Catherine Merridale was a Research Fellow at the Centre in 1996-1998. In 1997, she began working on Death and Mourning in Russia, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the British Academy. This project examined mortality, mourning and commemoration in Russia from 1850 to the present. It focused on trauma, and it drew on medical and psychological literature as well as historical sources. The work contributed to the social history of medicine and psychology, the comparative history of death and mourning and the medical, cultural and social history of Russia. Dr Merridale visited Moscow from January-April 1997 to carry out archival work and to interview survivors of famine, war, and repression.
Dr Merridale organised a meeting on Trauma, which was held on 15 July 1998 in Cambridge. The meeting was concerned with issues relating to perceptions of and approaches to wide-scale trauma in different cultures, with special emphasis on work in contemporary Russia. Participants included Ira Katznelson (Columbia University), Jennifer Leaning (Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies), Thant Myint-U (Trinity College, Cambridge), Ulinka Rublack (St John’s College, Cambridge) and Deborah Thom (Robinson College, Cambridge).
A one-day workshop was held on 1 December 1997 at the offices of the MacArthur Foundation, Moscow. The aim of the workshop was to discuss research which concerns Russia, in Russian, with Russians drawn from a range of academic and professional backgrounds. Many British and American histories of Russia are never discussed in Russian with Russian audiences, and exploration of the gulf between the two academic traditions was a principal theme of the day. Participants included representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences, demographers from the Centre for Demography and Human Ecology, representatives of the human rights organisation Memorial and of the Holocaust Centre, a Bishop from the Russian Orthodox Church and a spokesperson from the Centre for Public Opinion.
In February 1997, Catherine Merridale and Sergei Panarin (Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences) organised a workshop on Youth, Nationalism and Security in Russia and Kazakhstan, held at the Moscow offices of the MacArthur Foundation. The participants in the workshop generally agreed that large sections of younger people were refusing to engage in the formal political process as well as to accept uncritically the ideologies elaborated by their elders. It was recognised that the great diversity of regional situations should be taken into account and studied separately and thoroughly.
In 1996, Sergei Panarin embarked on a three year study on Nationalism and Youth, focusing on Russian and post-Soviet youth and its political behaviour and beliefs. The work included comparative studies of Russian and Kazakh youth and involved field studies by members of Dr Panarin’s group at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow. They extended their research into several case studies looking at nation-building versus human security in Kazakhstan, the image of ‘other’ by different ethnic groups of post-Soviet youth, an alignment of cultural revivalism and political nationalism against Russia in Buryatia and the impact of historical legacy on contemporary political developments in Central Asia.
In December 1996, Noala Skinner (Centre for History and Economics) organised a small roundtable meeting at King’s College, Cambridge on The Military Utility of Landmines. Introductory remarks were made by John Molander (Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs) and presentations were made by Rae McGrath (International Campaign to Ban Landmines) and Noala Skinner. Participants included Sir Hugh Beach (Former Master General of the Ordnance), Peter Herby (International Committee of the Red Cross), Fiona King (Save the Children, UK) and Emma Rothschild.
In June 1996, a meeting was held in King’s College, Cambridge, on Reasoning about Demilitarisation: A Spectrum of Approaches. There were four sessions: The Idea of Disarmament in the Twentieth Century, Curtailment or Abolition of Armies, Theoretical Reflections and Demilitarisation and Security. There were case studies on Germany after the First World War, Costa Rica and Panama. Participants included James Cornford (The Paul Hamlyn Foundation), Rolf Ekéus (United Nations Special Commission), Franklyn Griffiths (University of Toronto), Don Hubert (University of Cambridge), Mary Kaldor (University of Sussex), Rebecca Keane (Centre for History and Economics), Melissa Lane (King’s College, Cambridge), Gabriela Rodriguez (Arias Foundation), Emma Rothschild, Gareth Stedman Jones and Peter Weiderud (Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs).
In December 1995, Caroline Humphrey (King’s College, Cambridge) visited Moscow to carry out research for a paper on international trade and the state in Russia; the paper was presented at the Centre in 1996.
Also in December 1995, a meeting was organised by Catherine Merridale on History and Identity and was held in King’s College, Cambridge. The papers focused on a set of interlinked themes: the problems of post-colonial history, the issues raised by the exercise of patronage over emerging historical traditions, and the difficulties associated with inter-cultural misunderstanding. Papers were presented by Catherine Merridale on Language, Patronage and the Creation of Historical Paradigm, Catherine Hall (University of Essex) on Thinking about Colonial and Post-colonial Histories: The Case of Jamaica and Ayesha Jalal (Columbia University) on The Muslim Individual and the Community in Islam in South Asia, c. 1857 to 1919. Other participants included Christopher Bayly (St Catharine’s College, Cambridge), Sugata Bose (Tufts University), Istvan Hont (King’s College, Cambridge), Stephan Klasen (World Bank), Sergei Panarin, Roberto Romani (Centre for History and Economics), Emma Rothschild, Jonathan Steinberg (Trinity Hall, Cambridge), Adam Tooze (Robinson College, Cambridge) and Jay Winter (Pembroke College, Cambridge).
