My post-doctoral project at the UNAM, From Mexico to Moscow via Madrid: The Borodin Mission and the Origins of Communism in Mexico and Spain, 1919-20, examines the entanglements between the Russian and the Mexican revolutions through the protean figure of Mikhail Borodin, a Comintern agent and Soviet diplomat sent by Lenin to Mexico in 1919 to negotiate with the country’s nationalist government and establish the Communist International in Latin America. In his travels, Borodin latched onto complex transnational networks of socialists, anarchists, anti-imperialists, and pacifists, which weaved a rich tapestry of cosmopolitan activism that branched out from Mexico City or New York to Havana, Madrid, Moscow, and further afield.
My post-doctoral project builds on the theories and themes of my PhD thesis, The Spanish Anarchists and the Russian Revolution, 1917-24. Here, I explored interactions between Spanish libertarians and Russian Bolsheviks in the early years of the revolution. Although the Spaniards hailed from a very different revolutionary tradition, they developed keen interest for Soviet Russia and attempted to establish close contacts with the new Russian leaders. I traced the curve of enthusiasm followed by scepticism and hostility that characterised Spanish anarchist attitudes towards the Russian Revolution in 1917-24. I set these changing relations and perceptions in the turbulent Spanish, European, and Russian political contexts, and explore the various entanglements that shaped these rapports. I incorporated an important comparative dimension, contrasting the responses to the Russian Revolution of the Spanish anarchists to those of anarchists in France, Portugal, Italy, and Germany.