Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Scalar for Historians (Tutorial)

Just a quick follow-up to my earlier post about Scalar, an open source web authoring tool produced by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, of which the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities is a member. We’re trying out … Continue reading

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Summer Research Lab 2014: At Your Service!

Are we hosting the Summer Research Lab this year at Illinois? You bet!  As in each of the previous forty years, we look forward to seeing researchers of all disciplines and career stages here in Champaign-Urbana, to participate in workshops, … Continue reading

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The Amnesties of Tsar Vladimir

It seems obvious that President Vladimir Putin has chosen to issue the recent amnesties of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Maria Alokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and probably the Greenpeace 30 as a way to generate good will on the eve of his great personal … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Historiography, Imperial Russia, Post-Soviet Russia, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Win a beautiful book of posters – we have a winner!

Last month I wrote about a great new collection of posters by the Soviet artist Koretsky. The publisher, The New Press, very kindly offered a free copy to be won in a prize draw. On the blog / facebook page … Continue reading

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Russian Space History – Imagery

As this week closes, I wanted to highlight that seems somewhat obvious to those with even a casual interest in the history of Russian/Soviet space activities, its incredibly rich visual record. The picture that Andy posted of cosmonaut Shatalov meeting … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Russian Space History, Soviet and Russian Space Flight, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Russian Space History – Part of Soviet History Without Tears?

I am not sure what provoked the outpouring of scholarship on the history of Soviet space culture over the past decade or so. Was it part  of the cultural “turn” that historians of the post-Stalin decades started to take in … Continue reading

Posted in Russian Space History, Soviet and Russian Space Flight, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Russian Space History – A Blog Conversation

I am very excited to kick off the seventh conversation on the Russian History blog on the topic of Soviet/Russian space history. Instead of the usual focus on one monograph, we are using a number of recent texts that recover, … Continue reading

Posted in Blog Conversations, Russian Space History, Soviet and Russian Space Flight, Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Scalar and the Challenge of Writing Media-Rich Scholarship for the Web

Alright, I admit that title was a mouthful.  Basically, I just wanted to alert readers who may not have heard of it that there’s a new, web-based digital authoring tool called Scalar that they may find useful.  It’s an open-source … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Win a beautiful book of posters!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by The New Press and offered a copy of their new publication, Koretsky. The Soviet Photo Poster: 1930-1984, for a prize draw to be launched from this site.  This beautiful edition includes 200 … Continue reading

Posted in Russian and Soviet Art, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | 26 Comments

Communism on Tomorrow Street–some thoughts on egalitarianism and the Soviet social contract

First, I’d like to thank Steve Barnes for organizing this book discussion of Communism on Tomorrow Street, as well as the participants for their commentary thus far. They’ve provided far more food for thought and questions than I can address … Continue reading

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Communism on Tomorrow Street – living, auxiliary and non-living

It gives me great pleasure to read the culmination of Steven E. Harris’s important work on Soviet mass housing, and to crash this Russian History blog party. Two images from this book continue to haunt me. First, dead and living … Continue reading

Posted in Communism on Tomorrow Street, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Communism on Tomorrow Street – On complaints …and a bit more on “class”

Thanks to Karl Qualls and Mark Smith for the thought-provoking comments that each has contributed to this discussion of Steve Harris’ Communism on Tomorrow Street.  Drawing on his expertise on (re)construction and urban planning, Qualls raised significant questions about the evolution … Continue reading

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Federal Defunding of Russian and Eurasian Studies

I hate to interrupt the fascinating blog conversation on Communism on Tomorrow Street, but I feel it imperative to help spread this distressing news. The U.S. State Department’s Title VIII program has long supported studies of Russia and Eurasia, primarily … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Call for a Wider Perspective

Many thanks to Alexander Geppert, a leading figure in the history of space flight and European culture, for this review of two recent volumes on Russian space flight and culture (in which I and fellow blogger Asif Siddiqi have essays). … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Historiography, Soviet and Russian Space Flight, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Uncategorized | 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 , , , | 6 Comments

Open Access: The Summer Research Lab at Illinois

As a footnote to last month’s discussion on access, I wanted to put in a plug for our annual Summer Laboratory on Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Obviously, nothing is as cheap or convenient as reading on your own computer … Continue reading

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Open Access: A Response to Sean Guillory

My most recent blog post (on MOOCs) dealt with digital teaching. Less than a week after it appeared, Sean Guillory wrote an important piece on Sean’s Russia Blog regarding digital scholarship, to wit, the importance of open access for Russian … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

MOOCs and the Future of Russian History in America

At the most recent Slavic Studies convention, I was talking with an old friend about the advent of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). We teach similar courses at different institutions – he teaches at a university with global name recognition, … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Russian History, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | 5 Comments