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Archaeology and History

Photo of Professor Matthew Rendle

Professor Matthew Rendle

Associate Professor of Russian History

M.Rendle@exeter.ac.uk

4319

01392 724319


Overview

My research focuses on Russian history during the late Imperial and revolutionary periods. My first book focused on the role of elite groups, such as nobles, officers and landowners, in the revolutionary process; Defenders of the Motherland: The Tsarist Elite in Revolutionary Russia (Oxford University Press, 2010) [http://www.oup.com/uk/catalogue/?ci=9780199236251], whilst I was a guest editor of a special issue of Historical Research commemorating the centenary of 1917: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hisr.v90.247/issuetoc. My second book, The State versus The People: Revolutionary Justice in Russia's Civil War (Oxford University Press, 2020), uses a study of revolutionary tribunals during Russia's civil war (1917-22) to examine changing definitions of crime during this period, the interaction between state and society, and the role of law and violence in the formation of the Soviet state [https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-state-versus-the-people-9780198840428?cc=gb&lang=en&]. Future projects include an examination of the print culture of 1917, and the historical and international influences on the Russian Revolution.

I am the Co-Editor of Revolutionary Russia, a longstanding interdisciplinary journal focusing on the revolutionary period in Russian history [http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/09546545.asp]. The journal is also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/russia_journal

I am also a Series Editor for the BASEES / Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies [https://www.routledge.com/carees/series/BASEES].

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Research

I am interested in most aspects of Russian history during the late Imperial and revolutionary periods. 

I have published a number of articles on the nobility, officers and landowners during this period, and their role in the revolution was also the subject of my recent book; Defenders of the Motherland: The Tsarist Elite in Revolutionary Russia (Oxford University Press, 2010) [http://www.oup.com/uk/catalogue/?ci=9780199236251]. I have also written three survey chapters on tsarist elites, including the clergy and business elites, for edited volumes.

My recent project used a study of revolutionary tribunals during Russia's civil war (1917-22) to examine changing definitions of crime during this period, the concept of revolutionary 'justice', the interaction between regime and society, and the role of law and violence in the formation of the Soviet state, and is entitled The State Versus The People: Revolutionary Justice in Russia's Civil War 1917-22 (Oxford University Press, 2020) [https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-state-versus-the-people-9780198840428?cc=gb&lang=en&]. Various aspects of this research have been funded by a research fellowship from the The Leverhulme Trust (2011-12), which financed a period of leave, and a small grant from the British Academy (2012-13), which funded several research trips to archives and libraries in Russia, the UK and the US. The first fruits of this research have been published as articles in Historical ResearchEurope-Asia Studies and Slavonic and European Review. I have also written a piece on justice across the revolutionary divide, which examines continuity and change in conceptions of justice across 1917. The objectives of the broad project are the subject of a longer piece in The International Newsletter of Communist Studies, XVIII (2012), no. 25, pp. 56-59, available at http://newsletter.icsap.de/home/data/pdf/INCS_25_ONLINE.pdf

I have acted as guest editor for a special issue of Historical Research commemorating the centenary of 1917: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hisr.v90.247/issuetoc. As part of the centenary, I also co-wrote two articles with Anna Lively exploring the memory of 1917 in contemporary Russia and how Russia commemorated the centenary in 2017, which were published in Historical Research and History & Memory, and I retain an interest in the evolving memory of the revolutionary period.

I have also written on Moscow province (1914-22) and on gobal influences on the Russian Revolution in Slavic Review. Current projects include studies of the print culture of 1917, civil society in Russia across the revolutionary period, and the historical and global influences on the Russian Revolution.

I have also written over thirty book reviews, reviewed grants for various funding bodies, and reviewed book proposals for various publishers and articles for numerous journals.

I am the Co-Editor of Revolutionary Russia, a longstanding interdisciplinary journal focusing on the revolutionary period in Russian history [http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/09546545.asp]. The journal is also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/russia_journal

I am also a Series Editor for the BASEES / Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies [https://www.routledge.com/carees/series/BASEES].

