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Russia Abroad in the Wake of the Second World War

An online lecture by Dr. Leonid Livak 

In his lecture, Dr. Leonid Livak will explore the least known page in the history of the First-Wave Russian emigration, or “Russia Abroad,” namely its precipitous decline as a transnational cultural community in the 1940s.

After a survey of the unsettled historiographic debate about the chronological end of Russia Abroad, the lecture will consider the confluence of the sociopolitical and intellectual factors which led to the disintegration of the anti-Soviet Russophone diaspora in Europe as a cultural community in the third decade of its existence. These factors include the community’s antisemitic purge in Nazi-controlled Europe and the resultant interethnic tensions throughout the 1940s on both sides of the Atlantic; the emergence of new ideological fault-lines among Russophone emigres in response, first, to German military victories and, later, to the Soviet military triumph; the inability of Russia Abroad to absorb, socially and culturally, the post-war Russian emigres; and the rapid erosion of the unifying sense of the “Russian emigre mission” in the wake of the Second World War.

Click the button below and register now. If you can’t attend live, there is an option to request the recording!


About the Speaker

Leonid Livak is Professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Centre for Jewish Studies. His research focuses on the literary and cultural history of the First-Wave Russian emigration (“Russia Abroad”), on Russian and transnational modernism, on the history of Russian-French intellectual and literary contacts and transfers, as well as on the cultural history of Jews in modern Europe.

His books include: How It Was Done in Paris: Russian Émigré Literature and French Modernism (2003) ; The Jewish Persona in the European Imagination: A Case of Russian Literature (2010); Literaturnyi avangard russkogo Parizha (2014); Russian Émigrés in the Intellectual and Literary Life of Interwar France (2010); In Search of Russian Modernism (2018); Zhila-byla perevodchitsa: Liudmila Savitskaia i Konstantin Bal’mont (2020). Leonid Livak is currently writing a cultural history of the end of Russia Abroad in the 1940s.


Connecting with Zoom

This virtual lecture is presented live via Zoom. Registered users will be emailed a link to join this Zoom program. To get started, please download Zoom on your chosen device and explore the Frequently Asked Questions.

This program will be recorded and posted to the museum’s YouTube channel.


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