the museum. An illustrated lecture.
Geraldine worked for 25 years at the Times, then for 8 years at The Independent reporting on the art market. She was voted ‘News Reporter of the Year’ in 1977 for her revelations about the picture faker Tom Keating. In 1993 she visited the Hermitage for the first time and in 1995 she began work on her first book about it. In 2000 she was appointed by a consortium of investors, led by Lord Rothschild, to set up the ‘Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House’. (They closed in 2007). After she left the project in 2001, she helped launch the ‘Hermitage Magazine’ and was its first editor. In 2003 she founded the ‘UK Friends of the Hermitage’ whose name was changed in 2011 to the ‘Hermitage Foundation UK’ and continues as its Director.
“Dynastic Rule: the Modernisation of the Hermitage”- lavishly illustrated, retail price £25.00 will be on sale to members for just £15.00. CASH ONLY, PLEASE.
A TALK ON ONE OF THE WORLD’S OUTSTANDING ART MUSEUMS.
MEMORABLE, MAGICAL AND UNMISSABLE!
Wednesday 4 October, at Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square. Wine at 6.30pm. Talk starts at 7pm
“FREE SPEECH AND NORMALISED LYING IN RUSSIA”
To speak freely and tell truth to power has been a dream of centuries for Russia’s intellectuals and rebels. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, free speech was the most intoxicating achievement of the 1990s, yet it was misunderstood and misused and the unprecedented opportunity to safeguard freedoms was lost. The mainstream media today have reverted to their role as normalisers of lies and fake news to bolster the state, a role that was as pivotal to Soviet power as it is to Putin power. The question to ask is how did the mainstream media change so rapidly from being almost preternaturally sensitive to any encroachment upon their freedom during the Gorbachev and Yeltsin years to accepting their subservient patrimonial status today? These issues are raised in Daphne Skillen’s book “Freedom of Speech in Russia; Politics and Media from Gorbachev to Putin” (retail price £26.99 – on sale to members at the bargain price of just £15.00. CASH ONLY.
Dr. Skillen witnessed Russia’s transition to democracy first hand in the late 1980s and 1990s, working as a journalist and media consultant for international development agencies. She worked on democracy-assistance programmes with Washington DC-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems, with the Soros Foundation and with EU organisations. She was DfID’s Moscow media manager between 1996-1998, in the Yeltsin era, she received an award from the Russian Union of Journalists for services to the cause of Russian journalism. Dr Skillen has degrees from London, Sydney and Colorado universities. Her doctorate is from UCL SSEES. She was a visiting research fellow at SSEES between 1988-1993. She has also worked in other countries of the former Soviet Union and in South-East Asia.
A THOUGHT PROVOKING & DISTURBING PRESENTATION.
ASTONISHING NEW INSIGHTS – A VITAL TALK!
Thursday 19th October, at 16 Hanover Square, London W1S 1HT.Reception 6.30. Talk starts 7pm.
“WHY THERE WAS NO COUNTER-REVOLUTION IN 1917”
***** PROFESSOR SIMON DIXON *****
Since Lenin and the Bolsheviks were acutely conscious of the experience of Revolutionary France from 1789, they remained sensitive to the menace of counter-revolution long after October 1917. Partly by means of comparison with France, this lecture will explore the reasons why such a threat never materialised, looking in particular at the weakness of the nationalist Right in 1917 and the fissures within the Russian Orthodox Church that prevented it from channelling the strong currents of popular religiosity that continued to run through Revolutionary Russia. (An illustrated lecture)
Simon Dixon is Bernard Pares Professor of Russian History at UCL SSEES. Among his books are The Modernisation of Russia 1676-1825 (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Catherine the Great (profile Books, 2009), which was shortlisted for the Longman – History Today Book of the Year Prize. He graduated in History from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he became a Junior Research Fellow after studying for a PhD at SSEES under the supervision of Professor Geoffrey Hosking. Before returning to SSEES in 2008, he taught at the Universities of Glasgow and Leeds, where he was Professor of Modern History from 1999. From 2010 to 2014, he sat on the Council of the Royal Historical Society, and gave the Society’s Prothero Lecture in 2017 on ‘Orthodoxy and Revolution; The Restoration of the Russian Patriarchate in 1917. Since 2015 he has been chairman of the Literary Committee of the Russian Booker Prize.
*****THE MAJOR 5 STAR HIGHLIGHT OF THE SESSION*****
TO SECURE YOUR SEATS, EARLY BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL!
Wednesday 1st November 2017,at 16 Hanover Square, W1S 1HT. Reception 6.30pm. Talk at 7.00pm.
