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From Catastrophe to Healing: Commemorating Soviet Losses in the Battle of Moscow, 1941-1942

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 6:15pm - 8:00pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus International Affairs Building Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219)
Please join the Harriman Institute for a talk by William C. Brumfield, Tulane University. An exploration of evolving Russian attitudes toward commemorating the catastrophic sacrifices of the first year (1941-1942) of the Great Fatherland War. Of particular interest is the growing role of the Russian Orthodox Church in the sanctification of these sacrifices. What had formerly been a secular process--carefully supervised by state institutions with limited attention to the extent of the catastrophe--is now moving toward concepts of exaltation of the myriad of souls given in defense of motherland and faith. This presentation will focus on the author's recent field research and photography in the Viazma region of Smolensk oblast'. Comparisons will be made to related battlefield memorials in the western part of Moscow oblast', including Dubosekovo. The presentation will conclude with a comparative view of the Katyn Forest Memorial (also based on the author's observations and photographic documentation), with emphasis on the use of religion as a defining element in memorialization. This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required.
Categories: Academic: Lecture