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In 2017, the world marked the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, an event that shook the planet and continued to shake it for the rest of the 20th century. The Revolution was the focus of multiple academic and cultural events throughout the year, all over the world and in the Amsterdam area. In 2018, Dr. Maxim Kupovykh, lecturer and tutor at AUC, will keep this momentum going by organising a series of academic events focused on the entire region which was enclosed behind the infamous “Iron Curtain” in the second half of the 20th century.

Focus on Russia and Eastern Europe Lecture Series, Amsterdam University College

Re-examining Russia & Eastern Europe

The choice for the scope of this lecture series is not random. Despite the enormous cultural, political and historical heterogeneity of the "East of the Curtain" region, the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe share a certain “community of fate” defined by the intersecting imperial, revolutionary and wartime legacies. Current global trends—e.g.  globalisation and neo-nationalism, democratisation and the rise of authoritarian populism—are affecting this region in particularly intriguing and revealing ways.

At the same time, the entire region, despite the recurrent presence of Russia and Putin in the media, continues to constitute a relative ‘blind spot’ in the cultural and political imagination of many Western students and educated people.

Relevence of "Focus on Russia and Eastern Europe" lecture series

Hence, the main objectives of the Focus on Russia and Eastern Europe lecture series include:

  • exposing AUC students and faculty (as well as the wider academic community at Science Park and in Amsterdam) to current scholarship and public thinking on Russia and Eastern Europe;
  • emphasising the relevance of this region and its importance to a variety of academic fields and contemporary public debates beyond the sphere of area studies;
  • bringing together experts who, in their academic work, combine disciplinary perspectives and methodologies with interdisciplinary boundary-crossing;
  • helping to make a further dent in the relative provinciality of public knowledge and academic expertise on Russia and Eastern Europe in the minds of many people in the Netherlands and in Europe;
  • contributing to the AUC community and further promote the importance of hosting events that spark debate on contemporary issues of academic and civic concern.

The series will commence in February 2018 and continue throughout 2018. Although the entire agenda is not yet finalised, you can find a list of public lectures confirmed below.

Most events listed below will take place in the Common Room of the AUC building (Science Park 113, 1098 XG Amsterdam). Each event page will contain more up-to-date information on the topic, the date and the location of an event.

Dates and descriptions

  • 12 February 2018

    • Ukraine vs. the Russian World: Competing National Narratives by Dr. Marc Jansen
    • Event information.
  • 19 February 2018

    • Russian Revolution Rhetoric in 1917 and 2017 by Prof. Dr. Ellen Rutten
    • Event information.
  • 5 March 2018

    • The long tail of Romantic Nationalism: Between banality and alt-right by Prof. Dr.  Joep Leerssen
    • Event information.
  • 3 April 2018

    • Laboratory of Socialist Development: Cold War Politics and Decolonization in Soviet Tajikistan by Dr. Artemy Kalinovsky
    • Event information.
  • 10 April 2018

    • State building and conflict resolution in the Caucasus by Dr. Charlotte Hille
    • Event information.
  • 21 September 2018

  • 8 October 2018

    • Hidden transcripts: engaged citizenship in Russian new media by Dr. Sudha Rajagopalan
    • Event information.
  • 18 October

    • Competing Narratives on the Stalinist Past in Post-Soviet Russia by Prof. Nanci Adler
    • Event information.
  • 10 December

    • Islam in Russia: a centrifugal force, or an anchor of social and political stability? by Prof. Michael Kemper
    • Event information.


For any questions related to the Focus on Russia and Eastern Europe lecture series, please send an email to Dr. Maxim Kupovykh. 

Focus on Russia and Eastern Europe Lecture Series, Amsterdam University College