Historian to Discuss Stalin, Socialism in Upcoming President’s Lecture

October 12, 2017

Ronald Grigor SunyMISSOULA – A leading historian on Russian and Armenian history will discuss democracy, socialism and Joseph Stalin and his emergence as a Bolshevik revolutionary as part of the 2017-18 President’s Lecture Series at the University of Montana.

Ronald Grigor Suny will present “Lessons of October: The Fate of Democracy and Socialism in the Age of Revolution and Counter-Revolution” at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, in collaboration with the Philosophy Forum at UM.

The presentation, which is part of the Oct. 20-21 UM conference “Reflections of the Revolution: The October Revolution and Global Order, 1917-2017” will be held in the University Center Ballroom.

Suny also will lead a seminar titled “Koba, the Young Stalin: The Making of a Revolutionary” from 3 to 4:30 p.m. the same day in Gallagher Business Building Room 123.

After receiving a doctorate in history from Columbia University in 1968, Suny taught at Oberlin College for 13 years.

 In 1991, he became the first person to hold the Alex Manogian Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of Michigan, where he founded and directed the Armenian Studies Program. He was the Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor of Social and Political History at the University of Michigan until 2015 and also served as director of the Eisenberg Institute of Historical Studies. Since 2015, he has been the William Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan.

During the past 45 years, Suny has published numerous books on Russian and Armenian history. He has been particularly interested in the non-Russian nationalities of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, particularly the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia).

He serves on many editorial boards, appears frequently as a guest on news programs, and has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, New Left Review, Dissent and other papers and journals. He is finishing a book on the topic of the seminar.

The President’s Lecture Series at UM consists of seven talks throughout the academic year on vital topics by distinguished guest speakers. For more information on the series, visit http://umt.edu/president/events/lectures/ or call UM history Professor Richard Drake at 406-243-2981.

For more information on the “Reflections of the Revolution: The October Revolution and Global Order, 1917-2017” conference, visit https://www.umt.edu/sell/cps/revolution/default.php

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Contact: Richard Drake, UM history professor and lecture series organizer,, 406-243-2981, richard.drake@umontana.edu.