Monash University

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"Please Listen Carefully": Oral History and the Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System

posted on 2017-07-20, 05:53 authored by SAMANTHA JAN PRENDERGAST
This thesis examines a collection of 1950s interview records known as the Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System. Between 1950 and 1951 Harvard University researchers travelled to US-occupied Germany to interview émigrés and displaced persons from the USSR: they never audio-recorded their interviews. In this thesis I ask what we can learn from the translated, non-verbatim interview transcripts. I argue that, despite the second-hand nature of the records, the Harvard Project transcripts provide valuable insight into the ways that post-WWII Soviet émigrés made sense of their lives and imagined their futures.


Principal supervisor

Alistair Thomson

Additional supervisor 1

Paula Michaels

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Historical Studies


Master of Arts

Degree Type



Faculty of Arts

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    Faculty of Arts Theses