Statement by the BASEES President on the Threatened Closure of the Department of East European History at the University of Cologne in 2020

I would like to express my Association's grave disquiet at the decision to not reappoint the chair of Eastern European History at the University of Cologne in 2020. As many colleagues have pointed out the de facto closure of your internationally-renowned department of Eastern European History at a time of renewed tensions in the region, at a time when misperceptions and half-truths are flourishing, memory and myths are mixed and instrumentalised in nation-building processes and geopolitics, is a fatal signal. The current political situation in the region requires investment into serious scholarly historical study and the training of a future generation of experts in the field. A deep understanding of the historical roots of contemporary developments is pivotal to addressing socio-economic, political and geopolitical challenges of in the region. I would therefore ask BASEES members to sign a petition to the university’s faculty leadership to reconsider its decision and explore ways to preserve the chair of Eastern European History, which has made such a valuable contribution to our field over the years. You can sign the petition at:


Dr Matthias Neumann

President of BASEES

CFP - Annual Conference of the Study Group on the Russian Revolution, University of Leuven (Antwerp Campus), 9-11 January 2020

Call for Papers

Annual Conference of the Study Group on the Russian Revolution University of Leuven (Antwerp Campus), 9-11 January 2020


The XLVI Conference of the Study Group on the Russian Revolution will take place from 9-11 January 2019 at the Antwerp Campus of the University of Leuven, Belgium. The Study Group was established in 1973, and it aims to promote new approaches to the study of the Russian Revolution, focusing on the period between 1880 and 1932. Affiliated to the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES), the Study Group possesses a truly international membership. The Study Group and its annual conferences boast strong representation from scholars based in Russia. We invite individual papers or full panel proposals on any aspect of the period in Russia’s history, 1880-1932, and we welcome a variety of (inter)disciplinary perspectives. And although we study the Russian Revolution as a process, rather than as an event, we continue to mark its centenary. For that reason, in 2020 we would like to organize one or more sessions that focus on “The Russian Revolution and its Aftermath: Civil War and International Conflict.” However, as in the past, we will accept other individual paper or panel proposals as well. The conference languages are English and Russian. All those interested in attending and/or presenting papers should contact Prof Wim Coudenys (Faculty of Arts /Antwerp Campus, University of Leuven) at The call for papers will close on 15 August 2019. Papers will need to be submitted in December to allow for pre-circulation amongst the group before the conference. Postgraduates presenting papers at the Study Group may be eligible to apply for a subsidy of some of the conference costs if they are unable to obtain other funding. In addition, a peer-led feedback scheme will run throughout the conference, offering postgraduates the opportunity to receive friendly and constructive feedback on their presentations.

Statement from the BASEES President on the Closure of the 56-Institute in Hungary

It is with genuine concern for the future of academic freedom in Hungary that we have learned about the forced closure of the 56-Institute, a historical research institute on the 1956 Hungarian revolution headed by Dr János Rainer. This action is continuing a series of illegitimate and regressive measures taken by the Orbán government over the last few years to impose state control over scholarly intuitions and reduce the freedom for scholarly enquiry and teaching. The 56-Institute is going to be incorporated into the Veritas Historical Research Institute, which was only recently established and is closely aligned with the historical views of the current political leadership. On behalf of the BASEES membership, I would like to express our firm solidarity with Dr János Rainer and all members of the Institute. Dr Rainer bravely took part in the BASEES regional conference in Hungary in December 2016 in a climate of increasing government interference into academia in Hungary. Two years later, he took part in an inspiring keynote panel on ‘Remembering and Forgetting the post-war revolutions in Eastern Europe’ at the BASEES 2018 Annual Conference. Our message to our colleagues at the 56-Institute is that BASEES will continue to give them a warm welcome at our conferences, where they will have unconstrained opportunities to engage in critical discourse on all aspects of the historical study of the 1956 Hungarian revolution and its legacy.


