“. . . Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”
Churchill’s famous description seems as apt today as it was in 1939. In this series we will be exploring the Russia of the past 100 years from vantage points that will include history, politics, the arts, literature, and science. Our experts have selected topics of interest and importance in all these fields with the aim of helping us understand the complex Russia of today. We will look back to the Revolution and ahead to the unfolding 21st century.

Is Russia still a riddle . . . a mystery . . . an enigma?

These lectures are co-sponsored by the Princeton Adult School and the Community Auditing Program of Princeton University’s Office of Community and Regional Affairs.

NOTE: Lectures will be held in the Friend Center Auditorium, William and Olden Streets. Park in lot #10 or 10A between Olden Street and Washington Road. You will receive a course ticket for the entire series at check-in at the first lecture you attend.

Oct. 17  The Significance of the Russian Revolution in Russia (1917)
JONATHAN HASLAM, George F Kennan Professor, School of Historical Study, Institute for Advanced Study For more information on current affairs, please visit Jonathan Haslam's blog:

Oct. 24 NO LECTURE (Midterms)

Oct. 31 A Lost Utopia: Russian Art & Architecture 1917–34
MARIAN BURLEIGH-MOTLEY, lecturer, teacher, museum gallery director, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYU, Princeton University, Rutgers University

Nov. 7 Writing Rupture: The Literature of Discontinuity
OLGA PETERS HASTY, Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literature, Princeton University

Nov. 14 Can Ballet Be Political?
SIMON MORRISON, Professor of Music, Princeton University

Nov. 21 The Vanished Soviet Science System (1917–1991): Origins, Interpretations and the Aftermath
MICHAEL D. GORDIN, Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Princeton University

Nov. 28 The Trauma of Democracy: How the post-Soviet 90’s Poisoned Russians to Democracy and Led to the Rise of Vladimir Putin
LEV GOLINKIN, writer for magazines and newspapers, author of the book “A Backpack, a Bear and Eight Crates of Vodka”

Dec. 5 Russian National Identity: Disruption and Continuity
KATHLEEN PARTHE, Professor Emeritus, University of Rochester

Dec. 12 Russia and the United States: Doomed to Clash?
DAVID FOGLESONG, Professor of History, Rutgers University
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