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CREECA Lecture: “The Russian 1990s and Soviet Writers: Market, Marginalization and Decay in the Writers’ Town of Peredelkino” with Kelly Smith

October 20, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm

Russians today often remember the “Wild 1990s” as a time of chaos, impoverishment and disorientation. Through the lens of the privileged Writers’ Town, which had been built under Stalin and once been home to Isaac Babel, Boris Pasternak and Kornei Chukovskii among others, we can see how marketization and the collapse of socialist support systems led to both degradation and gentrification of the dacha community. In this talk, Dr. Kelly Smith will analyze the way in which partial commodification of property and freedom from state monopolies led to what residents perceived as the “ruin” of Peredelkino.

About the Speaker: Kelly E. Smith is Professor of Teaching at the School of Foreign Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  She received her PhD in Political Science from UC Berkeley and is the author of two books on memory and Russian politics–Remembering Stalin’s Victims: Popular Memory and the End of the USSR (1996) and Mythmaking in the New Russia: Politics and Memory in the Yeltsin Era (2002). Most recently, she published Moscow 1956: A Silenced Spring, a social and political history of a turning point year in Russia. Currently, Dr. Smith is engaged in a new research project on Peredelkino, the “Writers’ Village” created by Stalin.


October 20, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
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