The Russian Revolution of 1917 and World History: A Centenary Reflection

February 2017 marks the centenary of one of the most significant moments in the history of the twentieth century—the Russian Revolution. La Trobe University’s Ideas & Society Program is proud to be hosting a conversation with the Australian-born Sheila Fitzpatrick, one of the world’s leading historians of the Soviet Union, which will be led by the Hansen Chair in History at the University of Melbourne, Mark Edele.


Professor Robert Manne, the Convenor of La Trobe University’s Ideas & Society Program, commented: “In 1950 almost half of the world’s population lived in countries shaped by the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. Today only China remains as a significant descendant of the events triggered by the fall of the Czar in February 1917. The centenary of the outbreak of revolution provides the perfect occasion to reflect on the Soviet experience and the momentous impact of the events of 1917 on the wider world.”

“We are very fortunate that one of our most distinguished historians, Sheila Fitzpatrick, has returned to Australia. I am extremely keen to hear her assessment of the role that 1917 played in the history of Russia and the twentieth century and delighted that one of her most distinguished former students, Mark Edele, has agreed to lead the conversation.”


Sheila Fitzpatrick is one of the world’s most eminent historians of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet experience. She is currently a Professor of History at the University of Sydney as well as Distinguished Service Professor Emerita, University of Chicago. Among her many books are Everyday Stalinism and The Russian Revolution. Her most recent book, On Stalin’s Team, won the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for non-fiction.

Mark Edele was born in Bavaria and obtained his doctorate from the University of Chicago. He is presently Professor of History at The University of Western Australia and will begin his tenure as the inaugural Hansen Chair in History at the University of Melbourne in July. A specialist in the history of the Soviet Union during and after the Second World War, his books include Stalinist Society 1928-1953, Soviet Veterans of the Second World War, and his forthcoming Stalin’s Defectors. How Red Army Soldiers became Hitler’s Collaborators.


Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
6:15pm - 7:45pm


Village Roadshow Theatrette
State Library Victora


La Trobe student: $5
La Trobe alumni: $10
General Admission: $15