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Prof Jan Plamper

Staff details

PositionProfessor of History
Department History
Email j.plamper (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7919 7036
Prof Jan Plamper

My current research is mainly concerned with the history of emotions. If asked for a regional self-definition, I would say I am a Europeanist focusing on Russia. Chronologically, I am most interested in the 19th and 20th centuries. My major publications are The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power (Yale University Press, 2012) and a book that is partly a synthesis of, partly an intervention in the history of emotions, The History of Emotions: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2015; original: Geschichte und Gefühl: Grundlagen der Emotionsgeschichte, Siedler, 2012). I have co-organised conferences in Moscow, Princeton, and St. Petersburg, and have edited and co-edited a number of journal issues and books, most recently, with Benjamin Lazier, Fear: Across the Disciplines (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012). I am now working on a history of the fear of soldiers, esp. Russian soldiers during the First World War.

I went to school in Germany and the US, obtained my degrees in the US (B.A. Brandeis University, 1992; Ph.D. UC Berkeley, 2001), lived in Russia for a total of four years, taught at the University of Tübingen for six years, and held fellowships at Historisches Kolleg Munich (2007-2008) and Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin (2014-2015). Prior to joining Goldsmiths in 2012, I was on a multiyear Dilthey Fellowship at the Center for the History of Emotions within Berlin’s Max Planck Institute for Human Development, where I now hold a courtesy appointment as adjunct researcher.

I am keen to supervise doctoral students in any area I can reasonably do so—please contact me in advance.

PhD students supervised

  • Jan Bartknecht, 'Atatürk and his Cult - A Visual History' (funded by German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, Gerda Henkel Foundation, and Orient-Institut Istanbul)
  • Eoin O'Cearnaigh, '"More Life Less Speed": Labour Struggles at the Ford Motor Company in Britain and the Politics of Work, 1968-1985' (funded by AHRC CHASE)

PhD students seen to completion

  • Harry Hayball, 'Serbia and the Serbian Rebellion in Croatia (1990-1991)'

Teaching

BA second and third year
Utopian Visions: The Soviet Experience through the Arts
Modern Revolutions in Comparative Perspective

MA
Explorations and Debates in History
The History of Emotions

Professional activities

Media appearances

TV interviews for ‘In the Wake of Stalin’ (dir. Thomas Johnson, 2013) etc. Radio interviews and features in English on Irish Newstalk; in German on Bayern2, Deutschlandfunk, DRadio Wissen, hr2-kultur, Ö1, RBB, SWR2, WDR3; and in Russian on Deutsche Welle, Ekho Moskvy, Svoboda, Voice of America. Journalism in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurter Rundschau, Independent, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Times Literary Supplement, Die Zeit.

Samples

 

Research Interests

The two main areas in which I have conducted research are Soviet symbolic politics and the history of emotions. In the former, I have published articles and a book, The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power (click here for an interview; here for a radio interview; here for a blog discussion), in which I tried to reconstruct the mechanisms of the cult’s production. I also analysed the actual cult products and their changes over time, focusing on visual representations, esp. oil paintings. I maintain an interest in visual culture and will make visual history a focus of both my teaching and future research.

In the area of the history of emotions, I started out by working on the fear of soldiers in Late Imperial Russia. Soon conceptual problems began piling up and I felt compelled to think some of them through—the result is The History of Emotions: An Introduction (click here for a shorter radio interview; here for a longer interview), a book that attempts to synthesise existing emotions research and to make its own contribution to this relatively new field of historical inquiry. The book’s architecture is shaped by the binary that—in various guises—has dominated emotions research since the 19th century: social constructionism vs. universalism. I take cultural anthropological work to be emblematic for social constructionist approaches, life science work for universalist approaches, and devote a chapter to each. Now that this book is finished, I have returned to my project on soldierly fear.

