Department of History

Mapping the Soviet: Cartography, Culture and Power from Lenin to Stalin, 1917-53

Project summary

AHRC Fellowship, 2012-13, within the 'Science in Culture' programme.

This explores the cultural history of Soviet cartography between the October revolution and the death of Stalin, in particular examining the ways in which the communist regime used maps to construct and control knowledge of space and territory.

The project's wider aim is to establish a new interpretation of the political role and significance of cartographic practice and map culture in the modern world. 

Map of the Soviet Union


The research is grounded in a close reading of Soviet archival documents concerning the state's organization and conduct of cartographic activities, as well as a wide range of published maps and atlases; school geography and history textbooks; specialist and popular handbooks on map-making and map-reading; and literary works, films, architecture and graphic art (including 'ephemeral' materials such as postcards, stamps or newspaper cartoons) featuring cartographic themes or imagery.

As an off-shoot of this project, Baron acted as consultant to an exhibition 'Vybiraia marshrut / Defining the route' created by Russian artist Sasha Sokolov for the 5th Moscow Biennale of Modern Art, 17 September to 9 October 2013. 

Baron also acted as consultant to a major British Library exhibition 'Maps and the Twentieth Century: Drawing the Line' (November 2016-March 2017) and as Associate Curator of a second BL exhibition 'Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths' (April-September 2017).


Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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