About the Author
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Kristen R. Ghodsee was traveling in Europe, and spent the summer of 1990 witnessing first-hand the initial hope and euphoria that followed the sudden and unexpected collapse of state socialism in the former Eastern Bloc. The political and economic chaos that followed inspired Ghodsee to pursue an academic career studying this upheaval, focusing on how ordinary people’s lives – and women’s particularly – changed when state socialism gave way to capitalism. For the last two decades, she has visited the region regularly and lived for over three years in Bulgaria and the Eastern parts of reunified Germany. Now a professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, she has won many awards for her work, and has written seven books on gender, socialism, and postsocialism, examining the everyday experiences of upheaval and displacement that continue to haunt the region to this day. Her articles and essays have been translated into over a dozen languages and have appeared in publications such as Dissent, Foreign Affairs, Jacobin, The Baffler, The New Republic, The Lancet, The Washington Post, and the New York Times.
She has held residential research fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC; the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies in Germany; the Imre Kertész Kolleg at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, Germany; the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany; and at the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki in Finland. In 2012, Ghodsee was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for her work in Anthropology and Cultural Studies.
Her podcast can be found here: A.K. 47 - Selections from the Works of Alexandra Kollontai.