Gleb Tsipursky is an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University, History Department, Newark Campus. His research focuses on the Soviet Union, and he writes about modernity, youth, popular culture, consumption, emotions, the Cold War, globalization, social control, policing, and violence. He published in the United States, France, Germany, Canada, England, and Russia, including a brief monograph in the Carl Beck Papers series, entitled Having Fun in the Thaw: Youth Initiative Clubs in the Post-Stalin Years, published in 2012 with University of Pittsburgh Press. Currently, he is completing a monograph entitled “Socialist Fun: Youth, Consumption, and State-Sponsored Popular Culture in the Cold War Soviet Union, 1945-1970.” His next planned project is a study on volunteer militias in the USSR and post-Soviet Russia. He was awarded fellowships by the Kennan Institute, the American Council of Learned Societies, the International Education Program Service, and the International Research and Exchanges Board.
My project engages with diplomatic, transnational, and cultural history by exploring the grassroots impact of the Cold War cultural contest within the USSR itself. Much of the Soviet population accessed cultural activities primarily through the widespread network of state-run clubs, and a multitude of debates and policy shifts took place from 1957 to 1970 regarding the appropriate amount of western-style popular culture in these establishments. My project plans to shine a light on how the evolution of foreign relations and cultural diplomacy influenced club offerings. I intend to trace how interactions with western cultural influence and western touring groups and delegations shaped the perceptions of both Soviet youngsters and western visitors. I plan to illustrate how the cultural Cold War affected the Kremlin’s foreign and domestic policies, enriching our understandings of the interactions between Soviet domestic and foreign spheres.