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

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

Zealots, bureaucrats or ordinary people? Looking for the Soviet censor.

By Samantha Sherry More often than not, the language of censorship employs tropes of conflict and struggle. One wages a battle with censorship, or struggles against it. Writers are ‘victims’ of an absolute evil. What emerges time and time again is the idea of censorship as an almost abstract force. In my work on the … More Zealots, bureaucrats or ordinary people? Looking for the Soviet censor.

‘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

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

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

Educating the ‘Uneducable’: Soviet Deaf-Blind Education and the New Soviet Person

By Charles Beacroft In 1928, Lucy Wilson, an experienced educator and pedagogue, travelled from the United States to the Soviet Union to compile an accurate account of the advances of Soviet education for the Vanguard Studies of Soviet Russia. In her travels, she arrived to a school for the deaf-blind in the Ukraine and was … More Educating the ‘Uneducable’: Soviet Deaf-Blind Education and the New Soviet Person