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Revolution and the Cult of the Leader

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  • UserProf Boris Kolonitskii, European University at St Petersburg, St Petersburg Institute of History (Russian Academy of Sciences)
  • ClockThursday 25 January 2018, 17:30-19:00
  • HouseUmney Theatre, Robinson College.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact slavonic.

How to govern revolutionary country if you don’t have real police force? If the army is democratized and the state monopoly of the government to create and enforced laws is challenged my numerous revolutionary organizations? Russian Provisional government found itself in such situation. The personal authority of ministers became the main political resource.

What patterns could be applied to politicians who execute power? That was a challenge for many citizens of new Russia after collapse of monarchy: many old symbols, rituals and texts war rejected. It was necessary to find new ways to address and describe new government.

Boris Kolonitskii tries to study these processes. His research is devoted to representations of different political leaders of revolution, and in his is case study he describes the cult of Alexander Fedorovich Kerensky – the most popular politician of the February revolution.

How Kerensky presented himself to the revolutionary country? How was he described by his supporters and allies, his opponents and enemies? How these different images of power were perceived, “translated” in different contexts? What was the impact of these cult over the political culture?

Professor Kolonitskii is one of the foremost scholars of the revolution. He is co-author of Interpreting the Russian Revolution: The Language and Symbols of 1917 (Yale UP 1999 ) and a member of the board of the international project ‘Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914-1922: The Centennial Reappraisal.’

This talk is part of the Slavonic Studies series.

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