On November 11, 2016 please join us for a talk with Ben Eklof, Professor of History at Indiana University and Tatiana Saburova, Visiting Professor at Indiana University, on “Populist Lives in Revolutionary Russia: Nikolai Charushin, Family and Friends.”
In the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1917, a struggle soon arose over how to write the history of the half century leading up to that epochal event. Populist memoirs written at the time represented a collective effort by aging revolutionaries to defend their legacy against the encroachments of increasingly militant Communists historians. Among this generation of Populists was Nikolai Charushin (1851-1937). His telling of the formative years of the movement in the 1870s, of time spent incarcerated, and of decades of exile in Siberia, is part of the generational narrative often drawn upon by modern historians. Yet his name has largely been forgotten, and the full reach of his long life, beginning with the era of the Great Reforms, and ending in the Stalinist era, overlooked. This work seeks to rescue from oblivion the plenitude of these lives, ranging from childhood to old age, closely examining Charushin’s passage through these turbulent times, accompanied throughout by others of his generation. In so doing, the intricate web of friendships and alliances- of revolutionaries, public activists, family and business circles and even government officials- within which his life was lived—is exposed. In describing the choices confronted along the way by Charushin, by his lifelong companion, Anna Kuvshinskaya, and by their friends, the authors provide a generational history of the closely knit cohort of Populist revolutionaries of the 1870s, as well as reflections upon memory studies and gender issues.
Ben Eklof is Professor of History and author or editor of books on the Russian peasantry, education in imperial and post-soviet Russia, and on the Great Reforms as well as Gorbachev era. Tatiana Saburova is Visiting Professor of History at Indiana University, Professor of History at Omsk Pedagogical University, and a Research Fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Her books and articles focus on the Russian intelligentsia and, recently, upon the history of photography, collective biography and memory. Eklof and Saburova have recently co-authored a book Дружба, Семья и Революция. Николай Чарушин и поколение народников семидесятых годов (2016) and are currently working on a revised English-language version of that work to be published by Indiana University Press in 2017.