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Enchanting World: Centennial of the 1917 Russian Revolution

Enchanting World” is a series of public events in 2017, including musical concerts, theatrical performances, visual arts exhibitions, public lectures, and symposia related to the centennial of the 1917 Russian Revolution.


Image: Chto dala Oktiabrskaia Revoliutsiia rabotnitse i krest'ianke. [What the October Revolution gave to female workers and peasants.], 1920, Poster collection, Hoover Institution Archives, http://digitalcollections.hoover.org/objects/25519
  • Introduction

    Listen to an Introduction by Professor David Rainbow.
  • Archive Page

    Browse the Event Archive.
  • Contact

    Join the email list and Facebook page to find out about upcoming events.
  • Reading List

    Read more about the Russian Revolution and related events.

Calendar of Events

  • Russian Revolution, Professor David Rainbow (course): March 23-April 27

    Join Dr. Rainbow for a six-week seminar at the Women’s Institute of Houston on the history of Russia’s 1917 revolutions. Meetings will include lectures and discussions based on a variety of shared readings in history, political theory, and literature related to the revolution. The class will also examine photographs, artwork, poetry, and film from the revolution and early Soviet years as a way of grappling with the nature and significance of the revolution. 

    More information about the course, including how to register, can be found at the Women’s Institute website here: http://proclass.wih.org/Course/historyandculture 

    When: Thursdays from March 23-April 27, 10:00am-12:00pm
    Where: The Women’s Institute of Houston, 2202 Avalon Place, Houston, Texas 77019
    How: Registration through the Women’s Institute and $175 fee required (space limited)

  • Fight of the Red Knights: Russian Propaganda Art, 1917-1930 (exhibit): March 30-July 31

    M.D. Anderson Library will house a public exhibit of Soviet and anti-Soviet propaganda posters from the revolution and early years of the Soviet Union, curated by UH students. The exhibit consists of thirty posters (reproductions) selected from the Poster Collection housed at the Hoover Institution Archive at Stanford University. The exhibit reflects the staggering – and frequently violent – transformations that took place in Soviet society, politics, and art during this period. The exhibit opening on the evening of March 30 will include a gallery talk by Dr. Katya Kudryavtseva, a professor of art history and specialist on Russia, visiting from Stetson University. 

    When: Thursday, March 30, 6:00pm (exhibit will be open from March 30-July 31)
    Where: M.D. Anderson Library, University of Houston, Third Floor exhibit area
    How: Free and open to the public. RSVP requested. 

    This event is sponsored by M.D. Anderson Library, The Honors College, and the Art History Program in the UH School of Art.

  • Revolution and the Making of the Soviet Union (symposium): March 30

    Join us for a lively symposium on 1917 and the making of the Soviet Union. Six of the best student researchers from Dr. David Rainbow’s seminar on the history of the Russian Revolution taught in the fall of 2016 will present their findings in a roundtable discussion format. Research projects are based on a variety of primary and secondary sources, including posters from the Hoover Institution Archive at Stanford University. Art historian Dr. Katya Kudryavtseva of Stetson University will serve as commentator and discussant. Everyone in attendance will be invited to attend the exhibit opening and reception at neighboring M.D. Anderson Library, to immediately follow the conclusion of the symposium. 

    When: Thursday, March 30, 3:00pm-5:45pm
    Where: Honors Commons, The Honors College, University of Houston
    How: Free and open to the public. 

    This event is sponsored by The Honors College and the Art History Program in the UH School of Art.

  • Grand Challenges Forum: Professor Katya Kudryavtseva (lecture): March 31

    In a visually rich talk, Professor Kudryavtseva, Assistant Professor of Art History at Stetson University, will speak to us about the crucially important place of art in the history of the Russian Revolution. 

    When: Friday, March 31 from 1:00pm-2:00pm
    Where: Cemo Hall, University of Houston
    How: Free and open to the public 

    For more about Professor Kudryavtseva’s work, see: http://www.stetson.edu/other/faculty/profiles/katya-kudryavtseva.php
    For more about the GCF, see:
    http://www.uh.edu/honors/students/current-students/grand-challenges-forum/

    This event is sponsored by The Honors College and the Art History Program in the UH School of Art.

  • Animal Farm (musical play): April 7-15

    George Orwell’s classic satirical novel from 1945 is a critique of Russia’s 1917 Revolution and its evolution into Stalin’s USSR. The UH School of Theatre and Dance will bring the story to life in this musical adaptation by Sir Peter Hall, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Orwell’s imaginative story of barnyard revolution, animals, looking for a better life, take control from the interfering farmer. Their quest for this new life soon leads them to establish a totalitarian microcosm in which some animals are far more equal than others.

    Following several performances there will be “talk-back” sessions where audience members can query and discuss with Director William Brown, Professor of English Margo Backus, and Instructional Assistant Professor in the Honors College David Rainbow. 

    When: April 7, 8 & 12-15 at 8:00pm; April 9 at 2:00pm
    Where: Wortham Theatre, University of Houston
    How: For ticket purchase see the website for the School of Theatre and Dance: http://www.uh.edu/cota/theatre-and-dance/buy-tickets/2016-2017/animal-farm/ 

    This event is sponsored in part by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

  • Cities of Revolution: Moscow and St. Petersburg (study abroad): May 15-25

    Travel for nine days from Houston to the cities of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great: Moscow and St. Petersburg. On this Honors College faculty-led trip, you will visit the Kremlin, Red Square, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and several other UNESCO-designated World Heritage sites. You will visit The Hermitage museum (recently dubbed “the best museum in Europe”), tour city centers and historic neighborhoods on foot, ride through the canals of St. Petersburg on a boat, enjoy the best of Russian, Georgian, Ukrainian and Uzbek cuisine, and take short trips to Novgorod, Sergeiv Posad, and the opulent palace complex of Peterhof.

