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Understanding cultural, behavioural and historical factors shaping contemporary Russian politics

When Jan 21, 2020
from 12:30 PM to 02:00 PM
Where Fitzwilliam House, 32 Trumpington Street, Cambrdige, CB2 1QY
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The Kremlin has been promoting the idea of Russian exceptionalism since 2012 (since Putin was elected for a third term in office). This idea is not new and can be traced back to the 16th century Filofei of Pskov where Muscovy was portrayed as a ‘third Rome’. Yet, the most frequent invocations of Putin have been of Tsar Nikolai I when ‘Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality’ allegedly became a core part of Russia’s distinctive identity. This talk will consider the historical, cultural and religious imagery underpinning Putin’s view of Russia’s global role and will ask to what extent it represents a selective reading of history and the extent to which historical and cultural references really have resonance with Russians today.

*A sandwich lunch is provided

About the speaker: 

Dr. Hubertus F. Jahn is Reader in the History of Russia and the Caucasus in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge. He is also a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Jahn holds a PhD from Georgetown University and a Dr. phil. habil. from the University of Erlangen. He has taught at universities in the US, Germany, and the UK. His research covers much of Russian history, with a focus on social and cultural aspects, as well as the history of the Caucasus. His current project explores the imperial scenarios and aesthetic representations of the Russian Empire in the South Caucasus. Among his many publications are Patriotic Culture in Russia during World War I (1995; paperback 1998), a study of patriotic manifestations in elite and mass culture in Russia during the First World War, and Armes Russland: Bettler und Notleidende in der russischen Geschichte vom Mittelalter bis in die Gegenwart (2010), an interdisciplinary study of begging and poverty in Russia from the Middle Ages to the present.