The organizers 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, this “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, scholars started to analyze this war on its own account as a crucial event in Russian history, not just 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.
This conference will bring together scholars of various scholarly 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 war; social 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.