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Welcome to the calendar of the Illinois Global Institute. We are home to 10 longstanding international area studies centers and thematic programs. Bringing the units together as part of the IGI will improve organizational support, raise visibility, and foster additional cross-campus collaboration on essential international programs


REEEC Noontime Scholars Lecture: Claire Shaw, "Writing the History of the Soviet Body: Questions and Approaches"

Event Type
Lincoln Hall 1065 (702 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL 61801)
Feb 14, 2023   12:00 pm  
Claire Shaw (Associate Professor of History, The University of Warwick)
Free and open to the public.
Originating Calendar
Russian, E. European & Eurasian Center: Speakers

In this Noontime Scholars Lecture, Dr. Claire Shaw will discuss her current book project, Socialist Bodies, which considers the history of the body as both a revolutionary dream and an embodied reality under Soviet socialism. The Bolshevik desire to transform and perfect the human body was a central goal of the revolution, reflecting wider ideological and scientific visions of the future of communism. Yet this dream was fraught with complexity, challenged by the messy realities of the imperfect human body, and struggling to translate the lofty ideological goals put forward by Trotsky and others into an embodied experience of Soviet everyday life. This paper will discuss the questions and challenges raised by the project and consider how it responds to wider literatures on the history of the body and of the Soviet Union. 

Claire Shaw is Associate Professor in the History of Modern Russia at the University of Warwick. Her research focuses on the history of disability, the senses and the body under Soviet socialism. She is the author of the prize-winning monograph Deaf in the USSR: Marginality, Community, and Soviet Identity, 1917-1991 (Cornell University Press, 2017).

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