Dr Matthias Neumann

BASEES President

Director of the 56-Institute, Dr János Rainer

Director of the 56-Institute, Dr János Rainer

Video of Mark Galeotti and Mikhail Khodorkovsky Talk Crime, Courts and Corruption in Russia at BASEES 2019



Friday, 13 April, 17:30-19:00, Robinson College, University of Cambridge

Mikhail Khodorkovsky (Open Russia)

Mark Galeotti (European University Institute)

Chaired by BASEES President Judith Pallot (University of Oxford / University of Helsinki)

The Friday evening plenum considers one of the less welcome features of the post-Wall changes in the communist successor states.  Mikhael Khdorkovksy and Mark Galleotti come together to exchange their views on crime and corruption that have become hallmarks of Russia’s transformation symbolically set in train by the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.  One from the point of view of someone who has, for a long while painfully, lived through the consequences of post-Soviet political change and the other from the standpoint of the impartial analyst, will debate when and why things went wrong in Russia. Both speakers will be asked to comment upon why crime and corruption have become such a prominent process in Russian politics, is it right to define Russia as a mafia state, how dangerous is corruption in the present government and what needs to be done to combat corruption.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is the founder of the Open Russia movement. A successful businessman, Khodorkovsky was head of YUKOS, one of the world’s largest oil producers, where he established international management codes of practice, and substantially increased production. A pioneering philanthropist, he established the Open Russia Foundation in 2001 with the aim of building and strengthening civil society in Russia.

An early supporter of democratic change, at a televised meeting with President Putin in early 2003, he criticised endemic corruption. Later that same year he was arrested, and jailed on charges of tax evasion and fraud, charges, which he denied and vigorously defended. Khodorkovsky was sentenced to fourteen years in prison. He was declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International; and finally released in December 2013.

In 2014, the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that the Russian Government had violated international law by taking YUKOS from its shareholders, for political purposes, described as a “full assault on Yukos and its beneficial owners in order to bankrupt Yukos and appropriate its assets while, at the same time, removing Mr. Khodorkovsky from the political arena.”

Today, Khodorkovsky advocates an alternative vision for his country: a strong and just state, committed to observing human rights, free and fair elections, and the rule of law.

Mark Galeotti is an Honorary Professor at UCL SSEES, Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI, and a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague. He also runs his own small consultancy, Mayak Intelligence. He read history at Robinson College Cambridge and took his doctorate in government at the LSE, and has since been head of history at Keele University, a Senior Research Fellow with the Foreign Office, professor of global affairs and departmental chair at New York University, and a visiting professor at Rutgers-Newark (Newark, NJ), Charles University (Prague) and MGIMO (Moscow). A specialist in Russian security and international politics, he is also a prolific author, and his most recent books are ‘We Need To Talk About Putin’ (Ebury, 2019), ‘Russian Political War’ (Routledge, 2019), ‘Kulikovo 1380’ (Osprey, 2019) and ‘The Vory: Russia’s super mafia’ (Yale, 2018), the last of which has now been licensed for translation into 13 languages.

BASEES celebrates International Women's Day 2019

BASEES celebrates International Women's Day 2019

All this week over on Twitter, @BASEES has been celebrating International Women’s Day with daily “themed” calls to nominate notable women. We’ve invited you to propose your favourite fictional character from Slavic literature, your most inspiring academic colleague, the most significant women in Slavic history and culture, and, of course, Slavic women writers and translators! The result has been an outpouring of appreciation and gratitude from men and women alike, and a real celebration of women’s achievements and scholarship in the field of Slavic studies.

