Posts Tagged ‘russia’

Conference on Russia and the First World War

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013


The International Center for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences: National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow); German Historical Institute (Moscow); and Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are pleased to announce an international conference on “Russia in the First World War” to be held on 3-5 June 2014 in Moscow, Russia, at the Higher School of Economics.

The conference marks the centenary of the First World War, the “suicide of Europe” that shaped the history of the 20th century. The Russian Empire shared the experiences of other European nations in a war that profoundly affected its economy, social relations, politics and culture. At the same time, in Russia the consequences of war were markedly different. The war launched a series of cataclysmic events, including the collapse of the old regime, the upheaval of February 1917, the Bolsheviks’ rise to power and the bloodshed of the Civil War. For many decades, Russia’s experience in the First World War was overshadowed by the “revolutionary myth” that lent legitimacy to the Soviet state. Only recently, have scholars started to analyze this war on its own account as a crucial event in Russian history, rather than simply as a prelude to the revolution. Russia’s war experience is now studied in its contemporary European context, but also as a political testing ground. Ideologies and practices that emerged in the conditions of the First World War later persisted through the interwar period and found their deadly application during the Second World War.
The conference will bring together scholars of various methodological and national traditions who study Russia’s experience in the First World War. The objectives of the meeting are to share recent research, to expand knowledge and understanding of the country’s participation in the war, and to stimulate further research. Our aim is both to discuss Russia’s particular experience in the war and to contextualize it as a part of broader European conflict. Papers are invited to engage with one or several of the following themes:

  • economic and financial aspects of the warsocial and gender dynamics
  • ethnic cleansings in the rear and on the occupied territories as well as wartime violence against civilians in Russia and other countries (including the Armenian Genocide)
  • history of nationalisms, national movements and the Jewish question
  • Russia’s occupation policy in Galicia and German occupation of Russian imperial territories
  • POW and concentration camps
  • history of wartime diplomacy
  • the role of ideas and ideologies during the war

We also aim to discuss the memory of the First World War as represented in diaries, memoirs, fiction, art and film. Papers that discuss the influence of practices and ideologies of the First World War on the interwar period as well as on the Second World War are particularly welcome. Other topics may also be considered.

This conference is conceived as multidisciplinary, papers are welcome from scholars of Russian history, as well as scholars of other disciplines working in related fields. Both established scholars and advanced graduate students are invited to submit proposals. Conference participants are expected to be currently engaged in research on one of the topics mentioned above. Papers should be previously unpublished and dwell on original research. Papers of the selected participants will be pre-circulated one month in advance to maximize the usefulness of the meeting.

The working languages of the conference will be Russian and English.

The deadline for submitting paper proposals is 15 September 2013. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 October 2013.

Submissions should include (1) name of the applicant, institutional affiliation, postal and electronic addresses; (2) a brief statement explaining how the applicant’s research relates to the study of Russia’s experience in the First World War; (3) a CV; (4) a one-page outline of the paper. Proposals are invited in Russian or English and can be for both individual papers and panels. Proposals should be sent by e-mail to Liudmila G. Novikova

The Higher School of Economics will assist international participants with obtaining Russian visa invitations. Meals (coffee breaks, lunches and a conference dinner) will be provided. As a result of support from a number of sources, including the HSE, the German Historical Institute Moscow, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and the Kennan Institute, the organizers have limited funds to cover (partially or in full) participants’ airfare and accommodation costs for the duration of the conference. We ask prospective participants who will need financial assistance to indicate this is their submissions.


Noteworthy in Books: Officers of the General Staff during the Civil War

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Scholars specializing in the military history of Russia’s Great War and Revolution will be interested in Officers of the General Staff during the Civil War, 1917-1922: Reference Materials, a unique reference work prepared by one of the leading specialists in the history of the Russian Civil War, Andrei Ganin.

Based upon a vast array of documents drawn from Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, and Finish archives (including many recently declassified items from the special services) the book provides previously unavailable information covering the period from the World War I through the years of the Civil War.

Among the many topics the addressed in the volume are: the composition and status of the General Staff; the nature of officers’ training and education regimens; data on the number of officers who served under the Red and White generals and in national armies; the extent of repressive measures directed against the old army military elite; and the fate of these men following the end of the Civil War.

Including approximately 2,700 brief biographies and more than 1,000 pictures of individual officers, Officers of the General Staff during the Civil War, 1917-1922 is an essential resource for scholars and students of the Russian military elite of the revolutionary period.

