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Russian Days 2016








The Enduring Relevance of Dostoevsky


Saturday 3 December 2016: The enduring relevance of Dostoevsky

Speaker: Irina Kirillova

11:00 – 17:00

This day, of two talks and a film showing, will assume basic knowledge of the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 - 1881), novelist, journalist and philosopher, whose exploration of the human soul made him one of the most influential writers of the 19th century. Speaker Irina Kirillova MBE says, "Dostoevsky is perceived in Russia as a very modern writer and invariably attracts great interest and discussion’’. Her opening talk, "Why Read Dostoevsky Today?" comprises an overview of his work and a look at the man himself. The second part of the day, entitled ‘The problem of portraying the utterly good man’ takes a close look at his 1869 novel, "The Idiot" in which the hero, Prince Myshkin, is so perfectly generous and innocent he is regarded as a fool. For the final part of the day, after tea, we will show the 1969, Soviet film by Kuliozhanov of ‘Crime & Punishment’ with a brief introduction by Marina Bogdanova. There will be plenty of time for Q&A throughout.

Tickets: £60 (including buffet lunch and afternoon tea). Overnight accommodation with dinner is also available; please enquire.


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Russian Days Under The Tsars


Saturday 17 December 2016: Theatre in Imperial Russia: Drama, Opera and Ballet from Peter the Great to Nicholas II

Speaker: Dr Rosamund Bartlett

11:00 – 17:00

For a country which had no real professional troupes until the eighteenth century, Russia's impact on world theatre has been remarkable. Russia initially imported most aspects of theatre from the West, including the word teatr itself, but a native passion for the performing arts developed quickly. From its derivative beginnings, Russian theatrical life soon acquired distinctive attributes, and by the end of the 19th century was already displaying signs of genius in the work of Chekhov and Stanislavsky, Petipa and Nijinsky, Musorgsky and Chaliapin.

This day of illustrated lectures will trace the development of Russian theatrical life from its beginnings at the imperial court to the genuinely popular enterprises run by impresarios and entrepreneurs on the eve of the 1917 Revolution. We will look at Catherine the Great's profile as librettist and dramatist, the emergence of serf theatres, and the establishment of the Imperial Italian Opera and the impact of plays by Pushkin and Shakespeare, operas by Glinka and Bizet, and ballets by Boieldieu and Tchaikovsky.

Tickets: £60 (including buffet lunch and afternoon tea). Overnight accommodation with dinner is also available; please enquire.


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The Enduring Relevance of Dostoevsky

Saturday 14th January 2017: Russia Against the Rest - PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE

Speaker: Prof Richard Sakwa

11:00 – 17:00

When George Orwell coined the term ‘cold war’ in an article in Tribune in October 1945, he could hardly have imagined that 70 years later one of the most active debates would be whether the term ‘new cold war’ was the right one to describe the renewed hostile atmosphere between Russia and the West. Sakwa’s lecture is divided into three parts:
1) Crisis in world order up to 2014, leading to the confrontation over Ukraine.
2) Internal developments within Russia, Russian national identity and its place in the world.
3) The final session broadens the horizon and examines current debates over world order and civilisations, including the relationship between Russia and China, the ‘rise of the rest’, and dynamics of future development.


Tickets: £60 (including buffet lunch and afternoon tea). Overnight accommodation with dinner is also available; please enquire.


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No prior knowledge needed. Talks open to all.


"It's a remarkable venture, flying an important multi-coloured flag."
Stephen Walsh (Stravinsky biographer)




"Excellent food for both mind and body, and I was a happy boy."
Robert Fripp (musician)






Friend of The Great Britain-Russia Society


PRICES & BOOKING

Day rate: £60, including refreshments and buffet lunch

Accommodation & Evening Meals
For those coming from farther afield, accommodation is available for one or two nights. All rooms are beautifully decorated, comfortably furnished and have their own bathroom. Overnight guests also have use of the pool, grounds and living rooms. Rooms cost £60/£85 for Single/Double occupancy on the Friday (breakfast only) or £75/£115 for Single/Double occupancy on the Saturday (dinner and breakfast included). Please see the Please see the Booking Form for details and the Gallery for images of the house and rooms.

To book, please use our Booking Form or call 07793 240 867 for more information.


Stonehill House is a comfortable and spacious family home with extensive grounds, in rural Oxfordshire. Within easy reach of Didcot Parkway and Oxford stations, Stonehill can accommodate up to 12 people in a variety of uniquely decorated, mostly double, bedrooms.

The house and grounds are home to an interesting collection of artworks by Andrew Logan, several with a Russian influence.





Our speakers:


Rosamund Bartlett is a writer, scholar and translator who has lectured on Russian cultural history at universities, museums, and public institutions around the world. The author of several books, including Wagner and Russia, Chekhov: Scenes from a Life, and Tolstoy: A Russian Life, which was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, she has a particular interest in the intersection between politics, history and the arts. She has also received recognition as a translator, having published two volumes of Chekhov's stories and the first unexpurgated edition of his letters. Her new translation of Anna Karenina will be published by Oxford World's Classics in August 2014. She is a Trustee of the Anton Chekhov Foundation, set up to preserve the writer's house in Yalta, and in 2010 was awarded the Chekhov 150th Anniversary Medal by the Russian government in recognition of her educational and charitable work.

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Christopher Danziger is a tutor in the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education. He teaches and writes on modern European history with a special interest in Napoleon and Imperial Russia. With a Russian grandmother and a father who was born a subject of Tsar Nicholas II, Russian history is in his blood. He has lectured on Russian history on several Oxford University programmes, at the University of Cape Town, at the Marlborough College Summer School, and Gilman College in Baltimore.

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Irina Kirillova MBE is Fellow Emerita of Newnham College, Cambridge and a retired lecturer in Russian Studies. Her publications include "Reflections on the Image of Christ in Dostoevsky’s writing (Moscow 2010)", "Dostoevsky’s markings in the Gospel of St John" (in Dostoevsky and the Christian Tradition C.U.P.2001) and various articles in Russian academic publications on Dostoevsky. Since 1991 she has lectured extensively in Russia on Dostoevsky, most recently in the ancient city of Riazan, at the theological seminary and to a large audience on the Riazan public library.

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