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Media and Networks of Intellectual Revolution


“Who does this book belong to?”

“It is ours. And anyone who hasn’t read it is an ignoramus.” 

(dialogue from Mikhail Kalatozov’s I Am Cuba (1964)) 


About this project:

The Russian revolutions in 1917 quickly reverberated around the world, generating revolutions and political changes from East Asia to Latin America and Africa, but also framing a broad paradigm shift in intellectual life. Communist aesthetics, the artistic avant-garde, Russian formalism, the Bakhtin Circle: all were parts of a global intellectual revolution whose causes, ramifications, and impact stretched far beyond the Soviet Union, beyond even the reach of global communism. This history forces us to ask: what constitutes an intellectual revolution? What are its causes and mechanisms? How do revolutionary cultural and intellectual changes relate to political change? To what degree can intellectual revolution be translated and re-situated? How do new media change our understanding of these mechanisms and the prospects for future intellectual revolutions? Are we today in a revolutionary moment?


Over the past few years, Revolutionology has sought to analyze the international networks of revolutionary thought in a variety of ways. On the one hand, we have taken a quantitative and visual approach to these networks by mapping the publication data of various revolutionary texts, which can be accessed through the links on the right side of this page. These data maps and graphs illuminate certain “hubs” or “peaks” of revolutionary thought by highlighting publishing houses and cities that output revolutionary texts and by marking the years in which such publications had the largest (or smallest) circulation. On the other hand, Revolutionology has held several conferences to approach questions about revolutionary networks from a more qualitative perspective. At these conferences, scholars from around the country and the world came together to discuss specific texts and their impact, resulting in the publication of a volume of essays. The published journal can be found at this link; essays associated with particular texts can be accessed on the right side of this page. 


Click on the tabs to the right to get more information on a variety of revolutionary publications.

Website and data mappings/graphs were created by undergraduate research assistants Alexandra Price and Rebeka Pushkar, working closely with Professors Robert Bird and James Farr.


Questions or comments about the project may be addressed to:

Professor Robert Bird

Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Department of Cinema and Media Studies, and Fundamentals: Issues and Texts.

Professor James Farr

Political Theorist in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University.

Alexandra Price

Russian and Eastern European Studies/History, University of Chicago, Class of 2020

Rebeka Pushkar

Russian and Eastern European Studies/Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Chicago, Class of 2020