Memory of the Finnish events of 1905-1906 in the Great Russian Revolution of 1917

Saint-Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki and Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki organise a joint seminar in St. Petersburg (Saint-Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Russia, Saint-Petersburg, Petrozavodskaya st., 7) on 18-20 September, 2017:

"Memory of the Finnish events of 1905-1906 in the Great Russian Revolution of 1917"

Финляндией дышал дореволюционный Петербург…
Я всегда смутно чувствовал особенное значение Финляндии
 для петербуржца и что сюда ездили додумать то,
 чего нельзя было додумать в Петербурге…
О. Мандельштам

Today, researchers around the world are facing a growing scepticism about the value of academic knowledge and suspicions about the credibility of historical expertise, which origin is increasingly stemming from external sources such as populist politics and antagonistic media. Much has been said about the role of history in politics in general and in Russian-Finnish relations in particular. The eternal question of historical consciousness remains: how is the common legacy of the past of both countries used to achieve political goals?
One of heated discussed events of the twentieth century history of Finland has been the period 1905-1906. The year 1905 in Finnish history is presented as a genuine people's revolution in contrary to 1917. Considering the problem in three-dimensional space "History - Memory - Politics", the participants will attempt to reconstruct how the collective memory of the revolutionary events of 1905-1906 in Finland influenced the historical circumstances in 1917-1918 in both the Empire and the Grand Duchy.

Suitable topics for discussion include:

  • Interpretation of the Finnish events of 1905-1906 on both sides of the border.
  • Fortress Sveaborg as a place of memory about the joint actions of the population of Helsinki and Russian servicemen.
  • The revolutions of 1905 and 1917 in Finland - social or national?
  • The Finnish nation and the Russian Empire, 1917-1918.
  • Events of 1917-1918 in the empire and on the periphery in a transnational perspective.
  • Finnish revolutionary events as an element of the political culture of the Soviet and post-Soviet regimes.

Contributors can also address wider related topics for discussion.

In the seminar is organized also workshop for Ph.D. students in which they receive feedback to their presentations from colleagues, professors, and experts in their fields.

The selected papers of the seminar will be published in the St. Petersburg Historical Journal. The Organising Committee reserves the right to make a decision.

Participation in the seminar is free of charge. Participants are requested to make their own arrangements for travel and accommodation and cover the costs related to participation.

Participants and observers who do not wish to give a paper or organise a panel or a workshop are also welcome to take part in the seminar.

Conference schedule and deadlines:

  • Deadline for submitting proposed paper (200 words): 1 September 2017 by email ( Please see sample application below!
  • Notification of acceptance: 3 September 2017
  • Conference programme published: 10 September 2017
  • The working language of the conference are Russian and English. Unfortunately, no translation can be provided.
  • Panelists have a maximum of 15-20 minutes for their presentations.


On behalf of the Organising Committee:
Smirnov Nikolai Nikolaevich, Doctor of Science in History, professor, director of Saint-Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Markku Kangaspuro, Ph.D (history), professor, research director of Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki.
Chistikov Alexander Nikolaevich, Doctor of Science in History, deputy Director for Research of Saint-Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Seminar Coordinator:
Larisa Kangaspuro, Ph.D (history) / kandidat istoricheskih nauk, University of Helsinki (

What to include in your application

Application for participation in the Common Russian-Finnish seminar "Memory of the Finnish Events of 1905-1906 in the Great Russian Revolution of 1917

Full name
Place of work
Academic degree, title
Title of paper
Abstracts (up to 200 characters)
The need for technical equipment for presentations


Мандельштам О. Шум времени: Мемуарная проза. Письма. Записные книжки. Сост., авт. предисл. и коммент. В. А. Чалмаев. Москва. 2003. С. 39.