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Strange Bedfellows: Americans in Russia

January 29, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - February 19, 2020 @ 8:00 pm


Strange Bedfellows: Americans in Russia

Wednesday, January 29, and Monday, February 3, 6:30–8:00 P.M.
Location will be given to subscribers.
Note: Monday, January 13 session has been cancelled.

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past”
—William Faulkner

David Rainbow will consider critical moments in U.S.-Russian relations through the experiences of notable travelers: from John Quincy Adams, the first U.S. ambassador to Russia in 1809, to Langston Hughes, icon of the 1930s Harlem Renaissance and communist sympathizer, to Matt Taibbi, a freelance journalist in the 1990s heyday of sex, drugs, and oligarchs. These American travelers to the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation—over a period of two hundred years—will remind us of the challenges and blind spots that have sometimes plagued one of America’s most consequential international relationships.

David Rainbow is a historian in the Honors College at the University of Houston where he teaches and writes about modern Russian and Eurasian history. Professor Rainbow edited and contributed to the recently published book, Ideologies of Race: Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union in Global Context (McGill-Queens University Press, 2019). He is currently writing a book on the history of Russian and Soviet imperial power in Siberia from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.


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January 29, 2020 @ 6:30 pm
February 19, 2020 @ 8:00 pm
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