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Paige Talk

Fisher Fellow Talk: Victoria Paige, "Mother, Maiden, Martyr: Media Portrayals of Soviet Women in the Second World War"

Event Type
Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center
Coble Hall, 306 (801 S. Wright St., Champaign)
wifi event
Jun 27, 2024   12:00 pm  
Victoria Paige
Free and open to the public.
Originating Calendar
Russian, E. European & Eurasian Center: Speakers

This talk explores shifts in portrayals of military women in Stalinist popular media. Using film, literature, and periodicals, the project examines how and why these portrayals changed throughout the pre-war, war, and post-war periods. Under the 1930s mobilization drive, media promoted civilian soldiers, encouraging women to enlist in the armed forces. When women finally entered the frontlines in 1942, however, media illustrated their service via three tropes: women on the home front, martyrs, and nurses. After Allied victory, the military barred women from future enlistment and media depicted them as supportive caregivers. Although these three eras appear distinct, Victoria argues that they indicate long-standing anxieties around preserving military masculinity. As there existed an intertwined relationship between Soviet culture and the military, an examination on women’s position in the armed forces illuminates women’s place in the Stalinist gender order and society at large.

**This talk will be held in a hybrid format. To register for the Zoom and attend virtually, please visit

Victoria Paige is a History PhD candidate at Ohio State University. Her dissertation project examines media representations of Soviet women in war, including in film, literature, and periodicals, and how they reflect anxieties around preserving military masculinity. Victoria’s work has been supported by the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship and Kennan Institute.

This talk will be recorded and made available to those Associates unable to attend shortly following the event.

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