Anna Krylova, Associate Professor
Anna Krylova is Associate Professor of Modern Russian
History. She works on twentieth-century Russia and the challenges posed in envisioning and building a socialist alternative in the age of industrial and post-industrial modernity and globalization. Questions of historical theory, gender theory, and practice in contemporary historical writing propel her work, with a special focus on historiographical problematics in Western scholarship on the Soviet Union and within the emergent field of transnational socialist history.
In addition to articles and book chapters, she is the author
of Soviet Women in Combat: A History of
Violence on the Eastern Front (Cambridge University Press, 2010) which won
the 2011 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association. Soviet
Women in Combat interrogates historical and theoretical ways of conceptualizing heterosexual
subjectivity, sexual difference, and gender forms by investigating the
unprecedented historical phenomenon of Soviet young women’s en masse
volunteering for World War II combat.
Rather than reducing the story of Soviet women in combat to a narrative
of desperate emergency on the Eastern front, the book asks how Stalinist Russia,
reputedly a patriarchal society, managed to merge notions of soldierhood,
womanhood, and motherhood first into a conceivable and then realizable agenda
for the cohort of young female volunteers and for its prewar society and
wartime armed forces. It pursues this
question through such varied sources as state and military records, prewar and
wartime press, fiction, films, interviews, diaries, as well as memoirs and
letters written by men and women. So doing, the book advances reading strategies that
allow us not only to trace the cultural tenacity of gender conventions, but
also to analyze the possibilities for reimagining gender and heterosexual
subjectivity other than along imperatives of oppositional and asymmetrical
binarity. Soviet Women in Combat reveals a world in
which neither women nor their male contemporaries had to consider the “woman
soldier” to be an oxymoron. The book, as well, posits a question to the field
of Women’s and Gender history about the definitional parameters of its
foundational category––gender––and the kind of conceptual and interpretive habits
such parameters have produced.
Her article “The Tenacious Liberal Subject in
Soviet Studies” which appeared in the first Winter 2000 issue of Kritika has
since been used in graduate courses. The
article is an attempt to grasp the metahistory of US Soviet and Russian studies through the
conception of “Soviet man” in American scholarly writings and popular culture.
- Contact Info:
|Office Location: ||209 Carr Building|
|Office Phone: ||(919) 684-3871 |
|Email Address: |
- Office Hours:
- On leave, 2013-2014
|PhD||Johns Hopkins University||2001|
|MA in History||The Johns Hopkins University||1998|
|MA in Political Science||The Johns Hopkins University||1995|
European and Russia
Global Transnational History
War, Military and Society
- Research Interests:
Her second book project, “Socialist Imaginaries of the Soviet Century,” reexamines the boundaries that scholars of modern Russia
have assigned to Soviet socialism. It begins by inviting scholars to
reflect whether the Bolshevik “basic tenets” that informed the imagination of a
new type of industrial modernity in the 1900s-1930s could become the actual
language of the industrial (even if non-market) society once it came into
being. How, I ask, was this
anti-individualist cultural paradigm of Bolshevism to address the profound
social transformation brought about by the 1930s industrialization, namely, the
appearance of an urban and professionally differentiated middle class defined
by the alienating and self-centered character of intellectual labor and
expectations of urban privacy? To answer
this question, I undertake a rethinking of the dynamics of social and cultural
change in twentieth century Russia. This
monograph aims to make possible a new cultural history of Soviet Russia by
historicizing the ways in which normative conceptions of socialist society,
sociality and self evolved in Russia and the Soviet Union from the First
Russian Revolution into the postwar and post-Stalinist years. It also expands analytics with which scholars
approach the study of Soviet socialist modernity.
Professor Krylova is a co-organizer with Tani Barlow (Rice University) of the 2012-2015 Duke-Rice International Faculty-Graduate Workshop Series “COMMUNIST LEGACIES AND POST-COMMUNIST REALITIES IN THE TWENTIETH AND TWENTY-FIRST CENTURIES." Since 2009, she has been directing the History
She also serves on the advisory board of the Research Triangle Seminar Series "History of the Military, War, and Society" and of the Carolina
Seminar "Russia and Its Empire, East and West" (Duke, UNC at
She has delivered public talks on Soviet
and European experiences in World War II, Soviet Cold War culture, and peculiarities
of Russia’s capitalism and failing democracy.
In 2009-2010, she participated in a CBC six-hour documentary series on World War II, which was broadcasted in Canada and France in
May of 2010.
Awards and Honors
Humanities Center, 2013-2014.
of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Spring Term, 2013.
Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association, awarded for the best first book in
Mellon Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Fellowship, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke
Hunt Family Assistant Professor of History, Duke University.
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies,
Social Science Research Council Dissertation Write-up Grant.
1999 Stulman Graduate Student,
Department of History, Johns Hopkins University.
1997-1998 IREX Individual Advanced
Research Opportunities Fellowship.
1997-1998 Pre-Dissertation Fellowship
Award, Association for Women in Slavic Studies.
- Current Ph.D. Students
- Tom Jay Cinq-Mars
- Nina Arutyunyan
- Rachel Bessner
- Representative Publications
- A. Krylova, Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front (Cambridge University Press)
- A. Krylova, “Soviet Modernity: Stephen Kotkin and The Bolshevik Predicament”,
Contemporary European History
- A. Krylova, “Neither Erased nor Remembered: Soviet “Women Combatants” and Cultural Strategies of Forgetting In Soviet Russia, 1940s-1980s",
in Histories of the Aftermath: The European Postwar in Comparative Perspective, edited by Frank Biess and Robert G. Moeller
(2010), Berghahn Books
- A. Krylova, Identity, Agency, and the First Soviet Generation,
in Stephen Lovell (ed.), Generations in 20th Century Europe
(2007), Palgrave Macmillan
- Beyond the Spontaneity-Consciousness Paradigm: 'Class Instinct' as a Promising Category of Historical Analysis,
(Spring, 2003) [pdf]
- 'Healers of Wounded Souls': The Crisis of Private Life in Soviet Literature and Society, 1944-46,
Journal of Modern History
(June, 2001) [pdf]
- The Tenacious Liberal Subject in Soviet Studies,
Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 1 no. 1
(Winter, 2000) [pdf]