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Events

The SCRSS organises a regular programme of lectures, film shows, exhibitions, seminars and other events at its premises in London. The Society is also involved in educational and commemorative events associated with the Soviet War Memorial in London. Events are open to both SCRSS members and non-members, unless otherwise stated.

Venue and Tickets

Currently (early 2021), due to the pandemic, all events are online Zoom meetings bookable via Eventbrite. We hope to resume in-person events at the SCRSS once it becomes safe to do so.

For our standard online Zoom lectures, we kindly ask you to make a small donation to the SCRSS via Eventbrite when booking, as we receive no external funding. Once in-person events resume in our centre, as previously lecture and film tickets will cost £3.00 (SCRSS members) and £5.00 (non-members). All other events or classes, Zoom or in person, are priced as indicated.

2021 Events Diary

January 2021 July 2021
February 2021 August 2021
March 2021 September 2021
April 2021 October 2021
May 2021 November 2021
June 2021 December 2021

January 2021

Current session until 28 January 2021, 18.00 - 20.00
Zoom Online Evening Class: Russian Language for Good Intermediate Level

Rolling 10-week Zoom evening class, taught by Christine Barnard, former lecturer in Russian at Westminster University. Fee for 10 weeks: £40.00 (SCRSS members only). For more information, email the SCRSS.

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February 2021

From 4 February 2021 for 10 weeks (until 15 April 2021), 18.00 - 20.00
Zoom Online Evening Class: Russian Language for Good Intermediate Level

Rolling 10-week Zoom evening class, taught by Christine Barnard, former lecturer in Russian at Westminster University. Fee for 10 weeks: £40.00 (SCRSS members only). For more information, email the SCRSS.

Tuesday 23 February 2021, 19.00
Zoom Online Lecture: Professor Jeremy Hicks on The Victory Banner Over the Reichstag - Film, Document and Ritual in Russia's Contested Memory of World War Two


Professor Jeremy Hicks discusses his book The Victory Banner over the Reichstag: Film, Document and Ritual in Russia's Contested Memory of World War Two. The red Soviet flag raised by the Red Army over Berlin's Reichstag building on the evening of 30 April 1945 has become a key symbol of the Soviet and, more recently, Russian defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two. Known as 'The Victory Banner', it has been celebrated in photography, documentary and feature film, in memoirs and video games, but is also a physical artefact. The actual flag is revered in a museum, but an exact copy of it is paraded on Red Square in Moscow's annual 9 May Victory Parade, and facsimiles are now used in local parades, demonstrations and reconstructions in Russia and beyond, to symbolise Russia's memory of World War Two, conceived as 'Victory', as glorious and ritualised. Professor Hicks' book examines why and how this symbol was created, the changing media of its expression, and the evolution of its message, from association with the Stalin cult and Communism, through attempts to de-stalinise it, to its acquisition of Russian nationalist meaning.

The Zoom talk takes place on the Defender of the Fatherland Day, a Russian national holiday. The day is also marked in several other parts of the former USSR and commemorates the founding of the Red Army. It is, along with 9 May, one of the official occasions when The Victory Banner is publicly displayed in Russia.

Booking: The lecture will be held using the Zoom online conferencing tool. Please book in advance via Eventbrite - and consider making a donation to the SCRSS to support our work. To view the event online, you'll also need to have set up a free account with Eventbrite, using the same email address you use to book the event. If you don't have an Eventbrite account yet, you can set it up before or after booking this event. Once booked, you'll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite about the events, and reminders with the link at two days, two hours and ten minutes before the event starts.