Call for Support by the Hungarian Academy Staff Forum

Call for Support

Dear Colleagues,

It is with genuine concern for the future of academic freedom in Hungary that we write to you to

appeal for your help. As a staff member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, it has been my

misfortune over the course of the past roughly one year to watch as the current government has

taken concrete steps to assert its control over scholarly institutions in Hungary, thereby

endangering academic freedom and open intellectual inquiry. We are appealing to you out of my

firm conviction that, as scholars and educators, we share a commitment to the fundamental

principle that the freedom of academic life from political interest is one of the pillars of a

functioning democracy and vigorous intellectual inquiry. This principle is being seriously

compromised right now in Hungary, and academic freedom is under imminent threat.


In May 2018, the Hungarian government created a new ministry, the so-called Ministry for

Innovation and Technology. Then, in July 2018, 70 percent of the budget of the Hungarian

Academy of Sciences for 2019, was moved to this ministry. The budget provides normative

funding for the network of research centres of the Academy, which have approximately 5,000

active staff members. The disbursement of the budget is now bound to a newly established

system of short-term, topic-based tenders that are subject to several laws and academic decrees.

On January 31, 2019, the National Office for Research, Development, and Innovation, which is

controlled by the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, launched a so-called “program of

excellence.” According to this new model, research centres must apply for their entire budget by

submitting tenders which are assessed according to unclear (unspecified) evaluation procedures,

allowing for arbitrary, politically motivated decisions. (For a more detailed presentation of the

situation, see the attachment or

The opaque evaluation system of the project-based tenders, which also extends to public

universities and state-controlled research centres, constitutes a break from standard practice and a

violation of fundamental principles of academic freedom in the European Union. Basic research

is being placed under governmental funding and direct political control.

The Hungarian Academy Staff Forum remains firm in its conviction that the independence of the

Academy and the integrity of its research network can only be preserved if the Presidium of the

Academy refuses to participate in the tender under the given conditions. For the future of the

Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary’s oldest and most prominent scholarly and scientific

institution, it is essential that it be able to continue to pursue its work as an independent body

partly financed by state funds on a regular, non-partisan basis. We are confident that the

international community of scholars agrees, and we appeal to you as our colleagues and as

scholars committed to genuine, open intellectual endeavour to voice your support for us.

We therefore ask you please to send a letter of support for academic freedom in the name of

your institution to the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Prof. László Lovász.

You can use the following email addresses:

We extend our sincerest thanks in advance for your support, and we trust that our common

commitment to academic freedom will prevail.

With kind regards,

Researchers of MTA KRTK

Special Issue: The Global Impact of the Russian Revolution, Revolutionary Russia 31, 2 (2018)

Revolutionary Russia, the journal of the  Study Group on the Russian Revolution (founded in 1975) has published a special issue on ‘The Global Impact of the Russian Revolution’.

Front/back cover of Ezh No. 8, 1930 (LS collection Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven).

Front/back cover of Ezh No. 8, 1930 (LS collection Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven).


Special Issue: The Global Impact of the Russian Revolution


From Lenin’s Overcoat? the Global Impact of the Russian Revolution
Aaron B. Retish and Matthew Rendle 145

Forum: The Global Legacy of the Russian Revolution?

The Global Legacy of the Russian Revolution: A Comparative Perspective
Steven G. Marks 152

The Global Legacy of the Russian Revolution: A Comparative Perspective
Paul Dukes 175

The On-going Legacy of February: A Response to Steven G. Marks
Daniel Orlovsky 189

Centennial Thoughts on an Exhausted (?) Revolution
Christopher Read 194


Interview with S. A. Smith
George Souvlis, Arturo Zoffmann Rodriguez and S. A. Smith 208


Anarcho-Syndicalism and the Russian Revolution: Towards a Political Explanation of a Fleeting Romance, 1917–22

Arturo Zoffmann Rodriguez 226

Glory to the Russian Maximalists!’ Reactions to the Russian Revolution in Argentina and Brazil, 1917–22
Franziska Yost 247

The Russian Revolution and the Emergence of Japanese Anticommunism
Tatiana Linkhoeva 261

