The Role of Printed Media in Forming National Identity in Russia and Britain

Joint conference with The Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre (CCRAC), Yaroslavl State University, and Moscow State University

September 12-13, 2016
The Department of History, Yaroslavl State University, Yaroslavl, Russia

Printed media was arguably the most important form of communication for progressive literature and visual arts both in Russia and Britain in the first half of the 20th century, but also exerted powerful influence from the 18th century onwards. This two-day conference will draw together an international line-up of experts from Cambridge, London, Moscow and Yaroslavl to focus on printed media in a range of contexts, including fine art prints, posters, journals and magazines.

The conference will include monographic, thematic and problem-oriented papers on printed media published in Russia and abroad from the late 18th to the mid-20th century. Encompassing an interdisciplinary perspective, diverse methodological approaches and detailed case studies, these will examine printed media as a discursive space of communication, as a gesamtkunstwerk, and as a historical document. As recent scholarship positions Russian art in an international context, a particular aim is to explore the relationships between local contexts and international networks. Special attention will also be paid to the role of printed media in Imperial and Soviet propaganda, and to the complex nature of national/local versus international/cosmopolitan. Collectively, the papers aim to expand our understanding of printed media as a vital and often problematic stimulant in cultural and aesthetic debate.

CCRAC is extremely grateful for the kind support of the IN ARTIBUS foundation and Yaroslavl State University.

List of Participants and Paper Titles:


Prof. T. Gavristova (Yaroslavl State University), The British Library: “battle of books”.

Prof. A. Davidson (Russian Academy of Science (RAN)) British poets and their Russian colleagues of the Silver Age.

Dr V. Kulikov (Yaroslavl State University), Exhibitions of Russian art in Great Britain 1900-1914

Dr A. Fedorchuk, Alexey (Yaroslavl Art Museum), Exhibitions of Russian Icons in Britain at the beginning of the twentieth century

Dr A. Uriadov (Yaroslavl State University), ‘Exhibition activities of Russian émigré circles in interwar Europe’


Moscow State University

Dr S. Veselova (Moscow State University), The artistic heritage of the cities of the Russian north in periodicals, 1900-1920’

Dr A. Salienko (Moscow State University), Proletarian art in search of identity in the Soviet press of the 1920s.

Prof. V. Sedov (Moscow State University), ‘Architectural criticism and theory and the Russian style movement in 1940 — the case of A.G. Mordvinov’

A. Kharitonov (Moscow State University), Russia at the first international exhibitions, through the eyes of Russian observers.

Dr S. Khachaturov (Moscow State University), “Gothic” in Russian and British literature of the end of 18th century: affinities and differences.



Dr Rosalind P. Blakesley (University of Cambridge), Picturing Russia in ‘The Studio’ Magazine.

Natalia Budanova (Courtauld Institute of Art), Graphic cycles by Maria Siniakova within the context of Russian patriotic culture of the Great War.

Dr Louise Hardiman (University of Oxford),  Alfred Maskell’s “Russian Art and Art Objects” (1884): Russia and the South Kensington Museum.

Dr Nicola Kozicharow (University of Cambridge), Russian Émigré Identity and the Cartoons of MAD (Mikhail Drizo) in ‘Russia Illustrated’

Dr Galina Mardilovich (Independent Scholar), The Making of a Russian ‘Arts Bulletin’

Dr Maria Mileeva (Courtauld Institute of Art), Debating Socialist Realism in the Soviet press during the 1930s’

Natalia Murray (Courtauld Institute of Art), ‘Art of the Commune’ and the quest for the new art in post-revolutionary Russia’.

in artibus