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

Linguistic traces of totalitarianism in Germany’s Red Army Faction: from Stalin’s Soviet Language Policy to National-Socialism.

By Léa Carresse On the night of 18 October 1977, the remaining three key members of the first generation of the Red Army Faction died in mysterious circumstances in Stammheim prison. Another member barely survived severe stab wounds. Immediately following what became infamously known as the “death night” in West German history, the second generation of … More Linguistic traces of totalitarianism in Germany’s Red Army Faction: from Stalin’s Soviet Language Policy to National-Socialism.

The Paris Commune and the Consolidation of the Leninist state

by Danny Bird One morning in July 1920, representatives of the world’s Communist and revolutionary socialist parties gathered alongside an audience of 45,000 outside Petrograd’s Stock Exchange building. For three hours, an epic historical production titled ‘Toward the Worldwide Commune’ gripped their imagination. In one memorable scene, the red flag of the Paris Commune of … More The Paris Commune and the Consolidation of the Leninist state

The Soviet Court as a Propaganda Instrument II: The Semenchuk Case, 1936

By Anna Lukina As one of the most publicized and mysterious —yet surprisingly obscured— Soviet criminal cases, the Semenchuk case (1936) provides one of the most striking examples of the use of the Soviet court as an instrument of propaganda.[1] The Semenchuk case was, in many ways, a “rehearsal” for the subsequent infamous Moscow Show … More The Soviet Court as a Propaganda Instrument II: The Semenchuk Case, 1936

Doctor Zhivago as a Response to the Weaponization of Soviet Literature and Mass Culture

By Lonny Harrison Almost from the moment they seized control in November 1917, the Bolsheviks nationalized the publishing industry and tightly controlled the press. Soviet authorities were never ashamed of their monopoly on media and culture, viewing them as weapons of class struggle. After all, media had been used by the bourgeoisie for their own … More Doctor Zhivago as a Response to the Weaponization of Soviet Literature and Mass Culture

The Soviet Court as a Propaganda Instrument

By Anna Lukina “The Soviet court should, above all, persuade, prove and subordinate the public attention to its moral influence and authority.” Andrei Vyshinskii, “Theory of Evidence in the Soviet Law” (1946) It is well-known that the Soviet court procedure, especially in the 1930s, can be characterized by its lack of due process, judicial independence, … More The Soviet Court as a Propaganda Instrument

I can’t speak French: Linguistic oppression in Revolutionary France and the rise of linguistic nationalism

By James Chetwood Over the next couple of days people all over France will participate in the Fête Nationale. The events of the Revolution it celebrates not only altered the linguistic landscape of France, but it also saw the creation of a language policy which transformed language into a vehicle for nationalism, and means through … More I can’t speak French: Linguistic oppression in Revolutionary France and the rise of linguistic nationalism

Teaching Soviet Children the Language of Science and Technology

By Laura Todd At the beginning of the First Five-Year plan in 1928, the aims of children’s literature neatly intersected with those of the Soviet government’s plans to create a viable and powerful state, built on the promotion of knowledge, science, and technology. Soviet children, as the generation who would oversee and complete the transition … More Teaching Soviet Children the Language of Science and Technology

Empire and the articulation of fascism: The British Union of Fascists, 1932-1940

By Liam Liburd The legacy of the British Empire left indelible marks on the political, social and economic fabric of Britain. This was as true on the political margins as in the mainstream and was no different for Britain’s most prominent fascist movement, the British Union of Fascists (B.U.F.). The experience of the British Empire, … More Empire and the articulation of fascism: The British Union of Fascists, 1932-1940

Refugees, Exiles and Émigrés: Russia Abroad and the Semantics of Displacement

By Eilish Hart Following the 1917 Revolution over a million Russians fled to Europe to escape the turmoil of the ensuing Red Terror and Civil War. Although often referred to as Russian émigrés, these people were actually the first wave of European migrants to be legally classified as refugees. The reason they are now referred … More Refugees, Exiles and Émigrés: Russia Abroad and the Semantics of Displacement