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Dr Anna Toropova

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Academic Profile

Teaching Fellow, Department of History, University of Warwick 

Before coming to Warwick, I was a Lecturer in Russian history at the University of Oxford and have held research fellowships at the University of Nottingham and the University of Cambridge. I completed my PhD at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL in 2011.



HI289 History of Russia since 1881Link opens in a new window 

HI153 Making of the Modern WorldLink opens in a new window 

HI176 Mind, Body, and SocietyLink opens in a new window 

HI907 Themes and Methods in Medical HistoryLink opens in a new window 



My work focuses on the cultural and medical history of Russia and the Soviet Union.

I am interested in the role played by cinema in the transformation of the human subject, and am currently writing a book on the intersection of medical knowledge, cinematic technology, and revolutionary campaigns of psycho-physiological reforging in the early Soviet period. My previous book, Feeling Revolution: Cinema, Genre and the Politics of Affect under Stalin (2020) examined film as a technology of emotional education during the Stalin era. I am currently co-editing an edited collection (with Claire Shaw) which examines techniques of mind and body transformation in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. A public installation on film psychotherapy that I curated ran at the Glenside Hospital Museum in Bristol and the Worcester Medical Museum in Spring/Summer 2022.


Selected Publications

Technologies of the Mind and Body in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, co-editor with Claire Shaw (Bloomsbury, 2023), forthcoming 

‘The Hypnotic Screen: The Early Soviet Experiment with Film Psychotherapy’, Social History of Medicine, 35.3 (2022): 946–971, open access 

Feeling Revolution: Cinema, Genre and the Politics of Affect under Stalin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)

‘Science, Medicine and the Creation of a ‘Healthy’ Soviet Cinema’, Journal of Contemporary History, 55.1 (2020): 3-28, open access

‘“Probing the Heart and Mind of the Viewer”: Scientific Studies of Film Audiences in the Soviet Union, 1917-1936’, Slavic Review, 76.4 (2017): 931-958, open access 

‘An Inexpiable Debt: Stalinist Cinema, Biopolitics and the Discourse of Happiness’, The Russian Review, 74.4 (2015): 665-683

‘“If we cannot laugh like that, then how can we laugh?”: The “Problem” of Stalinist Film Comedy’, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, 5.3 (2011): 335-351

Portrait of Anna Toropova