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Regular version of the site

190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel, Room 123

Phone:+7 (812)786-92-49 

Postal address: 
190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel

Department Head Adrian A. Selin
Academic Supervisor Evgeniy Anisimov
Remembering the Neoliberal Turn: Economic Change and Collective Memory in Eastern Europe after 1989

Gökarıksel S., Gontarska O., Hilmar T. et al.

L.: Routledge, 2023.

Book chapter
The Stolbovo Treaty and Tracing the Border in Ingria in 1617–1618

Adrian Selin.

In bk.: Sweden, Russia, and the 1617 Peace of Stolbovo. Vol. 14. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2024. P. 99-118.

Working paper
The Image of the Past in Ciro Spontone’s ‘Historia Della Transilvania’

Khvalkov E., Levin F., Кузнецова А. Д.

Working Papers of Humanities. WP. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2021

Socialist Urbanism in Global Context

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
Department of History
Elective course
4 year, 1, 2 module


Course Syllabus


The goal of the course "Socialist Urbanism in Global Context" is to acquaint students with the basic theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of Soviet urbanization policy and urban culture during the 20th century and its social, economic and cultural consequences. In the result of this course students would learn the major concepts and approaches for the study of urban history and Soviet culture. Students would also learn the main issues of the development of social and architectural theories of urban planning in the USSR, the implementation of various urban experiments, and policies regarding a city and urban inhabitants.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To acquaint students with the basic theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of the phenomenon of a socialist city, Soviet urbanization projects and policy during the 20th century and its social, economic and cultural consequences.
  • To develop students' ability to analyze special historical literature and works of popular culture of the 20th century, to conduct a scientific discussion and publicly present the results of the study.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • To learn major theoretical and historiographical approaches toward the phenomenon of a socialist city and socialist urbanism.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction. Phenomenon of Socialist Urbanism. What Makes a City “Socialist”?
  • Imperial cities in the Revolution
  • Early Soviet planning and social experiments in the 1920s
  • Industrialisation and New Social Towns (Sotsgoroda) in the 1930s
  • Socialist Urban Technologies and Infrastructures
  • Everyday Stalinism. Social Hierarchies in Stalinist Cities
  • Post-War Urban Reconstructions and the Sovietisation of New Territories
  • “The Thaw” in Soviet Society and Architecture: Mass Housing Campaign and Standardisation of Socialist Cities
  • New Models of Consumption and Urban Culture in Late Socialism
  • Soviet Urban
  • Socialist Urban Tourism: Dynamics of the Representation of Heritage and Different Regions
  • Soviet legacy in 
 Post-Soviet Environment
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-class participation
    On seminars, students are expected to take active part in the discussion and demonstrate knowledge of the content of lectures and readings. Seminar discussions are based on the previously given readings, and fragments of sources introduced by the teacher and analyzed collectively by the class.
  • non-blocking Group presentation on the topic "The legacy of a Socialist City in Post-Soviet Space"
  • non-blocking Final essay
    A written essay should be about 15.000 characters length in English. In this essay a student should analyse and compare at least two movies on Soviet and socialist cities/urban life through the perspective of topics and questions discussed during the course. In this essay a student should: 1) describe the context of a chosen topic / phenomenon based on research literature, 2) demonstrate the dynamic of its representation in chosen movies / cartoon movies and explain reasons for its changes, 3) analyse and explain which elements of urban life / urban planning were at the forefront of representation and which were hidden, and demonstrate different sides of representation of a chosen topic in different time periods.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 2nd module
    0.4 * Final essay + 0.2 * Group presentation on the topic "The legacy of a Socialist City in Post-Soviet Space" + 0.2 * In-class participation + 0.2 * In-class participation


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Babiracki, P., Zimmer, K., & David-Fox, M. (2014). Cold War Crossings : International Travel and Exchange Across the Soviet Bloc, 1940s-1960s: Vol. First edition. Texas A&M University Press.
  • Barenberg, A. (2014). Gulag Town, Company Town : Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta. New Haven: Yale University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=818471
  • Boym, S. (2008). The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic Books. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=499418
  • Ganguly, L. (2007). Alexei Yurchak: Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.951C3C60
  • Hellbeck, J., Bonfiglio, D., & Tauchen, C. (2015). Stalingrad : The City That Defeated the Third Reich: Vol. First edition. PublicAffairs.
  • Karl Loewenstein. (2006). Re-emergence of public opinion in the Soviet Union: Khrushchev and responses to the secret speech. Europe-Asia Studies, (8), 1329. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668130600996572
  • Kotkin, S. (1997). Magnetic Mountain : Stalinism As a Civilization (Vol. [Pbk. ed., 1997]). Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=21251
  • Stalinism : new directions / ed. by Sheila Fitzpatrick. (2000). London [u.a.]: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.080753531
  • Zachmann, K., & Oldenziel, R. (2009). Cold War Kitchen : Americanization, Technology, and European Users. MIT Press.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Brake, M. (2013). The Sociology of Youth Culture and Youth Subcultures (Routledge Revivals) : Sex and Drugs and Rock “n” Roll? [S.l.]: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=649607
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (1999). Everyday Stalinism : Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=169117
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (DE-588)132798344, (DE-576)160958431. (1999). Everyday Stalinism : ordinary life in extraordinary times; Soviet Russia in the 1930s / Sheila Fitzpatrick. Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.075108488
  • Kirschenbaum, L. A. (2006). The Legacy of the Siege of Leningrad, 1941–1995 : Myth, Memories, and Monuments. New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=174478
  • Koenker, D., & Gorsuch, A. E. (2013). The Socialist Sixties : Crossing Borders in the Second World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=597267
  • Koposov, N. (2011). “The Armored Train of Memory”: The Politics of History in Post-Soviet Russia. Perspectives on History, 49(1), 23–26.
  • Rittersporn, G. T. (1996). Stephen Kotkin. Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as Civilization. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. 1995. Pp. xxv, 639. $55.00. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.18E2D6D6
  • Smolkin, V. (2018). A Sacred Space Is Never Empty : A History of Soviet Atheism. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1679019