Youthful Internationalism in the Age of ‘Socialism in One Country’: Komsomol’tsy, Pioneers and ‘World Revolution’ in the Interwar Period
Matthias Neumann 279

Book Reviews

Rachel Morley, Performing Femininity: Woman as Performer in Early Russian Cinema
Susan Grant 304

Elizabeth McGuire, Red at Heart: How Chinese Communists Fell in Love with the Russian Revolution
Rachel Lin 306

C. L. R. James, World Revolution 1917–1936. The Rise and Fall of the Communist International
Fredrik Petersson 308

Lynne Viola, Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial. Scenes From the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine
Immo Rebitschek 310

Melissa Kirschke Stockdale, Mobilizing the Russian Nation: Patriotism and Citizenship
in the First World War
John W. Steinberg 312

Lara Douds, Inside Lenin’s Government: Ideology, Power, and Practice in the Early Soviet
Michael Melancon 314

Boris Gorshkov, Peasants in Russia from Serfdom to Stalin: Accommodation, Survival, Resistance
Kieran Nelson 316

List of Russian Publications, 2018 319


The Non-Geometric Carter Elwood (1936–2018): An Appreciation
Lars T. Lih 323 

Obituary: Dissident academic, Zhores Medvedev, dies aged 93

Zhores Medvedev

Zhores Medvedev

The dissident academic, Zhores Medvedev, author of books on T D Lysenko, agriculture, the 1957 nuclear accident in the Urals and the political use of psychiatry to quell dissent, has died. Here, his friend of many years, Professor Margot Light, reminds us of his contribution to our understanding of Soviet science.


Zhores Medvedev, who died on 15th November on the day after his 93rd birthday, first came to international prominence when he was incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital in May 1970, in response to his samizdat publications criticising the pseudo-science of Lysenkoism.  He had already been dismissed from his post as head of the department of molecular biology at the Institute of Medical Radiology in Obninsk.  His sojourn in the psychiatric hospital led to the publication in the West of an account, co-authored with his twin brother Roy, of the use made by the Soviet authorities of psychiatric hospitals to silence dissidents (A Question of Madness, 1971).  In 1973 he was unexpectedly allowed to accept a 12 month research fellowship at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. Soon after his arrival in the UK, he was informed that he had been deprived of Soviet citizenship.  It was restored in 1990, but Medvedev continued working at the NIMR until he retired in 1991.  Despite being an active scientist, he found time after hours to research and publish books on Soviet Science (1978), The Nuclear Disaster in the Urals (1979), Soviet Agriculture (1987), and The Legacy of Chernobyl (1990). He also wrote political biographies of Andropov and Gorbachev.  Medvedev remained physically and intellectually energetic until his death, cultivating vegetables on his allotment and writing every day. Medvedev remained physically and intellectually energetic, cultivating vegetables on his allotment until his late eighties (and then in his garden) and writing every day. In January he concluded his 115-chapter memoir, and shortly before his death he had completed Chapter 15 of a book on longevity.

BASEES Statement on Gender Studies in Hungary

basees logo.jpg

Dr József Bódis 

Secretary of State for Education

Ministry of National Resources


21st August 2018

Dear Dr Bodis

I am writing on behalf of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies. The Association is the largest professional association of academics and scholars who are engaged in research and teaching on East Central European and Slavonic studies. Our members are drawn from a wide range of disciplines the arts, humanities and social sciences from higher educational institutions in the UK and Europe.   

The proposed law of the Hungarian Government to abolish accredited MA programmes in gender studies has been met incredulity by members of the Association, regardless of their own personal research interests. Gender Studies has so long been included in postgraduate courses and consideration of gender processes integral to courses in the humanities and social sciences in leading Universities across that world, that I do not propose to mount a defense of the discipline; gender, self-evidently, belongs in the curriculum of any institution of higher learning in the 21st century. Rather than trying to abolish gender studies courses at the Central European University and Eötvös Loránd University, the Hungarian Ministry of Education should be congratulating both universities for forging a path for other institutions of higher learning in Hungary to follow. Hungary appears to have chosen to be a pariah and object of ridicule in global teaching and research. The prosed law will damage even further its reputation, which has already been compromised by its assault on the CEU.  

