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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Russian Studies

Staff in the Department of Russian

Mr George Bocean, BA History and Sociology (University of Greenwich), MA Social and Political Thought (University of Sussex), PhD Student Russian Studies - Intellectual History (Durham University)

Contact Mr George Bocean (email at florin.g.bocean@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Having had a passion for history as well as an interest in social justice and change, I have decided to pursue a joint honour in History and Sociology at the University of Greenwich (2013-2016), where I would develop an interest in working-class history, with an analysis from a Marxist historiographical perspective. Afterwards, I would develop an interest in social and political theory, alongside Marxist economics, which is why I pursued my Masters in Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex (2016-2017). I worked with Professor Darrow Schecter on the question of imperialism in 1917 compared to the modern times, from a Marxist perspective according to the writings of Lenin and Trotsky.

After graduating from Sussex, I decided to research the theories and ideas of Russian Marxists in more depth from an Intellectual Historical perspective within the context of Russia. I am working closely with Dr. Dušan Radunović and Professor Andy Byford, and my PhD examines the theme of Russian Marxism and religion in the turning point in history of late 19th and early 20th century, with a focus on the revolutionary periods of 1905, February and October 1917, and the Civil War. By researching and focusing on the philosophical texts of the main figures of Russian Marxism, from the emergence of Russian Marxism in 1880 to the death of Lenin in 1924 and also period shortly after, with the rise of Stalin and expulsion of Trotsky. The research itself analyses the theoretical understanding and approaches the Russian Marxist thinkers had towards the question of religion not only from a philosophical and theoretical perspective, but also from a political and practical perspective, as religion had a materially important role within Russia at the time. In doing so, it would not only offer a better perspective on the theoretical ideas of such intellectuals, but also put into context their understandings, debates, and approaches towards the questions of religion by contrasting it with the socio-historical background in Russia as well.

Research Interests

  • Intellectual History
  • 19th and 20th century European History (Russia/Soviet Union, Eastern and Central Europe)
  • Social History (working-class history, Proletkult)
  • Social and Political Thought (Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Plekhanov, Vperedists)
  • Social Sciences (inequality and social change, women’s rights, minority rights)
  • Socialism and Communism
  • Sociology of Language

Is supervised by