A Noah's Ark: Moving to Moscow, Material Life, and Information in Revolutionary Russia, 1916-1924


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation examines the institutions and experiences of revolution through the prism of one event: the desertion of the Russian Empire's capital, Petrograd, in March 1918, and the installation of the Bolshevik regime in Moscow over the next six years. It undertakes a fine-grained study of the built environment, material culture, and information networks of the Soviet capital to develop a cultural history of material life in the non-market economy, arguing that the practices created to manage material life shaped not just the operation of that economy, but the implementation, unfolding, and fate of the revolution itself. These practices so deeply marked both personal relationships and institutions that even after the revolution ended, they proved impossible to leave behind.