Our thoughts are with the students, scholars and teachers who will find their legitimate pursuit of knowledge in the sphere of gender studies handicapped by this action. Our message to our colleagues in the CEU and ELTE is that BASEES will give them a warm welcome at its conferences, where they will have unconstrained opportunities to engage in critical discourse on all aspects of the theory and practice of gender relations and politics.  

BASEES calls upon the Secretary State of Education to refuse this absurd amendment and, more generally, to call a halt on all state interventions in the legitimate pursuit of knowledge by scholars in Hungary.

 Yours sincerely,



Professor Judith Pallot

President of BASEES


University of Oxford.

Christ Church




Dr. Lajos Aáry-Tamás, Commissioner for Educational Rights

Mr Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky. Hungarian Ambassador

Uppsala-BASEES Conference - Regimes and Societies in Conflict: Eastern Europe and Russia since 1956

Regimes and Societies in Conflict: Eastern Europe and Russia since 1956

Uppsala-BASEES Conference 13-14 September 2018

Uppsala Universitet


The Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University and the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies are hosting a two-day conference to be held at Uppsala University in September 2018 with the theme ‘Regimes and Societies in Conflict: Eastern Europe and Russia since 1956’.

Over the last 60 years Eastern Europe and Russia have been the scene of immense political, social and cultural upheaval. This conference provides the opportunity to reflect on the changes in the region that have led from Stalinist dictatorships to the very varied polities of contemporary Eastern Europe and Russia.

Download the full draft conference programme.

Register at 


Registration fee: €100 (€120 after 17 August)

Registration fee (PhD students): €70 (€90 after 17 August)

If you are unable to take advantage of the early-bird rate due to outstanding visa or funding applications, please contact us at

Enquiries about the conference are welcome at


Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University and the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies

The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences “The SHANINKA” - Statement form the President of BASEES

It is with the deepest regret and incredulity that the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies has learned of the decision of Rosobrnadzor in the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation not to renew the accreditation of the Moscow School of Social and economic sciences.  This institution is known affectionately as “the Shaninka”, after its founder the scholar of Russian peasantry Teodor Shanin, an old and valued member of BASEES.

BASEES President Prof Judith Pallot

BASEES President Prof Judith Pallot

The consequence of Rosobrnadzor’s decision for the 300-strong student body is that if they choose to continue their courses at the university their hard-earned diplomas will no longer be state-recognized, with all that that implies for their future academic and career trajectories (including, their deferment from military service). The impact on those who were planning to enter  the university in the future  is not difficult to imagine.

I will not speculate on the reasons for the decision to revoke the Shaninka’s accreditation, except to note that it seems set to extinguish yet another of the shining beacons of higher education in the Russian Federation.  Since its foundation in 1995, the Shaninka has become an internationally respected institution of higher education and research.  Its graduate and, recently introduced, undergraduate programmes attract the very best and talented young people from all over the Russian Federation. These students had the benefit of tuition from some of the Russian Federation’s liveliest minds, scholars who are academic leaders in varied fields of social and economic sciences, but also who are experienced practitioners in the world of culture, business and the law. They include Vasily Zharkov, Victor Vakhstain, Linor Goralik, Pavel Rudnev, Grigory Yudin and the Rector, Sergey Zuev.

