Online seminar #8: RESCHEDULED! All Things Past: On Public History in Russia

Vera Dubina and Andrei Zavadski in conversation with Ivan Kurilla


This event has been rescheduled! Please note the new date.


PoSoCoMeS Online Seminar Series, session #8

Monday, 21 February, 2022 5.30 pm CET

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84402534805




In the monthly online PoSoCoMeS seminar, Ivan Kurilla discusses the book Vse v proshlom: teoriya i praktika publichnoi istorii [All Things Past: Theory and Practice of Public History], published in 2021 in Russian, with its editors, Andrei Zavadski and Vera Dubina, and the audience. (The seminar will take place in English.)

The past is key to how we understand ourselves. Perhaps today it is even more important than ever before: it is in the past that we are increasingly seeking explanations of the present and visions of the future. What role does public history play in this? Creators of public history projects are tasked with making the past closer and more relatable without simplifying it or compromising its otherness. To date, despite a growing interest in history and an upsurge in public history projects, there was no Russian-language textbook or handbook that could serve as an introduction to public history as a discipline. The edited volume Vse v proshlom: teoriya i praktika publichnoi istorii (All Things Past: Theory and Practice of Public History) aims to fill this gap. Structured thematically, it discusses the role of the past in theatre and music, fiction and journalism, contemporary art and computer games, the city and the environment as well as other spheres of human activity. This handbook has been conceived to be a starting point for students of public history as well as for anybody interested in the past's presence in contemporary society.


Vera Dubina is a historian based in Moscow. She is a co-founder of and a senior lecturer in the public history MA programme at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and head of the history programme of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Russia. Her research interests include gender history, history of ideas, Alltagsgeschichte, theory of history, memory studies and public history. She is a co-editor of Povsednevnaya zhizn' pri sotsializme: rossiyskie i nemetskie podkhody [Everyday Life under Socialism: Russian and German Approaches] (Moscow: Rosspen, 2015), and of Vse v proshlom: teoriya i praktika publichnoy istorii [All Things Past: Theory and Practice of Public History] (Moscow: Novoe izdatel’stvo, 2021), as well as the author of articles on memories of the Gulag, biography as a method, public history in Russia, and other topics. She is also the organiser of numerous projects and events on public history and (collective) memory, including the annual summer school 'Lessons of the 21st Century'.


Andrei Zavadski is a Berlin-based researcher. He holds a dual MA in public history from the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and Manchester University (2014) and a PhD in media and communication studies from Freie Universität Berlin (2020). He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His work is situated at the intersection of memory studies, public history and media studies, and focuses on the countries of Eastern Europe. He is a co-editor of Politika affekta: Muzey kak prostranstvo publichnoy istorii (Politics of Affect: The Museum as a Public History Space) (Mosow: NLO, 2019) and of Vse v proshlom: teoriya i praktika publichnoy istorii [All Things Past: Theory and Practice of Public History] (Moscow: Novoe izdatel’stvo, 2021). His work has been published in Europe-Asia Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, Media, Culture & Society, Laboratorium, Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie and other journals.



Ivan Kurilla is Professor in the Political Science Department and academic director of the IMARES Program at the European University at Saint Petersburg, Russia. His research focuses on the history of U.S.–Russian relations. His other areas of interest include uses of history, historical memory, historical politics and the role of historians in contemporary Russia. Kurilla’s articles have appeared in leading Russian and international journals, including the Journal of American History, Nationalities Papers, Demokratizatsiia, the Journal of Cold War Studies, the Journal of Slavic Military Studies, and Problems of Post-Communism. Prof. Kurilla has written six books including Bitva za Proshloye: Kak politika menyaet istoriyu (Battle for the Past: How Politics Changes History) (Moscow: Alpina Publisher, 2022), Istoriya, ili Proshloye v nastoyashchem (History, or the Past in the Present) (Saint Petersburg: The European University at Saint Petersburg Press, 2017) and Zakliatye Druz’ya: Istoriya mneniy, fantaziy, kontaktov, vzaimo(ne)ponimaniya Rossii i SShA (Frenemies: History of Opinions, Fantasies, Contacts, Mutual (mis)Understanding between Russia and USA) (Moscow: NLO, 2018). He also co-edited the collection of articles Russian/Soviet Studies in the United States, Amerikanistika in Russia: Mutual Representations in Academic Projects (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2016) and recently edited an annotated a book written by New York Times correspondent Carl W. Ackerman who travelled across Siberia during the Russian Civil War in 1918: Carl W. Ackerman, Trailing the Bolsheviki: Twelve Thousand Miles with the Allies in Siberia (Bloomington, Indiana: Slavica, 2020).