Miriam Dobson

Miriam is a Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Sheffield. Before moving to Sheffield seven years ago, she studied Russian and French at  Cambridge and then History at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London, where she gained an MA in History and later her PhD. Her first monograph, Khrushchev´s Cold Summer: Gulag Returnees, Crime, and the Fate of Reform After Stalin explores popular responses to the reforms of the Khrushchev era, in particular the massive exodus of prisoners from the Gulag. It examines the impact of these returnees on communities and, more broadly, Soviet attempts to come to terms with the traumatic legacies of Stalin’s terror. Khrushchev’s Cold Summer won the 2010 Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize awarded by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

Her current project is entitled `The Unorthodox: Baptists and Evangelical Christians in Soviet Russia, 1944-1991´ and is funded by a small research grant from the British Academy. In this project she studies state-church relations in the late Soviet period, exploring on the one hand how the government used bureaucratic, legalistic and propagandistic means to curb religious activity and on the other how religious groups sought to evade or at least attenuate this control. The project will explore the experience of belonging to a congregation and the meaning of belief in a radically atheist state.

Selected publications:

Khrushchev’s Cold Summer: Gulag Returnees, Crime, and the Fate of Reform after Stalin (Cornell University Press, 2009) 

Reading Primary Sources: The Interpretation of Texts from Modern History, co-edited with Benjamin Ziemann (Routledge, 2008)

‘The Post-Stalin Era: De-Stalinisation, Daily Life, and Dissent’, Kritika, forthcoming 2011. 

‘Cold Summer of 53′, Directory of World Cinema: Russia, ed. Birgit Beumers (Intellect, 2010), 72-73.

‘POWs and Purge Victims: Attitudes towards Party Rehabilitation in Vladimir and Moscow, 1956-7′, Slavonic and East European Review (Spring 2008), 328-345.

“Show the Bandits No Mercy!”: Amnesty, Criminality and Public Response in 1953′, The Dilemmas of De-Stalinisation: A Social and Cultural History of Reform in the Khrushchev Era, ed. Polly A. Jones (RoutledgeCurzon, 2005), 21-40.

 ’Contesting the Paradigms of De-Stalinization: Readers’ Responses to One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’, Slavic Review, 64 (2005), 580-600.

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