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'Far Away Places' to Feature Presentation on Russian History

Russian book 300BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (4/10/14) — WKU Libraries’s "Far Away Places" speaker series will feature a presentation on "The Great War (World War I) in the Soviet Imagination" by Russian historian Karen Petrone, Professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of Kentucky.

A graduate of Harvard University, Petrone received her PhD from the University of Michigan and joined the faculty of the history department at the University of Kentucky in 1994. Her first major monograph "Life Has Become More Joyous Comrades: Celebrations in the Time of Stalin" was published in 2000 as part of its series in Russian and East European Studies. In it she used previously inaccessible Soviet archives to explore how in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, public celebrations were more than a mere diversion but rather part of a reward system that valorized some citizens "as the best people of the Soviet Union" while encouraging others to follow the example of these heroes.

In her second major work “The Great War in Russian Memory,” published in 2011 by Indiana University Press, she uses memoirs, literature, films, military histories and archival materials to show that World War I, while never officially commemorated, was the subject of “a lively discourse about religion, heroism, violence and patriotism” during the interwar period.

November 2013 Petrone received the Heldt Prize for the “Best Book by a Woman in Slavic/East European/Eurasian Studies” at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Slavic, East European, and East Eurasian Studies convention in Boston.

The event starts at 7 p.m., April 17 at Barnes & Noble, 1680 Campbell Lane. This program is free and open to the public and made possible by Friends of WKU Libraries.

For information, contact Brian Coutts, Department Head for Library Public Services, at (270) 791-3040.

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