Generally speaking, my interests range widely and I have also written on Stalinist censorship’s aim to purge multiple meanings (polyseme); on Michel Foucault’s stumbling over the Gulag when trying to write Soviet penitentiary practices into his philosophy of modern power; and on acknowledgments in scholarly books.

Publications

Book

The History of Emotions: An Introduction
Plamper, Jan. 2015. The History of Emotions: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-966833-5

Learning How to Feel: Children's Literature and the History of Emotional Socialization, 1870-1970
Frevert, Ute; Eitler, Pascal; Olsen, Stephanie; Jensen, Uffa; Pernau, Margrit; Brückenhaus, Daniel; Beljan, Magdalena; Gammerl, Benno; Laukötter, Anja; Hitzer, Bettina; Plamper, Jan; Brauer, Juliane and Häberlen, Joachim. 2014. Learning How to Feel: Children's Literature and the History of Emotional Socialization, 1870-1970. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-968499-1

Kult Stalina. Studium alchemii władzy
Plamper, Jan. 2014. Kult Stalina. Studium alchemii władzy. Warsaw: Świat Książki. ISBN 9788379432752

The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power
Plamper, Jan. 2012. The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300169522

Geschichte und Gefühl: Grundlagen der Emotionsgeschichte
Plamper, Jan. 2012. Geschichte und Gefühl: Grundlagen der Emotionsgeschichte. Munich, Germany: Siedler Verlag. ISBN 9783886809141

Alkhimiia vlasti: Kul’t Stalina v izobrazitel’nom iskusstve
Plamper, Jan. 2010. Alkhimiia vlasti: Kul’t Stalina v izobrazitel’nom iskusstve. Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie. ISBN 978-5-86793-755-3

Edited Book

Fear: Across the Disciplines
Plamper, Jan and Lazier, Benjamin, eds. 2012. Fear: Across the Disciplines. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 978-0-8229-6220-5

Rossiiskaia imperiia chuvstv: Podkhody k kul’turnoi istorii emotsii
Plamper, Jan; Schahadat, Schamma and Elie, Marc, eds. 2010. Rossiiskaia imperiia chuvstv: Podkhody k kul’turnoi istorii emotsii. Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie. ISBN 978-5-86793-785-0

Personality Cults in Stalinism – Personenkulte im Stalinismus
Heller, Klaus and Plamper, Jan, eds. 2004. Personality Cults in Stalinism – Personenkulte im Stalinismus. Göttingen: V&R unipress. ISBN 978-3-89971-191-2

Edited Journal

Emotional Turn? Feelings in Russian History and Culture
Plamper, Jan, ed. 2009. Emotional Turn? Feelings in Russian History and Culture.

Grenzgang in der Geschichte. Wissenschaftskulturen im internationalen Vergleich. Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 52(10)
Plamper, Jan, ed. 2004. Grenzgang in der Geschichte. Wissenschaftskulturen im internationalen Vergleich. Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 52(10).

Book Section

Ivan's Bravery
Plamper, Jan. 2014. Ivan's Bravery. In: Ute Frevert; Pascal Eitler; Stephanie Olsen; Uffa Jensen; Margrit Pernau; Magdalena Beljan; Benno Gammerl; Anja Laukötter; Bettina Hitzer; Jan Plamper; Juliane Brauer and Joachim Häberlen, eds. Learning How to Feel: Children's Literature and the History of Emotional Socialization, 1870-1970. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 0-0. ISBN 978-0-19-968499-1

L’histoire des émotions
Plamper, Jan. 2013. L’histoire des émotions. In: Christophe Granger, ed. À quoi pensent les historiens? Faire de l’histoire au XXIe siècle. Paris: Autrement, pp. 225-240. ISBN 978-2-7467-3298-8

Interbabuschka: Eine Hommage
Plamper, Jan. 2013. Interbabuschka: Eine Hommage. In: Katharina Kucher; Gregor Thum and Sören Urbansky, eds. Stille Revolutionen: Die Neuformierung der Welt seit 1989. Frankfurt/Main: Campus, pp. 83-85. ISBN 9783593398518

