The Soviet Woman as Citizen Soldier: A Paradox of 20th Century Women's History
The Department of Gender Studies
2013-2014 Public Lecture Series and
the Department of History
The Soviet Woman as Citizen Soldier: A Paradox of 20th Century Women's
6:00 p.m., Monday, 7 October 2013, Popper
In her lecture, Professor Krylova explores the unprecedented historical phenomenon of Soviet young women's en masse volunteering for World War II combat in 1941. She asks how a largely patriarchal society with traditional gender values such as Soviet Russia in the 1920s and 1930s managed to merge notions of violence and womanhood into a first conceivable and then realizable agenda for the cohort of young female volunteers and for its armed forces. To answer this question, she invites us to consider the Soviet woman soldier as a critical subject of historical analysis, intricately connected not only to the peculiarities of Russian history but also to radical trends within Western feminist thought, women's grassroots movements, and military experimentation of the mid-twentieth century. Her talk is an exploration of historical and theoretical ways of conceptualizing heterosexual subjectivity, sexual difference, and gender forms other than along conventional imperatives.
Anna Krylova is Associate Professor of Modern Russian History at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. She specializes in intellectual, cultural, and gender history of modern Russia. Her further interests include questions of historical interpretation and gender theory. She is the
author of Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front (Cambridge University Press, 2010) which was awarded the 2011 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association. Her new project "Socialist Imaginaries of the Soviet Century" turns the pivotal and seemingly obvious term of modern Russian history – the "Soviet" – into a historical problematic and rethinks the history of building a socialism
in the age of industrial modernity and globalization.