Category Archives: Nostalgia and Memory

Myth, Memory, Trauma: A Blog Conversation

For this edition of Russian History Blog’s “Blog Conversations,” we have gathered a distinguished group of scholars to discuss Polly Jones’s new book, Myth, Memory, Trauma: Rethinking the Stalinist Past in the Soviet Union, 1953-1970 (Yale University Press, 2013). Having devoted … Continue reading

Posted in Blog Conversations, Historiography, Myth, Memory, Trauma, Nostalgia and Memory, Russian Literature, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Soviet Intelligentsia, Stalinism | Leave a comment

History in the Crimea & Ukraine Today

History is being blithely tossed about these days by everyone from Vladimir Putin himself to Sarah Palin and John McCain. What is the real story? Is there a real story? To answer that question, I invited two eminent historians – … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Crimea, Current events in the Putin Era, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Russia in World History, Russian History in Popular Culture, Teaching Russian History, Transnational History, Ukraine, Uncategorized, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Night in Karlag

I recently had the pleasure of presenting a paper at a conference entitled “Legacies of the Gulag and the Memory of Stalinism” at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. My paper focused on public memory … Continue reading

Posted in Gulag, Kazakhstan, Nostalgia and Memory, Soviet Era 1917-1991 | 2 Comments

Mikhalkov as monarchist and Slavophile – his 2010 Manifesto “Right and Truth” (Право и Правда)

In October 2010 influential filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov published an extensive “Manifesto of Enlightened Conservatism” which was published as “Right and Truth” in polit.ru. (Read in Russian here.) The defense of serfdom attributed to Mikhalkov, which I posted yesterday, may well … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Films, Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Russia in World History, Russian History in Popular Culture, Russian Orthodoxy, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov Praises the “Wisdom of Serfdom”

According to a website called “Tsenzor.Net” filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov told a group of journalists that he is preparing to make a film praising serfdom as “the wisdom of the nation.” His comments show a romanticization of history that is pretty … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Films, Historiography, Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Russian History in Popular Culture, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Miss Gulag

Our university is holding a Russian documentary film series. We showed one of the films that I reviewed here earlier (http://russianhistoryblog.org/author/andy/page/2/). Our next film is called Miss Gulag, produced in 2007 and directed by Maria Yatskova (for an interview with … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Gender and Sexuality, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia | 4 Comments

Soviet Baby Boomers- What’s a generation?

I know I won’t shock anyone by admitting that I often ask myself “why?” when reading an academic monograph: why this topic, why this approach and yes, why this book? Reading Don Raleigh’s Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Nostalgia and Memory, Soviet Baby Boomers, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Soviet Baby Boomers – preliminary thoughts

I am happy to launch the fourth “blog conversation” which will be about Donald Raleigh’s recent Soviet Baby Boomers. His excavation of late Soviet society through the medium of oral history is highly readable and I will be recommending it strongly … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Nostalgia and Memory, oral history, Soviet Baby Boomers, Soviet Era 1917-1991 | Leave a comment

900 Days

The Nazi siege of Leningrad began on September 8, 1941. It ended 874 days later, one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history. The Soviets won at the cost of more than 1 million soldiers killed, captured, or … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, Films, Nostalgia and Memory, oral history, Russian History in Popular Culture, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Teaching Russian History, World War II | 6 Comments

Three Songs About Motherland

My university (California State University, Long Beach) is screening a number of documentary films about Russia this semester, including three films from the esteemed documentary film maker Marina Goldovskaya: A Taste of Freedom (1991, 46 min.), A Bitter Taste of Freedom … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Films, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Teaching Russian History | 1 Comment

Pussy Riot Arrest and Byzantine Church-State Relations Today

[http://www.1tvnet.ru/images/news_pic_Krasotin%2520sam%2520skoro%2520nauchitsya/735776%20(1).gif] Five members of the feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot have been arrested for a “punk prayer” at the Church of the Savior in Moscow. Two are being held until late April with threats of sentences up to seven … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Russian Orthodoxy, Teaching Russian History | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

How “Russian” is Kauai’s Fort Elizabeth?

In the early years of the Russian American Company, there was an odd incident that led to establishment of three “Russian” forts on the island of Kauai.  The reasons for that are somewhat complicated (and the study of several interesting … Continue reading

Posted in Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Russia in World History, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Gagarin Coin

My man Yuri Gagarin gets another Russian coin from the Russian Central Bank in honor of the flight’s 50th anniversary last April. He remains one of the few official Soviet heroes to merit being put on a post-Soviet piece of … Continue reading

Posted in Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Soviet and Russian Space Flight | 2 Comments

TASS Posters

On a recent trip to Chicago, I spent several hours wandering around a current exhibit at the Art Institute: “Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad.” It was, in a word, fascinating. The story behind the … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Russian History, Nostalgia and Memory, World War II | 1 Comment

On Monkies and Lost Colonies

Having just finished my last classes for my modern Russia survey, I wanted to share some thoughts on a documentary that I used to discuss Post-Soviet Russia. The 2008 documentary is entitled The Lost Colony. For a clip, see: http://hotdocsaudience.bside.com/2008/films/thelostcolony_hotdocs2008. … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Films, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Soviet Science | 6 Comments

Cartier-Bresson in Moscow

Over the Easter weekend, I was reading The Guardian and came across a full-page photograph taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson on a visit to the Soviet Union in 1954. This stunning photograph was used the following year as the front cover … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Russian History, Nostalgia and Memory, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1909

Although I’d hoped to post something more substantive for my second post, instead, here’s a drive-by link to two photo albums that include some amazing images of Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1909. To me, they bring home how much … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Russian History, Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory | 12 Comments

A Provincial Talisman

The heartland of the Russian nation, as seen through the Gagarin cult, was not in Moscow but in Gagarin’s hometown of Gzhatsk. Renamed “Gagarin” after the cosmonaut’s death in 1968, the town is a typical Russian provincial backwater. In the … Continue reading

Posted in Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Soviet and Russian Space Flight | 4 Comments