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Flying Away from the Bolshevik Winter: Soviet Refugees Across the Southern Borders (1917–1946) — Dr Denis Volkov’s Paper

Methodologically drawing on the most recent works in Migration Studies and Russian Emigré Studies the current research studies migration from the USSR into Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan (1917–1946). Using recently declassified documents from archives in Britain, France, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran, research looks into the phenomena, such as displaced statehood, political activism and cross‑cultural interaction in the context of the migration/refugees policies of the relevant states (Britain, the USSR and the host countries).

Flying Away from the Bolshevik Winter: Soviet Refugees Across the Southern Borders (1917–1946) — Dr Denis Volkov’s Paper

31 October – 2 November 2019, the Twelfth Annual ASMEA Conference ‘Past, Present and Future in the Middle East and Africa’ was held in Washington, D.C., USA.

The 2019 Conference featured:

— Banquet Luncheon and professional networking reception.
— Roundtable discussions.
— Presentations on scholarly topics from Middle Eastern and African studies, and related disciplines.
— Film screenings.
— Publishers’ displays of the latest academic titles.

The Conference comprised 49 panels (7 parallel panels and roundtables at a time) with academic papers on different topics in politics, history, sociology, literature, arts, etc. within the field of Middle Eastern and African studies.

The National Research University Higher School of Economics was represented at the Conference by Associate Professor and Leading Research Fellow at the Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, Denis V. Volkov, who delivered a paper ‘Flying Away from the Bolshevik Winter: Soviet Refugees Across the Southern Borders (1917‑1946)’ — an interim outcome of the research carried out by him at IISH, Amsterdam, in 2018‑2019 and sponsored by the Prince Dr Sabbar Farman‑Farmaian Fellowship. The interim research results were divided into three sections: periodisation of the relevant migration flow from the USSR, geographical divisions and political activism of Soviet refugees in Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan during the interwar period and WWII.

The paper was warmly received, resulting in productive critical debates regarding the past and the present of ‘Russia in the Middle East’. In addition, Dr Volkov served as Discussant at the panel ‘Securing their Toehold: Colonial Powers at War in the Middle East’ focusing on the imperialist activities of Russia, Britain and France in the Middle East during the first quarter of the twentieth century. Dr Volkov’s conference participation was secured by the ASMEA Travel Grant.

 The Conference Programme


Update: April, 1st 2020

A new article by HSE IOCS’ Leading Research Fellow Denis V. Volkov has been published

On March 17th, 2020, The Journal of Refugee Studies (Oxford University Press, Impact Factor 1.737) published an article ‘Flying away from the Bolshevik winter: Soviet refugees across the Soviet borders (1917–30)’ by Dr Volkov and Professor Atabaki (International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam). Shortly before, November 2019, Dr Volkov presented the above joint research supported by the Prince Dr Farman‑Farmaian Project and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Washington, D.C. at the 12th Conference of ASMEA.

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