Katy Turton

Feb 23 2017

Women in Revolt: The Female Experience of the 1917 Revolutions

Revolutionary crises tend to bring women to the fore and the Russian revolutions of 1917 are no exception. The Tsarina’s role in precipitating the fall of the Romanov dynasty is well known and due recognition has been given to the important spark provided to the revolutionary crowds of Petrograd by the International Women’s Day marches of 23 February. The short-lived defence of the Winter Palace in October by the First Petrograd Women’s Battalion against the Bolsheviks is the stuff of legend and Alexandra Kollontai’s call for women’s liberation in the new Soviet regime is as much celebrated as misunderstood. This talk will discuss these iconic moments in the wider context of women’s experiences of and contributions to the Russian revolutions of 1917.


Katy Turton is a lecturer in European history at Queen’s University, Belfast, specialising in Russian and Soviet history. A graduate of the universities of Aberdeen, Strathclyde and Glasgow, her first book, Forgotten Lives, focused on Lenin’s sisters, Anna, Olga and Maria Ulianova. Her current research centres on the role of women and family networks in the revolutionary movement with publications including: ‘A Mother’s Love or Political Statement? The Role of Maria Alexandrovna Ulianova in her Family’s Revolutionary Struggle’ in Women’s History Review, ‘Keeping it in the Family: Surviving Political Exile, 1870-1917’ in Canadian Slavonic Papers, and ‘Children of the Revolution: Parents, Children and the Revolutionary Struggle in Late Imperial Russia’ in The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth. Find an interview with Katy Turton on Forgotten Lives here.  University web page