    The trip is open to all University of Houston students. To sign up or find out more, see the trip website (http://www.jesserainbow.com/russia-2017-blog) or write to Dr. Jesse Rainbow (jjrainbow@uh.edu).

    Students interested in the trip might also be interested to take Dr. David Rainbow’s spring seminar at the Honors College on the history of Russia through the lens of three Russian novels, each set in either Moscow or St. Petersburg, and each a masterpieces of world literature. 

    When: May 15-25
    Where: Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novgorod
    How: Open to all University of Houston students: $3,450 (all inclusive).

  • Enemies, by Maxim Gorky (play and discussion): September 16

    Enemies, by Maxim Gorky (play and discussion)

    Main Street Theater in Houston is launching its 2017-2018 season with “Enemies,” a play by the famous Russian/Soviet author, Maxim Gorky. Gorky's extraordinary play, which was written in exile and banned in his home country, presents a panoramic view of a restless society. It’s 1905, and Russia is at a critical moment in its history. The bourgeoisie is no longer confident in its own values. The working class is slowly realizing the terrifying sacrifices they will have to make. Gorky approaches this unique, imaginative play, with great humanity and a broad dramatic scope, offering a glimpse into what the world might have been like between aristocratic rule and the revolution in Russia.

    Along with the play, you can also catch the following special events:

    • Saturday, September 16 at 6:45pm: Opening Night Pre-Show Discussion with the director and designers.Get an inside look at the production and the process that has led up to Opening Night. Free and open to all. No need to RSVP.
    • After-parties following all Saturday night performances:Enjoy a free drink with the cast after the show! Included in ticket price. 
    • Sunday, September 24: Post-show discussion.Join us for a post-show discussion with Dr. David Rainbow from the University of Houston Honors College. Dr. Rainbow will share insight into this period of Russian History as well as a contemporary perspective on the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. FREE. Even if you are not attending the performance that day, you’re welcome to come. Just plan to arrive at the theater at 5:30pm.
    • Sunday, October 1: Post-show discussion.Join us for a post-show discussion with Dr. Robert Shimko, Director, University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance, and MST Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden for a discussion on how this production came to be! FREE. Even if you are not attending the performance that day, you’re welcome to come. Just plan to arrive at the theater at 5:30pm.

    When: September 16 – October 15, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays - 7:30pm, Sundays - 3:00pm
    Where: Main Street Theater
    How: Buy tickets online: http://www.mainstreettheater.com/mainstage/enemies.html

  • Night with the Conductor: Franz Anton Krager (concert and discussion): September 17

    Night with the Conductor: Franz Anton Krager (concert and discussion)
    The Russian Cultural Center in Houston, “Our Texas,” will host an evening concert with Franz Anton Krager, Professor of Conducting and Director of the University of Houston orchestras. The program includes: Rimsky-Korsakov, Tsar's Bride Overture, Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto No 1, and Prokofiev, Alexander Nevsky, Op 7.

    Tali Morgulis, Associate Professor of Piano at the Moores School will play excerpts from Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1. Hasmik Vardanyan, Performance Certificate Graduate Cellist at the Moores School, will play the Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op 33. Ms. Vardanyan is a student of Vagram Saradjian. Wine will be served.

    For more, see: https://www.facebook.com/RCCOurTexas/

    When: Sunday, September 17, 5:00-7:00pm
    Where: Russian Cultural Center, 2337 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 77005
    How: Free and open to the public.

  • Before and After 1917: Russian Classical Music and Revolution (concert): September 29

    Join the University of Houston Moores School Symphony Orchestra and Moores School Combined Choruses for a concert of major works of Russian classical music from before and after the Revolution. Selections will be taken from the works of Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev. 

    When: Friday, September 29, 7:30pm
    Where: Moores Opera House, University of Houston
    How: Tickets for purchase here: http://www.uh.edu/cota/music/events-performances/Buy%20Tickets.php

  • Professor Boris Kolonitsky on the Russian Revolution (lecture): October 10

    The Russian Cultural Center “Our Texas,” the Honors College, and the University of Houston Center for Public History are pleased to present a lecture on the history of the Revolution by globally renowned historian, Boris Kolonitsky, visiting from the European University of St. Petersburg. 

    When: Tuesday, October 10, 3:00pm
    Where: The Honors Commons in the Honors College, 4333 University Dr., 2nd Floor, UH
    How: Free and open to the public

  • Russian Documentary Film Festival (films): October 23-28

    A series of documentary films related to the Russian Revolution, organized by The Russian Cultural Center “Our Texas.”

    When: October 23-28 (times TBA)
    Where: University of Houston and other locations (TBA)
    How: Free and open to the public

  • Russia in 1917 (exhibit): October 25-November 30

    The Russian Cultural Center “Our Texas,” in collaboration with the Moscow City Government, the Moscow Department of Culture, the Multimedia Art Museum of Moscow, and the Moscow House of Photography, proudly presents Russia, 1917, a photo exhibition created in collaboration with the internationally lauded Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow and its director, Olga Sviblova, an acclaimed Russian documentary filmmaker and art curator. With her assistance, we will present 78 historical photos, all taken during the momentous year of 1917, when the Revolution turned the world on its head. The exhibit aims to reveal the inner complexities of the Revolution through an exhibition of photos from Russian historical archives. 

    This event is part of a larger series organized by the Russian Cultural Center “Our Texas,” 100 Years of the Russian Revolution,” in collaboration, in part, with the Honors College. For more about the Russian Cultural Center, see: http://www.ourtx.org 

    When: Wednesday, October 25, 6:00pm (opening) – November 30
    Where: Williams Tower Gallery, 2800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX 77056
    How: Free and open to the public (including opening night)

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