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Join CREES Thursday March 9th at 12pm in Bailey Hall Rm. 318 for our Brownbag Lecture Series. This week we welcome two CREES students, Aylar Atadurdyyeva (undergraduate) and Adam Rodger (PhD Student in History). Aylar and Adam will read papers they recently presented at the 2022 ASEEES National Convention in Chicago.

Aylar's talk is titled "Decolonization and Nationalism in Kyrgyzstan" and was part of the REEES Undergraduate T.H.I.N.K Tank Program. Adam's talk is titled "One War, Two Fronts: The Spanish Civil War as a Continuation of the Russian Civil War."

Decolonization and Nationalism in Kyrgyzstan:

The presence of the Russian and Soviet legacy in present-day Central Asia is undeniable. Most of the political science and history research on Central Asian states has so far been conducted from the lens of the colonizing powers. This Digital Humanities project will focus on the intersections and tensions between nationalism and decolonization in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan. The main focus of the project will be a timeline of both the official state decolonization initiative and people’s movements toward decolonization, with particular attention to where the state narrative about decolonization clashes with people’s movements. We also wanted to include contextualizing information using the framework of postcolonial theory to look at grassroots movements and policy implementation at both the civil society and state levels.

Aylar Atadurdyyeva is a senior at KU studying Political Science and Slavic Studies. Her research interests include decolonization and nation-building in Central Asia. Aylar is originally from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

One War, Two Fronts: The Spanish Civil War as a Continuation of the Russian Civil War:

Fifteen years after the fires of civil war ravaged the former Russian Empire, they ignited again in Spain as Franco’s fascist rebellion rose up against the Spanish Republic. As a portent of the coming world war, and the first open war between fledgling ideologies, this conflict caught the attention of people all around the world. This civil war held special significance, however, for the people of the Russian diaspora, and especially those émigrés who had fought the Bolsheviks in Russia. For them, this was not a similar, but ultimately new, war. The Spanish Civil War, in the eyes of these émigrés, was in fact a literal continuation of the Russian Civil War – a new front that had opened up in a war which had never fully ended, and they had a duty to assist, and even to travel to Spain and volunteer to fight against the Bolsheviks once again.
Following these tsarist émigrés out of Russia and through their exile, I chart their perception of developments in Spain. Using émigré newspapers, especially the ROVS-affiliated Chasovoi, I show the critical place that the Spanish Civil War took in émigré discourse. Using letters written home by those who joined up with Franco’s armies, I show that they perceived this conflict within the context of the Russian Civil War; they saw a deep connection between tsarist Russia and Carlist Spain, and their foes were not Spanish Republicans, but Bolsheviks. In the Spanish Civil War, they found a way to regain their honor, to overcome the ennui and shameful erosion of the émigré experience, and, they hoped, a path to regathering the Russian Imperial Army and marching once more on their homeland.

Adam Rodger is a PhD candidate in the KU History Department.

  • Rosalyn Lucas
  • Aisha Ashiru
  • Rachell Orce

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