March 1, 2024

Harris Wins Verville Fellowship at National Air and Space Museum

Steven E. Harris, Associate Professor of History, was recently awarded an A. Verville Fellowship at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The 12-month fellowship will allow Harris to work full-time on his second book project, “Wings of the Motherland: Soviet and Russian Cultures of Aviation from Khrushchev to Putin” while in residence at the Museum. Harris will also use the fellowship to conduct research in archives in Moscow.

Harris talks to The Source about Soviet Aviation, Putin’s Russia

The Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 might have been expected to make Russia a liberal democracy; instead we see broad popular support for Putin’s undemocratic regime. Historian Steve Harris turns to aviation to offer new ways of understanding the Soviet past and Russia’s present. See the full interview at The Source.

Harris Presents Paper at University of Pennsylvania

Steven E. Harris, Associate Professor of History, presented his chapter, “Cold War Friendly Skies: Pan Am, Aeroflot and the Political Economy of Détente,” at the Russian History and Culture Workshop at the University of Pennsylvania on March 18. Harris was invited to present this chapter, which is part of his current monograph project, “Wings of the Motherland: Soviet and Russian Cultures of Aviation from Khrushchev to Putin.”

Preston and Harris Featured in Monroe-Related Media

Daniel Preston, editor of the Papers of James Monroe, and Scott Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum, are featured in a new documentary film titled Monroe Hill. The movie traces the evolution of Monroe’s Albemarle County farm that is today the University of Virginia, and the events that shaped the destiny of the fifth president of the United States. Monroe Hill premiered at the Virginia Film Festival in November. It will be shown at the Richmond International Film Festival on March 6, and at UMW’s Hurley Convergence Center on March 7 at 7 p.m. (popcorn provided).

Preston and Harris

Preston and Harris

Preston and Harris also discussed Monroe recently as part of a Washington Post presidential podcast series:

Harris Presents Paper at Slavic Studies Conference in Philadelphia

Department of History and American Science Professor Steven E. Harris presented his paper, “The Soviet Martyrdom of an Aeroflot Stewardess in the Age of Détente,” at the 47th Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies in Philadelphia, Nov. 19-22, 2015. At this same conference, Harris was also a panelist on the roundtable titled “Motion & Urbanity: Visual Symbolism, Sites of Mobility & the Built Environment in the Tsarist and Soviet Empire,” where he discussed his current work on the history of Soviet airports.

Harris Presents Paper at the University of Zürich

Associate Professor Steven E. Harris from the Department of History and American Studies was recently invited to present his paper, “The Martyrdom of Nadezhda Kurchenko: Murder of an Aeroflot Stewardess and Cold War Displacement,” at the conference “Verschiebung/Displacement/Вымещение im Kalten Krieg,” at the Slavic Department of the University of Zürich, on Nov. 6-7, 2015. Harris’ paper is based on a chapter for his current book project, Wings of the Motherland: Soviet and Russian Cultures of Aviation from Khrushchev to Putin.

Harris Presents Paper at Moscow Conference

The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow invited Prof. Steven E. Harris to present his paper “Soviet Airports: Futuristic Gateways to the Socialist City” at its recent conference, “A Long, Happy Life: Building and Thinking the Soviet City: 1956 to Now,” held Oct. 30-31, 2015. This conference is the first event in a three-year project at the Garage Museum to examine the history and legacy of Soviet modernism in architecture and urban planning. Harris’s paper is based on a chapter of his second book, which he is currently researching and writing, Wings of the Motherland: Soviet and Russian Cultures of Aviation from Khrushchev to Putin.


Harris Discusses Monroe on Radio Show

Scott Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum, was recently interviewed for the Dave Nemo Show discussing President James Monroe’s popular national tours in 1817, 1818 and 1819. The Dave Nemo Show is broadcast nationwide on Sirius XM Satellite Radio Channel 146, which is the “Road Dog” channel that principally targets long-haul truckers.

Harris Co-Organizes Second World Urbanity Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia

Steven E. Harris, Associate Professor of History, recently traveled to St. Petersburg, where he attended the conference “Living Cities of the Second World,” Feb. 27 to March 1, 2015.

The conference was the third that Harris and Daria Bocharnikova (Harvard University) have organized in the past year for the Second World Urbanity project. The conference featured two days of panel discussions on the history of urban planning, architecture, and the lived experience of socialist cities, not only in the former USSR and Eastern Europe but also Latin America (Managua) and East Africa (Dar es Salaam).

In addition to co-organizing the conference, Harris presented his paper, “Soviet Airports of the 1960s: Futuristic Gateways to Socialist Urbanity,” based on his current research project about the entangled histories of Aeroflot and Pan Am. While in St. Petersburg, he had the opportunity to conduct some research at the National Library and was also invited to speak to high school students at School No. 157, where he previously taught English for a year.


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.”