UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Ella Rossman

Ella Rossman

Supervisors: Professor Kristin Roth-Ey and Professor Seth Graham

Email: ella.rossman.21@ucl.ac.uk

Present status: PhD Candidate

Working title of thesis: How to be a Soviet girl: Female adolescence in the USSR after the Second World War (1946–1991)


My research focuses on the socialisation of women in the post-war USSR, covering both the specifics of late Soviet girlhood culture and the ideology surrounding adolescent girls and their personal experiences. I pay special attention to how young women in the USSR were building their identities and seeking agency in the context of late Stalinism, the Thaw and the late Soviet conservative turn. I am working with a range of previously unexplored sources, including official documents, expert discussions among Soviet social scientists and medical doctors, Soviet manuals for teenage girls, youth cinema and media, as well as the diaries and memoirs of women who grew up in different parts of the USSR. 

Research interestsSoviet history; gender and sexuality in communist and post-communist contexts; girlhood studies; global history of girlhood(s), Soviet girlhood; Soviet childhood; female agency and identity building. 

I am also carrying an independent side-project, mapping contemporary Russian feminist activism and feminist thought. 

Research Centre Affiliation: Russian Cinema Research Group

Academic publications: 

  • Jan Surman and Ella Rossman, “New Dissidence in Contemporary Russia: Students, Feminism and New Ethics,” New Perspectives 30, no. 1 (2022): 27–46.
  • Ella Rossman, “From Socialism to Social Media: Women's and Gender History in Post-Soviet Russia,” History of Science and Humanities 44, no. 4 (2021): 414–432.

Publications in media:


Attacking Scholarship: Gender Studies in Post-Soviet Russia,” Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0K9xjxxlqk&t=4s