Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - History of Eastern Europe

Anna Ivanova, PhD

Anna Ivanova PhD

Visiting address
Friedrichstraße 191-193 , Room 5046
Phone number
+49 30 2093 70590
Mailing address
Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin

Curriculum Vitae


Since Oct 2022 Postdoctoral research fellow at Humboldt University, Department of History, Chair for the History of Eastern Europe

May-Sept 2022 Postdoctoral research fellow (scholar at risk) at WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Sept 2021 –April 2022 Assistant Professor at the European University at Saint Petersburg, Department of History

Sept 2015- May 2022 PhD in History, Harvard University

Jan 2013 - Aug 2015 Research Fellow, Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences

Sept 2008 - Oct 2012 Kandidat Nauk in History, Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences

Oct-Dec 2011 Visiting PhD Student at Tübingen University, Institute for Eastern European History and Area Studies

Sept 2006 -June 2008 MA in Cultural Studies, Russian State University for the Humanities

Sept 2001-June 2006 BA in History, Russian State University for the Humanities




My current project, entitled “Money, Property and Labor: Notions of Personal Wealth and Social Justice in the Soviet Union after Stalin, 1956-1991” explores material inequality in the later years of the Soviet Union. It examines how individuals enriched themselves, as well as the meaning of financial affluence in a country that proclaimed itself egalitarian, almost eradicated private property and criminally prosecuted private enterprise. It is usually believed that the only privileged group in the Soviet Union was the nomenklatura, the high-ranking state and Communist party officials, as well as academic and cultural elite, who were rewarded materially for their loyalty and service. I suggest that in the period from the 1960s to the 1980s there emerged another elite group in the Soviet Union, those who earned their high status not by political loyalty, but by their illegal wealth. I study how wealth was created in the Soviet Union, how the new elite coexisted with the old one and what were the attitudes towards the wealthy. My project traces how Soviet officials, experts and ordinary people interpreted material inequality and problematized honest labor and deserved income. It seeks to challenge the existing narrative of the Brezhnev’s Soviet Union as the time of cynicism and disbelief in socialism by looking at the ideas about social justice. Drawing on discussions regarding profiteering, retail price policies, private ownership of land, house, and car, my project explores how people in the 1950s-1980s tried to find the meaning of true socialism.





Magaziny “Berezka”: Paradoksy Potrebleniia v Pozdnem SSSR [“Beriozka” Stores: Paradoxes of Consumption in the late USSR]. Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 2017. (in Russian). (Reviews in Slavic Review, Kritika, and Revue d'Etudes Comparatives Est-Ouest)


Articles and Reviews

  • “Rich Hairdressers and Fancy Car Repairmen: The Rise of a Service Worker Elite and the Evolution of Soviet Society in the 1970s,” Journal of Social History, Volume 56, Issue 4 (2023), 856-881.
  • “This Could Only Have Been Done by a Person of the Capitalist Breed”: Retail Price Increases in the Late Soviet Union (1977-1983)” , Cahiers du Monde Russe, 64/1(2023), 63-86.
  • "Osokina, Elena, Stalin’s Quest for Gold: The Torgsin Hard-Currency Shops and Soviet Industrialization." History: Reviews of New Books, 50.2 (2022), pp. 36–37 (review)
  • “Socialist Consumption and Brezhnev’s Stagnation: a Reappraisal of Late Communist Everyday Life.” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 17.3 (2016): 665-678.
  • “Socialist Sixties: Crossing Borders in the Second World, ed. by Anne E. Gorsuch and Diane P. Koenker”, Ab Imperio 1 (2014): 445-454 (review)
  • “Shopping in Beriozka: Consumer Society in the Soviet Union.” Zeithistorische Forschungen 10.2 (2013): 243- 263.
  • “«Samopal pod firmu»: podpol'noe proizvodstvo odezhdy v SSSR v 1960-1980-е-gg. [The Underground Production of Clothes in the USSR in the 1960s-80s],” in Fashion, Consumption and Everyday Culture in the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1985, eds.Hausbacher E., Huber E., Hargaßner J. München – Berlin – Washington/D.C. 2014. P. 73-88.
  • “Izobrazhenie defitsita v sovetskoi kul'ture vtoroi poloviny 1960-kh – pervoi polovine 1980-kh godov” [Depictions of Shortages in Soviet Cultural Production from the 1960s to the 1980s], Neprikosnovennyi Zapas 3 (2011): 216-235.




European University at St. Petersburg:

“Writing a History Paper”, Spring 2022

“History of the Soviet Union: Seminar”, Spring 2022
“History of Consumption in Soviet Russia, 1917-1991”, Fall 2021

“Theory and Methods in the Study of History”, Fall 2021


Harvard University:

Teaching Fellow, “Intro to Harvard History”, Spring 2021

Teaching Fellow, “The Soviet Empire, 1917-1991”, Fall 2020

Teaching Fellow, “History of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991”, Spring 2020

Teaching Fellow, “Modern Europe: 1789 to the present”, Fall 2019

Teaching Fellow, “History of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991”, Spring 2018