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History > Russian and East European History

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From the Womb to the Body Politic Cover

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From the Womb to the Body Politic

Raising the Nation in Enlightenment Russia

Anna Kuxhausen

In Russia during the second half of the eighteenth century, a public conversation emerged that altered perceptions of pregnancy, birth, and early childhood. Children began to be viewed as a national resource, and childbirth heralded new members of the body politic. The exclusively female world of mothers, midwives, and nannies came under the scrutiny of male physicians, state institutions, a host of zealous reformers, and even Empress Catherine the Great.
    Making innovative use of obstetrical manuals, belles lettres, children’s primers, and other primary documents from the era, Anna Kuxhausen draws together many discourses—medical, pedagogical, and political—to show the scope and audacity of new notions about childrearing. Reformers aimed to teach women to care for the bodies of pregnant mothers, infants, and children according to medical standards of the Enlightenment. Kuxhausen reveals both their optimism and their sometimes fatal blind spots in matters of implementation. In examining the implication of women in public, even political, roles as agents of state-building and the civilizing process, From the Womb to the Body Politic offers a nuanced, expanded view of the Enlightenment in Russia and the ways in which Russians imagined their nation while constructing notions of childhood.

Gender and War in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe Cover

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Gender and War in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe

Edited by Nancy M. Wingfield and Maria Bucur

This volume explores the role of gender on both the home and fighting fronts in eastern Europe during World Wars I and II. By using gender as a category of analysis, the authors seek to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the subjective nature of wartime experience and its representations. While historians have long equated the fighting front with the masculine and the home front with the feminine, the contributors challenge these dichotomies, demonstrating that they are based on culturally embedded assumptions
about heroism and sacrifice. Major themes include the ways in which wartime experiences challenge traditional gender roles; postwar restoration of gender order; collaboration and resistance; the body; and memory and commemoration.

Gender Violence in Russia Cover

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Gender Violence in Russia

The Politics of Feminist Intervention

Janet Elise Johnson

Just a few years ago, most Russian citizens did not recognize the notion of domestic violence or acknowledge that such a problem existed. Today, after years of local and international pressure to combat violence against women, things have changed dramatically. Gender Violence in Russia examines why and how this shift occurred -- and why there has been no similar reform on other gender violence issues such as rape, sexual assault, or human trafficking. Drawing on more than a decade of research, Janet Elise Johnson analyzes media coverage and survey data to explain why some interventions succeed while others fail. She describes the local-global dynamics between a range of international actors, from feminist activists to national governments, and an equally diverse set of Russian organizations and institutions.

The Germans and the East Cover

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The Germans and the East

edited by Charles W. Ingrao and Franz Szabo

This volume provides an historical overview of the relationship between Germany, German speakers, and successive waves of German colonists with their eastern neighbors over the period from the Middle Ages to the present. The collection of essays by 28 leading experts includes the most recent scholarship together with fresh perspectives on the subject.

Germany's Wild East Cover

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Germany's Wild East

Constructing Poland as Colonial Space

Kristin Kopp

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, representations of Poland and the Slavic East cast the region as a primitive, undeveloped, or empty space inhabited by a population destined to remain uncivilized without the aid of external intervention. These depictions often made direct reference to the American Wild West, portraying the eastern steppes as a boundless plain that needed to be wrested from the hands of unruly natives and spatially ordered into German-administrated units. While conventional definitions locate colonial space overseas, Kristin Kopp argues that it was possible to understand both distant continents and adjacent Eastern Europe as parts of the same global periphery dependent upon Western European civilizing efforts. However, proximity to the source of aid translated to greater benefits for Eastern Europe than for more distant regions.

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Governing Soviet Journalism

The Press and the Socialist Person after Stalin

Thomas C. Wolfe

The Soviet project of creating a new culture and society entailed a plan for the modeling of "new" persons who embodied and fulfilled the promise of socialism, and this vision was expressed in the institutions of government. Using archival sources, essays, and interviews with journalists, Thomas C. Wolfe provides an account of the final four decades of Soviet history viewed through the lens of journalism and media. Whereas most studies of the Soviet press approach its history in terms of propaganda or ideology, Wolfe's focus is on the effort to imagine a different kind of person and polity. Foucault's concept of governmentality illuminates the relationship between the idea of the socialist person and everyday journalistic representation, from the Khrushchev period to the 1990s and the appearance of the tabloid press. This thought-provoking study provides insights into the institutions of the Soviet press and the lives of journalists who experienced important transformations of their work.

The Great War in Russian Memory Cover

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The Great War in Russian Memory

Karen Petrone

Karen Petrone shatters the notion that World War I was a forgotten war in the Soviet Union. Although never officially commemorated, the Great War was the subject of a lively discourse about religion, heroism, violence, and patriotism during the interwar period. Using memoirs, literature, films, military histories, and archival materials, Petrone reconstructs Soviet ideas regarding the motivations for fighting, the justification for killing, the nature of the enemy, and the qualities of a hero. She reveals how some of these ideas undermined Soviet notions of military honor and patriotism while others reinforced them. As the political culture changed and war with Germany loomed during the Stalinist 1930s, internationalist voices were silenced and a nationalist view of Russian military heroism and patriotism prevailed.

Heroes and Victims Cover

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Heroes and Victims

Remembering War in Twentieth-Century Romania

Maria Bucur

Heroes and Victims explores the cultural power of war memorials in 20th-century Romania through two world wars and a succession of radical political changes -- from attempts to create pluralist democratic political institutions after World War I to shifts toward authoritarian rule in the 1930s, to military dictatorships and Nazi occupation, to communist dictatorships, and finally to pluralist democracies with populist tendencies. Examining the interplay of centrally articulated and locally developed commemorations, Maria Bucur's study engages monumental sites of memory, local funerary markers, rituals, and street names as well as autobiographical writings, novels, oral narratives, and film. This book reveals the ways in which a community's religious, ethnic, economic, regional, and gender traditions shaped local efforts at memorializing its war dead.

Heroes and Villains Cover

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Heroes and Villains

Creating National History in Contemporary Ukraine

By David Marples

Certain to engender debate in the media, especially in Ukraine itself, as well as the academic community. Using a wide selection of newspapers, journals, monographs, and school textbooks from different regions of the country, the book examines the sensitive issue of the changing perspectives – often shifting 180 degrees – on several events discussed in the new narratives of the Stalin years published in the Ukraine since the late Gorbachev period until 2005. These events were pivotal to Ukrainian history in the 20th century, including the Famine of 1932–33 and Ukrainian insurgency during the war years.

The History of Liberalism in Russia Cover

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The History of Liberalism in Russia

Foreword by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. In this highly original study, Victor Leontovitsch offers a reinterpretation of liberalism in a uniquely Russian form. He documents the struggles to develop civil society and individual liberties in imperial Russia up until their ultimate demise in the face of war, revolution, and the collapse of the old regime. This is the first English-language translation of Leontovitsch’s monumental work, which was originally published to critical acclaim in German in 1957.

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