The University is to host a high-profile conference on Russia in the age of Catherine the Great.
The conference will examine the huge changes in Russian society and culture that happened during the Empress’s reign.
It coincides with a major exhibit on the life of Catherine the Great at the National Museum of Scotland.
The conference will be hosted by the University’s Princess Dashkova Centre, which provides a base for Russian research in the UK.
It will take place from 31 August to 1 September.
For further details, see:
The Princess Dashkova Russian Centre is the first centre supported by the Russkiy Mir Foundation to open at a British University.
The Foundation, which is similar to the British Council, promotes Russian culture around the world.
The Centre, which officially opened in 2011, is the best-equipped Russian study centre in the UK.
It houses a library of Russian books, as well as other resources including access to Russian databases and television.
The Centre is named after Princess Ekaterina Dashkova, one of the leading figures of the Russian enlightenment.
Princess Dashkova lived in Edinburgh from 1776 to 1782 while her son attended the University.
While in Edinburgh Princess Dashkova lived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and was close friends with several of Scotland’s brightest enlightenment thinkers.
These included William Robertson, Adam Smith, Hugh Blair and Adam Fergusson.
On returning to Russia she was appointed Director of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg.
She was the first woman in the world to lead a national science academy and founded the Imperial Academy of the Russian Language.
In 1783, as Director of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, she awarded William Robertson, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, with the honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology.
The University is one of most popular destinations for Russian students choosing to study in the UK.
Russian students who choose Edinburgh are following in the footsteps of figures such as Igor Tamm, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1958, who studied in Edinburgh before the First World War.
The University’s association with Russia dates back to the start of the 18th century when Dr Robert Erskine, an Edinburgh alumnus, was appointed Chief physician to Peter the Great and President of the Medical Chancery.
This article was published on Jul 25, 2012