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Victoria Smolkin

Former Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar


    September 1, 2014 — May 31, 2015

    Professional affiliation

    Associate Professor, Department of History, Wesleyan University

    Wilson Center Projects

    “A Sacred Space Is Never Empty”: The Spiritual Life of Soviet Atheism

    Full Biography

    Victoria Smolkin is Associate Professor of Russian History at Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut). She completed her Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley in 2010. Her publications include: “The Confession of an Atheist Who Became a Scholar of Religion”: Nikolai Semenovich Gordienko’s Last Interview,” Kritika (Summer 2014), and “The Ticket to the Soviet Soul: Science, Religion and the Spiritual Crisis of Late Soviet Atheism,” in Russian Review (April 2014). Smolkin's research has been supported by Princeton University's Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies; the Social Science Research Council Eurasia Post-Doctoral Research Award; the Sherman Emerging Scholar Lectureship; the Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship in Religion and Ethics; and the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, among others. Smolkin-Rothrock’s forthcoming monograph is titled A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: The Spiritual Life of Soviet Atheism. In 2014-2015, Smolkin was a Title VIII Research Fellow at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. 

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    Previous Terms

    Short-Term Scholar, Kennan Institute. Assistant Professor, Department of History, Wesleyan University. "A Sacred Space is Never Empty: Scientific Atheism, Socialist Rituals, and the Soviet Way of Life (1954-1999)." July 2011 - Aug 2011.