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Boldness of Spirit, Submission to Necessity: Russian State and Society during the First Cholera Pandemic, 1829-1832

April 27, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Over fifty years ago, Asa Briggs encouraged scholars to consider the history of cholera and how it might contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between state and society. The first cholera pandemic originated in Bengal in 1817, with Russia the first European state to be affected by cholera, with a limited incidence in 1823 followed by a much more significant outbreak beginning in 1829. Russia would experience the first six pandemics, and these repeated outbreaks provide an opportunity to consider the response of the imperial and early Soviet states, as well as the disease’s impact on a modernizing society (and developing scientific community) over time. This paper examines the experience of cholera in Russia during the first pandemic, with particular attention to the state’s interventionist measures, the response of medical personnel, and the outbreak of popular revolt.


rupp-photo-sqSusan Rupp is Associate Professor of History at Wake Forest University, where she has taught since 1993. She is currently working on a project focusing on the history of epidemic disease in Russia and the Soviet Union, from the reign of Nicholas I to the early years of the Soviet regime.




The Carolina Seminar: Russia and Its Emipres, East and West is co-sponsored by the Carolina Seminar Program, the UNC Department of History, and the Duke Council for European Studies. Please note that the participants will give an overview of their projects, but will not read a formal paper. Instead, papers or book chapters will be posted here ahead of time for those who are interested in attending and participating in the discussion.


April 27, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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