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“Creating a ‘Usable Past’: The Legacy of the 1917 Revolution in Modern Russia” by Dr Matthew Rendle

8 March, 2023 @ 19:00 - 21:00

An 2022-23 Historical Association event

The Russian Revolution remains a deeply problematic historical moment in modern Russia. On the one hand Putin’s Russia tries to harness the past to strengthen patriotism and project state authority, and there was little of either evident between 1917 and 1922 in Russian as revolution descended into brutal civil war. On the other hand, Putin is suspicious of revolution more generally, fearing that overly positive commemorations might encourage opposition to his rule. This talk explores how the Russian Revolution has been remembered in Russia since 1917 and, in particular, examines how Putin’s Russia has tried to navigate the centenary commemorations of an event too significant to
ignore but very difficult to fit into a ‘usable past’ for the current Russian state.

HA meetings will be in the Birchall Hall, Queen’s College, Taunton, by kind permission of the Headmaster, Mr Julian Noad.

The lectures begin at 7.30pm (door open at 7.00 pm) and will finish at about 8.45pm.

Entry fee – £2 per lecture (free to students)


8 March, 2023
19:00 - 21:00


Historical Association


Birchall Hall, Queens College
Trull Road
Taunton, TA1 4QS United Kingdom
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Events are graded from 1-4 in difficulty. The grading is found in the event description in the calendar on this page. Keep in mind that a change in weather conditions can make a walk more difficult than anticipated. All walks and activities demand a basic level of fitness, suitable footwear and waterproof clothing.

1 Easy – generally even ground with a few gentle slopes; no special fitness needed.  Comfortable footwear required.

2 Moderate – for reasonably fit people, may include unsurfaced rural paths and tracks, moderate slopes, uneven surfaces, steps and stiles. Walking shoes/boots required.

3 Strenuous – for fit, experienced walkers, will include hills, uneven surfaces, tracks and may include muddy terrain. Walking boots and waterproof clothing are essential.

4 Confined spaces – including caves and attics. Locations may be dusty, slippery and dark.

Activity leaders carry out a risk assessment beforehand. Participants are required to provide emergency contact details before taking part in an activity – this information is destroyed by the group leader after the activity has taken place.