1917/2017. Revolutions, Communist Legacies and Spectres of the Future

1917/2017. Revolutions, Communist Legacies and Spectres of t...

Independent not-for-profit educational organization of higher education
“European University at St. Petersburg”


Revolutions, Communist Legacies and Spectres of the Future

What is the meaning of the event of the 1917 revolutions for us today? What did 1917 open and what did it block? What are its legacies and what is the relation of 1917 to the perspective from which its legacies are assessed? We would like to speak particularly of the political, social, and intellectual legacy of 1917 which has not been sufficiently pronounced in comparison to the French revolution of 1789.

Does ‘revolution’ continue as a carrier for emancipatory egalitarian energies or has that possibility been fully foreclosed such that revolution now either appears as incompatible with democracy or as too much absorbed by the established regimes? What kinds of transformation does ‘revolution’ invoke and what are the limits of this imaginary? And is there anything like a revolutionary tradition of Modernity that would still continue? Or is there a beyond to revolution that escapes the dismal oppositions of reform or a retreat to personal life? Can we still dream of changing the world? What would it mean to break the continuity with capitalism in its current overwhelming forms of its ongoing crisis, debt and austerities? Will there be a pathbreaking revolution in the future? And if yes, would it fulfill 1789/1917, or produce a new unforeseeable sequence? Or we can see the tendencies already present in recent mass uprisings and revitalization of party-based left politics?

The conference will take place on October 24–26, 2017. It will include plenaries and workshops. Participants will be international critical intellectuals, scholars who have recently contributed to the analysis of capitalist modernity, the theory of revolution, and the intellectual history of 1917.


Contact Info:

Olga Kuskova, administrator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Organizing committee:

Jodi Dean, Andreas Kalyvas, Oleg Kharkhordin, Artemy Magun, Alexey Penzin, Yoel Regev, Alexander Reznik, Oxana Timofeeva.


Plenary speakers:

Bernard Aspe, Richard Bessel, Susan Buck-Morss, Maria Chehonadskikh, Lorenzo Chiesa, Igor Chubarov, Keti Chukhrov, Rebecca Comay, Jodi Dean, Tomáš Glanc, Ilya Kalinin, Andreas Kalyvas, Oleg Kharkhordin, Sami Khatib, Gal Kirn, Boris Kolonitsky, Artemy Magun, Alexey Penzin, Gerald Raunig, Yoel Regev, Alexander Reznik, Gigi Roggero, Aaron Schuster, Alexander Shubin, Oxana Timofeeva, Georg Witte, Slavoj Žižek.


Registration via Timepade.

The Program is available (pdf).

Additional materials: abstracts (docx).



9:00 – 9:30 – Registration

9:30 – 10:00 – Introduction – Conference Hall. Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges), Artemy Magun (EUSP), Alexei Penzin (University of Wolverhampton), Gal Kirn (Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry), Oxana Timofeeva (EUSP)

10:00 – 12:15 – PLENARY I. Revolution Today – Conference Hall. Moderator: Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Susan Buck-Morss (City University of New York) – Revolution Today

Artemy Magun (EUSP) – The Bet

Gerald Raunig (University of the Arts, Zurich) – Social Revolution, Condividual Revolution, Molecular Revolution

12.15 – 13:15 – Lunch

13:15 – 15:30 – SECTIONS:

SECTION I: 1917 – 2017 White Hall. Moderator: Artemy Magun (EUSP)

Adam Leeds (Columbia University) – The Russian Revolution and the Semantics of Political Modernity: Socialism, Republicanism, and Liberalism in the Interregnum

Thomas van Hallen (Pantheon-Sorbonne University) – On the notion of “dual power”
Milton Pinheiro (Bahia State University) – Historical Aspects of the October Revolution and the Political Scene of the Future

Sofia Manzano (State University of Southwestern Bahia) – The Russian Revolution and Housework

Angela Harutyunyan (American University of Beirut) – Periodizing the Soviet: The Advent of the Contemporary, and the Ghosts of Historical Time

SECTION II. Intellectual and Artistic Reception of the Revolution White Hall. Moderator: Alexei Penzin (University of Wolverhampton)

Gordana Jovanovic (University of Belgrade) – Missed Revolutions in Psychology, Psychology for Revolution

Vladimir Ryzhkovsky (Georgetown University) – World History, Global History, and the Experience of the Russian Revolution

Pavel Arsenev (University of Geneve) – Language Revolution Between the Conscience of the Medium and Facts of Socialist Constructivism

Anton Syutkin (Independent Researcher) – The Latest System-Programme of Soviet Dialectical Materialism: Mikhail Lifshits’s philosophical project and its consequences for the communist politics

Maria Kochkina (Independent Researcher) – “We will meet again, Jean!”: on the triumph of the lost time

15:30 – 15:45 – Coffee break

15:45 – 17:45 – PLENARY II. History and Memory – Conference Hall. Moderator: Oleg Kharkhordin (EUSP)

Boris Kolonitsky (EUSP) – The Cultural Hegemony of the Socialists in the Russian Revolution and the Idea of the World Revolution

Alexander Reznik (HSE) – Lev Trotsky: writing auto/biographies, making revolution

