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Doctoral Defense of Anastasia Papushina

Monday, November 27, 2023, 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Remains in Revolution: Death and burial in France (1789-99) and Russia (1917-27)

This dissertation explores how, in a sphere as fundamental and resistant to change as death and burials, cultural initiatives guided by big ideas were adjusted and adapted at the everyday level in two highly volatile socio-political contexts: the French revolution of 1789 and the Russian revolution of 1917. The author traces how the proposed innovations in death-related administration, practices, and rituals, spurred by growing urbanization and the quest for social equality as by the influence of secular ideologies and discontent with traditional Christianity, found their way among the unfavorable political and economic circumstances and clashed with traditional customs that proved remarkably resilient. The study offers a multi-level comparison in the spheres that have not been studied comparatively before: everyday life and death-related practices, and highlights the limits of historical myths the Russian revolutionaries constructed about their heritage.


Examination Committee:

Vlad Naumescu - chair (Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, CEU)

Marsha Siefert – supervisor (Department of History, CEU)

Julian Casanova – internal member (Department of History, CEU)

Sarah Badcock – external member (University of Nottingham, Department of History)

Eric Aunoble – external member (Université de Génève, Département des études méditerranéennes, slaves et orientales)


The doctoral dissertation is available for inspection. Should you wish to access it, please contact
Margaretha Boockmann (


A Zoom link for the defense will be sent upon request. Please contact Csilla Dobos (