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Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cold War

September 15, 2011 - September 16, 2011

Annenberg School for Communication, Room 500
3620 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, 19104

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Categories: Conference/Symposium

When Nikita Khrushchev visited Hollywood in 1959 only to be scandalized by a group of scantily clad actresses, his message was blunt: Soviet culture would soon consign capitalist mass culture, epitomized by Hollywood, to the dustbin of history. The USSR had surged full force into the modern media age after World War II, building cultural infrastructures–and audiences–that were among the world’s largest. Yet success brought complex and unintended consequences.  The postwar era saw the Soviets’ new media empire transformed from within to produce something dynamic and volatile: a new Soviet culture increasingly similar to that of its self-defined capitalist enemy. By the 1970s, the Soviet media empire, stretching far beyond its founders’ wildest dreams, was busily undermining the very promise of a unique Soviet culture—and visibly losing the cultural cold war. Moscow Prime Time is the first book to untangle the paradoxes of Soviet success and failure in the postwar media age.

Kristin Roth-Ey is Lecturer in Modern Russian History at University College London. Her research interests focus on the intersection of cultural, social, and political dynamics in the post-WWII era. She received her Ph.D. in History from Princeton University.

Thursday, September 15: Discussion with the author
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: College Hall 219, University of Pennsylvania

Participants should have read two chapters from the book in advance of the workshop. If you are interested in attending, please contact Laura Schwartz-Henderson for the readings.

Friday, September 16: Annenberg Lunchtime Colloquium
12:00-1:30 p.m.
Location: Annenberg  Room 500
Lunch will be provided beginning at 11:45am.

To RSVP and for more information on these events, please contact Laura Schwartz-Henderson.