School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne
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Join us for a celebration of the life and legacy of the great Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla. Melbourne Conservatorium of Music staff and students from the woodwind, brass, string and piano areas perform a selection of pieces from across Piazzolla’s career. This concert was originally scheduled for the centenary of his birth in 2021.
Wenhong Luo - viola
Ken Murray - guitar
Jerry Wong - piano
Richard Narroway - cello
Curt Thompson - violin
Molly Kadarauch - cello
The MCM Brass Ensemble, conducted by Tim Buzbee
2022 Kathleen Fitzpatrick History Lecture
Presented by Professor Mark Edele
Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression against democratic Ukraine is legitimized in part by the claim that there is no Ukrainian nation. Contemporary Ukraine, Putin maintains, is an artificial state created for no good reasons by the Bolsheviks. It has always been Russian and should be Russian again. He developed these notions in a July 2021 article which became something of a historical justification for the invasion.
This lecture engages with the President-Historian’s thoughts and explores to what extent his arguments conform to historical reality. The lecture will show that Putin’s claims about the non-existence of the Ukrainian nation are not only historically ill-informed, rather, they are a projection of problems with Russian national consciousness. In sharp contrast to Ukraine, the Russian state has not managed to find a national identity which would break with the imperial past. Intellectually, a decolonization of Russian self-understanding is possible. But the historical unity of the Russian state, the Russian empire, and Russian nation make such a post-imperial consciousness difficult.
As one historian has put it: Russia never had an empire; it was one from the outset. The war on Ukraine is one outcome of the inability of Russia’s political elite to find a positive sense of self after the breakdown of the Soviet empire in 1991.
The winner of the Ernest Scott Prize will be announced following the lecture. The Ernest Scott Prize is awarded annually for the most distinguished contribution to the history of Australia or New Zealand, and is supported by the History Program in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.
This is a free online event, but we encourage audience members to donate to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal, established by the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations.