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UK/Russia Year of Culture: Talk: Origins and Persistence of National Stereotypes

Thu, Apr 24 2014

Thu, Apr 24 2014

We all recognize that stereotypes are a gross simplification. The urge to categorize and to generalize nonetheless seems endemic and stereotypes have a surprisingly long life. Professor Cross will trace the origins of British stereotypes of Russia and Russians, follow their modifications and mutations down the centuries and examine the extent to which cultural, social and political factors play a role.

Anthony Cross was Professor of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge from 1985 to 2004. Previously, he was Reader in Russian at the University of East Anglia and Roberts Professor of Russian at the University of Leeds. He is internationally known for his work on eighteenth-century Russia and Anglo-Russian cultural relations. He founded the Study Group on Eighteenth-Century Russia in 1968 and edited the Group’s annual Newsletter from 1973 to 2009. Professor Cross has written and edited some twenty-five books and has published over four hundred articles, notes and reviews. Among his principal publications are: By the Banks of the Thames: Russians in Eighteenth-Century Britain (1980) (Russian translation 2006) and By the Banks of the Neva: Chapters from the Lives and Careers of the British in Eighteenth-Century Russia (1996) (Russian translation 2005); the latter was awarded the 1998 Antsiferov Prize for the best work on St Petersburg published by a foreign author in 1996-1997. Professor Cross has just completed a major bibliographical project In the Land of the Romanovs: An Annotated Bibliography of English-Language First-Hand Accounts of Russia, 1613 to 1917. His edited volume, A People Passing Rude: British Responses to Russian Culture (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2012) is reviewed in the December 2013 issue of the East-West Review.