Jeremy Hicks is Professor of Russian Culture and Film at Queen Mary University of London where he teaches courses on Russian film history and literature. He is the author of three books and many articles on Russian and Soviet history, film, literature and journalism. Prior to The Victory Banner over the Reichstag: Film, Document and Ritual in Russia's Contested Memory of World War Two, his publications include Dziga Vertov: Defining Documentary Film (London and New York, 2007) and First Films of the Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and the Genocide of the Jews, 1938-46 (Pittsburgh, 2012). The latter book won the 2013 US Slavists' (ASEEES) Wayne Vucinich Prize "for the most important contribution to Russian, Eurasian, and East European studies in any discipline of the humanities or social sciences". Professor Hicks has also been consultant on a number of TV documentary films and the restoration of a film about the Holocaust. In addition, he has translated the Russian satirical writer Mikhail Zoshchenko (The Galosh: Selected Short Stories, London: Angel Books, 2000; New York: Overlook Press, 2006, 2009). He is a member of ASEEES, the British Association for Slavonic and European Studies, the Modern Humanities Research Association (UK), and a Trustee of the SCRSS.

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March 2021

Tuesday 23 March 2021, 19.00
Zoom Online Lecture: Andrew Jameson on What's in a Name? More Than You Think!

Russian language specialist Andrew Jameson continues his lecture series, this time looking at the special status of names in language and, especially, in Russian.

A name (in the sense of a unique identifier of a person of thing) has a special status in language. People become very agitated if you spell their name wrong. Wrong names can lead to all sorts of conflicts and accidents. 'Calling people names' is a curious phrase, meaning 'to insult'. Russian names are a constant problem in translation. They are a little piece of Russian culture that protrudes into a foreign language, is obliged to keep its original (sound) form, and is non-negotiable. Domesticate or foreignise? How to explain the resonance of a name in the original culture? Names take us right back into history and Andrew will look into: Slav pagan names; Viking / Russian names; why there are three 'Sofia' cathedrals; names and patronymics; months and seasons; Mongols and fog; the emergence of surnames; Russian surnames and those of other nationalities; Turkic names; town and street names in the Mediaeval, Imperial and Soviet periods, and their uses in politics.

Booking: The lecture will be held using the Zoom online conferencing tool. Please book in advance via Eventbrite - and consider making a donation to the SCRSS to support our work. To view the event online, you'll also need to have set up a free account with Eventbrite, using the same email address you use to book the event. If you don't have an Eventbrite account yet, you can set it up before or after booking this event. Once booked, you'll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite about the events, and reminders with the link at two days, two hours and ten minutes before the event starts.

Andrew Jameson came top of course in Russian language and radio technology at the Joint Service Language School, and served in signals intelligence at Flugplatz Gatow in Berlin. After Oxford, he formed part of a group at Essex University that produced ground-breaking BBC Russian courses, and simultaneously worked as a sound recordist in Russia for the Nuffield-funded Russian Language Project, collecting samples of different styles of Russian, and setting up a sound archive of Russian recordings. While in Russia, he also met Russian linguists and a number of well-known dissidents, and recorded Russian bards and readings by prominent writers (Solzhenitsyn, Akhmatova, Ginzburg and others) at a Russian literary salon. At Portsmouth Polytechnic, he helped design a new degree in Russian. Later at Lancaster University, together with colleague Mike Kirkwood, he created a well-designed beginners intensive language course to degree level, and developed interests in translation theory, Russian lexicology and substandard Russian (slang). He also taught regularly on adult language courses, weekends and summer schools. On taking early retirement, he continued to run Russian course for adults, also worked as a professional translator, and lectured on English linguistics and English studies regularly in universities in St Petersburg, Moscow and Khabarovsk / Birobidzhan.

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April 2020

Saturday 10 April 2021, 09.15 - 15.00
Zoom Online Event: SCRSS Advanced Russian Seminar (Day 1)

Our Advanced Russian Seminar returns, presented online via Zoom, and aimed at teachers, translators and interpreters of Russian. Focusing on aspects of contemporary Russian language, the seminar is led by Dr Svetlana Bukreeva, Associate Professor, live from St Petersburg. Each of the two days is bookable separately. Fee per day: £20.00 (SCRSS members), £25.00 (non-members). For full details, including lecture programmes, lecturer biography, how to book, etc, visit our dedicated Russian Seminar page.

