Harriman at 70 Lecture Series

Thursday, September 29, 2016
This academic year is an important one at the Harriman Institute. Not only are we celebrating our 70th anniversary, but we are also marking the 25th year since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The post-Soviet era has seen many phases and turns, from post-Cold War triumphalism and the onset of the “transition,” to the return of the post-Communist states to Europe, and attempts to come to terms with post-Socialism and the onset of Communist-era nostalgia. The rise of a more assertive Russia, the conflict in Ukraine, and the current deepening crisis in Russian-Western relations has further added to uncertainty about the future and generated competing narratives about the meaning and stability of the so-called post-Cold War order and the challenges associated with statehood and community-building.

To reflect on these developments, we have launched a 70th anniversary seminar series that brings together a number of distinguished members of the Harriman community—faculty, alumni and close friends. The series will focus on key issues in the emerging “post-post” Cold War period, the state of the region, the growing range of experiences encapsulated in the post-Communist world, and our scholarly approaches to their evolution. 

What are the similarities and differences between the current crisis in Russian-Western relations and the Cold War rivalry of the past? How has our scholarly understanding of the dynamics driving the region changed over the so-called post-Communist period? And how has our own understanding of Russia and Eurasia been shaped by new transnational communities and important changes within the university, think tanks, and the policy world itself?

Series Events (please come back for updates):

Sep 13: Return to Cold War: A Book Talk with Robert Legvold (Video available)

Sep 15: From Cold War to Civilizational Conflict: On Learning, Relearning, and Unlearning, Mark von Hagen (video available)

Oct 18: Roundtable Discussion: Legacies of the Chechen Wars and the Russian State, Mark Kramer, Matthew Evangelista, Kimberly Marten (Moderator)

Nov 10: Central Asia at 25: Social Changes and Their Impact on Central Asia, Marlene Laruelle

Nov 14: Book Talk: Black Square: Adventures in Post-Soviet Ukraine, by Sophie Pinkham

Nov 15: Russia and the World 25 Years After Soviet Break-Up, Bobo Lo, Ted Hopf, Fiona Hill

Nov 30: The State of Human Rights Practice, Thought and Advocacy in the Post-Soviet Space, Nate Schenkkan

Dec 5: Book Talk: Russian Hajj: Empire and the Pilgrimage to Mecca, Eileen Kane

Feb 27: Empire in the Album: Soviet Travel Photography and Generational Memories of Socialism Today

March 1: Celebrating the Launch of the Tom de Waal Collection at Columbia Libraries