The Fate of the New Man: Representing and Reconstructing Masculinity in Soviet Visual Culture, 1945-1965

The Fate of the New Man: Representing and Reconstructing Masculinity in Soviet Visual Culture, 1945-1965

by Claire McCallum


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Between 1945 and 1965, the catastrophe of war—and the social and political changes it brought in its wake—had a major impact on the construction of the Soviet masculine ideal. Drawing upon a wide range of visual material, The Fate of the New Man traces the dramatic changes in the representation of the Soviet man in the postwar period. It focuses on the two identities that came to dominate such depictions in the two decades after the end of the war: the Soviet man's previous role as a soldier and his new role in the home once the war was over. In this compelling study, Claire McCallum focuses on the reconceptualization of military heroism after the war, the representation of contentious subjects such as the war-damaged body and bereavement, and postwar changes to the depiction of the Soviet man as father. McCallum shows that it was the Second World War, rather than the process of de-Stalinization, that had the greatest impact on the masculine ideal, proving that even under the constraints of Socialist Realism, the physical and emotional devastation caused by the war was too great to go unacknowledged. The Fate of the New Man makes an important contribution to Soviet masculinity studies. McCallum's research also contributes to broader debates surrounding the impact of Stalin's death on Soviet society and on the nature of the subsequent Thaw, as well as to those concerning the relationship between Soviet culture and the realities of Soviet life. This fascinating study will appeal to scholars and students of Soviet history, masculinity studies, and visual culture studies.  

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875807836
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 07/03/2018
Series: NIU Series in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Edition description: 1
Pages: 324
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Claire E. McCallum is a lecturer in twentieth-century Russian history at the University of Exeter.   

Table of Contents

Illustrations viii

Acknowledgments ix

Note on Transliteration xiii

Introduction 3

1 The Living: Representing Military Comradeship and Male Homosoclality after the War 22

2 The Damaged: Representing the Wounded and Disabled Soviet Man 64

3 The Dead: Representing and Remembering the Fallen Soviet Soldier 97

4 Homecomings: Representing Paternal Return. Reintegration, and Replacement before 1953 129

5 Fatherhood after Father Stalin: Representing Paternity and Domesticity in the Khrushchev Era 160

Conclusion 193

Notes 201

Bibliography 235

Index 253

What People are Saying About This

Eliot Borenstein

"The Fate of the New Man is an important contribution to the growing field of Russian masculinity studies. The discussion of the soldier/veteran is particularly effective, and the chapters on fatherhood allow McCallum to revisit the familiar territory of the Soviet leader as surrogate father, but on the strength of an entirely new set of analytic readings."

Karen Petrone

"McCallum's use of the visual to explore masculinity is unique. The Fate of the New Man is significant in that it shows the importance of the image of the Soviet man as father in the 1950s and 1960s and reminds us that chronological borders are messy. McCallum convincingly shows that the ideal of the New Soviet Man changes over time, but not necessarily according to the familiar chronology of Stalinism, the Thaw, and the Era of Stagnation."

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