Russia & Eurasia Workshop | Stephen Smith, University of Oxford
“Officials behaving badly? Grassroots control of the rural population in the Soviet Union (1921-1932) and the People’s Republic of China (1949-1962)”
Professor Stephen Smith, University of Oxford
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Steve (S. A.) Smith is a historian of modern Russia, modern China, and comparative Communism. He is an Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and a professor in the History Faculty at Oxford University. He taught for many years at the University of Essex and at the European University Institute in Florence, where he was Professor of Comparative History. Recent publications include Revolution and the People in Russia and China: A Comparative History (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and Russia in Revolution: An Empire in Crisis, 1890 to 1928 (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently writing a history of popular religion in China during the Mao era. This forms part of a larger comparative project that is provisionally entitled Communism in an Enchanted World, which explores how ordinary citizens engaged with the secularizing projects of the Soviet and Chinese states, utilizing idioms and practices rooted in religion and magic. He is a former editor, now vice-chair, of the journal Past and Present.