Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

Revisiting the Warrior Women of Early Soviet Literature: Gender, Violence, and Revolution

Fri31  Mar04:45pm(15 mins)
Gilbert Scott Room 253


Lara Green1
1 Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands


Women played important roles in Russia’s revolutionary movement, military forces of the First World War, and during the Civil War. As a result, representations of fighting women can also be found across numerous prominent works of literature and film of the 1920s and 1930s. This paper asks what aspects of the representations of these women can be read as responses to rupture and uncertainty in this period. It examines novels set in the period of Civil War such as Dmitrii Fermanov’s Chapaev (1923), Fedor Gladkov’s Tsement (1925), and Mikhail Sholokhov’s Tikhii Don (1928-32). In particular, it explores how the fighting women is both timeless and out of time; her presence is essential, yet she disrupts the world around her. In doing so, it explores how the violent woman acting on behalf of the Revolution in early Soviet literature can be read as a reflection of anxieties surrounding the building of the New Soviet Person.