Saturday 17 April 2021, 09.15 - 15.00
Zoom Online Event: SCRSS Advanced Russian Seminar (Day 2)

Our Advanced Russian Seminar returns, presented online via Zoom, and aimed at teachers, translators and interpreters of Russian. Focusing on aspects of contemporary Russian language, the seminar is led by Dr Svetlana Bukreeva, Associate Professor, live from St Petersburg. Each of the two days is bookable separately. Fee per day: £20.00 (SCRSS members), £25.00 (non-members). For full details, including lecture programmes, lecturer biography, how to book, etc, visit our dedicated Russian Seminar page.

Tuesday 27 April 2021, 19.00
Zoom Online Lecture: Andrew Jameson on The Riddle of the Two Slavonic Alphabets

Russian language specialist Andrew Jameson continues his lecture series.This time the subject is the Russian alphabet - or rather alphabets.

Of course there is only one Russian alphabet, called Cyrillic? Wrong! There were two, one of which was a perfect rendition of a Slav language (although it wasn't Russian), and one which is a mishmash only codified in the last century. Who was Cyril? He wasn't called Cyril, he was called Constantine. Which alphabet did he invent? The first one. Which alphabet did Russian end up with? The second one. So why is it called Cyrillic? And how did the monk Khrabr let the cat out of the bag?

Booking: The lecture will be held using the Zoom online conferencing tool. Please book in advance via Eventbrite - and consider making a donation to the SCRSS to support our work. To view the event online, you'll also need to have set up a free account with Eventbrite, using the same email address you use to book the event. If you don't have an Eventbrite account yet, you can set it up before or after booking this event. Once booked, you'll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite about the events, and reminders with the link at two days, two hours and ten minutes before the event starts.

Andrew Jameson came top of course in Russian language and radio technology at the Joint Service Language School, and served in signals intelligence at Flugplatz Gatow in Berlin. After Oxford, he formed part of a group at Essex University that produced ground-breaking BBC Russian courses, and simultaneously worked as a sound recordist in Russia for the Nuffield-funded Russian Language Project, collecting samples of different styles of Russian, and setting up a sound archive of Russian recordings. While in Russia, he also met Russian linguists and a number of well-known dissidents, and recorded Russian bards and readings by prominent writers (Solzhenitsyn, Akhmatova, Ginzburg and others) at a Russian literary salon. At Portsmouth Polytechnic, he helped design a new degree in Russian. Later at Lancaster University, together with colleague Mike Kirkwood, he created a well-designed beginners intensive language course to degree level, and developed interests in translation theory, Russian lexicology and substandard Russian (slang). He also taught regularly on adult language courses, weekends and summer schools. On taking early retirement, he continued to run Russian course for adults, also worked as a professional translator, and lectured on English linguistics and English studies regularly in universities in St Petersburg, Moscow and Khabarovsk / Birobidzhan.

From Thursday 29 April 2021 for 10 weeks, 18.00 - 20.00
Zoom Online Evening Class: Russian Language for Good Intermediate Level


Rolling 10-week Zoom evening class, taught by Christine Barnard, former lecturer in Russian at Westminster University. One hour conversation, one hour reading. Fee for 10 weeks: £40.00 (SCRSS members only). For more information, email the SCRSS.

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May 2021

Saturday 15 May 2021, 11.00
Zoom Online Event: SCRSS Annual General Meeting


Open to SCRSS members only. Further information to follow by email to members.