Alexander Shubin (RSUH) – Power of Soviets: Theory and Practice in 1917-1918

17:45 – 18:00 – Coffee break

18:00 – 20:00 – PLENARY III. The Art of Revolution I – Conference Hall. Moderator: Oxana Timofeeva (EUSP)

Keti Chukhrov (RSUH) – Who Makes Revolution in the Age of Speculative Design

Ilya Kalinin (SPSU) – Counterrevolutionary Paradox of Cultural Revolution

Georg Witte (Free University in Berlin) – “An Effective Show”: Exceeding Mimesis in the Soviet Avantgarde


10:00 – 11:30 – PLENARY IV. Short Soviet Century – Conference Hall. Moderator: Alexander Reznik (HSE)

Richard Bessel (University of York) – 1917-2017: The Revolutionary Wave and Europe’s Century of Violence

Oleg Kharkhordin (EUSP) – Could the Communist revolution be a re-formation of the practices of belief?

11.30 – 11.45 – Coffee break

11.45 – 13.45 – PLENARY V. The Art of Revolution II – Conference Hall. Moderator: Alexei Penzin (University of Wolverhampton)

Gal Kirn (Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry) – Awakening of October revolution: from Lazarus to Vertov

Igor Chubarov (University of Tyumen) – Evidence and Violence: Factography Evolution from the Avant-garde to the Absurd and Camp Prose

Tomáš Glanc (University of Zurich) – The Russian Revolution in Pavel Pepperstein’s Work and Potential for Psychedelic Revolution Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

13:45 – 14:30 – Lunch

14:30 – 15:45 – Plenary Lecture – Conference Hall. Moderator: Artemy Magun (EUSP)
Slavoj Žižek (University of Ljubljana) – Like a Thief in the Night: The Actuality of Communism

15:45 – 16:00 – Coffee break

16:00 – 18:00 – PLENARY VI. Revolution and/or Melancholia – Conference Hall. Moderator: Oxana Timofeeva (EUSP)

Sami Khatib (Leuphana University of Lüneburg) – No Future: Revolution and Melancholy

Rebecca Comay (University of Toronto) – Revolution and Tragedy

Yoel Regev (EUSP) – Time-dj: opti-mix and interrupted revolution

18:00 – 18:15 – Coffee break

18:15 – 20:15 – PLENARY VII. Revolution, Temporality, Infinity – Conference Hall. Moderator: Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Bernard Aspe (International College of Philosophy) – Conflict of times

Gigi Roggero (University of Bologna) – The Train Against the History

Alexei Penzin (University of Wolverhampton) – Towards the Infinite: the Speculative Side of Late Soviet Philosophy and the Idea of Communism

21:30 – 23:30 – “Arkadiy Kots” concert – ZOCCOLO 2.0 Club. Ligovsky Prospekt 50, building 3, room 20


10:00 – 12:00 – PLENARY VIII. Socialist thought and Soviet Experience – Conference Hall. Moderator: Artemy Magun (EUSP)

Andreas Kalyvas (New School for Social Research) – The Paradox of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat: The Revolution as a State of Exception

Lorenzo Chiesa (Genoa School of Humanities) – The State As Revolution

Maria Chehonadskih (Kingston University London) – The ‘Epistemological Break’ of the post-Revolutionary Soviet Thought: Knowledge, Critique and Organization

12:00 – 13:00 – Lunch

13:00 – 15:15 – SECTIONS:

SECTION III. World Revolutions – White Hall. Moderator: Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Marina Simakova (EUSP) – Toward Passive Revolution and Back

Karthick Ram Manoharan (Center for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta) – The State and Revolution: Reading Lenin with Öcalan

Alla Ivanchikova (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) – The Road to Moscow Leads through Kabul: The “Future” of One Minor Revolution

Javlon Boymat (OSCE Academy) – The Centennial of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the Post-Soviet Space: Narratives from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia

José Neves (Nova University of Lisbon) – Against and Within our Liberal Condition: Towards Another History of 20th Century Communism

SECTION IV. Theories of Revolution – White Hall. Moderator: Oxana Timofeeva (EUSP)

Kseniya Kapelchuk (Sociological Institute of the RAS) – Revolution and History: the Course of Repetition

Anastasia Kalk (California Institute of the Arts) – 1917/2017: Stepping Outside Lenin's Shadow

Vladislav Sofronov (Independent Researcher) – "Even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins". Walter Benjamin's political phenomenology of history and death and Nikolai Fyodorov’s "The Philosophy of the Common Task"

Andrew Calp (California University of the Arts) – Revolution in Deleuze.

Thomas Telios (University of St.Gallen) – Waiting for Godot: The Communist Subjectivity and the Politics of Collectiversalism

Stephan Teichgräber (University of Vienna) – The concept of revolution of N.I. Bukharin

15:15 – 15:30 – Coffee break

15:30 – 17:30 – PLENARY IX. The Art of Revolution III: Communism, Love, Comradeship – Conference Hall. Moderator: Alexei Penzin (University of Wolverhampton)

Aaron Schuster (University of Amsterdam) – Love, Comedy, and Communism in Lubitsch's “Ninotchka”

Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) – Provisional Notes for a Theory of the Comrade

Oxana Timofeeva (EUSP) – Solidarity and Witchcraft

17:30 – 19:00 – ”Palace Square 100 Years After”, film by Chto Delat, screening and discussion with an introduction by Dmitry Vilensky


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