The University of Iowa

In the news: Russian revolution turns 100, 'WorldCanvass' takes note

November 2nd, 2017

By Paige Schlichte, The Daily Iowan 

It’s been a century — almost to the day — since the Bolsheviks led an insurrection and took power in Russia, giving rise to the Soviet Union, and setting off a series of events that would help shape Western history.

A “WorldCanvass” discussion Wednesday night at MERGE celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the Russian Revolution by focusing on its cultural, historical, and political impacts throughout the last century on an international scale.

Joan Kjaer, the host of “WorldCanvass,” said the topic arose about a year ago when several faculty members in the History and Political Science Departments approached her about the upcoming anniversary.

“This is a clear example of a topic that arose from faculty interest on campus to mark an important moment in history,” Kjaer said. “The breaking news today regarding incidents of Russians involved in the U.S. campaign has made this topic more timely and relevant than we expected it to be.”

The discussion began with an overview of the revolution itself by Michael Zmolek, a lecturer in the University of Iowa History Department.

“It’s such a world-transformative event, and this anniversary seems like a great opportunity to talk about what happened, especially since it had such a huge impact on the 20th century,” Zmolek said.