Dr Miriam Dobson
+44 (0)114 22 22567
Jessop West 2.09
Miriam Dobson studied Russian and French at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, before moving to the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London, where she gained an MA in History and later her PhD. She held a Scouloudi History Research Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research (2002-03) and a one-year lectureship at the University of Liverpool (2003-4), before starting at Sheffield in September 2004. Her first monograph, Khrushchev's Cold Summer: Gulag Returnees, Crime, and the Fate of Reform After Stalin won the 2010 Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize awarded by Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies 'for the most important contribution to Russian, Eurasian, and East European studies in any discipline of the humanities or social sciences published in English in the United States in the previous calendar year'. She is currently principal investigator on a four-year AHRC-funded project entitled 'Protestants Behind The Iron Curtain: Religious Belief, Identity, And Narrative In Russia And Ukraine Since 1945'.
Miriam Dobson is a member of the British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies and convenes (with Zoe Knox, University of Leicester) a Study Group on Religion and Spirituality in Russia and Eastern Europe (RSREE). In 2007 she was co-organiser of a major international conference 'The relaunch of the Soviet project, 1945-1964', held at SSEES, UCL.
Membership of Professional Bodies
Miriam's current project explores the history of Baptist and Pentecostal communities in the Soviet Union. In this project she will study state-church relations in the late Soviet period, exploring on the one hand how the government used bureaucratic, legalistic and propagandistic means to curb religious activity and on the other how religious groups sought to evade or at least attenuate this control. The project will explore the experience of belonging to a congregation and the meaning of belief in a radically atheist state. It draws on archival materials as well as oral history interviews which will be carried out as part of the AHRC-funded project. She also contributes to the Russian History Blog.
Miriam's research interests lie in the history of the Soviet Union, with a particular emphasis on the social and cultural history of post-war Russia. Her first book explored popular responses to the reforms of the Khrushchev era, in particular the massive exodus of prisoners from the Gulag. Khrushchev's Cold Summer examined the impact of these returnees on communities and, more broadly, Soviet attempts to come to terms with the traumatic legacies of Stalin's terror. Her current project focuses on a very specific group – evangelical Protestants – but continues to develop her earlier interest in how individuals and communities related to the Soviet project.
Miriam Dobson teaches twentieth-century Russian history. Her current course offerings include a final-year documents based course on 'Stalinism and De-Stalinisation'. She welcomes inquiries from students wishing to pursue post-graduate study on aspects of modern Russian history.
- Khrushchev's Cold Summer: Gulag Returnees, Crime, and the Fate of Reform after Stalin (Cornell University Press, 2009) [2010 Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize]
- Reading Primary Sources: The Interpretation of Texts from Modern History, co-edited with Benjamin Ziemann (Routledge, 2008)
Articles and Book Chapters
- 'The Post-Stalin Era: De-Stalinisation, Daily Life, and Dissent', Kritika, 12, 4 (2011), pp. 905-924.
- 'Cold Summer of 53', Directory of World Cinema: Russia, ed. Birgit Beumers (Intellect, 2010), pp. 72-73.
- 'Letters', in Reading Primary Sources: The Interpretation of Texts from Modern History, co-edited with Benjamin Ziemann (Routledge, 2008), pp. 57-73.
- 'POWs and Purge Victims: Attitudes towards Party Rehabilitation in Vladimir and Moscow, 1956-7', Slavonic and East European Review 86, 2 (2008), pp. 328-345.
- '"Show the Bandits No Mercy!": Amnesty, Criminality and Public Response in 1953', The Dilemmas of De-Stalinisation: A Social and Cultural History of Reform in the Khrushchev Era, ed. Polly A. Jones (RoutledgeCurzon, 2005), pp. 21-40.
- 'Contesting the Paradigms of De-Stalinization: Readers' Responses to One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich', Slavic Review, 64 (2005), pp. 580-600.
- 'Anti-religious Campaigns in the Russian Press, 1953-1964', Slovo, 13 (2001), pp. 139-152.
Book Reviews for the following journals
- English Historical Review, Cold War History, Reviews in History, Slavonic and Eastern European Review, Europe-Asia Studies, Slavic Review, Slavonic and Eastern European Review, H-soz-u-Kult, Slovo.