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

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

Between Populace and Elite: Challenging Traditional Views of Revolutionary Russia

by Beth Pennyfather Typically, accounts of the 1917 Revolution depict a very class conscious image of Russia, reflecting the influence of Leninist concepts of revolution. However, this was not the case among the proletariat, for whom the revolution was less explicitly ideologically motivated. Rooted in issues such as inflation, general living conditions and food shortages, … More Between Populace and Elite: Challenging Traditional Views of Revolutionary Russia

Max Nordau’s pre-Fascist Discourse of ‘Degenerate’ Art and the Authority of Scientific Language

by Charlotte Armstrong The notion of ‘degeneracy’ in music has often been associated with Adolf Ziegler and the Nazi Party’s attempts to galvanise public hatred of music deemed ‘un-German’ at the Degenerate Art Exhibit in 1938. However, in an interview for the documentary Forbidden Sounds: Composers in Exile, Hans Ulrich Engelmann said: ‘It is not … More Max Nordau’s pre-Fascist Discourse of ‘Degenerate’ Art and the Authority of Scientific Language

Party Politics and the Seeds of Revolutionary Dictatorship: The Case of Krasnoiarsk in 1917

by Alistair Dickins In a revolution full of paradoxes, the question of how Russia went from a multiparty system to a nascent Bolshevik dictatorship between February and October 1917 remains one of the most vexing. In the West, Cold War historians tended to contrast Russia under the liberal Provisional Government (the ‘freest country in the … More Party Politics and the Seeds of Revolutionary Dictatorship: The Case of Krasnoiarsk in 1917

The Language of Authoritarian Internationalism

by David Brydan The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries witnessed a rapid increase in international cooperation between scientists, experts, intellectuals, activists and other groups. These developments were prompted both by improvements to travel and communication technologies, and by the belief that international cooperation was required to deal with the political and technical challenges posed … More The Language of Authoritarian Internationalism

Explaining away poverty: Soviet residential childcare and social problems after 1953

By Mirjam Galley Until Stalin’s death, Soviet children’s homes had been orphanages, housing children who had lost their parents to war, disease, or Stalin’s own terror campaigns. His successor Nikita Khrushchev set out to change that system of institutions for good. Khrushchev renounced his predecessor’s rule of terror in his so-called Secret Speech (1956) and, … More Explaining away poverty: Soviet residential childcare and social problems after 1953