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Talk | Glennys Young: Russia’s War Against Ukraine: Teaching Opportunities and Challenges

August 30, 2022

Glennys Young presents her lecture, “Russia’s War Against Ukraine: Teaching Opportunities and Challenges” on Aug. 17, 2022.

This lecture was part of the 2021 EU Policy Forum for Educators. More information about the workshop, as well as the visual Presentation Slides accompanying this lecture can be found here:…cator-workshop/
A complete transcript of the podcast is also available at the above link.

I am a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union. Over the course of my career, I have become increasingly interested in the USSR’s involvement in transnational movements and processes, whether political, social, cultural, or economic. I have also pursued research interests in the history of Communism and world history. In addition to the books mentioned below, I’ve published articles on a number of topics in Soviet social and political history.

My first book, Power and the Sacred in Revolutionary Russia: Religious Activists in the Village (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), examined the Bolshevik project of cultural transformation through a case study of peasants’ responses to the Soviet anti-religious campaign. In 1999, the book was awarded Honorable Mention for the Hans Rosenhaupt Memorial Book Prize from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

In 2011, I published The Communist Experience in the Twentieth Century: A Global History through Sources (Oxford University Press. Through a collection of carefully selected documents, some presented for the first time in English translation, the book seeks to provide an inside look at how people around the world subjectively experienced, and contributed to, global communism.

My current book project is entitled The Return: From the Soviet Union to Franco’s Spain in the Cold War, under contract with Oxford University Press, England.

The Return reveals the unrecognized political, social, and cultural shockwaves of the Cold War repatriation of Spanish nationals who had been catapulted to the USSR as refugees and exiles in the Spanish Civil War, or as soldiers who fought for the Nazi Wehrmacht in World War II. What makes the Spanish case distinct with respect to numerous others involving post-World War II repatriations from the USSR is that it involved civilians and military personnel, including prisoners of war. As well, the repatriation of Spanish nationals constituted the largest repatriation of civilians from the USSR to a country in Western Europe during the Cold War. Although the repatriation of Spaniards—both Red Army POWs and civilians—began during World War II, albeit in small numbers, the return of the Spaniards became an international issue beginning in the late 1940s, just as the Cold War was heating up. The book focuses on the seven expeditions of repatriates from the USSR to Franco’s Spain in the second half of the 1950s.

The EU Policy Forum is supported by The UW Jackson School of International Studies’ Erasmus+ funded Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, the Center for West European Studies, the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, and the World Affairs Council. This lecture was co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.