November 6, 2017
On the eve of the 100th anniversary of October Revolution of 1917, scientific conferences dedicated to this epoch-making event were being held around the world. The leaders in organizing the highest number of conferences and seminars devoted to October 1917 are Russian cities - Moscow and, of course, Saint Petersburg. Scientists are trying to summarize and find a common platform for reassessing the events of century ago. How did October 1917 change the world? In what direction did it change the historical process? How to find a balance between assessing the terrible tragedies and great achievements associated with this date? Undoubtedly, those revolutionary events left a deep trace in the history of Kazakhstan. In recent decades scientists diverged so much in making the assessments of the revolution, and it is mostly due to the disorientation, that occurred in connection with the changes of scientific paradigms. The Marxist-Leninist interpretation of the meaning of 1917 was replaced by a narrowly nationally oriented approach. These changes do not contribute to a sober understanding of the legacy of the October Revolution. It is necessary to situate the logic behind those events of a century ago into a broader context and see holistic picture of the transformations beyond the borders of our country.
The Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies of School of Humanities and Social Sciences could not leave this anniversary date without any attention. Nazarbayev University in partnership with Gumilyov Eurasian National University and Buketov Karagandy State University had organised international conference “On the Periphery of Collapsing Empire: National Minorities and the 1917 Revolution”. The conference was held on 4-5 November 2017 in Senate Hall at Nazarbayev University. In addition to professors and students from the organizing universities, the forum brought together leading experts in the history of Kazakhstan and Russia from the Sh. Valikhanov Institute of History and Ethnography, Oxford, Harvard Universities, universities of Heidelberg, Hong Kong and Finland, as well as the Higher School of Economics, the Russian History Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of History of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The conference discussed important episodes of revolutionary events in Kazakhstan, Siberia, the Caucasus and Far East, problems of past and contemporary interpretations of the meaning and contribution of the Revolution to the further history of various nations of former Russian Empire, reactions of religious affiliations to political crisis in the country, and also the problems of violence, that accompanied the revolution.