Tuesday 25 May 2021, 19.00
Zoom Online Lecture: Jack Robertson on The Hammer and the Anvil: Dispatches from the Frontline of the Russian Civil War, 1918-1919

Jack Robertson discusses his new translation of the reports of Bolshevik journalist and soldier Larissa Reisner, written during the Russian Civil War. Larissa Reisner sent regular dispatches from the frontline of the epic struggles that took place towards the end of 1918 in Russia, when the fate of Revolution was hanging by a thread. An embryonic Red Army was confronted on all sides by a reactionary White coalition, which was backed enthusiastically by the Western Powers. Her reports, written at the age of 23, were first published in the bulletin of the Petrograd Soviet, Izvestia. Some of these articles were later published as The Front, in Volume One of her two-volume Collected Works.

The articles included in the book focus on the events that took place over a 9-month period in and around Kazan, the strategic naval base on the River Volga taken over by the Whites. Trotsky later described the Bolshevik retreat from Kazan as representing the very low-point of the Revolution. Larissa Reisner was an eye-witness to these events, including the subsequent last-gasp counter-offensive that took place next to the rail junction at Sviyazhsk. These first-hand accounts are written in a unique style, combining immediacy with poetic flourishes.

The Hammer and the Anvil is published by Redwords, March 2021 (available from Bookmarks Bookshop, £10.00).

Booking: The lecture will be held using the Zoom online conferencing tool. Please book in advance via Eventbrite - and consider making a donation to the SCRSS to support our work. To view the event online, you'll also need to have set up a free account with Eventbrite, using the same email address you use to book the event. If you don't have an Eventbrite account yet, you can set it up before or after booking this event. Once booked, you'll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite about the events, and reminders with the link at two days, two hours and ten minutes before the event starts.

Jack Robertson spent his working life as a journalist. Since retiring, he has written The Man Who Shook His Fist at the Tsar, the story of Alexander Pushkin's epic poem The Bronze Horseman (published by Redwords in 2019), and The Hammer and The Anvil.

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June 2021

Tuesday 8 June 2021, 19.00
Zoom Online Lecture: Andrew Jameson on Russian Slang: Or the Sociolinguistics of the Secret Languages of Russia

Russian language specialist Andrew Jameson continues his exploration of the history and special characteristics of the Russian language with a look at Russian slang.

People often think of slang as something ephemeral, spoken by the underprivileged or used to spice up language. But language is an untameable beast and there is always a reason for something to exist. Andrew Jameson will look into the particular Russian social conditions that allowed secret languages to evolve, their history, and the lives of the people who used them, with plenty of actual examples. Andrew Jameson has made a special study of this subject and collected materials on it over many years.

Booking: The lecture will be held using the Zoom online conferencing tool. Please book in advance via Eventbrite - and consider making a donation to the SCRSS to support our work. To view the event online, you'll also need to have set up a free account with Eventbrite, using the same email address you use to book the event. If you don't have an Eventbrite account yet, you can set it up before or after booking this event. Once booked, you'll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite about the events, and reminders with the link at two days, two hours and ten minutes before the event starts.

Andrew Jameson came top of course in Russian language and radio technology at the Joint Service Language School, and served in signals intelligence at Flugplatz Gatow in Berlin. After Oxford, he formed part of a group at Essex University that produced ground-breaking BBC Russian courses, and simultaneously worked as a sound recordist in Russia for the Nuffield-funded Russian Language Project, collecting samples of different styles of Russian, and setting up a sound archive of Russian recordings. While in Russia, he also met Russian linguists and a number of well-known dissidents, and recorded Russian bards and readings by prominent writers (Solzhenitsyn, Akhmatova, Ginzburg and others) at a Russian literary salon. At Portsmouth Polytechnic, he helped design a new degree in Russian. Later at Lancaster University, together with colleague Mike Kirkwood, he created a well-designed beginners intensive language course to degree level, and developed interests in translation theory, Russian lexicology and substandard Russian (slang). He also taught regularly on adult language courses, weekends and summer schools. On taking early retirement, he continued to run Russian course for adults, also worked as a professional translator, and lectured on English linguistics and English studies regularly in universities in St Petersburg, Moscow and Khabarovsk / Birobidzhan.

