Rural History 2015

Panel 45

Organizers: Bruisch, Katja

Affiliation: German Historical Institute Moscow, Russian Federation

Title: Ruralizing Soviet Russia: The Countryside after the End of the Stalinist Period

"The urge to integrate the Russian village into Soviet socialism by promoting collective farms and a secular way of life figured prominently in Bolshevik propaganda. After the first decade of Soviet rule, the Stalinist leadership launched an aggressive attack against rural livelihoods in order to establish Soviet power beyond the cities and to incorporate the village into the centrally controlled command-economy. While the course and the immediate outcomes of collectivization have already been studied extensively, little is known so far about the mid- and long-term results which Soviet power had for the rural regions. The countryside’s changing representations in the discourses of non-rural elites also remain a blind spot in the historiography of the late Soviet period. This panel seeks to address the paucity of research into the Soviet countryside and to outline prospects to ruralize our predominantly urban understanding of the post-Stalinist period. Three case-studies analyze how people from various social backgrounds shaped or tried to cope with Soviet rural politics and how they reflected upon the realities of the Soviet countryside without scrutinizing basic ideas of socialist ideology. The panel thus aims to shed light on the tension between plans and the concrete outcomes of Soviet rural modernization."



Chair: Nikolaus Katzer, German Historical Institute Moscow, Russia

Paper 1: The Notebooks of Tikhon Semushkin: The Post-War Soviet Village through the Eyes of an Urban Writer

Timur Mukhamatulin, Institute for Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

Paper 2: Peat: Landscape, Economy and Rural Transformation in the late Soviet Period

Katja Bruisch, German Historical Institute Moscow, Russia

Paper 3: In Search of the Peasant Farmer: Market Ideas in the Rural Economics and Sociology of the Late Soviet Period

Sergei Alymov, Institute for Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015