Experience has shown that higher education is most successful in achieving its mission of producing the next generation of scholars, figures in public life, industry and enterprise when tuition is informed by rigorous, cutting-edge research and real-world practice. Rosobrnadzor not only inflicts a blow on the cause of quality higher education in the Russian Federation, from which the whole sector will suffer, but it also harms the reputation of academic scholarship in the Russian Federation more broadly by landing a fatal blow on the numerous varied and innovative programmes of international cooperation and collaboration in research, teaching and learning that have been painstakingly built over the past two decades. In particular, the partnership of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences with the University of Manchester, where Teodor Shanin is emeritus professor, has demonstrated how the international academic community can be enriched at all levels by collaborative programmes, which can act as rare forums for genuine and disinterested exchange of views. 

BASEES wishes to convey its solidarity with the staff and students of Shaninka and to add its voice to those urging the Ministry of Education to reverse Rosobrnadzor’s potential death sentence on this has pronounced on this unique seat of scholarship and learning.

Judith Pallot, President of BASEES

BASEES Women’s Forum Prizes 2018


Book Prizes

Pauline Fairclough, Classics for the Masses: Shaping Soviet Musical Identity under Lenin and Stalin

In the shaping of Soviet cultural identity from 1917 to 1953, music played an important role. Great works of art were integrated into the Soviet canon, but could also be used to criticise contemporary Soviet artists, to build a new narrative of Russian supremacy, while stamping out musical avant-gardism. Fairclough’s book provides fascinating detail on programming and performance based on archival research. She explains judiciously an era which, while it may not have ‘moulded’ the Soviet listener, did offer a form of entertainment not widely accessible before 1917. The canon was never wholly static, even in the years 1948-53, when it was most tightly controlled. Her book will be the definitive work on this subject.

Sarah Badcock, A Prison without Walls? Eastern Siberian Exile in the Last Years of Tsarism

While Soviet historiography emphasized the cultural benefits that political exiles brought to Siberia, Badcock gives voice as well to the regional authorities and local populations, who articulated the negative impacts of exile on their communities.  Exiles who lacked private means were forced to provide for themselves in unaccustomed conditions. There was a quota on those allowed into the towns, and little work elsewhere. Criminal exiles roamed free, for example in Yakut villages, further impoverishing and terrorising their local inhabitants. Badcock has consulted archives in the Sakha Republic and the Irkutsk Oblast. We hear new kinds of voices in this study, and find descriptions that prove further that state ambitions for forced labour and the misery of prisoners and their families did not begin with the Soviet state. 

Book Prize Jury: Dan Healey and Barbara Heldt


Article Prizes

This year saw a great range of essays submitted which demonstrated that
scholarship by women on Eastern Europe is really flourishing.

We awarded the BASEES women's prize jointly to Agnes Kriza for her
beautifully illustrated article on ‘The Russian Gnadenstuhl’ for the
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 79 (2016), pp. 79-130.
The intricacy of the research impressed the judges as well as her
empirical range which integrated material from a several
historiographical traditions. We thought it was a striking piece of
historical detection, which rescued a little known period in Russian
history. The other joint winner was Michelle Assay for her original and
incisive article 'What did Hamlet (not) do to offend Stalin?' Actes des
congrès de la Société française Shakespeare [on line], 35 / 2017
. Dr
Assay elegantly traced Stalin’s antipathy to ‘Hamletism’ and historic
Russian interpretations of Hamlet rather than to Shakespeare and the
Danish prince per se.  Drawing on a wide range of secondary and archival
sources, the article presented a nuanced, compelling and tight argument.

Runners up

The judges also warmly commended the runners up. We
thought that Maria Engström's essay ‘Daughterland [Rodina-Doch’]: Erotic
patriotism and Russia's future. Conservative mobilization and
sexualization of the nation’
, published with the online journal Intersection: Russia/Europe/World, contained the kernel of a fascinating idea which could be developed into a longer piece. We admired the empirical detail about Ivanovo and the intellectual ambition of the article ‘Appropriation and Subversion: Precommunist Literacy, Communist Party Saturation, and Postcommunist Democratic Outcomes’ by Tomila V. Lankina, Alexander Libman and Anastassia Obydenkova which was published in World Politics, vol. 68 no. 2, 2016, pp. 229-274. The article by Sigita Kraniauskien and Laima Žilinskien on ‘Soviet Ethics in Soviet Memory Studies’ in The Soviet Past in the Post-Socialist Present: Methodology and Ethics edited by Melanie Ilic and Dalia Leinarte (London: Routledge 2016), pp. 92-109 showed deep insight into complex processes.

