Please join us this Friday, June 1, at Interdisciplinary Approaches to Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (REECA) for:

“Not Just Tea-Drinking”: Early Soviet Public Sphere Institutions in Uzbekistan


In this dissertation chapter, I examine several institutions of mass publicity in Uzbekistan, including red teahouses, Peasants’ Houses, and Houses of Culture. I show how they functioned as institutions for the circulation of Soviet public discourse in Uzbekistan through newly established mass media. I draw on hitherto untapped archival sources and the periodical press to offer valuable empirical data about the circulation and reception of Soviet media in Uzbekistan after the demise of the Jadids. On a theoretical level, I also challenge the collaboration/ resistance model that has dominated studies of the Soviet media thus far. Instead, I show how agitators in Uzbekistan unintentionally tapped into thoroughly un-Soviet cultural practices and negotiated indifference from their target audiences. Finally, contrary to scholarly representations of Soviet “propaganda” as one-size-fits-all, I argue that agitators in Uzbekistan attempted to bring “national form” to the socialist content they hoped to deliver to the Uzbek masses.

 Author: Claire Roosien, PhD Candidate in NELC and History (UChicago)

 Discussant: August Samie, PhD Candidate in NELC (UChicago)


June 1, 2018

12:00pm-1:20pm in Foster Hall, Room 103

University of Chicago


Light refreshments will be served. You are welcome to bring your lunch.


The paper is available on our website under the ‘Papers’ tab. Password: reeca18cr

For more information, visit our website:


For the 2018 Spring quarter, we are grateful to have the faculty sponsorship of Prof. William Nickell (Slavic) and Prof. Eleonor Gilburd (History). Please contact the student coordinator ( if you have any questions about this workshop or if you believe you may need assistance.


REECA workshop is an interdisciplinary scholarly forum where graduate students and faculty can explore different perspectives on area studies as they pertain to these deeply interconnected regions of the world. We invite topics of discussion from a wide range of disciplines, including but not limited to Slavic studies, political science, social thought, history, intellectual history, comparative literature, cinema studies, sociology, philosophy, divinity studies, economics, anthropology, public policy, comparative human development, and legal studies.