UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


The Appearance of a Teenage Girl in the Late Soviet Cinema

15 May 2023, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

A collage of Soviet film posters

A SSEES Research Student seminar with Ella Rossman. This will be an online event.

This event is free.

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The developed discussion about female adolescence, or, as it is called in Russian, the “transitional age” (perekhodnyy vozrast), did not exist in Soviet cinema till the post-Stalinist period. A figure of a girl-teenager and a narrative about female development replaced Stalinist mature heroines in the Thaw period and transformed several times throughout the history of the USSR. The presentation discusses the development of young female characters in Soviet films and the ideologies connected with them in visual culture. It analyses films as “body technique” encyclopaedias or graphic manuals providing the female audience with embodied examples and anti-examples of female demeanour and teaching them what it means to act and look like Soviet girls and women.  

About the speaker:

Ella Rossman is a historian of gender and a doctoral student at UCL SSEES. Her PhD research is focused on late Soviet girlhood culture and the socialisation of women in the post-war USSR. She also carries an independent side project, mapping contemporary Russian feminist activism and feminist thought. Ella’s work has been published in Ab Imperio, History of Science and Humanities, and New Perspectives journals.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons (collage)