Migration und Emotion
Plamper, Jan. 2010. Migration und Emotion. In: Dmitrij Belkin and Raphael Gross, eds. Ausgerechnet Deutschland! Jüdisch-russische Einwanderung in die Bundesrepublik. Berlin: Nicolai, pp. 124-126. ISBN 978-3-89479-583-2

Beyond Binaries: Popular Opinion in Stalinism
Plamper, Jan. 2009. Beyond Binaries: Popular Opinion in Stalinism. In: Paul Corner, ed. Popular Opinion in Totalitarian Regimes : Fascism, Nazism, Communism. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 64-80. ISBN 9780199566525

Prostranstvennaia poetika kul’ta lichnosti: "krugi" vokrug Stalina
Plamper, Jan. 2008. Prostranstvennaia poetika kul’ta lichnosti: "krugi" vokrug Stalina. In: Igor' Narskii; Oksana Nagornaia; Ol'ga Nikonova and Boris Rovnyi, eds. Oche-vidnaia istoriia: Problemy vizual’noi istorii Rossii XX stoletiia. Cheliabinsk: Kamennyi poias, pp. 339-364. ISBN 978-5-88771-067-9

Georgian Koba or Soviet ‘Father of Peoples’? The Stalin Cult and Ethnicity
Plamper, Jan. 2004. Georgian Koba or Soviet ‘Father of Peoples’? The Stalin Cult and Ethnicity. In: Balázs Apor; Jan C. Behrends; Polly Jones and E. A. Rees, eds. The Leader Cult in Communist Dictatorships: Stalin and The Eastern Bloc. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 123-140. ISBN 1-403-93443-6

The Spatial Poetics of the Personality Cult: Circles Around Stalin
Plamper, Jan. 2003. The Spatial Poetics of the Personality Cult: Circles Around Stalin. In: Evgeny Dobrenko and Eric Naiman, eds. The Landscape of Stalinism: The Art and Ideology of Soviet Space. Seattle: University of Washington Press, pp. 19-50. ISBN 0-295-98333-7

The Archives of Soviet Censorship
Plamper, Jan. 2001. The Archives of Soviet Censorship. In: Derek Jones, ed. Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. 3 London/Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, pp. 2093-2095. ISBN 978-1579581350

Writers, Artists, and the Gulag
Plamper, Jan. 2001. Writers, Artists, and the Gulag. In: Derek Jones, ed. Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. 3 London/Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, p. 2110. ISBN 978-1579581350

Lev Trotskii
Plamper, Jan. 2001. Lev Trotskii. In: Derek Jones, ed. Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. 4 London/Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, pp. 2458-2459. ISBN 978-1579581350

Article

Vergangene Gefühle. Emotionen als historische Quellen
Plamper, Jan. 2013. Vergangene Gefühle. Emotionen als historische Quellen. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte(32-33), pp. 12-19. ISSN 0479-611X

Die Tränen des Premiers: Welche Rolle Gefühle in den internationalen Beziehungen spielen
Plamper, Jan. 2013. Die Tränen des Premiers: Welche Rolle Gefühle in den internationalen Beziehungen spielen. Zeitschrift für Kulturaustausch(III), pp. 46-47. ISSN 0044-2976

AHR Conversation: The Historical Study of Emotions
Eustace, Nicole; Lean, Eugenia; Livingston, Julie; Plamper, Jan; Reddy, William M. and Rosenwein, Barbara H.. 2012. AHR Conversation: The Historical Study of Emotions. American Historical Review, 117(5), pp. 1487-1531. ISSN 0002-8762

Gruzin Koba ili "Otets narodov"? Kul't Stalina skvoz' prizmu etnichnosti
Plamper, Jan. 2011. Gruzin Koba ili "Otets narodov"? Kul't Stalina skvoz' prizmu etnichnosti. Neprikosnovennyi zapas, 10(4), 263 -280. ISSN 0869-6365

