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Imperial Subjects in the Soviet Union:

M.N. Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, and Re-thinking

Freedom and Authoritarianism in the 20th Century












       Speaker: Prof. Choi Chatterjee

              Place: J610, Sogang University

               Time: November 16th, 2017 (Thurs) 18:30 – 21:30



         


















Professor of History at California State University, LA, Chatterjee teaches comparative European history, history of globalization, and human rights and food justice, as well as Russian and Soviet history.  The depth and profundity of her scholarship are reflected in Celebrating Women: Gender, Festival Culture, and Bolshevik Ideology, 1910-1939, Russia's LongTwentieth Century: Voices, Memories, Contested Perspectives, and The 20th Century: A Retrospective (co-authored). She is completing Russia in World History: A Transnational Approach (Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2018).


In her talk titled, "Imperial Subjects in the Soviet Union: M.N. Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, and Re-thinking Freedom and Authoritarianism in the 20th Century," she will take a look at the dichotomal political framing of the twentieth century, propelled by a vast body of literature couched in the compelling trope of "Russia and the West." She will argue that the division of the world between the democratic and market-based nations of the West and the dictatorial and state-controlled countries in the Soviet East has served to obscure or blunt perspectives from the colonized world on the East-West dichotomy. By analyzing the travel writings of two important Indian visitors to the Soviet Union, M.N. Roy and Rabindranath Tagore, she will demonstrate that Europe's imperial subjects filtered their impressions of Soviet authoritarianism through their own experiences of repressive Western imperialism and charted a new global map of political freedom. Chatterjee will conclude her talk by acknowledging the significant contribution of Roy and Tagore's writings, powered by both their colonial and Soviet experiences, to twentieth century intellectual debates on moral freedom, individualism, and authoritarianism.



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