Victoria Smolkin

Victoria Smolkin is associate professor of history and Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies at Wesleyan University. A scholar of Communism, the Cold War, and Russia and the former Soviet Union, her work focuses on religion, atheism, secularism, and ideology. Smolkin earned her doctorate in 2010 at the University of California-Berkeley, where Yuri Slezkine served as her dissertation advisor. She has appeared on programs for the BBC (“Belief and Unbelief in Russia”) and the National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. Smolkin’s recent book, A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism (Princeton University Press, 2018), explores the meaning of atheism for Soviet religious life, ideology, and politics. She is currently at work on a project titled "The Crusade Against Godlessness: Religion, Communism, and the Cold War Order."

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