Imagining the future in Russia´s February Revolution

Auditorium zur Rosen, Johannisstraße 13, 07743 Jena
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Historisches Institut, Lehrstuhl für Osteuropäische Geschichte in Kooperation mit der DGO e.V., Berlin und der Graduiertenakademie der FSU Jena
06.04.2017 - 08.04.2017
Franziska Schedewie / Dennis Dierks

From April 6th to April 8th 2017 the Chair of Eastern European History at the University of Jena organises a workshop on Russia’s February Revolution of 1917. The aim is to explore the February Revolution exclusively through the analysis of one type of source, the popular press (daily and weekly newspapers, partly journals as well), in order to grasp expectations for the future at this critical juncture, the end of Tsarism. Newspaper writers at the time expressed plans and hopes for radical change that would usher in a new era of autonomy, liberty, social and economic justice. By comparing a variety of newspapers that represented different political orientations, national and social affiliations, we try to identify the diversity of voices of the Russian Empire at this singular moment.
The participants of the workshop will present an analysis of the character and major ideas of a single newspaper to the workshop as a point for discussion and comparison. The idea is to look at just a short time span, in order to grasp, in the form of ´snap shots´, the variety of instant reactions to the Revolution and so to reconstruct “futures past”.
The workshop is the basis for the preparation of a source book including newspaper articles on the February Revolution which will be translated from Russian, Yiddish, Latvian, Finnish, Turkish and Armenian.
Conference language is English. For attending the workshop please register until April 5th via email:


Thursday, 6th April, 2017

17.00 Arrival, Welcome, Registration
18.00 Introductory Panel
Gabriele Freitag (DGO e.V., Berlin): Welcome address
Franziska Schedewie / Dennis Dierks (University of Jena): Introduction
Anton Reshetov (Russian National Library (RNB), St. Petersburg): Historical discourse on the pages of Russian newspapers in March 1917.

Friday, 7th April, 2017

9.30 Panel 1: Political party press
Chair: Gabriele Freitag (DGO e.V., Berlin)
Heinz-Dietrich Löwe (University of Heidelberg): The liberal newspaper Rech.
Lutz Häfner (University of Bielefeld): The Socialist Revolutionaries’ Central Organ “Delo Naroda” and the conception of a social revolution of the whole people in 1917.

11.00 Coffee break

11.15 Panel 2: Reactions in the press across the Empire: Centre and Western Siberia
Chair: Raphael Utz (University of Jena)
Anastasia Surkov (Humboldt University Berlin): “Russia free through the will of the people! The country’s genius will lead the people to happiness!” – Reactions and expectations in Vladimir, March 1917, as from the daily newspaper “Staryi Vladimirets”.
Margarete Zimmermann (University of Jena): “Let’s act like socialists!” Reactions towards the February Revolution 1917 and visions of the future in the diocese Tobol’sk.

12.45 Lunch break

14.00 Panel 3: South
Chair: Dennis Dierks (University of Jena)
Jérémy Caro (University of Bremen): A Time of Political Innovation? Jewish Press in Ukraine.
Franziska Schedewie (University of Jena): Donskie Oblastnye Vedomosti.

15.30 Coffee break

15.45 Panel 4: Muslim Press
Chair: Franziska Schedewie (University of Jena)
Ingeborg Baldauf (Humboldt University Berlin): The Tashkent journal Al-Izoh after the February Revolution.
Dennis Dierks (University of Jena): “Historical and serious days and our duties.” Tercüman’s reporting on the February Revolution.

17.15 Student panel
Chair: Franziska Schedewie
Philipp Scholz (University of Jena): Gazeta Kopeika

Saturday, 8th April, 2017

9.30 Panel 5: North and East
Chair: Joachim von Puttkamer (University of Jena)
Pasi Ihalainen (University of Jyväskylä): The international and national future in the Finnish party press from the abdication of Nicholas II to the opening of the Finnish parliament in April 1917.
Alistair Dickins (University of Manchester): Between Pogroms and Class Struggle: The Conflicting Scripts of a Local Revolution in Siberia.

11.00 Coffee break

Roundtable: Future Expectations in the Press > Preparation of an edited volume

Ca. 12.30: End of workshop


Dennis Dierks

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Historisches Institut, Lehrsthul für Osterupäische Geschichte
Fürstengraben 13, 07743 Jena

Imagining the future in Russia´s February Revolution, 06.04.2017 – 08.04.2017 Jena, in: H-Soz-Kult, 28.03.2017, <>.