2012: Russia's First Total War: The Wars Against Napoleon in Historical and Cultural Perspective

In his recent book Russia Against Napoleon, Dominic Lieven points out a remarkable fact: few historians of the Napoleonic Wars seem to care that Russia did more than anyone to overthrow Napoleon. As we approach the bicentennial of the climax of those wars, many scholars continue to work within old conceptual frameworks. Westerners still mostly stress their own national contributions to victory—hence the cult of Wellington and Waterloo—and Russians still dwell mostly on the military operations of the brief campaign of 1812. Moreover, there is little cross-fertilization between otherwise excellent scholarship in Russia and the West, with the result that Russia is often missing from the Western scholarship and that much of the literature inside Russia continues to deal with questions that Tolstoi would already have recognized.The historian David Bell calls the conflicts of 1792-1815 the “first total war,” when the European world developed the “modern culture of war and peace” that led eventually to Verdun, Stalingrad, and Hiroshima. Building on this insight, we offer a two-and-a-half-day conference at the University of Pennsylvania on April 20-22, 2012. This conference will examine the Napoleonic Wars by asking questions of the sort that have deepened our insight about the eastern front of the two world wars of the 20th century. Papers will be circulated in advance and discussed at the conference.Sponsored by the Mellon Foundation Cross-Cultural Projects Initiative, the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Penn's Departments of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, History and French Studies Program. 
The Wars Against Napoleon in Historical and Cultural Perspective
Friday, April 20, 2012. Stiteler Hall B 21
9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Welcome
10:00 – 11:30 Keynote Lecture by Dominic Lieven (Cambridge): "Russia against Napoleon: Myth and Reality" 
11:45 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Lunch Break
Chair: Paul W. Werth (University of Nevada)
2:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. Discussant: Donald Sutherland (University of Maryland)
2:20 -- 3:15 Nikolai Promyslov (Russian Academy of Science): The Image of Russia in French Public Opinion and Napoleon's Russian Campaign of 1812       Summary
3:15 – 3:30 Break
3:30 – 4:25 Alan Forrest (The University of York): Russia, the Moscow Campaign and the Making of the Napoleonic Legend
4:25-4:35 Break
4:35-5:30 Alexander M. Martin (University of Notre Dame): “'It Was the Lord’s Will that I Should Not Leave Moscow': J. A. Rosenstrauch’s Memoir of the 1812 War"
Saturday, April 21, 2012, Max Kade Center, 3401 Walnut Street, 329A
8:45 a.m.– 12:20 p.m. PANEL TWO: RUSSIAN AFTERSHOCKS. 
Chair: Peter Holquist (University of Pennsylvania) 
8:45 -- 9:05 Discussant: Victoria Frede (Berkeley)
9:05- 10:00 Julie Grandhaye (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon): Russia’s First Total War. Through the Looking-Glass...and what the Decembrists Found There
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:10 Victor Taki (University of Alberta): “The Horrors of War”: Representations of Violence in the Russian Accounts of the Napoleonic and the Russo-Turkish Wars 
11:10-11:25 Break
11:25 – 12:20 Dominic Lieven (Cambridge): Russia at War Against Napoleon and the Kaiser: Global Contexts and Comparisons
12:25 - 1:45 Lunch Break
Chair: Alexander M. Martin
1:45--2:05 Discussant:  Ilya Vinitsky (University of Pennsylvania)
2:05 – 3:00 Olga Maiorova (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor):  Russian National Mythology and Literary Representations of 1812 after War and Peace
3:00 – 3:15 Break
3:15 – 4:10 Donna Orwin (University of Toronto): Denis Davydov’s Truth in Tolstoy’s War and Peace
4:10-4:25 Break
4:25 – 5:20 Concluding Remarks
Additional Papers:
Patrick O"Meara (Durham University, England): Alexander I, the Russian nobility and 1812: a Pyrrhic victory?
Alan Forrest is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York, United Kingdom. His main research interests are the French Revolutionary period and especially the social history of the Revolution. He serves on the editorial boards of the journals French History and War in History, and is a member of the advisory committee for Annales historiques de la Revolution Francaise. His publications include The French Revolution and the Poor (New York, 1981); Conscripts and Deserters: The Army and French Society during the Revolution and Empire (Oxford, 1989); Soldiers of the French Revolution (Durham, 1990); Napoleon's Men: The Soldiers of the Revolution and Empire (London, 2002); Paris, the Provinces and the French Revolution (2004), and - co-authored with Jean-Paul Bertaud and Annie Jourdan - Napoleon, le monde et les Anglais (London, 2004). 
