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Professor Geoff Roberts, School of History, honoured by colleagues

15 May
Professor Geoff Roberts, School of History, UCC

On Thursday May 3rd and Friday May 4th UCC hosted delegates from the Irish Association for Russian, Central and East European Studies (IARCEES) who participated in a seminar to mark the retirement of Professor Geoff Roberts from UCC’s School of History.

Professor Roberts is past President of IARCEES and a key figure in Russian and Soviet studies in Ireland for the past 25 years.
The seminar (Rethinking Stalin and Stalinism) opened with a keynote address by Professor Chris Read from Warwick University’s Department of History on The many lives of Joseph Stalin.

On Friday 5th May speakers from Universities from across Ireland and the UK explored diverse aspects of the impact and significance of Stalinism in Russia and beyond. Professor Roberts chaired the seminar and offered closing comments to the Association at the end of these presentations.
Professor Roberts is a recognised world authority on Stalin, the Second World War, and the history of Soviet military and foreign policy. He has published 30 books and some 70 journal articles and book chapters. His work has been translated into 16 languages including Russian, Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, Swedish and Turkish. In 2013 the US-based Society for Military History honoured his biography Stalin’s General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov (Random House 2012) with its Distinguished Book Award.

Professor Roberts’ academic achievements have been recognised through many prizes and awards: Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (1997); UCC President’s Award for Teaching Excellence (2003); Fulbright Scholar, Harvard University (2005); Government of Ireland Senior Research Fellow (2004-2005); Senior Research Fellow, Nobel Peace Institute, Oslo (2008); IRCHSS Distinguished Fellow (2010); Senior Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies, Budapest (2015) and three UCC Research Achievement Awards, including a life-time award in 2012. Professor Roberts was elected fellow of the Royal Irish Academy in 2016.

Post-retirement Geoff will spend a year as a Senior Research Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies working on a project entitled “Stalin’s Peacemakers”.
Noting Professor Robert’s considerable research profile Professor Chris Williams, Head of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, said ‘Joseph Stalin once wrote a Pravda article titled “Dizziness with Success”. The roll-call of Geoff Roberts’s scholarly accomplishments literally leaves one dizzy, and it’s a marvellous testament to the esteem in which Geoff is held that such a distinguished gathering of historians is amassing in UCC to pay tribute to his contribution to our understanding of one of the twentieth century’s most compelling and terrible figures.’

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