Soviet History through the Senses
In 1994 George H. Roeder Jr. published an article in the Journal of American History titled ‚Coming to Our Senses‘ and claimed: „Ours is a nearly sense-less profession.“ (JAH 81, 3; p. 1112.). Only few historians have studied sensory experiences up to this point; most notably Alain Corbin. After the publication of George Roeder’s essay, it took another decade before historians began to include the sensory dimension into their analyses and interpretations. This way of thinking about the past has also reached Soviet history in recent years. In this course we approached Soviet history through the senses. We delved into the main themes of the historiography on the Soviet Union and explored their still largely uncharted sensory dimension. Although we worked mainly with texts and audio-visual material, we also strived for a practical approach, for example, by studying Soviet cookbooks.