Category Archives: Uncategorized

The meaning of 1991: Some thoughts on oral history

“Could you explain in what ways life before and after 1991 was different?” I asked. My interviewee, Z. did not immediately understand my question, even when reformulated in clearer Russian by a native colleague. The question seemed alien to her. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Calling All Eurasians

To return to a theme from my previous post, I thought I’d mention that the University of Illinois’s Brittle Books Project–a long term initiative meant to save books subject to slow fire and other maladies–has taken a digital turn.  Some … Continue reading

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Research Guide to Moscow

Two researchers here at Sheffield (Alun Thomas & Oliver Johnson) are designing a guide to help historians arriving in Moscow for the first time. They’ve created a map indicating key landmarks: archives and libraries, but also cafes, art galleries, theatres etc. … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“Under the beneficent rays of Soviet national policy…”

I spent some time this past week preparing for my fall class on the Soviet Union.  Each time I’ve taught it here at Hawai’i, I’ve made use of an unique resource at our Library, the “Social Movements Collection,” which is … Continue reading

Posted in Soviet Era 1917-1991, Stalinism, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Istochnikovedenie 2012

Digital publishing and distribution are creating a whole new host of issues for historians to deal with, in the realm of source use, authentication, and citation. Obviously, that’s been true for some time now: we’re gradually getting up to speed … Continue reading

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Death and Redemption-More on Reforging

I am so enjoying this discussion, and I wish I weren’t leaving for a month (to Moscow, of course) in 2 days. I regret that all the business of getting properly packed has kept me away from this wonderful conversation. … Continue reading

Posted in Death and Redemption, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Time of Women

Over the weekend I read, and greatly enjoyed, the recent translation of Elena Chizhova’s The Time of Women which won the Russian Booker Prize in 2009.  Set in the early 1960s, the short novel tells the story of a “family” struggling … Continue reading

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ZATOs In View

A few weeks ago, on March 27, I was at a reception at the Harriman Institute (for Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies) at Columbia University for the opening of a new exhibit entitled ZATO: Soviet Secret Cities During the … Continue reading

Posted in Closed Cities, Cold War, Gulag, Soviet Intelligentsia, Soviet Science, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Stalin Cult

In reply to my question about “going toward Hitler,” Plamper writes “Stalin, like the tsars, ensured himself a freedom one might say capriciousness of decision, which must have infused all of the institutions and officials seeking to please him. But … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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 | 6 Comments

New Teaching Russian History Blog

Karl Qualls Associate Professor of Russian History at Dickinson College and author of From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after World War II (Cornell, 2009) has just launched Teaching History, a new blog that will focus heavily on … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Parodies of the Putin Spectacle

On Friday, I gave a talk called “Putin: Spectacle and Anti-Spectacle” with several clips from some amazing videos.    Here’s a really funny one that RH readers might enjoy:  “I work in United Russia”     It is clearly a spoof on … Continue reading

Posted in Post-Soviet Russia, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aloha from Hawai’i

My name is Matt Romaniello, and I’m excited to be joining the Russian History Blog.  I’m an assistant professor of history at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and the associate editor of The Journal of World History. I specialize … Continue reading

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Open-Access and the General Public

I have written here and elsewhere on the reasons I decided to launch the Russian History Blog. One reason is a commitment to open access scholarship–to make the products of our scholarly research freely available to the general public. Most … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Russian History, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Aleshka the Baptist

This short blog is just to share what was – for me at least! –  a fascinating intersection of different research interests. A number of years ago, when I was researching my PhD on the impact of de-Stalinisation, I worked with … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A guard’s perspective: Dovlatov’s Zona

After a slightly longer blogging ‘vacation’ than I had intended, I used some of the Christmas break to catch up on the posts I missed. Like many others, I particularly enjoyed the Gulag Boss discussion. It motivated me to start … Continue reading

Posted in Gulag, Gulag Boss, Russian Literature, Uncategorized | Comments Off on A guard’s perspective: Dovlatov’s Zona

Imagining the Petersburg-Moscow Road in the Late 18th Century

How do you imagine what a road was, historically?  Quite often, histories of transport describe histories of surfaces: the evolution of building techniques, say, from wooden planks to macadamized stone to modern asphalt or concrete. Alternatively, roads are presented as … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Russian History, Imperial Russia, Russia in World History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

‘The Party of Swindlers and Thieves’

Where did you first hear Putin’s party, United Russia, called the “party of swindlers and thieves” (partiia zhulikov i vorov)?  On a blog? On TV? Here, just now?  Here’s an example (see image below).  One of the things historians of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Valdai Bells

Here’s an animated short that takes as its subject the so-called ‘legend of the Valdai bells.’ Variously told, the legend goes something like this. In the 1470s, Prince Ivan III of Moscow ordered the great bell of Novgorod—used to summon … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Joe Paterno and the Cossacks: Thoughts on Atrocity and Honor

One of the areas that I study is why soldiers behave the way that they do, especially in the period of World War I and the Russian Civil War.  This has led me repeatedly to the question of atrocity.  Why … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments