Series of Academic Events, Film Screenings Revisit Red October

Red October graphic
Oct. 23, 2017

Contact: Carl Flynn, Baylor University Libraries, 254-710-7620
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WACO, Texas (Oct. 23, 2017) – Baylor University will host a series of academic lectures and film screenings - sponsored by the Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, Department of History, McBride Center for International Business, International Studies and Armstrong Browning Library - that look back at the world-transforming events that took place 100 years ago during the Russian Revolution.

“The Russian Revolution was one of the most significant events in the 20th century, if not the most significant event of the century,” said Julie K. deGraffenried, Ph.D., associate professor of history in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, who specializes in the history of modern Russia, especially 20th century Soviet era.

“During the Cold War, this was easy to understand because of the presence of the Soviet Union and its satellites. The end of that conflict and the collapse of the USSR has challenged us to rethink the revolution’s meaning in interesting ways. The centennial is a great opportunity to provide the Baylor community with a number of perspectives on this question,” deGraffenried said.

Baylor is home to the Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society, which holds the Keston Archives and Library, the world’s most comprehensive collection of materials on religious persecution under Communist and other totalitarian regimes. The Center’s mission is to promote research and encourage the study of religion under these oppressive societies.

Events include:

  • 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, in Armstrong Browning Library: Dr. Dominic Erdozain, research fellow at King’s College, London, and visiting faculty at Emory University, will present, “Holy Fools: Faith and Freedom in Soviet Russia.” His lecture will be followed by a panel conversation featuring Dr. Wallace Daniel, Dr. Philip Jenkins and Dr. deGraffenried. A book signing featuring Erdozain’s newly released book, The Dangerous God: Christianity and the Soviet Experiment, will follow the conversation. Refreshments will be served in the Garden of Contentment just outside Armstrong Browning Library.
  • 3:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, in Kayser Auditorium: Dr. Karen Petrone, professor of history at the University of Kentucky, will present her lecture, “Revolution and Memory: One Hundred Years of Commemorating the Russian Revolution.” Petrone has published extensively on the history and culture of Russia, including The Great War in Russian Memory, Life Has Become More Joyous, Comrades: Celebrations in the Time of Stalin and Gender Politics and Mass Dictatorship: Global Perspectives.
  • 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, in room 152 of the Draper Academic Building: A panel presentation and discussion, “Revisiting Red October: A Conversation,” will feature Dr. Pertrone and Baylor’s Dr. Sergiy Kudelia, Dr. Steve Gardner and Dr. Adrienne Harris.

Alongside these lectures, a series of Russian films centered around the Russian Revolution will be screened from Oct. 19 through Nov. 7. The first three film screenings will be hosted by Dr. deGraffenried, while the fourth and final will be hosted by Dr. Michael Long, Dr. Harris and Dr. Steven Jug, as part of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures’ popular World Cinema Series.

  • “The Romanovs: An Imperial Family” (2000) will be shown at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, in the Cox Lecture Hall of Armstrong Browning Library.
  • “The Chekist” (1992) will appear at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, in the Cox Lecture Hall of Armstrong Browning Library.
  • “The 41st” (1956) will be screened at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in the Cox Lecture Hall of Armstrong Browning Library.
  • Eisenstein’s “October” (1927), a film commissioned by the Soviet government 10 years after the revolution, will be shown at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Bennett Auditorium. A panel discussion on the contemporary relevance of the Russian Revolution will be held in conjunction with the screening of this film.

In October 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution toppled the provisional government that ruled Russia following the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II earlier that year. The revolution paved the way for the rapid development of the United Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) under a Communist government and changed the course of human history. The lectures and films featured as Baylor revisits Red October are designed to explore the political and social dynamics at work in Russia during this tumultuous era.

”The Russian Revolution spans multiple academic disciplines, from history to modern language and cultures to religion and philosophy to international studies and, of course, to the Keston Center, which houses materials documenting religious persecution during the Communist era,” said Kathy Hillman, associate professor and director of the Keston Center. “The partners have worked together to create an exceptional series of events and are eager to engage the Baylor community in conversation about this significant period that continues to impact our world.”

For more information, visit the Baylor Libraries website at


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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