Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History, Duke University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1997
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Johns Hopkins University
Soviet Modernity in Life and Fiction: The Generation of the ‘New Soviet People’ in the 1930s

There is a double gap in the historiography of the Soviet Union. The cultural reality of the Great Patriotic War and the immediate post-war period, vital for understanding not only the late Stalinist period but also the postwar decades, has been seriously neglected by Soviet cultural historians. Also, while Western European historians have analyzed the crucial interrelationships between WWII, identity, and gender, this topic has received scant attention from Soviet historians, both in the United States and in Russia. This dissertation aims to begin to fill this gap, by probing the complex interaction between Soviet identity and gender from multiple perspectives. The dissertation will investigate the gendering of Soviet identity, of sovetskii chelovek, and the representations of family, private life, and gender roles during the war and immediate postwar years. The analysis of the Soviet war experience will be informed by work done within the disciplines of Women's History and Gender Studies as well as by American and German social and cultural historians on World War II in the United States and Germany. The dissertation will be pervaded by comparative perspectives, and will culminate in chapters elucidating cross-cultural differences and similarities.