1917-2017 Fall Symposium

November 2 – 3, 2017
Music Room, Levis Faculty Center (919 W. Illinois St., Urbana, IL 61801)

The Fall Symposium will focus on 1917 in its immediate context, and also reflect on the broadest implications of 1917 and a century of protest and revolution. The morning session will offer historical perspectives on the revolution in Russia, and will include scholars who will address the immediate and global reverberations of the revolution during the first decades after 1917. The afternoon will examine the state of radical political action, labor, and protest 100 years later and will focus on questions of work, precarity, and inequality.

Thursday, November 2
5:00 PM
Music Room, Levis Faculty Center (919 W. Illinois St., Urbana, IL 61801)
Keynote Address: Boris Kolonitskii, “100 Years Later: Memories of Revolution in Contemporary Russia”

The resident senior research scholar at the St. Petersburg Institute of History at the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Professor at the European University in St. Petersburg, Professor Kolonitskii is the author of numerous scholarly works on the Russian revolution of 1917, including Interpreting the Russian Revolution: The Language and Symbols of 1917 (with O. Figes, Yale University Press, 1999).

To be followed by a reception from 6:30-7:30pm in 210 Levis.

Friday, November 3

Session 1: First Decades, Global Reverberations
9:30 – 11:30 AM
Music Room, Levis Faculty Center

Moderated by Mark Steinberg (Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

*Jessica Graham (Assistant Professor of History at the University of California at San Diego), “The Racial Reverberations of 1917: The Communist Party of Brazil’s New Antiracism and the Contest of Black Support in the 1930s”

Professor Graham’s current book manuscript, Shifting the Meaning of Democracy: Racial Inclusion as a Strategy of the U.S. and Brazilian States, 1930-45, assesses Brazil and the United States during the Great Depression and World War II.

*Kristin Romberg (Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), “Constructivist Tectonics and the Wegernian Revolution”

Professor Romberg is currently completing a monograph on the Russian Constructivist Aleksei Gan, provisionally entitled Constructivist Realism: Aesthetic Theory for an Embedded Modernism. For fall 2017, she is contributing to the exhibition Revoliutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test at the Art Institute of Chicago.

*Marcello Flores (Professor of History at the University of Siena and Director of the European Master in Human Rights and Genocide Studies at the University of Siena), “The Spread of the Soviet Myth in the West”

Professor Flores is the author of 9 award-winning monographs, including: L’immagine dell’Urss. L’occidente e la Russia di Stalin (il Saggiatore, 1990) (The image of the USSR. The West and Stalin’s Russia).

DiscussantManuel Rota (Associate Professor of French and Italian at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Session 2: Work, Inequity, and Protest: 100 Years After 1917
2:00 – 4:00 PM
Music Room, Levis Faculty Center

Roundtable featuring:

*Erik S. McDuffie (Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Professor McDuffie’s research interests include the African diaspora, black radicalism, black feminism, black queer theory, and the Midwest. He is the author of Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism (Duke University Press, 2011). He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship and an American Council for Learned Societies fellowship in support of his new book, tentatitvely titled Garveyism in the Diasporic Midwest: The American Heartland and Global Black Freedom, 1920-1980.

*Tariq Omar Ali (Assistant Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Professor Ali completed his dissertation titled “The Envelope of Global Trade: Political Economy and Intellectual History of Jute in the Bengal Delta, the 1850s to the 1950s” at Harvard University in August 2012. In his dissertation and current manuscript project, Tariq explores how the Bengal delta’s integration into global circuits of commodity and capital shaped local economic, political and intellectual histories as well as how economic lives, social and cultural formations, and political processes in the delta were informed and influenced by the cultivation and trade of jute.

*Daniel Gilbert (Assistant Professor, School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Professor Gilbert is a labor and cultural historian of the modern United States. He is especially interested in the labor histories of workers in the culture industries, and the ways in which working people have shaped forms of cultural representation. His first book, Expanding the Strike Zone: Baseball in the Age of Free Agency (University of Massachusetts Press), was published in 2013. Along with his ongoing research on sports, Dan is working on a new project about the cultural history of public sector labor.

*Jessica Greenberg (Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Professor Greenberg is the author of After the Revolution: Youth, Democracy and the Politics of Disappointment in Serbia (Stanford University Press, 2014). Her research interests are in the anthropology of democracy, legal anthropology, postsocialism, youth, social movements, and revolution. She was awarded a 2016-2017 LAS Study in a Second Discipline, Law.

Film Screening
November 3, 7:30 – 9:30 PM
101 Armory Building (505 E. Armory Ave., Champaign, IL 61820)

Maple Razsa will introduce and screen The Maribor Uprisings: A Live Participatory Film, which will be followed by a discussion of the film, led by David Aristizabal and Dilara Caliskan (PhD Candidates in Anthropology, University of Illinois).

Maple Razsa Associate Professor of Global Studies at Colby College. Professor Rasza is the author of “Bastards of Utopia:” The Radical Imaginary from the fall of Socialism to the Occupy Movement (Indiana University Press, 2014). He is also the creator of several documentary films central to the themes of our “Ten Days” project, and has agreed to introduce and screen his film The Maribor Uprisings: A Live Participatory Film at 7:30 PM on Nov. 3rd for the Fall symposium.

Part of a series of events in the 2017-2018 academic year in connection with the “1917: Ten Days that shook the world / 2017: Ten Days that shake the campus” initiative