I am a member of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies; Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies; and the Study Group on the Russian Revolution.

Past research papers include:

'Socialist Legality in Early Soviet Russia', Trinity College Dublin, June 2023

'Inventing the Russian Revolution: Conceptualising Revolution in the Print Culture of 1917', University of Warwick, May 2022

'Revolutionary Justice in Early Soviet Russia', Humboldt University, Berlin, December 2021

'The State versus the People: Revolutionary Justice in Russia's Civil War, 1917-22', Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociale, Paris, November 2021

'Inventing the Russian Revolution: Conceptualising Revolution in the Print Culture of 1917', Historical Association, Plymouth Branch, October 2021

'Forging the Revolutionary Story: Image and Text in the Print Culture of 1917', Association of Slavonic, East European and Eurasan Studies Congress, online, November 2020

'Inventing the Russian Revolution: Conceptualizing Revolution in the Print Culture of 1917', Association of Slavonic, East European and Eurasian Studies Congress, San Francisco, USA, November 2019

'Appeals, Justice and the Logic of Mercy in Early Soviet Russia', Association of Slavonic, East European and Eurasian Studies Congress, Boston, USA, December 2018

'Revolutionary Justice versus Revolutionary Violence?', Modern History Research Centre, University of Winchester, October 2018

'The Battle for Spaces and Places in Russia's Civil War', Kruzhok Discussion Paper, Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA, April 2018

'The Legacy of 1917 in Modern Russia', Historical Association, Winchester Branch, March 2018

'Reflections on the Centenary of the Russian Revolution, 1917-2017', History Society Lecture, Dauntsey's School, January 2018

'Corruption on Trial: Crimes of Office, Law and Legitimising State Power', Association of Slavonic, East European and Eurasian Studies Congress, Chicago, USA, November 2017

'From Magna Carta to the Russian Revolution: Pamphlets, Political Discourse and English Influences during 1917', War, Revolution and Empire in Russian History: A Workshop in Honour of David Saunders, Newcastle University, May 2017  

'The Legacy of the 1917 February Revolution in Contemporary Russia and the Wider World', Gorwel: The Welsh Foundation for Innovation in Public Affairs, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff, February 2017

'The Legacy of the 1917 February Revolution in Contemporar Russia and the Wider World', University of South Wales, Pontypridd, February 2017

'The Legacy of 1917 and the USSR in Contemporary Russia', Historical Association, Exeter Branch, December 2016

'The Legacy of the 1917 Revolution in Modern Russia', Historical Association, Cornwall Branch, November 2016

‘Defining Crimes and Criminals: Revolutionary Consciousness, Tribunals and Conceptions of Justice across Russia’s Civil War’, Association of Slavonic, East European and Eurasian Studies Congress, Philadelphia, USA, November 2015

‘Revolutionary Justice in Russia’s Revolution and Civil War, 1917-22’, Globalising the History of Revolutions, University College Dublin, October 2015

‘Revolutionary Justice, State-Building and Russia’s Civil War, 1917-22’, International Studies, Conflict and Security Seminar Series, Swansea, June 2015

‘Understanding Crimes and Criminals: Revolutionary Tribunals and Conceptions of Justice across Russia’s Civil War’, 7th Annual CRCEES Research Forum, Glasgow, June 2015

‘The Problem of the ‘Local’ in Revolutionary Russia: Moscow Province, 1914-1922’, Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre Seminar, St Antony’s College, Oxford, May 2014

‘Revolutionary Justice in Russia’s Civil War’, Historical Association, Exeter Branch, January 2014