Tuesday 22 June 2021, 19.00
Zoom Online Panel: Historical Memory and the Fight against Fascism, Part III

Joint SCRSS - Marx Memorial Library (MML) event, marking the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941. This is the third of three online panels organised jointly by the SCRSS and MML on the battle for historical memory. It addresses ongoing attempts across Europe to rewrite the history of the 1930s-40s anti-fascist alliance and present-day initiatives to combat them. Chaired by Jonathan White, it brings together representatives from Russia, Spain and Italy. These include:

  • Dr Vladimir Vasilik, Associate Professor, Institute of History, St Petersburg State University, Russia. Dr Vasilik has written five books about the Great Patriotic War, and for many years collaborated with Michael Frolov, a WWII veteran and founder of the School for the History of the Leningrad Blockade.
  • Dr Almudena Cros, President, Asociacion de Amigos de las Brigadas Internacionales (Association of Friends of the International Brigades), Spain.

Booking: The lecture will be held using the Zoom online conferencing tool. Please book in advance via Eventbrite - and consider making a donation.

Details of the two previous panels in this series:

  • 22 June 2020: The first panel explored the role of the Soviet Union and communism in the fight against Fascism in the 1930s and its defeat in the Second World War. Seventy-five years since the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, the speakers reflected on how and why this history was now under attack, with particular reference to the resolution passed by the European Parliament in September 2019: 'On the Importance of European Remembrance for the Future of Europe'.
  • 19 November 2020: The second panel featured speakers from organisations involved in practical work to preserve historical memory: the SCRSS, MML, International Brigade Memorial Trust and Soviet War Memorial Trust.

Wednesday 30 June 2021, 19.00
Zoom Online Lecture: Colin Turbett on The Anglo-Soviet Alliance - Comrades and Allies During WW2

Colin Turbett discusses his new book of the same name. June 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of the Soviet Union's entry into World War II, following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. This opportunity was seized upon eagerly by Churchill to forge an alliance that would ultimately lead to the defeat of Fascism four years later. Churchill had been a leading world adversary of the project to build communism in the Soviet Union, and had tried to reduce its influence in the UK. However, he was among the first to realise that without unity against a common peril, the war in the West might well go down to defeat as Britain stood almost alone in 1941. By this time, the small British Communist Party was well established and the wartime alliance saw a rise in its membership and influence, and the involvement of many of its members in the armed forces. The alliance itself caught the popular imagination and saw some tremendous solidarity efforts - on the Home Front, as well as through the heroism of those who took part in operations such as the Arctic Convoys. Everyone in Britain was aware that the war's most crucial theatre, right through to its final conclusive battles, was on the Eastern Front. As Allied victory neared, won on the backs of huge sacrifice by the Soviet people, Western leaders, prominent among them Churchill, quickly reverted to pre-war hatred of communist ideals. Imagined Soviet aggression prompted a Cold War for the next 45 years.

The Anglo-Soviet Alliance - Comrades and Allies During WWII (Pen & Sword Books, March 2021) offers a history of the wartime alliance and its expression: at government and military co-operation level, and between two peoples who realised the interests they held in common. The book also provides the background and some analysis of the fortunes of communism in Britain in the period described.

Booking: The lecture will be held using the Zoom online conferencing tool. Please book in advance via Eventbrite - and consider making a donation to the SCRSS to support our work. To view the event online, you'll also need to have set up a free account with Eventbrite, using the same email address you use to book the event. If you don't have an Eventbrite account yet, you can set it up before or after booking this event. Once booked, you'll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite about the events, and reminders with the link at two days, two hours and ten minutes before the event starts.

Colin Turbett was a career social worker and trade union activist in the West of Scotland. Since retirement he has focused on various writing projects, including several on the Soviet Union. He is the author of The Anglo-Soviet Alliance: Comrades and Allies During WW2 (Pen & Sword Books, 2021), Red Star at War: Victory at All Costs (Pen & Sword Books, 2020), and Motorcycles and Motorcycling in the USSR from 1939: A Social and Technical History (Veloce 2019).

