15 March 2017
This is part of the SDN Democracy Futures seminar series
1917. 2017. The Russian Revolution was an example of what one of its participant-witnesses, John Reed, called ‘intensified history’. At the same time as Ten Days That Shook the World was published, another of the Russian Revolution’s witness-chroniclers was documenting the transformations of space in Red Petrograd, its contradictions, and consequences under the name of Victor Serge [1890-1947]. By analysing the space of the city and the condition of urban revolution in the writings of Victor Serge we can explore the spatial ordering of state power, geopolitics, and revolution in the past that still speaks to the present. With a specific focus on Conquered City  in the context of Red Petrograd and The Case of Comrade Tulayev  set during the Great Terror in Soviet Russia, my focus will highlight the struggle between revolution and counter-revolution reflected in these works that both address in different and connected ways the struggle for space, the spatial logistics of the state, and how the modern state organises space. In Conquered City and The Case of Comrade Tulayev such spatial awareness is intensely present, including a focus on the logic of repressive space, to reveal how the state separates, disperses, forces and constrains space.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Adam David Morton is Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. His research interests include state theory, the political economy of development, geographical studies, and historical sociology. He is the author of Unravelling Gramsci: Hegemony and Passive Revolution in the Global Political Economy (Pluto, 2007) and Revolution and State in Modern Mexico: The Political Economy of Uneven Development, Updated Edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), which was awarded the 2012 Book Prize of the British International Studies Association (BISA) International Political Economy Group (IPEG). He is the founding editor of the blog Progress in Political Economy (PPE) that is a central forum for political economy debates and was awarded the 2016 International Studies Association (ISA) Online Media Caucus Award for the Best Blog (Group), see http://ppesydney.net/.
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