'Revolutionary Tribunals and the Law in Provincial Russia, 1917-1922', Association of Slavonic, East European and Eurasian Studies Congress, Boston, USA, November 2013   'How Revolutionary was 'Revolutionary Justice'? Popular Conceptions of Justice and the Courts, 1900s-1930s', Across 1917 Workshop, Cambridge, April 2013   'Revolutionary Tribunals and the Role of 'Revolutionary Justice' in Early Soviet Russia', British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies / International Council for Central and Eastern European Studies European Congress, Cambridge, April 2013   'Justice and Terror in Revolutionary Russia', History Society Lecture, Dauntsey's School, October 2012   'Mercy amid Terror? Amnesties and Tribunals during Russia's Civil War', The Study Group on the Russian Revolution, Glasgow, January 2012    ‘Civil Society in Revolutionary Russia’, delivered as part of a panel entitled ‘Across 1917 – Society, Culture and Identity’, British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies, Cambridge, April 2011   ‘Defining the ‘Political’ Crime: Revolutionary Tribunals in Early Soviet Russia’, at a conference entitled ‘Villains and Victims: Justice, Violence, and Retribution in Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia’, Nottingham, April 2010   ‘The Tsarist Elite in Revolutionary Russia’, Centre for Russian Studies, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, December 2009   'The Tsarist Elite, Democracy and the Russian Revolution', Department of History and Welsh History Research Seminar, Aberystwyth University, February 2008   ‘The Union of Officers and Russian Revolutionary Democracy’, The Study Group on the Russian Revolution, Aberdeen, January 2008    ‘The Persistence of the Tsarist Regime: Examining the Process of Revolution’, British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies, Cambridge, April 2005   ‘Disintegration or Unity: The Paradox of the Russian Noble Family during the Revolution’, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Boston, USA, December 2004   ‘Untapped Riches: Studying the Russian Nobility in 1917’, The Study Group on the Russian Revolution, Durham, January 2001

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Supervision

I am particularly interested in supervising students wishing to research any elements of the political, social or cultural history of late Imperial and revolutionary Russia. I am also happy, however, to supervise work on many other aspects of modern Russian history. I have extensive experience of working in Russian archives - government, party and military - and libraries, as well as among collections in other countries, particularly the US and UK.

Research students

Jamie Bryson, 'The Russian Empire and Internal Security in the First World War' (2020-present)

Adam Coker, 'French Influence in Russia, 1780s to 1820s: The Origins of Permanent Culture Transfer' (2012-15)

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Publications

Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2024 | 2023 | 2021 | 2020 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2010 | 2008 | 2006 | 2005 |

2024

2023

2021

  • Rendle M, Lively A. (2021) The Antirevolutionary Commemoration: The Centenary of 1917 in Russia, History & Memory, volume 33, no. 2, pages 3-45, DOI:10.2979/histmemo.33.2.02.
  • Retish A, Rendle M. (2021) From Lenin's Overcoat? The Global Impact of the Russian Revolution, The Global Impact of the Russian Revolution, Routledge, 1-8.
  • Retish A, Rendle M. (2021) The Global Impact of the Russian Revolution, Routledge.

2020

  • Rendle M. (2020) The State versus The People: Revolutionary Justice in Russia's Civil War, 1917-22, Oxford University Press. [PDF]
  • Rendle M. (2020) Counter-Revolution and the Tsarist Elite, A Companion to the Russian Revolution, Wiley-Blackwell, 187-195.
  • Rendle M, Retish AB. (2020) Introduction, Revolutionary Russia, volume 33, no. 1, pages 1-5, DOI:10.1080/09546545.2019.1693137.

2018

  • Rendle M. (2018) Quantifying Counter-Revolution: Legal Statistics and Revolutionary Justice during Russia's Civil War, 1917-1922, Geoffrey Swain: Against the Grain, Routledge, 44-64.
  • Rendle M. (2018) The Tsarist Elites in Revolutionary Russia, Russia's Home Front in War and Revolution, 1914-1922. Book 3. National Disintegration, Slavica, 241-265.

2017

2016

2015

  • Rendle M. (2015) The Problem of the 'Local' in Revolutionary Russia: Moscow Province, 1914-1922, Russia's Home Front in War and Revolution, 1914-1922. Book 1. Russia's Revolution in Regional Perspective, Slavica, 19-44.

2014

2013

  • Rendle M. (2013) Defining the 'Political' Crime: Revolutionary Tribunals in Early Soviet Russia, Europe-Asia Studies, volume 65, no. 9, pages 1771-1788.

