Dashkova Centre

Honorary Dashkova Lecture

The annual Honorary Dashkova Lecture is hosted by the Princess Dashkova Centre and supported by the Cobbe Charitable Trust.

Andrei Zorin


The 2015 Honorary Dashkova Lecture entitled ‘The Ways of Emotional Europeanization of the Russian Elite in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century’ was given by Prof Andrei Zorin on Thursday, 12th of March 2015.

‘Peter gave us being, Catherine - Soul’ - this often quoted line became a rhetorical cliché, as it embodied the main assumptions widespread at the time of its appearance. In his lecture Prof Zorin explored Europeanization of the Russian Elite as a cultural project during the reign of Catherine the Great.

Dr Alexander Verkhovskij


The 2014 Honorary Dashkova Lecture entitled ‘Russia: The Use and Abuse of Anti-extremism’ was given by Dr Alexander Verkhovsky, Director of the SOVA Centre for Information and Analysis (Moscow) on Tuesday, 18th February 2014.

In his lecture Dr Verkhovsky described how, in response to various security threats faced by Russia and in response to certain high-profile acts of terrorism, the Russian government, with the support of much of the population, created new anti-extremist legislation in the first decade of the 21st century.

Evgeny Dobrenko


The 2013 Honorary Dashkova Lecture entitled The Art of Hatred: The Limits of Humanity and Violence in Soviet Wartime Culture was given by Professor Evgeny Dobrenko (University of Sheffield) on 21 February 2013.

One of the most striking features of Soviet culture during WWII (and especially of the first phase of it) was a clear departure from ideological and visual sterility of pre-war culture in which any depiction of violence, suffering, death or victimization was practically tabooed. The disastrous beginning of the war for the Soviet Union and German atrocities brought about major changes to Soviet ideology. This "translation" of ideology into literature (first of all, poetry and journalism) and music was followed by visual arts such as poster, painting and film, completely changing their narrative, style and tune. The focus of this lecture was the retuning of Soviet art according to this new ideological doctrine.

Listen to the lecture on our podcast page

Irina Sandomirskaia


The 2012 Honorary Dashkova Lecture was given by Irina Sandomirskaia , Professor of Cultural Studies at the Centre for Baltic and Eastern European Studies, University College Södertörn (Sweden).

Professor Sandomirskaia examined the phenomenon of Aesopian language, a tradition of euphemistic speech practices developed by Russian speakers in order to speak about politically sensitive issues under censorship.

She also compared different views on Aesopian language by Russians, with reflections on language and politics in contemporary Western theory.