The Language of ‘Authoritarian’ Regimes

Based in the University of Sheffield’s Department of History, ‘The Language of “Authoritarian” Regimes’ is a collaborative project intended to explore the creation, dissemination and reception of discourse in regimes commonly referred to as ‘authoritarian’. We aim to bring together scholars working on the language of ‘authoritarian’ states, and to discuss how as academics we can approach and … More The Language of ‘Authoritarian’ Regimes

Socialism in Translation: The Challenges of Teaching Communist History in the 21st Century

By Lani Seelinger Let’s say that you want to teach communist history to students whose countries were never under communist rule. It’s an important episode of history to address, especially in the EU, which includes countries from both sides of the Iron Curtain. When you find source material you want to use, where do you … More Socialism in Translation: The Challenges of Teaching Communist History in the 21st Century

‘Enemies of the people’: Fake news and Bolshevik manipulation of the press in early Soviet Sormovo

By Laura Sumner   ‘The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!’- Donald Trump (17th February 2017) ‘This strike is subordination… In short, they [Mensheviks and Right SRs] acted as enemies of the proletariat, the enemies of the people, like true … More ‘Enemies of the people’: Fake news and Bolshevik manipulation of the press in early Soviet Sormovo

Speaking Soviet – The Marriage of Soviet Linguistics and Literacy in the Early Soviet Period

By Kate Martin With the advent of the early Soviet period, the idea of literacy and language was one which was at the forefront of the minds of the Bolshevik leadership. Although work had begun in the late 19th and early 20th century by the previous regime to make education and literacy more available to … More Speaking Soviet – The Marriage of Soviet Linguistics and Literacy in the Early Soviet Period

‘Girls with Low Social Responsibility’: Putin, Pre-Revolutionary Policing, and Prostitution in the Language of ‘Immorality’.

by Siobhán Hearne Last month, the internet went wild about Vladimir Putin’s defence of Donald Trump, particularly his dismissal of the validity of the Trump-Russia dossier. Observers seemed most amused by Putin’s comments regarding Moscow sex workers, particularly his remark that they are ‘of course, the best in the world’. This has been quoted again … More ‘Girls with Low Social Responsibility’: Putin, Pre-Revolutionary Policing, and Prostitution in the Language of ‘Immorality’.

Suicide really isn’t war: megalomania, counterculture and the joy of metal music in the Soviet Union

By Dawn Hazle Popular music presents a problem to authoritarian regimes: by its nature it either has to be controlled, or banned. Yet, control requires a lot of resources, and simply just pushes the problem underground.  In the Soviet Union, both approaches were undertaken: popular music was controlled through state-sponsored Vokal’no-Instrumental’nyi Ansambl’ (VIA) groups and … More Suicide really isn’t war: megalomania, counterculture and the joy of metal music in the Soviet Union

The Political Language of Celebration: The Anniversary of the October Revolution, 1918-1932

By Jon Rowson ‘It is impossible to build socialism in white gloves’ – Mikhail Kalinin, 7 November 1930[1] The Anniversary of the October Revolution was the apogee of public politics in the young Soviet state. The celebrations, lasting 2-3 days in all areas of the USSR, were a means of honouring the previous year’s achievements, … More The Political Language of Celebration: The Anniversary of the October Revolution, 1918-1932

New Year Wishes: a Soviet Child’s Letter to Krupskaia

by Hannah Parker In December 1930, a twelve year old girl named Nura wrote an apparently cheerful request for correspondence to Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaia, Russian Deputy Education Commissar from 1929-1939: ‘Long I have dreamt to have a correspondence with the great leader of the young friends of Pioneers… I do not have the opportunity to … More New Year Wishes: a Soviet Child’s Letter to Krupskaia

A Bulwark Made of Words: the Francoist Press during the Second World War

By Miguel Rivas Venegas In the opinion of Sir Samuel Hoare, British Ambassador in Spain, the Spanish press from the 1940s was a toy in the hands of the Third Reich’s Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels. Newspapers were full of terminology described by the researcher Luis Veres as the ‘lexical arsenals’ of authoritarian regimes, and were … More A Bulwark Made of Words: the Francoist Press during the Second World War

Just how ‘pro-Russian’ is the youth of Eastern Ukraine?

By Victoria Hudson Media outlets have often presented Ukraine as a fractured country, even before the ongoing conflict in the eastern part of the country. Such reporting has frequently contrasted a pro-European, Ukrainian-speaking population in the West with a diametrically opposed Russian-speaking, Sovietised community in the East, with both sides locked in a struggle for … More Just how ‘pro-Russian’ is the youth of Eastern Ukraine?

Red Whirlwinds: Fyodor Lopukhov and the Ballet Revolution

By Olivia Bašić In April 1923, at the Twelfth Congress of the Russian Communist Party, it was decided that the theatre would become an essential tool in the organisation of mass propaganda regarding the struggle of communism. A resolution was passed declaring ‘it was necessary to strengthen the work for the creation and selection of a … More Red Whirlwinds: Fyodor Lopukhov and the Ballet Revolution