“COLOUR IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT IN THE MULTINATIONAL ART OF THE USSR: JOSEPH STALIN, WALT DISNEY, & THE QUEST FOR SOVIET COLOUR FILM, 1929-1945”
The desire to produce films in colour has been part of the story of cinema virtually from the day the moving picture was invented. In the popular imagination, early colour film is associated mainly with technological developments in North America, most prominently, and exuberantly, the invention of Technicolor, which was the system adopted in Disney cartoons and several full-length features in the 1930s, for example The Wizard of Oz. Less well known, even among specialist film historians, is the Soviet quest for colour in the same decade. The acquisition of commercially viable colour technology was an ideological and political priority which had been urged on the Soviet film industry by no less a figure than Stalin himself- success in this endeavour was handsomely rewarded; failure led to arrest and execution during the Great Terror of 1937 & 1938. In fact the USSR only acquired a fully viable colour system after the acquisition of Agfa colour-film patents as a ‘trophy of war’ by the Red Army in 1944 as Hitler’s armies retreated. This talk will tell the fascinating and tragic story of Soviet colour-film: it will offer important insights into the paradoxical aesthetics of Stalinism, the economic and industrial strategies of the Soviet state during the 1930s, and the ways in which the official rhetoric of that period masked persistent failures and shortcomings. An illustrated lecture.
Dr. Philip Cavendish is Reader in Russian and Soviet Film Studies at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies, University College, London. He is a leading specialist on pre-revolutionary Russian cinema and Soviet silent cinema of the 1920s and 1930s. He has published two monographs “Soviet Mainstream Cinematography: The silent Era”(London: UCL Arts & humanities Publications, 2007); and “The Men with the Movie Camera: The poetics of Visual Style in Soviet Avant-garde Cinema of the 1920s (Oxford: Berghahn, 2012). His research interests include the relationship between film-technology and aesthetics, the theory and practice of camera operation, and the early development of Soviet colour-film. Recent articles have examined the complex use of still images in Andrei Zviagintsev’s Vozvrashchenie (The Return 2003) and the archival reconstruction of Sergei Eizenshtein’s first film Dnevnik Glumova (Glumov’s Diary). He is currently researching exhibitions of the British two-colour system, Kinemacolor, in Russian film-theatres in 1910 and 1914.
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR FROM A WORLD CLASS AUTHORITY ON RUSSIAN FILMS. CINEMA (& TV) – THE DOMINANT PROPAGANDA ART FORMS OF THE 20th CENTURY.
Thursday 23 November 2017, at UCL SSEES 16 Taviton Street. Wine at 6.30. Talk starts at 7.00pm
In conjunction with the Department of Russian Literature at UCL SSEES
ANDREY BELY’S “PETERSBURG”
A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION (edited by Olga M. Cooke)
THIS SYMPOSIUM IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE DR. GEORGETTE DONCHIN, READER IN RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE AT SSEES – AND A MUCH LOVED MEMBER OF STAFF FROM 1960 TO 1988.
Celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of Andrey Bely’s “PETERSBURG”, this volume offers a selection of essays that address the most pertinent aspects of the 1916 masterpiece. The plot is a relatively simple one: Nikolai Apollonovich is ordered by a group of terrorists to assassinate his father, the prominent senator Apollon Apollonovich Ableukhov. Nevertheless,. Bely’s polyphonic, experimental prose invokes such diverse themes as Greek mythology, the apocalypse, family dynamics, psychology, Russian history, theosophy, revolution, and European literary influences. Considered by Vladimir Nabokov to be one of the twentieth century’s four greatest masterpieces, Petersburg is the first novel in which the city is the hero. Frequently compared to James Joyce’s Ulysees, no other work did more to help launch modernisation in turn-of-the-century Russia.
Olga M. Cooke is associate Professor of Russian at Texas A & M University. She edits Gulag studies. Her recent publications focus on the works of Andrey Bely and on Gulag literature. She is completing a book called –“The Most Interesting Man in Russia: Andrey Bely’s Life in Letters”.
THE WINE RECEPTION & SYMPOSIUM ARE IN ROOM 433
Preliminary Contributors on the Panel:
Olga M. Cooke moderator
Carol Anschuetz “Bely’s Petersburg and the end of the Russian novel”
Avril Pyman “Kirill Sokolov illustrates Bely’s Petersburg.
Brett Cooke “Nabokov Reading Bely”
Anna Ponomareva “Know Thyself: from the Temple of Apollo at Delphi to the pages of Petersburg.
ANDREY BELY – ONE OF THE TWO MOST FAMOUS SYMBOLIST POETS IN THE SILVER AGE OF RUSSIAN POETRY. DO NOT MISS THIS FEAST OF RUSSIAN LITERARY APPRECIATION.
BOTH THE RECEPTION & MEETING ARE FREE OF CHARGE.
Thursday 30 November, UCL SSEES at 16 Taviton Street, WC1H 0BW. Wine at 6.30. Talk at 7.00pm.
