Sheila Fitzpatrick

B.A. (Hons) University of Melbourne 1961; D. Phil. Oxford 1969

Honorary Professor
The University of Sydney
Department of History
Room 807 Brennan MacCallum - A18
Phone: +61 2 9351 2555


Emerita Professor
The University of Chicago
Department of History
1126 E. 59th Street, Mailbox 30
Chicago, IL 60637

Sheila Fitzpatrick is primarily a historian of modern Russia. Her recent work has focused on Soviet social and cultural history in the Stalin period, particularly everyday practices and social identity. She is currently working on projects on Soviet society under Khrushchev, displaced persons in Germany after the Second World War, and the Australian Left. In 2002, she received a Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and is a past President of the American Association for Slavic and East European Studies.

As a historian of twentieth-century Russia, my work has focused mainly on Soviet social and cultural history in the Stalin period, particularly social mobility, social identity and everyday practices. In 2010, I published My Father’s Daughter, a memoir of my father, the radical historian Brian Fitzpatrick, and my own childhood in Melbourne in the 1940s and ‘50s. This generated an interest in subjectivity, memoirs and history, on which I have written several articles. I recently became interested in new approaches to political history, and am currently working on a book on Stalin and his team, attempting to bring an everyday-ethnographic approach to high politics. Other current project are a second book of memoirs, A Spy in the Archives, on my experiences as a young historian researching my dissertation in Moscow in the 1960s, and a study of “displaced persons” from the Soviet Union who came to Australia after the Second World War.

Selected publications

Books in English

  • (ed. with Vladimir A. Kozlov and Sergei V. Mitronenko). Sedition: Everyday Resistance in the Soviet Union under Khrushchev and Brezhnev. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011
  • My Father’s Daughter. Memories of an Australian Childhood (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2010)
  • (ed. with Michael Geyer), Beyond Totalitarianism: Nazism and Stalinism Compared. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • (ed. with Carolyn Rasmussen). Political Tourists. Travellers from Australia to the Soviet Union in 1920s-1940s. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2008
  • (ed. with Stuart Macintyre). Against the Grain. Brian Fitzpatrick and Manning Clark in Australian History and Politics, ed. with Stuart Macintyre (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2007)
  • Tear off the Masks! Identity and Imposture in Twentieth-Century Russia, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.
  • (ed.) Stalinism: New Directions. London: Routledge, 2000.
  • (ed. with Yuri Slezkine). In the Shadow of Revolution: Life Stories of Russian Women from 1917 to the Second World War. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.
  • Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • (ed. with Robert Gellately). Accusatory Practices: Denunciation in Modern European History, 1789-1989. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.
  • Stalin's Peasants: Resistance and Survival in the Russian Village after Collectivization. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
  • The Cultural Front. Power and Culture in Revolutionary Russia. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, 1992.
  • (ed. with Alexander Rabinowitch and Richard Stites). Russia in the Era of NEP: Explorations in Soviet Society and Culture. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1991

    (ed. with Lynne Viola). A Researcher's Guide to Sources on Soviet Social History in the 1930s. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1990
  • The Russian Revolution (Oxford University Press, 1st ed., 1982/3; 2nd revised ed. 1994; 3rd (revised) ed. forthcoming 2008.
  • Education and Social Mobility in the Soviet Union, 1921-1932. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.
  • (ed.) Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928-1931. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978.
  • The Commissariat of Enlightenment. Soviet Organization of Education and the Arts under Lunacharsky, 1917-1921. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970.

Selected recent articles

  • “On the Trail of Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay: A Russian-Australian Encounter with the Antipodes,” in Kate Fullagar, ed., The Atlantic World in the Antipodes: Effects and Transformations since the Eighteenth Century (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012)
  • “Things under Socialism: The Soviet Experience,” in Frank Trentmann, ed., Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • “Getting Personal: On Subjectivity in Historical Practice,” in Alf Lüdtke and Sebastian Jobs, eds., Unsettling history (Frankfurt/Main: Campus Verlag, 2010)
  • “The Boss and His Team: Stalin and the Inner Circle, 1925-1933,” in Russian Politics from Lenin to Putin, ed. Stephen Fortescue (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
  • “A World-War-II Odyssey: Michael Danos, en route from Riga to New York,” in Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700-present, ed. Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
  • “Popular Opinion in Russia under Pre-war Stalinism,” in Paul Corner, ed., Popular Opinion in Totalitarian Regimes: Fascism, Nazism, Communism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • (with Alf Lüdtke) “Energizing the Everyday: On the Breaking and Making of Social Bonds in Nazism and Stalinism,” in Geyer and Fitzpatrick, eds., Beyond Totalitarianism . Stalinism and Nazism Compared (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  • “A Short History of Truth and Lies in the Soviet Union from Stalin to Khrushchev,” in Alltag, Erfahrung, Eigensinn. historisch-anthropologische Erkundungen, ed. Belinda Davis, Thomas Lindenberger, and Michael Wildt (Campus-Verlag: Frankfurt, 2008)
  • “Revisionism in Retrospect: A Personal View,” Slavic Review 67:3, Fall 2008
  • "The Soviet Union in the 21st Century," Journal of European Studies 37:1 (2007)
  • "Social Parasites: How Tramps, Idle Youth, and Busy Entrepreneurs Impeded the Soviet March to Communism," Cahiers du monde russe et soviétique 47:1-2 (2006).
  • "Happiness and Toska: A Study of Emotions in 1930s Russia," Australian Journal of Politics and History 50:3 (2004)
  • "Politics as Practice: Thoughts on a New Soviet Political History," Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 5:1 (2004)

Major honours and awards

  • Magarey Medal for Biography for My Father’s Daughter from Australian Historical Association, 2012
  • ARC Discovery Grant (DP120104384): “Rethinking the History of Soviet Stalinism” (Stephen Wheatcroft CI, Sheila Fitzpatrick PI), 2011-13
  • Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin, 2008-9
  • Federation Fellowship, 2005 (declined)
  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2005 - present
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award, 2002
  • Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, 2000 – present
  • President, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, 1997
  • Honorary Fellow, Australian Academy of Humanities, 1996 - present