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Maya Haber

Ph.D - University of California Los Angeles
Department of History, expected June 2012

MA - University of California Los Angeles
Department of History, 2009

School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck College, University of London

BA - History and Philosophy, Tel Aviv University, Israel, 1997

Fax: 310-206-7833
E-mail: haberm@ucla.edu


Russia, Science, agrarian history, European cultural and Intellectual history and Critical Theory

Research Interests

My dissertation, ?Socialist Realist Science: Constructing Knowledge about Rural Life in the Soviet Union, 1943-1958,? examines the contentious pairing of utopianism and scientific practice in the birth of a new social scientific methodology of rural life in postwar Russia. Serving as administrative and policy advisers to the state, social scientists endeavored to unveil the social problems vexing the Soviet countryside through scientific observation, experimentation, cost-benefit analysis, and statistical surveys. Yet, the utopian undercurrents of the Soviet worldview served as prisms refracting the selection, categorization, and narration of research objects. Moreover, Party intervention, ideological conformity, and professional creed constrained social scientists? scholarship. The result was a methodology which discarded social conflict and exemplified the rational unfolding of socialism. Yet through a measure of irony and cunning, revelation and disguise social scientists created a critical space for an engagement with social realities. The work interrogates the development of social scientists? professional ethics and scholarly mission, the influence of socialist realist aesthetics on scientific discourse, and the imposition of scientific rationalism on rural life in the work of economists, ethnographers, hygienists, and statisticians. The dissertation shows that social scientists became important players in postwar Soviet agricultural policy by constructing knowledge that contributed to the production of socialism as an aesthetic and epistemological system.

Grants and Awards

Fulbright Hays - Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad, 2009

UCLA Departmental Fellowship, 2007-2012 - Awarded by the Department of History

College?s studentship, 2002-2004 - Awarded by Birkbeck College

AVI Fellowship, 2002

ORS Award Scheme, 2001-2004 - Awarded by Universities UK to international research students


J. Arch Getty
Theodore Porter
Stephen Frank
Martha Lampland

Conference Presentations

Midwest Russian History Workshop, April 2011 - Concealing Labor Pain: The Evil Eye and the
Psychoprophylactic Method of Painless Childbirth in the Soviet Union, 1920-1963

AAASS 2007, New Orleans LA ? participated in a panel ?Potemkinism: Fact and Fiction

AAASS 2006, Washington DC ? participated in a panel ?What is soviet?'

Relaunching the Soviet Project, London, 2006 - Studying a Potemkin kolkhoz: soviet social scientists in a search for the kolkhoznik of the future, 1945-1958

AAASS 2003, Toronto - The re-invention of the peasantry as a problem - the emergence of rural ethnography as a herald of reforms, 1945-1953

University of Chicago, Modern history workshop, 2003 - Re-inventing backward peasants ? Soviet social sciences in a mission of rural transformation

BASEES 2003, Cambridge UK - Changing rural reality, the re-establishment of ethnography in Soviet Russia, 1945-1958

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