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July 2021

From Thursday 15 July 2021 for 10 weeks, 18.00 - 20.00
Zoom Online Evening Class: Russian Language for Good Intermediate Level


Rolling 10-week Zoom evening class, taught by Christine Barnard, former lecturer in Russian at Westminster University. One hour conversation practice, one hour reading - current book is 'Stepnoe solntse' by Petr Pavlenko. Fee for 10 weeks: £40.00 (SCRSS members only). Currently availability for two new students to join the class. For more information, email Christine Barnard direct on rtstrans1@gmail.com.

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August 2021

Summer recess

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September 2021

Tuesday 21 September 2021, 19.00
Zoom Online Lecture: Andrew Jameson on Russian Comes of Age


Russian language specialist Andrew Jameson continues his lecture series with the third part of his introductory history of the Russian language.

Historians refer to our Elizabethan age as the Early Modern period. After Russia opened up to the West, it needed to catch up with 150 years of progress, much of which involved language. The Church language needed to be integrated with the State language. The languages of Politics, Philosophy and Science needed to be created. Literature and Theatre, as we know them, were unknown. While the countryside preserved old Russian culture, urban culture became more and more separate and influenced by the West. The aristocracy and the court gave up Russian and spoke French. But the Slavophiles began to create the native Russian culture we know today.

Booking: The lecture will be held using the Zoom online conferencing tool. Eventbrite link to follow.

Andrew Jameson came top of course in Russian language and radio technology at the Joint Service Language School, and served in signals intelligence at Flugplatz Gatow in Berlin. After Oxford, he formed part of a group at Essex University that produced ground-breaking BBC Russian courses, and simultaneously worked as a sound recordist in Russia for the Nuffield-funded Russian Language Project, collecting samples of different styles of Russian, and setting up a sound archive of Russian recordings. While in Russia, he also met Russian linguists and a number of well-known dissidents, and recorded Russian bards and readings by prominent writers (Solzhenitsyn, Akhmatova, Ginzburg and others) at a Russian literary salon. At Portsmouth Polytechnic, he helped design a new degree in Russian. Later at Lancaster University, together with colleague Mike Kirkwood, he created a well-designed beginners intensive language course to degree level, and developed interests in translation theory, Russian lexicology and substandard Russian (slang). He also taught regularly on adult language courses, weekends and summer schools. On taking early retirement, he continued to run Russian course for adults, also worked as a professional translator, and lectured on English linguistics and English studies regularly in universities in St Petersburg, Moscow and Khabarovsk / Birobidzhan.

Tuesday 28 September 2021, 19.00
Zoom Online Lecture: Catherine McAteer on Translating Great Russian Literature: The Penguin Russian Classics

Catherine McAteer discusses her new book on the Penguin Russian Classics series, first launched in 1950, which became the de facto provider of classic Russian literature in English translation. Based on extensive original research, Ms McAteer's book analyses the individuals involved, their agendas, and their socio-cultural context, and is a major contribution to translation studies, the study of Russian literature and the history of publishing. Translating Great Russian Literature is published by Routledge (January 2021).

Booking: via Eventbrite. Further details to follow.

Ms McAteer is a post-doctoral research fellow at Exeter University.

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October 2021

Wednesday 20 October 2021, 19.00
Zoom Online Lecture: Tara Wilson, Goldsmiths, University of London, on Shostakovich and Armenia


Joint SCRSS / DSCH event. Details to follow.

Booking: The lecture will be held using the Zoom online conferencing tool. Eventbrite link to follow.

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November 2021

Events TBC

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December 2021

Events TBC

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SCRSS exhibition poster - Soviet Modernist Art and Design 1917 - 1991(copyright SCRSS)

 

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