The Lagging Gulag

Professor Wilson Bell’s article on the Gulag comes as a response to the expanded use of the term in present time. Originally, the Gulag was a Soviet administration body that oversaw labor camps and later special settlements. The term Gulag has been used by Amnesty International in reference to Guantanamo Bay, by Al Gore when describing Abu Ghraib in Iraq, and by other academics to to describe work or incarceration camps throughout the modern age. Bells tracks the complex and irregular history of the Gulag to whittle down and refine the term to a more precise end.… Read the rest here

Structure and Function of Gulag Historiography

Wilson T. Bell’s article on Gulag Historiography is very interesting. He talks about the many different terms of a gulag and how it is difficult to give the term a specific definition, since they vary so much. The three principal terms which define gulags revolve around economic, population politics, and social factors. Gulags differ from place to place, but Bell focuses on the gulags that are in the Soviet Union during the Stalin-era.

The economic aspect is in reference to Stalin’s Five Year plan and wanting to create rapid industrialization.… Read the rest here