2012

  • Rendle M. (2012) The State versus The People: Revolutionary Justice in Russia's Civil War, The International Newsletter of Communist Studies, volume XVIII, no. 25, pages 56-59.

2010

  • Rendle M. (2010) Post-Revisionism: The Continuing Debate on Stalinism, Intelligence and National Security, volume 25, no. 3, pages 370-388.
  • Rendle M. (2010) Defenders of the Motherland: The Tsarist Elite in Revolutionary Russia, Oxford University Press.

2008

2006

  • Rendle M. (2006) Conservatism and Revolution: The All-Russian Union of Landowners, 1916-18, Slavonic and East European Review, volume 84, no. 3, pages 481-507.

2005

  • Rendle M. (2005) Family, Kinship and Revolution: The Russian Nobility, 1917-1924, Family and Community History, volume 8, no. 1, pages 35-47.
  • Rendle M. (2005) The Symbolic Revolution: The Russian Nobility and February 1917, Revolutionary Russia, volume 18, no. 1, pages 23-46.

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External impact and engagement

I have participated in a public lecture and debate on the meaning of 1917 in modern Russia organised by Gorwel: The Welsh Foundation for Innovation in Public Affairs and sponsored by David Melding AM at the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff in February 2017.

I have given public talks for branches of the Historical Association in Exeter (2014 and 2016), Cornwall (2016), Winchester (2018), Plymouth (2021), and Taunton (2023), and for the University of South Wales (February 2017), as well as local history societies across the South-West.

I regularly talk to schools and colleges across the South-West.



Contribution to discipline

I am a series Co-Editor, History, BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies, 2018 to present

I am Co-Editor, Revolutionary Russia, 2015 to present

I was Reviews Editor, Revolutionary Russia, 2008-2015

I am a long-standing member of the Study Group on the Russian Revolution, British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies, and Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies


Media

I gave an interview for BBC Wales in February 2017 about commemorations of the centenary of 1917 in Russia.

I have also written the following pieces for a non-academic audience:

'Inventing the Russian Revolution in the Print Culture of 1917', NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, May 2020: https://jordanrussiacenter.org/news/inventing-the-russian-revolution-in-the-print-culture-of-1917/#.YDpEInI3amR

'The Centenary of the Russian Revolution', Past and Future: The Magazine of the Institute of Historical Research, no. 21 (Spring/Summr 2017),14-15: http://www.history.ac.uk/sites/history.ac.uk/files/newsletters/past-and-future-spring-2017-web.pdf

'Why Putin is shy about celebrating the centenary of the Russian Revolution', The Conversation, April 2017: http://theconversation.com/why-putin-is-shy-about-celebrating-the-centenary-of-the-russian-revolution-74394

'How will Russia commemorate the October Revolution', Cicero Foundation Great Debate Paper No. 17/02 [The Cicero Foundation is a 'Pro EU and Pro Atlantic Think Tank'], April 2017: http://www.cicerofoundation.org/lectures/Matthew_Rendle_October_Revolution.pdf

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Teaching

Much of my teaching is focused on my deep interest in all aspects of modern Russian history. In various modules, I try to incorporate the materials that I'm reading and researching on a daily basis to ensure that the module reflects current thinking and scholarship. This might range from the latest debates and studies by historians to thinking about new ways to utilise in my teaching the vast range of sources available in English on Russian history. I have been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2011. I was Runner Up in the Best Feedback category of the annual Exeter Guild of Students Teaching Awards in 2011 and Runner Up in the Outstanding Teaching category of the College of Humanities Teaching Awards in 2022. I served as Director of Education between 2016 and 2018.

Modules taught

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Biography

I studied for a BA in History, MA in European History, and PhD in History at the University of Exeter, completing my PhD thesis in 2003. I remained at Exeter as a part-time Teaching Fellow in 2003-04 before taking up a fixed-term lectureship in modern Russian history at Newcastle University in September 2004. In 2007, I moved to a permanent lectureship in Eastern European history at Aberystwyth University before returning to Exeter as a Lecturer in History in September 2010. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in May 2015 and then to Associate Professor in July 2023.

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