To order a copy on-line, just follow the link above.


Ганин А. В. Корпус офицеров Генерального штаба в годы Гражданской войны 1917-1922 гг.: Справочные материалы. – М.: Русский путь, 2009. – 895 с., ил.

Этот уникальный справочник подготовлен одним из ведущих специалистов по истории Гражданской войны в России Андреем Ганиным. Для чего необходим Генеральный штаб? Кто такие офицеры-генштабисты? Как проходило обучение в академии Генерального штаба? Сколько генштабистов оказалось у красных, а сколько пошло к белым? Кто из них изменил своим новым начальникам и перебежал в противоположный лагерь? Как сложились судьбы этих людей после Гражданской войны? Каковы масштабы репрессий против военной элиты старой русской армии? Ответы на эти и многие другие вопросы даёт новое фундаментальное издание. Исследование такого масштаба выходит впервые в России и не имеет аналогов. В основе справочника – архивные документы из России, Украины, Польши и Финляндии, в том числе материалы ещё недавно засекреченных архивов спецслужб. Прослежены судьбы и участие в Гражданской войне в рядах Красной, белых и национальных армий почти трёх тысяч выпускников академии, включая ускоренные выпуски военного времени. Издание содержит свыше тысячи портретов офицеров-генштабистов, значительная часть которых публикуется впервые.


New in Books: Images of the Imperial Family during the First World War

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Russian-speaking visitors to may be interested to learn of the recent release of an important new book “Трагическая эротика”: образы императорской семьи в годы Первой мировой войны. (“Tragic Erotica: Images of the Imperial Family during the First World War) by Boris Kolonitskii. Kolonitskii is Professor of History at the European University in St. Petersburg, Russia and co-author of Interpreting the Russian Revolution: The Language and Symbols of 1917.

Tragic-EroticaTragic Erotica” examines the representations and war-time activities of Tsar Nicholas II and members of the Imperial family that aimed to foster popular adoration and a sense of patriotism among their subjects. The book draws upon a wide variety of sources, including petitions, diaries, contemporary correspondence, and the criminal proceedings of individuals accused of insulting the autocratic family.

From the publisher’s description:

Верноподданным российского императора следовало не только почитать своего государя, но и любить его. Император и члены его семьи должны были своими действиями пробуждать народную любовь. Этому служили тщательно продуманные ритуалы царских поездок и церемоний награждения, официальные речи и неформальные встречи, широко распространявшиеся портреты и патриотические стихи. В годы Первой мировой войны пробуждение народной любви стало важнейшим элементом монархически-патриотической мобилизации российского общества. Б.И.Колоницкий изучает, как пытались повысить свою популярность члены императорской семьи – Николай II, императрица Александра Федоровна, Верховный главнокомандующий великий князь Николай Николаевич, вдовствующая императрица Мария Федоровна. Автор исследует и восприятие образов Романовых. Среди многочисленных источников, на основе которых написана книга, – петиции, дневники и письма современников, материалы уголовных дел против людей, обвиненных в заочном оскорблении членов царской семьи.


New in Books: All the Tsar’s Men

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

In addition to providing information regarding progress on the RGWR edited volumes and alerting visitors to updates on this site, the News section is intended to help publicize and support the work being undertaken by academic historians.

From time to time, we’ll be posting announcements regarding new books and on-line resources relating, broadly, to the history of Russia’s Great War, Revolution, and Civil War. This is one of those times. is pleased to note the release of John Steinberg’s All the Tsar’s Men: Russia’s General Staff and the Fate of the Empire, 1898–1914, recently published by Johns Hopkins University Press in conjunction with the Woodrow Wilson Center Press.

From the publisher’s site:

All the Tsar’s Men examines how institutional reforms designed to prepare the Imperial Russian Army for the modern battlefield failed to prevent devastating defeats in both the 1905 Russo-Japanese War and World War I. John W. Steinberg argues that the General Staff officers who devised new educational and doctrinal reforms had the experience, dedication, and leadership skills to defend the empire in the new age of warfare but were continually impeded by institutionalized inefficiency and rigid control from their superiors. These officers, he explains, were operating within a command structure unwilling to grant them the autonomy necessary to effect significant reform, which proved disastrous for the army and—ultimately— the empire.”

Early last month, Steinberg conducted an extended telephone interview with Marshal Poe for the latter’s terrific New Books in History website. To listen to an MP3 audio recording of the interview, click here.