UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


SEHI2009 Media, Culture and Society in the Soviet Union from Stalin to 1991

UCL Credits: 30

Total Learning Hours: 300

ECTS: 15

Level: Advanced

Course Unit: 1.0

Full Year

Module Coordinator: Dr Kristin Roth-Ey

Taught By: Dr Kristin Roth-Ey

To find out more about this module, please contact the Module Coordinator

Weekly Contact Hours: 2.0 (2 hour seminar)
Prerequisites: None
Compulsory Module for: N/A

Summative Assessment

Coursework: 2x 2000-2500 word essays (25%)

2 hour examination (75%)

Formative Assessment

To be confirmed

Module Outline

This course explores the history of the Soviet Union’s experiment in creating a socialist “culture for the masses” from Stalinism through to 1991. In lectures and discussions, we will analyze the relationship of cultural developments to key issues in the history of the late USSR, such as the nature of power in the Soviet system,(Stalinist and post-Stalinist), the question of national and supra-national, or Soviet, identity formations, issues of generational conflict, “lifestyle” politics, and the cold war, and the impact of technological and sociological modernization. Readings will draw from secondary sources, first-person narratives, and documents in translation. The course focuses in-depth on cinema as a key sphere for cultural production and consumption in the USSR.

Indicative Texts

  • James von Geldern and Richard Stites, eds. Mass Culture in Soviet Russia, 1917-1953 (1995)
  • Jeffrey Brooks, Thank You, Comrade Stalin: Soviet Public Culture from Revolution to Cold War (2000)
  • Richard Stites, ed. Culture and Entertainment in Wartime Russia (1995)
  • Susan E. Reid, “Cold War in the Kitchen: Gender and the De-Stalinization of Consumer Taste in the Soviet Union under Khrushchev,” Slavic Review, Vol. 61, No. 2 (Summer 2002), 211-252 JSTOR
  • Stephen Lovell, Russia in the Microphone Age: A History of Soviet Radio, 1917-1970 (2015)
  • P. Blake & M. Hayward, eds., Half-way to the Moon: New Writing from Russia (1965)
  • Christine Evans, “Song of the Year and Soviet Mass Culture in the ‘70s,” Kritika, Vol 12, no. 3 (Summer 2011)
  • Yitzhak Brudny, Reinventing Russia: Russian Nationalism and the Soviet State, 1953-1991 (1998)
  • Lisa A. Kirschenbaum, The Legacy of the Siege of Leningrad: Myth, Memories and Monuments (2006)



Course Code



Full Year AffiliatesRegister for SEHI2009As Above 15
Affiliates here for Term 1 onlyRegister for SEHI2009ATwo essays (2,000-2,500 words each) (100%) 7.5
Affiliates here for Terms 2 and 3 onlyRegister for SEHI2009BTwo essays (2,000-2,500 words each) (100%) 7.5


Please note: This outline is accurate at the time of publication. Minor amendments may be made prior to the start of the academic year.