Sevastopol and the Soviet Union

The article, “Who Makes Local Memories?: The Case of Sevastopol after World War II” makes a distinct focus on the impact and significance of Sevastopol to the Soviet Union in the time following World War II. Qualls asserts the point that Sevastopol, simultaneously shed its identification with two countries at the same time, he explains how the city marginalized the Soviet Union and completely ignored Ukraine and refused to be apart of it, which was due to the goal of tying to highlight a deeper Russian history, but instead creating a localized mythology.… Read the rest here

Sevastopol – Mythmakers

The extreme hubris of  municipal and naval officers created difficulties faced by party officials who tried to redefine the traditional Russian past of Sevastopol and conform it to a more acceptable past dictated by the central authority.  Professor Qualls argues that party members were unable to force conformity among the people of Sevastopol, at least in their traditions, and instead the city held fast to its roots to the motherland. His use of the word “mythmakers” to describe party official designated to re-invent Sevastopol’s past is absolutely applicable because they tried to do exactly that.  … Read the rest here

Sevastopol and Local Identity

In “Who Makes Local Memories?: The Case of Sevastopol After World War II”, Qualls asserts that various conflicts, most notably the Crimean War, have shaped the construction of the identity of the city of Sevastopol and it’s people in relation to Russia. He cites the example of the Crimean War in which Lev Tolstoy, a journalist, wrote of the Russian character of the city and necessity of fighting for it as one would do for Russia.… Read the rest here

Sevastopol & Local Legacy

Qualls’s discussion on instill a local legacy within Sevastopol in the post-World War II world seemed quite compelling, as it deviated from the narrative generally presented about cities within the Soviet Union.

Most cities and locales within the Soviet Union, it appears, followed a particular school of thought, which exalted Lenin and other important thinkers involved with the history of Communism, and integrating their own histories with the collective history of the USSR. In Sevastopol, however, local officials paid more attention to local heroes and history, highlighting the importance of Sevastopol throughout Russian history (not just the history of the Soviet Union).… Read the rest here

Sevastopol

Professor Qualls’s article, “Who Makes Local Memories?  The case of Sevastopol after World War II” discussed who created memories of Sevastopol and how they were created after World War II. In his piece, Professor Qualls argued that despite central authorities attempts to paint Serastopals history in a certain way, it was the “municipal and naval officers” who chose to write the history of Serastopal in a “deeper Russian Historical” way, thus creating a “localized mythology.”  ((Professor Karl Qualls, “Who Makes Local Memories?: The Case of Sevastopol after World War II”  Carlisle: Dickinson College Faculty Publications, Paper 1, 2011.… Read the rest here

Review Articles

The review article “Gulag Historiography: An Introduction”, written by Wilson T. Bell, a former visiting professor at Dickinson College, attempts to explain what an actual Gulag is. Although the term was originally used as an acronym for Stalin’s labor camps, it currently is used to describe various forms of labor camps all over the world along with having numerous definitions. The second review article, written by Steven Maddox and has no title, compares two books: Preserving Petersburg: History, Memory, Nostalgia–a compilation of essays edited by Helena Goscilo and Stephen M.… Read the rest here

Urban development as a reflection of culture and politics

I found the reviewer’s last sentence, recommending the three books for those interested in issues of memory, history, and urban planning very interesting. Urban planning reflects both the values and dynamism of a society. Paris, for instance, along with many other European cities, remains fixated on the past; try building a skyscraper on the Champs-Élysées if you want a challenge. Other cities, like New York, promote their ostensibly forward-looking nature with hyper-modern architectural styles and a constant flow of major construction projects.… Read the rest here

Reconstruction of Sevastopol: An Inevitable Disaster?

Reconstruction of Sevastopol, following the Nazi’s attack on this vital naval city, started the Soviet’s regime of rebuilding the country’s architecture and infrastructure. The Soviet Union created the Committee on Architectural Affairs; I think this is a testament to the State’s commitment to rebuild cities with the State’s ideal in mind. The Soviet Union wanted these new building to be dedicated to the great heroes such as Marx and Lenin. Streets and squares were renamed in an attempt to return to historical roots.… Read the rest here

Replanning Sevastopol

Students know of the widespread devastation that resulted from WWII, but most history lessons stop just short of how those countries, cities and towns picked up the pieces and rebuilt their homes. As this reading shows, it wasn’t an easy task. Sevastopol needed to be completely rebuilt–and not just the buildings, but social services as well. Infrastructure was close to nonexistent, public health services were failing the population and all the while, architects and city planners were attempting to “russify” the Ukrainian city with a city-wide face lift in the Russian style.… Read the rest here