Introduction: The Phobic Regimes of Modernity
Plamper, Jan and Lazier, Benjamin. 2010. Introduction: The Phobic Regimes of Modernity. Representations(110), pp. 58-65. ISSN 0734-6018

The History of Emotions: An Interview with William Reddy, Barbara Rosenwein, and Peter Stearns
Plamper, Jan. 2010. The History of Emotions: An Interview with William Reddy, Barbara Rosenwein, and Peter Stearns. History and Theory, 49(2), pp. 237-265. ISSN 0018-2656

Wie schreibt man die Geschichte der Gefühle? William Reddy, Barbara Rosenwein und Peter Stearns im Gespräch mit Jan Plamper
Plamper, Jan. 2010. Wie schreibt man die Geschichte der Gefühle? William Reddy, Barbara Rosenwein und Peter Stearns im Gespräch mit Jan Plamper. WerkstattGeschichte(54), pp. 39-69. ISSN 0942-704X

Fear: Soldiers and Emotion in Early Twentieth-Century Russian Military Psychology
Plamper, Jan. 2009. Fear: Soldiers and Emotion in Early Twentieth-Century Russian Military Psychology. Slavic Review, 68(2), pp. 259-283. ISSN 0037-6779

Soldatische Angst im Ersten Weltkrieg: Die Karriere eines Gefühls in der Kriegspsychiatrie Deutschlands, Frankreichs und Russlands
Michl, Susanne and Plamper, Jan. 2009. Soldatische Angst im Ersten Weltkrieg: Die Karriere eines Gefühls in der Kriegspsychiatrie Deutschlands, Frankreichs und Russlands. Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 35(2), pp. 209-248. ISSN 0340-613X

Emotional Turn? Feelings in Russian History and Culture. Introduction
Plamper, Jan. 2009. Emotional Turn? Feelings in Russian History and Culture. Introduction. Slavic Review, 68(2), pp. 229-237. ISSN 0037-6779

Tatarstan: Mythos um Musa Džalil’. Projektionsfläche für Identität
Gimadeev, Ilshat and Plamper, Jan. 2007. Tatarstan: Mythos um Musa Džalil’. Projektionsfläche für Identität. Osteuropa, 57(12), pp. 97-115. ISSN 0030-6428

Gulag Fuko
Plamper, Jan. 2004. Gulag Fuko. Zvezda(8), pp. 194-205. ISSN 0321-1878

Einleitung
Plamper, Jan. 2004. Einleitung. Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft, 52(10), pp. 877-880. ISSN 0044-2828

Zwischen dem Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten und dem Land der unbegrenzten Unmöglichkeiten: Wissenschaftskulturen der Geschichte im internationalen Vergleich
Plamper, Jan. 2004. Zwischen dem Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten und dem Land der unbegrenzten Unmöglichkeiten: Wissenschaftskulturen der Geschichte im internationalen Vergleich. Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft, 52(10), pp. 894-902. ISSN 0044-2828

Archival Revolution or Illusion? Historicizing the Russian Archives and Our Work in Them
Plamper, Jan. 2003. Archival Revolution or Illusion? Historicizing the Russian Archives and Our Work in Them. Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 60(1), pp. 57-69. ISSN 0021-4019

Foucault’s Gulag
Plamper, Jan. 2002. Foucault’s Gulag. Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 3(2), pp. 555-580. ISSN 1531-023X

Abolishing Ambiguity: Soviet Censorship Practices in the 1930s
Plamper, Jan. 2001. Abolishing Ambiguity: Soviet Censorship Practices in the 1930s. The Russian Review, 60(4), pp. 526-544. ISSN 0036-0341

The Russian Orthodox Episcopate, 1721-1917: A Prosopography
Plamper, Jan. 2000. The Russian Orthodox Episcopate, 1721-1917: A Prosopography. Journal of Social History, 34(1), pp. 5-34. ISSN 1527-1897