In spring 1992, the Economic Theory and Nationalism programme was initiated, coordinated by Kaushik Basu from the Centre for Development Economics at the Delhi School of Economics. In January 1995, Penguin India published Unravelling the Nation: Sectarian Conflict and India’s Secular Identity. The book, edited by Kaushik Basu and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (Delhi School of Economics), brought together papers contributed to the Centre’s Nationalism programme since 1992. The essays were written around the problems inherent in notions of community and nationalism in India, and there were contributions by G. Balachrandan (Delhi School of Economics), Alaka Basu (Cornell University), Veena Das (Delhi School of Economics), Sudhir Kakar (Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi) and Amartya Sen (Harvard University).
In 1994-1995, Ayesha Jalal researched identity and related notions of sovereignty in South Asia, with special reference to Muslims. In June 1994, Dr Jalal organised a two-day meeting on South Asia: Towards an Agenda for a Better Future held at King’s College, Cambridge. Papers were presented by Shapan Adnan (Shomabesh Institute, Bangladesh) and Tariq Banuri (Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Pakistan) on Environmental Concerns, Sumantra Bose (Columbia University) on Kashmir, Farhad Karim (Human Rights Watch) and Gayatri Spivak (Columbia University) on Social Security for Subordinated Groups, Ayesha Jalal, Romila Thapar (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and David Washbrook (St Anthony’s College, Oxford) on The Aftermath of Partition: Nationalism and Communalism, Centralism and Regionalism, and Amartya Sen, Sugata Bose and Rehman Sobhan (Centre for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh) on Economic and Social Security in South Asia.
In January 1993, the National Identity Project in Mongolia was started in cooperation with the Mongolian and Inner Asia Studies Unit, University of Cambridge, under the leadership of Caroline Humphrey. The project was concerned with the origins of national tensions in Inner Asia, and with policies to prevent the deterioration of these tensions into violent conflict. In March 1994, a colloquium on Nationalism and Commercialization in Mongolia and Inner Mongolia was held at King’s College, Cambridge. There were two sessions: Linguistic Nationalism and Economic Development and Japan, State Policy and Mongolia. Discussion was led by Naran Bilik (Mongolia and Inner Asian Studies Unit, Cambridge), Uradyn Bulag (Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, Cambridge) and Marohito Hanada (Prime Minister’s Office, Japan). Other participants included Douglas Galbi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Bair Gomboev (MacArthur Project, Russia), Tomochelor Hao (University of London), Jonathan Haslam (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge), Emma Rothschild, Meena Singh (Centre for History and Economics) and Tsui Yen-hu (MacArthur Project, China).
From 1994, Catherine Merridale coordinated Centre research on History and Identity, particularly problems of language and transition in post-communist and post-colonial states. In May 1994, a meeting on Rewriting Russian History was held in King’s College, Cambridge. Presentations were given by Catherine Merridale on Russian History, Russian Historians and the West; Sergei Panarin on The View from the Russian Side; and Douglas Galbi on Some Recent Experiences with Collaborative Work in Moscow. Other participants included Susan Bayly (Christ’s College, Cambridge), Ernest Gellner (King’s College, Cambridge), Paul Rosenberg (King’s College, Cambridge) and Emma Rothschild.
In July 1993, a meeting was held at King’s College, Cambridge on the 30th anniversary of the Partial Test Ban Treaty, and was hosted by Martin Rees (King’s College, Cambridge) and Emma Rothschild. Presentations were made by John Thomson (GCMG) on Diplomatic Lessons from the Past and Prospects for the Future, Ronald Mason MP on The Political Background, Chrystia Freeland (The Economist) on The Situation in the Former Soviet Union, Peter Jones (former Director of the Atomic Weapon Research Establishment) on Technical Issues, and Patricia Lewis (Verification Research Training and Information Centre) on Verification Aspects. Other participants included Sir Michael Atiyah (President of The Royal Society), Anne Campbell MP, Ambassador Hans Dahlgren (Commission on Global Governance (CGG)), and Edward Mortimer (The Financial Times).
Two meetings were held in Cambridge to bring together Centre research on the topic of Nationalism. In May 1993, a colloquium on Nations, States, and the End of Empires was held at King’s College, Cambridge. Papers were presented by Nick Stargardt (King’s College, Cambridge) on Reinventing the Austro-Hungarian Empire? Karl Renner, Otto Bauer and the Idea of the Multinational State and by Emma Rothschild on Economic Internationalism in the 1790s. Eric Hobsbawm provided remarks on Nationalism. Other participants included Naran Bilik, John Dunn (King’s College, Cambridge), Ernest Gellner (King’s College, Cambridge), Istvan Hont, Caroline Humphrey, Catherine Merridale, Carlo Poni (University of Bologna) and Carl Tham (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).
In June 1993, a colloquium was held on Nationalism and Religion at King’s College, Cambridge. This was organised in cooperation with the Commission on Global Governance. There were three sessions: Ethnic and Religious Conflicts; Conflict and Common Values; and What is to be done? Discussions were led by Ayesha Jalal (Columbia University) on South Asia, Caroline Humphrey on East Asia, and Wangari Matthai (CGG) on Africa, and presentations were made by Mike Clough (CGG) and Emma Rothschild. Other participants included Patricia Hyndman (Wolfson College, Cambridge), Sunil Khilnani (Birkbeck College, University of London), Rama Mani (CGG) and Sanjay Reddy (Harvard University). A report on this colloquium was prepared by Rama Mani.
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