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Michael B. Petrovich Lecture: “Russia and Refugees: A 20th Century History” with Peter Gatrell
May 4 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Co-sponsored by the Center for German and European Studies, the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, and the Mortenson-Petrovich Fund in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
In this lecture, Dr. Gatrell will make three claims. First, the modern history of Russia has been indelibly associated with mass population displacement: Russia produced refugees. Second, Russia was indirectly implicated in the constitution of what has come to be called the refugee regime, including the durable solutions of resettlement and repatriation. In this context, Russia also intermittently provided sanctuary: in other words, there is a history of Russia as a refugee-hosting state. Third, we need to pay proper account to what refugees had to say and how they negotiated numerous constraints. Dr. Gatrell concludes that these findings also speak to the larger field of refugee studies.
About the Speaker: Dr. Peter Gatrell retired from the University of Manchester in 2021 after a career of 45 years including serving as head of History and Classics between 1997 and 2002. Following graduate study at the University of Cambridge and Kiev State University, he was appointed to a post in international economic history, with a primary focus on Russia/USSR. His research and teaching interests subsequently evolved to include refugee history. He has taught courses in Russian and European economic history, Russian/Soviet social and cultural history, the cultural history of war, and refugees in modern history. He was a founding member of the University of Manchester’s Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute.
Dr. Gatrell’s publications include a prize-winning monograph, A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War 1 (1999); Free World? The Campaign to Save the World’s Refugees, 1956-1963 (2011); and The Making of the Modern Refugee (2013). His latest book, The Unsettling of Europe: the Great Migration, 1945 to the Present, published by Penguin Books and Basic Books in 2019, was awarded the Nanovic Institute’s Laura Shannon Prize and Italy’s “Premio Cherasco”.
Dr. Gatrell is a Fellow of the British Academy (and chair the section devoted to modern history), a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He directed several research projects including between 2018 and 2021 the AHRC-funded research project, “Reckoning with refugeedom: refugee voices in modern history, 1919-1975,” and he maintains several ongoing international collaborations, mainly in refugee history.