A Century of Revolutionary Change: 1917-2017

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

The year 2017 marks a centenary of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. Despite the end of the Cold War and the demise of the USSR in 1991, the legacy of the Soviet experiment continues to be relevant to the politics, economics, international relations and culture of all countries in the former Eastern bloc and beyond. The strategies of preserving, overcoming, remembering, expunging and otherwise dealing with this legacy show infinite variety and are often steeped in controversy and indeterminacy. As the Russian Minister of Culture put it recently, “The lessons of 1917 teach us that collisions based on class, estate, nationality and ethnicity are fraught with colossal losses,” adding, however, that “today’s generations must see in them the strength of human spirit and ancestral heroism”. The conference will encourage reflection on the historical context for the study of contemporary states and societies affected by the revolutionary turmoil over the past 100 years.