Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies

Conference: "The Wider Arc of Revolution: The Global Impact of 1917" | Day 1 (sponsored by CREEES, Slavic Studies, and others)

Fri, October 27, 2017 | Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302, 201 E 24th St, Austin, TX 78712

9:00 AM - 6:15 PM

The Wider Arc of Revolution
The Wider Arc of Revolution

Conference: "The Wider Arc of Revolution: The Global Impact of 1917"
Day 1: Fri, October 27, 2017 | 9:00 AM - 6:15 PM
Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302, 201 E 24th St, Austin, TX 78712
(See Day 2)

The conference, "The Wider Arc of Revolution: The Global Impact of 1917", in commemoration of the hundred-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, will be held under the auspices of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at University of Texas, Austin, on October 27-28, 2017.

The conference will feature two keynote speakers (Dr. Sheila Fitzpatrick and Dr. Lisa Kirschenbaum), and will consist of a series of panels convened over the course of two days in which we will discuss papers submitted by participants.

The essays will be published in three volumes by Slavica Press as part of the transnational project entitled Russia’s Great War and Revolution, and a number of them will be published in a special issue of The Journal of Contemporary History. The Slavica three-volume project on the global impact of the Russian Revolution rescues the history of the left from the history of Soviet communism. The revolution of 1917 brought not just the Bolshevik Party to power, but also made communism, a profoundly oppositional ideology into an ideology of the state. The merging of state and revolution resulted in the hybrid political structure that was the Soviet Union where the interests of the state, i.e., the consolidation of power, modernization, welfare, as well as the defense of geographical borders, collided with a universal ideology that aimed to represent all of humanity.

As the Soviet state grew in power and the Communist International slowly subsumed independent left-wing organizations, the original impulses of anarchist, populist, religious and socialist thought, revolutionary consciousness and behavior, and the emotional networks of sympathizers, donors, and fellow travelers that sustained the ecology of the left in the nineteenth and early twentieth century never really died, but went underground, emerging in different locales in different guises. The fight was a long and bitter one and in our conference the participants will consider the “the wider arc of revolution” in the twentieth century.


Dr. Sheila Fitzpatrick (University of Sydney): "Was the Russian Revolution a Failure?"
Dr. Lisa Kirschenbaum (West Chester University): "Reframing Slavic Studies and the Global Impacts of 1917"


Dr. Mary Neuburger                  Dr. Choi Chatterjee                  Dr. Steven Marks

Dr. Julia Mickenberg                 Dr. Steven Sabol

Agenda — Friday, Oct. 27, 2017

9:00–10:45am: The Revolution of the Twentieth Century: Eyewitnesses in the Soviet Union
Moderator, Mary Neuberger (University of Texas at Austin)

  • Ali Igmen (California State University), "Life is Good, Brother: Romantic Ottoman Communist, Nazim Hikmet"
  • Julia Mickenberg (University of Texas), "A Flapper in Russia: American Women and the Soviet Dream"
  • Erik van Ree (University of Amsterdam), "A Dream Come True: Eyewitnesses of the October Revolution"

10:45–11:15am:  Break
11:15–1:00pm: The Colonial Question in Global Perspective (Mexico, China, India, South Africa)
Moderator, Julia Mickenberg (University of Texas at Austin)

  • Kristen Mulready-Stone (United States Naval War College), "Impact of the Russian Revolution on the Chinese Youth Movement, 1917–1925"
  • Hari Vasudevan (University of Calcutta), "India and the Russian Revolution: Nationalism, Communism and the Politics of the Colonial Question"
  • Steven Marks (Clemson University), "'Workers of the World Unite for a White South Africa': The Red Scare and the Origins of Apartheid"

1:15–2:15pm:  Lunch
2:30–4:15pm: The Colonial Question, Part II. What is to be Done?
Moderator, Joan Neuberger

  • Michael Silvestri (Miami University), "'Those Dead Heroes Did Not Regret the Sacrifices They Made': Responses to the Russian Revolution in Revolutionary Ireland, 1917–1923"
  • Rianne Subijanto (Baruch College, City University of New York), "Openbare Vergaderingen and the Public Sphere in the Indonesian Communist Movement"
  • Jeff Wasserstrom (University of California, Irvine), "Chinese Visions of Russian Reforms and Russian Revolutions"

4:15–4:45pm:  Break
4:45–6:15pm:  Keynote: Sheila Fitzpatrick (University of Sydney), "Was the Russian Revolution a Failure?"
7:15pm:  Dinner at Russian House for conference participants

See also: Department of Slavic & Eurasian Studies news story & program:

Sponsored by: Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, Center for European Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Department of History, Institute for Historical Studies, Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies, Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, South Asia Institute, Department of American Studies, Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

For more information, please contact Rhiannon Jones at or (512) 232-9310.

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