Call for Applications

We will be in touch with all participants in mid-to-late August regarding travel plans. Please see Liverpool John Moores University’s statement on Ukraine.


The Social and Cultural History of Old Age in the Soviet Union, 1945-1991

Organizers: Susan Grant and Botakoz Kassymbekova

Venue: University of Basel, Switzerland

December 8-9th, 2022

The conference “Social and Cultural History of Old Age in the Soviet Union, 1945-1991” invites proposals for papers that deal with social and cultural aspects of growing old in the post-WWII Soviet Union. We are interested in both individual and collective everyday experiences of cultural narratives about and official policies towards old age. The history of Soviet Communism has hitherto largely focused on younger adults and children. Less is known about how Soviet socialism shaped old age and was experienced by older adults in different parts of the USSR. We are interested in addressing the following questions: What cultural roles were ascribed to older persons and how did they appropriate, evade and reconfigure these roles? What role did gender, religion, social background and cultures play? How did old age in rural areas differ from those in towns and the cities? How were old people studied and how did older people narrate their lives? How did the experience of war, collectivization, urbanization and industrialization change growing old in the Soviet Union? What role did family play in the lives of older people and how did intergenerational relations influence growing old?

The conference is part of the “Growing Old in the Soviet Union, 1945-1991” project funded by the Wellcome Trust at Liverpool John Moores University and is organised in cooperation with the University of Basel, Switzerland. Please send proposals (300 words and a short biographical statement) to James Brocklesby at the following address: We ask that participants submit a paper (5,000 words) for pre-circulation by May 30th, 2022. Deadline for proposals is January 10th, 2022.

Working languages: English and Russian