Wine reception in the 4th Floor Senior Common Room 437. Lecture in 3rd Floor Room 347
THIS LECTURE IS CO-SPONSORED BY UCL SSEES
“IVAN THE TERRIBLE, THE ORTHODOX CHURCH AND THE PRINTING PRESS” (an illustrated lecture)
Print shops appeared in Russia during the reign of Tsar Ivan the Terrible (1547-1584). The most famous among them was the press of Ivan Fedorov, whose books set standards for many subsequent editions. However the overall number of books printed in Russia before Peter the Great remained disappointingly small in comparison with the West. Is this a sign of Russia’s technological backwardness? Did Ivan the Terrible and the Orthodox church persecute Ivan Fedorov, who had to leave Moscow for the territory of modern Ukraine? In this illustrated talk Dr. Sergei Bogatyrev will discuss the relationship between the printer, the Tsar and the church. Ivan the Terrible and Orthodox hierarchs acted as patrons of printing. The Tsar and the church had different attitudes to the printing press, but there was no hate towards the printed book in Muscovy. On the basis of his study of Ivan Fedorov’s unique editions held in British collections, Dr. Bogatyrev will offer a new explanation for Ivan Fedorov’s departure from Moscow and for the uneven development of printing in Russia.
Dr. Sergei Bogatyrev is Senior Lecturer in Early Russian History at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies, University College London . He was granted a core fellowship by the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies in 2014-2015. Bogatyrev is a leading specialist on early Russian culture, with particular focus on Ivan the Terrible. His publications include The Sovereign and His Counsellors (2000), a chapter on Ivan the Terrible in The Cambridge History of Russia and a chapter on medieval Novgorod in Europe. A Literary History 1348-1418 (Oxford University Press, 2016). Bogatyrev is the editor of Ivan Vasil’evich Receives a Profession: Studies of Ivan the Terrible in Post-Soviet Russia (2014). Bogatyrev acted as the principal investigator in the international project “Revisiting Ivan Fedorov’s Legacy in Early Modern Europe” and edited “The Journeys of Ivan Fedorov: New Perspectives on Early Cyrillic Printing (special issue of Canadian-American Slavic Studies, 2017, vol.51, issue 2-3). He is also one of the editors of “History and Literature in 18th Century Russia” (2013) and the author of numerous articles in leading international journals.
IVAN THE TERRIBLE’S SHADOW LOOMS LARGE OVER SOME SUBSEQUENT PERIODS OF RUSSIAN & SOVIET HISTORY.
A WORLD CLASS AUTHORITY. RIVETING AND UNMISSABLE!
Monday 11th December at, 16 Hanover Square W1S 1HT. Reception at 6.30 p.m. Talk at 7.00pm.
CRIMEA FROM POTEMKIN TO PUTIN.
CONTINUITIES & CHANGES IN STATECRAFT & CONFLICT”
AN ILLUSTRATED TALK BY
MAJOR GENERAL (ret’d) MUNGO MELVIN CB OBE
(Former President of the British Commission for Military History)
Major General Melvin presents the major themes and conclusions from his latest military historical work, “Sevastopol’s Wars: Crimea from Potemkin to Putin” published in April 2017 by Osprey Books of the Bloomsbury Press. Melvin’s contention is that Crimea generally, and Sevastopol specifically as the main base of the Black Sea Fleet, have been of enduring geostrategic importance to Russia since the time of Catherine the Great. Largely as a result of the heroic defences of Sevastopol during the |Crimean and Second World Wars, moreover, the city occupies a significant place in the Russian soul. Leo Tolstoy, for example, fostered this sense of patriotic attachment through his series of evocative sketches of the besieged Russian port, drawing attention to the defiant ‘spirit of Sevastopol’. In the wake of Kiev’s Euromaidan in February 2014, the people of Sevastopol unilaterally declared independence from Ukraine and the Russian second annexation of the Crimean peninsular was soon under way.
Mungo Melvin retired from the British Army in December 2011 following a career of 37 years in the Royal Engineers and General Staff. He then served as a specialist to the House of Commons Defence Committee until April 2017. From 2012 to 2017 he was President of the British Commission for Military History. He has recently been appointed as the Chairman of the Royal Engineers Historical Society and as Vice President of the Western Front Association. He is a Senior Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute and a Senior Visiting Research Fellow of the War Studies Department of King’s College London. Melvin’s biography, “Manstein: Hitler’s Greatest General” was published to critical acclaim in 2010, and was awarded as the best military biography of the year by the United States Society for Military History in 2012.
MUNGO MELVIN WILL CHALLENGE MANY WIDELY-HELD VIEWS ABOUT CRIMEA AND SEVASTOPOL, NOT LEAST CONCERNING THE EVENTS OF 2014!
Signed copies of “Sevastopol’s Wars: Crimea from Potemkin to Putin”(800 pages) will be sold by General Melvin himself at a specially discounted price of £20 (RRP is £30). Always bring the exact CASH. There is no facility to accept credit or debit cards.
The annexation of CRIMEA – a major bone of contention between The Russian Federation, Ukraine & the West.
A FANTASTIC FINALE TO THE SESSION!