Victoria Frede is Associate Professor of Russian History at Berkeley. Her area of specialization is Russian intellectual history, with comparisons between developments in Russia, Germany, France and Britain. Her new book is entitled Doubt, Atheism, and the Nineteenth-Century Russian Intelligentsia (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012). 
Julie Grandhaye is a researcher at UMR 5205 Triangle, a pluridisciplinary research institute affiliated with the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. She is the author of Les décembristes: Une génération républicaine en Russie autocratique (2011) and Russie: la République interdite : Le moment décembriste et ses enjeux (XVIIIe - XXIe siècles) (2012).
Peter Holquist is Associate Professor of Russian History at the University of Pennsylvania. His teaching and research focus upon the history of Russia and modern Europe. He is the author of Making War, Forging Revolution: Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914-1921 (Harvard, 2002) and is Associate Editor for Europe Since 1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction (Thomson-Gale, forthcoming 2006). He is founder and editor of the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History and serves as editor for the Kritika Historical Studies.
Dominic Lieven is Professor of Russian History at Cambridge and Fellow of the British Academy. Professor Lieven is a world-authority on Russian history notably in the areas of comparative imperial history; problems of political stability on the European periphery 1860-1939, and Russia's confrontation with Napoleon 1807-14. His most recent book is Russia Against Napoléon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814 (2009)
Olga Maiorova is Associate Professor of Russian Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a leading specialist in the 19th century intersections of Russian literature, nationalistic discourses, and representations of nationality. Her most recent book is From the Shadow of Empire: Defining the Russian Nation through Cultural Mythology in the Great Reform Era, 1855-1870s (2010)
Alexander M. Martin is Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He has written on the experience of Russian civilians in the Napoleonic Wars and on how educated Russians thought about urban modernization. He is currently working on a project entitled Enlightened Absolutism and Urban Modernity in Moscow, 1763-1881. Professor Martin is also one of the three editors of Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, a leading U.S. journal in the field.
Donna Orwin is Professor of Russian Literature at the University of Toronto. A President of The American Tolstoy Society, she is an author of numerous works on Tolstoy and Russian literature of the 19th century. Her most recent books include Anniversary Essays on Tolstoy (2010) and Consequences of Consciousness: Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy (2007).
Nikolai Promyslov is a researcher at the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Science. His recent works include Saratov Region and Napoleonic Wars (2011, in Russian) and “The retreat of Grande Armée from Moscow to Smolensk according the letters of French soldiers”
Victor Taki is SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Dr. Taki's research interests include the cultural history of war, diplomatic history, modern history, orientalism, Ottoman history, and Russo-Turkish relations. 
Donald Sutherland is Professor of History at the University of Maryland.  His books include The Chouans: The Social Origins of Popular Counterrevolution in Upper Brittany, 1770-96 (1982), France, 1789-1815: Revolution and Counterrevolution, vol. 1 of Douglas Johnson (ed.). In 2002, the French government made him a Chevalier des palmes académiques for his contributions to French culture. He has just completed a manuscript entitled Lynching, Law, and Justice: Murder in Aubagne.
Ilya Vinitsky is Associate Professor of Russian Literature and Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. His area of specialization is 19th century Russian intellectual and emotional history. He is the author of Ghostly Paradoxes: Modern Spiritualism and Russian Culture in the Age of realism (University of Toronto Press, 2009), Russian Literature: A Cultural History (with Andrew Baruch Wachtel, Polity Press 2009) and a number of articles on Tolstoy. He is currently co-teaching a class on Napoleonic Wars and Tolstoy’s War and Peace with Professor Peter Holquist.
Paul W. Werth is Professor in the History Department at the University of Nevada. He is currently editor of the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. His research interests include issues of ethnic and religious minorities in the Russian empire and the problem of religious toleration in the Russian Empire. His book, At the Margins of Orthodoxy, was published with Cornell University Press in 2002, and a book of his essays in Russian translation has been published as Pravolsavie, inoslavie, inoverie: Ocherki po istorii religioznogo raznoobraziia Rossiiskoi imperii (New Literary Review, 2012).