“Inside and Out: Landlords in Russia’s Revolutionary Period”
Deirdre Ruscitti Harshman
Doctoral Candidate, Department of History
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
In debates over the nature of the city in early twentieth century Russia, landlords (domovladel’tsy) often appeared at its center. In this lecture, Deirdre Ruscitti Harshman will look at at the role of landlords—and the multiplicity of differences that existed under that umbrella term—as a way to explore the complexity of urban everyday life and politics during the revolutionary period. Examining their changing social position tells us about the liminal nature of power in the period before and after 1917: how landlords struggled to maintain their control over the housing stock while being maligned from multiple political angles, how they pushed against attempts at social marginalization, and at how they tried to game a system that was increasingly hostile to them.
Deirdre Ruscitti Harshman is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at the University of Illinois. She is currently completing her dissertation, “A Space Called Home: Housing and the Construction of the Everyday in Russia, 1890-1935,” which uses the home to explore the shifts and continuities in everyday life in the revolutionary period.