Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914-22, Part 2: The Central Powers’ Perspective
Central European History Society 5
Heather R. Perry, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Emre Sencer, Knox College
This roundtable brings together the three co-editors of the Central Powers volume in the international scholarly series Russia's Great War and Revolution, 1914-1922; it is one of three, “linked” roundtables we are proposing in connection with this ambitious project. Titled, "The View from the Other Side: Central Powers' Perspectives on Russia's War and Revolution," the volume—and roundtable-- focuses upon the experiences and attitudes of the Central Power nations--their peoples and governments--as they interacted with Imperial Russia during this tumultuous time. As an editorial team, we are trying to push the existing scholarly discussions of this topic by looking beyond the already well-covered military relations between the Russian and the Central Powers' armies. Rather, we have chosen to broaden the concept of "the Eastern Front” to include such topics as the cultural perceptions of and social interactions between Russia and her belligerent neighbors before, during and after the war. In doing so, our aim is to reveal how pre-war stereotypes and popular attitudes among the people of the Central Power nations influenced and were influenced by Russians at this time. We also expand the Eastern Front to areas beyond the traditional Russo-German border and thus include the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire, and the Adriatic theaters. The two books in our forthcoming volume include chapters on occupation regimes, natural landscapes, borderlands and frontiers, cultural exchange, identity politics, economic policies, and ethnic relations. We have found that cultural and social analyses of belligerent interactions not only enhance our understanding of this particular conflict in Russian history, but also of scholarship on the First World War more generally. During the roundtable, each presenter will outline and discuss the innovative research being published in the volume's two books according to their geographic specialty: John Deak (Austria-Hungary); Heather Perry (Germany); and Emre Sencer (Ottoman Empire). Project general editor David M. McDonald, a specialist on Russia, will offer an overview.