Men & Masculinities under Socialism. A Social and Cultural History

Men & Masculinities under Socialism. A Social and Cultural History

Historisches Institut, Universität Bern
Vom - Bis
08.10.2020 - 09.10.2020
Peter Hallama

This online workshop aims to consider critical men’s studies and the history of masculinities, and to make these approaches fruitful for Eastern European gender studies and the gender history of socialism. Its objective is to stimulate new paths for writing the histories of masculinities under socialism, focusing especially on examining the meanings of masculinities in everyday life.

Men & Masculinities under Socialism. A Social and Cultural History

The workshop opens with a general discussion of the history of masculinities, including two keynote speeches of Jürgen Martschukat (The Politics of Masculinity and Whiteness in Recent American History) and Erica L. Fraser (Military Masculinity and Postwar Recovery in the Soviet Union), and a film screening and discussion (introduced by György Kalmár). The second part of the workshop presents different case studies on the history of masculinities under socialism and will be organized around the discussion of pre-circulated article drafts.

Advance registration is required. To learn more and register, please

Academic Committee: Erica L. Fraser (Carleton University), Fabio Giomi (CNRS, Paris), Pavel Kolář (University of Konstanz), Maike Lehmann (University of Cologne), Thomas Lindenberger (TU Dresden), Marianna Muravyeva (Aspasia / University of Helsinki), Julia Richers (University of Bern), Régis Schlagdenhauffen (EHESS, Paris), Brigitte Studer (University of Bern)


Thursday, 8 October 2020, 9:15 am – 4:30 pm (all times are Central European Time)

9:15 – 9:30 am Welcome & Introduction

9:30 – 10:45 am The History of Masculinities 1
Jürgen Martschukat (University of Erfurt): The Politics of Masculinity and Whiteness in Recent American History
Comment: Claudia Opitz-Belakhal (University of Basel)

11:15 am – 12:30 pm The History of Masculinities 2
Erica L. Fraser (Carleton University): Military Masculinity and Postwar Recovery in the Soviet Union
Comment: Carmen Scheide (University of Bern)

2:00 – 2:30 pm Film discussion
The Prefab People (Panelkapcsolat), Béla Tarr (Hungary, 1982). Introduced by György Kalmár (University of Debrecen)

3:00 – 4:30 pm Family and Medicine
Chair: Brigitte Studer (University of Bern)

Natalia Jarska (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw): Women’s Work and Men. From Breadwinning to Consumption and Emancipation

Amanda Williams (University of Leeds): « The Influence of the Husband »: Men’s Roles in Reproductive Politics in Soviet Russia, 1936–1968

Friday, 9 October 2020, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

9:30 – 11:00 am Military Masculinities
Chair: Régis Schlagdenhauffen (EHESS, Paris)

Magali Delaloye (University of Basel): Heal and Serve. Performing Soviet Military Masculinity during the Afghan War (1979–1989)

Wojciech Śmieja (University of Silesia, Katowice): Memoirs of Disabled Veterans. Communist Poland and the (Re-)Construction of Crippled Bodies

11:30 am – 12:30 pm Youth, Love, and Sexuality
Chair: Alexandra Oberländer (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)

Brendan M. McElmeel (University of Washington, Seattle): Don Juan and Comrade Ivan: Love and Masculinity in the Soviet Urals, 1953–1964

2:00 – 3:30 pm Coloniality and Violence
Chair: Julia Richers (University of Bern)
Cristina Diac (University of Bucharest): Behind the Close Doors. The Private Life of the Petty-Activists of the Romanian Communist Party, 1945–1960

Marina Yusupova (Newcastle University): Coloniality of Gender and Masculinity: Rethinking Contemporary Russian Masculinities in Light of Post- and Decolonial Critique

4:00 – 4:30 pm Final discussion
Concluding remarks by Ivan Simić (Charles University,


Peter Hallama,