CFP: History, Memory, Politics: The Russian Revolution 100 Years On (Scando-Slavica)

Deadline for Submission: March 1, 2017

Call for papers for a special issue of Scando-Slavica dedicated to:

History, Memory, Politics: The Russian Revolution 100 Years On

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, or the “Great October Revolution” as it was called in the Soviet Union. Back then, there was no doubt that the Revolution was truly “great.” But in the 25 years that have passed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the meaning of the Revolution has become highly contested.

The lack of consensus regarding the meaning and significance of the Revolution represents a challenge to the goal of current Russian politics of memory. At present, Russia is ruled by a regime that emphasises the longue durée of Russian history, in order to foster patriotism by means of a positive, coherent and uncontested understanding of the past. Unified textbooks in history have been singled out as particularly important in creating this patriotism. The current regime aims at overall consensus and unity both in terms of a shared understanding of the past and as a characteristic of Russia in the past. Symptomatically, while Vladimir Putin did mention the 1917 Revolution in his annual address to the parliament in December 2016, he provided no clear conclusion on how to understand it, but chose instead to emphasise that in spite of our difficult past “we are one people.”

In post-Soviet Russia, the celebration of the Revolution has been replaced by the celebration of the end of the early seventeenth-century Time of Troubles. What makes a celebration of the Revolution particularly difficult in today’s Russia is that its current regime fears revolutions more than anything else, suffice it to mention the “Colour Revolutions” in the “Near Abroad” or the Arabic Spring. At the same time, the regime legitimises its politics with reference to history, by claiming that it sustains Russia’s “thousand-year-old history.” Although the Revolution inevitably challenges the hegemonic quest for consensus, it is nevertheless a historical fact that cannot be passed over in silence. Thus, the question is where the revolutionary moment of 1917 – an event that we have been accustomed to think of in terms of rupture – fits in today? Was it in the long run merely a superficial event? Was it the expression of a revolutionary chaos that had to be overcome? Or was it itself the beginning of a recovery of the Russian state and its empire from war chaos and dissolution? How are the revolutionary events of 1917 framed in different contexts and by different voices in the contemporary public and academic debates?

This special issue invites scholars to analyse how the 1917 Russian Revolution is understood and discussed in today’s Russia. We welcome creative and theoretically reflective analyses of an engaging empirical material. We are interested in both how the anniversary itself is celebrated (or not), and in the ways in which talking about the Revolution have developed since 2000. Possible fields and topics to discuss include (but are not limited to):

  • The Revolution in light of the current regime’s instrumentalisation of history
  • The Revolution in the Russian public debate – among the opposition as well as the supporters of the regime
  • The Revolution in Russian cultural policy, education and textbooks
  • The Revolution and contemporary politics of memory
  • The Revolution in contemporary Russian literature
  • The Revolution and the Russian Orthodox Church
  • Prevailing attitudes to the Revolution in today’s Russia: rupture or transition? Resource or threat to stability?
  • Discrepancies between public and scholarly debates on the Revolution

The editors of this special issue will in the first run make a selection of articles for peer review on the basis of submitted abstracts. A final decision on which articles to include will be made after the double blind peer-review process. The special issue of Scando-Slavica will be published as volume 64 (1), 2018. Scando-Slavica is published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), and is indexed in Scopus, ESCI and ERIH PLUS. Contributions may be submitted in English or Russian.

Timeline

  • Deadline for abstract proposals (300 words): 1 March 2017. Please submit to the guest editorskare.mjor@ucrs.uu.se and ingunn.lunde@if.uib.no.
  • Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 20 March 2017
  • Deadline for completed article drafts for peer-review (40 000 characters incl. spaces): 15 July 2017
  • Peer-reviewing/revisions: August–November 2017
  • Final decisions and acceptance: November 2017

Guest Editors

  • Kåre Johan Mjør, Researcher of Russian Intellectual History, Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, kare.mjor@ucrs.uu.se
  • Ingunn Lunde, Professor of Russian, University of Bergen, ingunn.lunde@if.uib.no

 

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