History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Russian Historians at Mason Lead Events, Publish Noteworthy Books in Centennial Year of Russian Revolution


As the centennial year for the great Revolution, 2017 promises to be a busy time in Russian studies, and Mason historians Rex Wade and Steven Barnes are taking a leading role. The third edition of Rex Wade’s classic The Russian Revolution, 1917 (Cambridge University Press) came out in January, and a major article on World War I and the Revolution will come out next fall in a special issue of the journal Revolutionary Russia. Another project in press is an annotated edition of a book on revolutionary Russia by an American sociologist, Samuel Alworth Ross, who traveled around Russia for six months during the upheaval.

Steven Barnes is heading up George Mason’s hosting of the 55th annual meeting of the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies, April 6-8 at the Westin Alexandria hotel (for information see the conference website). The conference covers a wide and interdisciplinary range of topics but with special focus on the 100th anniversary. Professor Wade will offer the keynote address. Professor Barnes noted that it was “natural” for George Mason to host the nation’s oldest organization in Slavic studies given Rex Wade’s position as one of the world’s “preeminent” experts on the revolution. Professor Barnes himself will present a paper at the conference from his book-in-progress, Gulag Wives: Women, Family, and Survival in Stalin’s Terror, which tells the story of the women arrested merely for the fact that their husbands had become victims of Stalin’s Great Terror.

In conjunction with the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies, the University is also hosting a smaller gathering April 6, for the Association for Women in Slavic Studies, exploring gender aspects of the Russian revolution. The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a multi-faceted event, with impacts still being felt in Russia and beyond, so the opportunities for further assessment are clearly timely, and the History program is delighted to be playing a role.

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