Article Prize Jury: Mary Buckley and Cathie Carmichael



Awarded jointly to Lara Green, for the paper 'Feliks Volkhovskii, Transnational Networks, and Terrorist Propaganda, 1890-1914' and Sarah Dorr, for the paper 'The elite-level demonstration effect of the Arab Spring in Kazakhstan: 2005-2015'.

Postgraduate Prize Jury: Sarah Badcock, Melanie Ilic and Claire Shaw

Olena Palko wins BASEES Postgraduate Prize, 2016


BASEES is delighted to announce that the Postgraduate Prize, 2016 (to be awarded at the 2018 Annual Conference) will go to Olena Palko (Birkbeck, University of London) for her article "Between Two Powers: The Soviet Ukrainian Writer Mykola Khvyl'ovyi" in Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 64 (2016), H. 4, S. 575–598. The jury's citation:

Olena Palko’s study of ‘Soviet Ukrainian Writer’ Mykola Khvyl’ovyi effectively challenges the existing historical and literary paradigm which seeks to classify prominent intellectuals as communist or nationalist. Palko’s central argument, that Khvyl’ovyi’s multifaceted identity as proletarian writer, Bolshevik and Soviet Ukrainian during the 1920s was complex but not contradictory, is compelling and lays the basis for a much more nuanced analysis of his life and literary legacy. This engaging and well-written article draws on available archival materials and original literary analysis, effectively integrated within a rich historiographical context. Palko’s study not only broadens our knowledge and understanding of Khvyl’ovyi and his work, but also provides many useful observations about ‘national intellectuals’ in the early Soviet period. Therefore, it is a deserving winner of this year’s BASEES Postgraduate Prize.

Jury: Andrea Gullotta, University of Glasgow and Kelly Hignett, Leeds Beckett University

The Postgraduate Prize for the best scholarly article by a postgraduate student was established by decision of the annual general meeting of the Association in April 2013.

Jakub Beneš wins George Blazyca Prize for 'Workers and Nationalism'

BASEES is delighted to announce that the George Blazyca Prize, 2016 (to be awarded at the 2018 Annual Conference) will go to Jakub Beneš (University of Birmingham) for Workers and Nationalism: Czech and German Social Democracy in Hapsburg Austria, 1890-1918 (Oxford University Press, 2016). The jury's citation:


Jakub S. Beneš’s book, Workers and Nationalism: Czech and German Social Democracy in Habsburg Austria, 1890-1918, addresses the issues of nationalism, socialism and ‘national indifference’ in the Austrian half of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the turn of the twentieth century. Beneš takes issue with Hans Mommsen’s argument that Czech Social Democrats adopted nationalist politics because the party leadership pandered to petty bourgeois elements. He directs our attention, rather, to the grass roots, where a transnational, socialist movement fighting exclusion from political society on class grounds gradually switched focus, once the vote had been won, to a struggle against exclusion on the grounds of national minority status. In the process, social democracy split along ethnic lines, because neither side understood the concerns of the other. As Beneš insists and illustrates, with copious and vivid evidence from Czech and German memoirs, newspapers, pamphlets and popular literature, this distinctly working-class variant of nationalism was, by the time of the First World War, a mass movement; the opinions of party leaders were irrelevant.

Jury: Prof. Nigel Swain, University of Liverpool and Prof. Anne White, SSEES, University College London 

The George Blazyca Prize for scholarly work of high quality in East European studies was established by decision of the annual general meeting of the Association in April 2006 in recognition of the outstanding contribution to its field of study made by the late George Blazyca.