Recent Posts

The Collective Farm



Guests:
Aaron Hale-Dorrell, Kristy Ironside, and Samantha Lomb on the collective farm system in the USSR.

Red Autobiographies

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on reddit

I recently published a review of Igal Halfin‘s Red Autobiographies: Initiating the Bolshevik Self in the journal NEP Era: Soviet Russia, 1921-1928 (vol. 5, 2011). For those who want a taste of my academic work, here’s the review’s opening paragraph:

For more than fifteen years, Igal Halfin has been a master craftsman in the academic cottage industry of “Soviet subjectivity.”  His work is essential reading, and his texts provide both historical and methodological inroads for the ways discourse enveloped Soviet citizens’ self-representation. While his arguments remain controversial, their influence on our understanding of Soviet subject formation cannot be denied.  It was Halfin along with Jochen Hellbeck who turned Michel Foucault into a permanent fixture in Soviet Studies. Halfin has urged us to take language, narrative structure and their deployment seriously. He even introduced a distinct Halfinian lexicon: “the self,” “brotherhood of the elect,” “the soul,” “towards the light,” “subjectivity,” “conversion,” “poetics,” and “eschatology.” Whatever one thinks of his methods and conclusions, one cannot pose questions about the Soviet subject without engaging Igal Halfin’s work.

You can download a pdf of the review here.