A Soviet West: Nationhood, Regionalism, and Empire in the Annexed Western Borderlands

Tuesday April 17

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Tue Apr 17 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM 108N, North House


William Risch
Georgia College

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Svitlana Frunchak


This talk will consider the role the Soviet Union's western borderlands annexed during World War II played in the evolution of Soviet politics of empire. Using the Baltic Republics and Western Ukraine as case studies, it will argue that Sovietization had a profound impact on these borderlands, integrating them into a larger Soviet polity. However, guerrilla warfare and Soviet policy making indirectly led to these regions becoming perceived as more Western and nationalist than other parts of the Soviet Union. The Baltic Republics and Western Ukraine differed in their engagement with the Western capitalist world. Their perceptions of what it meant to
belong to a nation reflected different experiences of World War II.
Consequently, this Soviet West was far from uniform, though it contributed to perceptions that the Soviet Union was an empire rather than a family of nations by the end of the 1980s.

Co-sponsored by

Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies
Centre for Jewish Studies
Faculty of Arts and Science