"Catherine the Great and the Theater of Power"

Presented by Hilde Hoogenboom and Mark Cruse

Asst. Prof. of Russian and Assoc. Prof. of French in the School of International Letters & Cultures at ASU

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 7:00PM, Changing Hands Bookstore

Co-sponsored by Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation and Project Humanities at Arizona State University

About the Program

Catherine the Great (1729-96) undertook the greatest expansion of the Russian empire since Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century, and modernized the administration, education system, army, and judiciary of the Russian state. Born in Germany, Catherine came to power in a coup d’état during which her husband, Emperor Peter III, was killed by a brother of her lover Grigory Orlov, by whom she had just given birth to an illegitimate son. Despite these inauspicious beginnings, Catherine ruled for 34 years until her death, with a combination of intellectual brilliance and an instinct for power. This talk examines some of the many ways that Catherine projected images of herself as a powerful (but not despotic) ruler of a mighty European nation—an image that was intended for her people, the international community, and posterity.