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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.
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    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).

  • City of Revolution: 100 Years Later (exhibit): Fall 2017 (dates TBA)

    A comparative photographic exhibition of St. Petersburg in 1917 and 2017.

    When: September-October
    Where: M.D. Anderson Library, University of Houston
    How: Free and open to the public

  • Night with the Conductor: Franz Anton Krager (concert and discussion): Fall 2017 (dates TBA)

    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. A small ensemble will play selections from the upcoming Moores School Symphony Orchestra concert of Russian classical music from the years before and after the 1917 Revolution. Professor Krager will compliment the selections with a conversation about the music. 

    For more about the Russian Cultural Center, see: http://www.ourtx.org

    When: September
    Where: Russian Cultural Center, 2337 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 77005
    How: TBA

  • Before and After 1917: Russian Classical Music and Revolution (concert): Fall 2017 (dates TBA)

    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: September
    Where: Moores Opera House, University of Houston
    How: TBA 

  • Russia in 1917 (exhibit): October-November

    A unique exhibit of nearly 80 photographs documenting Russia in 1917, reproduced from original negatives housed in Russian historical archives. Organized by the Russian Cultural Center. 

    For more about the Russian Cultural Center, see: http://www.ourtx.org 

    When: October-November
    Where: TBA
    How: TBA

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