Seminar 25 - 26th Oct 2004

seminarFrom Theory to Practice - Managing the Chaos or how the Soviet Union Survived

A seminar organized by the Finnish Graduate School for Russian and East European Studies and Finnish Graduate School of History at the University of Helsinki, 25-26 October 2004


25th October

1st Session University of Helsinki, Main building, Lecture hall 10

10.00 - 10.30 " The Soviet Union Collapsed – Anti Soviet Features Remain?"
Dr Sinikka Wunsch, University of Oulu
10.30 - 11.10 "Teleology and Sonderweg in Russian History and in the Transition."
Professor Richard Stites, Georgetown University
11.10 - 11.25 Coffee break
11.25 - 12.05 "Failing to explain the Collapse: problems of historiography on the fall of the Soviet Union"
Dr Jeremy Smith, University of Birmingham CREES
12.05 - 12.45 "The USSR as an Economic Growth Machine"
Dr Pekka Sutela, Bank of Finland
12.45 - 13.30 Panel discussion
13.30 - 14.30 Lunch
14.30 - 17.30 Workshops
  Workshop on Soviet cultural policy, Auditorium IV
Keynote speaker: Dr Neil Edmunds, University of the West of England “Music and the Russian Revolution: the Historical Context”

Papers: Simo Mikkonen, University of Jyväskylä “Interaction Between Art, Ideology and Politics, “
Meri Herrala, University of Helsinki:
”The contested Reputation of Boris Vladimirovich Asaf’ev in 1948”

  Workshop on Politics and Ideologies,
Auditorium XVIII

Keynote speaker: "The Occupation of Czechoslovakia and the Idea of Socialism" Dr Kimmo Rentola

Dr Markku Lonkila, University of Helsinki:
“The social embeddeness of Russian ICT industry”
Krista Berglund, University of Helsinki:
“Igor Shafarevich's Rebuttal
of Socialism”
17.30 - 19.30 Reception at the University
26th October
09.00 - 12.00 Workshops
  Workshop on Soviet cultural policy, Auditorium IV
Keynote speaker: Dr Pekka Suutari, University of Joensuu: “Folksong in Soviet Carelia”

Elina Viljanen, University of Helsinki:
“The philosophical roots of Boris Asaf’ev”
Mirja Mäenpää, University of Helsinki:
“Dmitri Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth’s reception in foreign countries in 1935-1937”

  Workshop on Politics and Ideologies, Auditorium IX
Starts at 10 am
Keynote speaker: Dr Markku Kangaspuro, Aleksanteri Institute: ”The interpretation of enlightenment and Marxism in the Soviet society”

Simo Leisti, University of Tampere:
“Ideology, Social Sciences and Change”
Katja Ruutu, University of Helsinki:
“Russia’s progress; Centralism and localism in Russian modern politics”
12.00 - 13.00 Lunch
2nd Session, Main building, Lecture hall, 5
13.00 - 13.40 "How did the Soviet Union cope with nationalism?"
Professor Timo Vihavainen, University of Helsinki
13.40 - 14.20 "Ideology Under Gorbachev" Dr Dimitry Shlapentokh,
Hudson Institute, Indiana University
14.20 - 15.00 "Cybernetics in the service of the military and Government"
Dr Heikki Mäki-Kulmala, Universtiy of Tampere
15.00 - 15.15 Coffee break
15.15 - 15.55 “Soviet Luxury” Professor Jukka Gronow, University of Uppsala
15.55 - 17.00 Closing panel chaired by Dr Sari Autio-Sarasmo


For more information on the seminar please contact

Simo Leisti email: simo.leisti [at] and tel. +358 3 215 6541 or
Ira Jänis-Isokangas email: ira.janis-isokangas [at] , tel +358 9 191 28622

Registration by 22 October to
Ms Essi Lindroos by email essi.lindroos [at] or tel. +358 9 191 28660