Sub-Project: Rebuilding Socialism

Rebuilding Socialism: The Reconstruction of the Soviet Union and its Official Ideology through the Lens of Post-War Published Sources.

In recent week’s I’ve learned that I have been awarded a AHRC International Placement Scheme Fellowship to spend three months between July and September 2018 researching as the Library of Congress in Washington DC on a project entitled Rebuilding Socialism: The Reconstruction of the Soviet Union and its Official Ideology through the Lens of Post-War Published Sources.

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to spend what I hope will be the first three months of a period of Research Leave as a guest of the Kluge Centre at the Library of Congress. I’m hoping also to use the collections of the United States Holocaust Museum, which have some documents about the repatriation of displaced Soviet populations relevant to my research.  I’m also hoping to meet and discuss my work with a number of American colleagues, and get to know the American academic culture better.

The project seeks to build on my previous work on the post-war reconstruction of the Soviet Union, and the transition from war to peace in the late Stalinist period (1945–1953). The focus on published sources will enable me to fit this work into the archival work I have been doing for the wider From Fractured Society to Stability project.

Historians have long examined the Great Patriotic War’s profound effects upon Stalinism. In the wake of war, Soviet citizens anticipated that wartime sacrifice would be rewarded by the advent of a more responsive system. Hopes of reform, however, quickly turned to disappointment as the Stalinist system reversed wartime compromises. The project explores how the Soviet Union’s physical infrastructure was rebuilt in the wake of the Great Patriotic War, by a re-examination of Soviet published sources, particularly newspapers and official ideological journals. Physical reconstruction proceeded in parallel with the political, social, ideological, and cultural re-imposition of Stalinism. The project examines the mechanisms by which Soviet propagandists rebuilt socialism on the pages of newspapers and journals published between 1945 and 1955.  It examines how the physical reconstruction of Soviet society was connected to a post-war relaunch of socialism. It considers how the social and cultural process of rebuilding cities, towns, and villages, also drew people into the wider ideological and political project. In rebuilding the fabric of urban and rural society, Soviet citizens were also creating the future edifice of Socialism.

I’ll be blogging about the progress of his research during the Fellowship, as well as the experience of the Fellowship here in the summer of 2018.

For more details about the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s International Placement Scheme see: