June 5, 2023

Harris Publishes Essay on the Communist Way of Life

Steven E. Harris, associate professor of history, published his essay, “Soviet Mass Housing and the Communist Way of Life,” in the volume Everyday Life in Russia Past and Present, eds., Choi Chatterjee, David L. Ransel, Mary Cavender, and Karen Petrone (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015). This edited collection of peer reviewed essays is published in the Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies, eds., Alexander Rabinowitch and William G. Rosenberg. The essays were originally presented at the conference, “Everyday Life in Russia: Strategies, Subjectivities and Perspectives,” held in 2010 at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Harris’s essay examines Soviet citizens’ move from communal housing to the single-family separate apartment under Khrushchev and how their everyday experiences intersected with the regime’s discourse on the “communist way of life.” It is based on the research of his book, Communism on Tomorrow Street: Mass Housing and Everyday Life after Stalin (Washington, D.C., and Baltimore: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).

The following is a description of Everyday Life in Russia Past and Present from the Indiana University Press website:

“In these original essays on long-term patterns of everyday life in prerevolutionary, Soviet, and contemporary Russia, distinguished scholars survey the cultural practices, power relations, and behaviors that characterized daily existence for Russians through the post-Soviet present. Microanalyses and transnational perspectives shed new light on the formation and elaboration of gender, ethnicity, class, nationalism, and subjectivity. Changes in consumption and communication patterns, the restructuring of familial and social relations, systems of cultural meanings, and evolving practices in the home, at the workplace, and at sites of leisure are among the topics explored.”