138 episodes

Kristen R. Ghodsee reads and discusses 47 selections from the works of Alexandra Kollontai (1872-1952), a socialist women's activist who had radical ideas about the intersections of socialism and women's emancipation. Born into aristocratic privilege, the Ukrainian-Finnish Kollontai was initially a member of the Mensheviks before she joined Lenin and the Bolsheviks and became an important revolutionary figure during the 1917 Russian Revolution. Kollontai was a socialist theorist of women’s emancipation and a strident proponent of sexual relations freed from all economic considerations. After the October Revolution, Kollontai became the Commissar of Social Welfare and helped to found the Zhenotdel (the women's section of the Party). She oversaw a wide variety of legal reforms and public policies to help liberate working women and to create the basis of a new socialist sexual morality. But Russians were not ready for her vision of emancipation, and she was sent away to Norway to serve as the first Russian female ambassador (and only the third female ambassador in the world).In this podcast, Kristen R. Ghodsee – a professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence (Bold Type Books 2018) – selects excerpts from the essays, speeches, and fiction of Alexandra Kollontai and puts them in context. Each episode provides an introduction to the abridged reading with some relevant background on Kollontai and the historical moment in which she was writing. 

A.K. 47 - Selections from the Works of Alexandra Kollontai Kristen R. Ghodsee

    • History
    • 5.0 • 96 Ratings

Kristen R. Ghodsee reads and discusses 47 selections from the works of Alexandra Kollontai (1872-1952), a socialist women's activist who had radical ideas about the intersections of socialism and women's emancipation. Born into aristocratic privilege, the Ukrainian-Finnish Kollontai was initially a member of the Mensheviks before she joined Lenin and the Bolsheviks and became an important revolutionary figure during the 1917 Russian Revolution. Kollontai was a socialist theorist of women’s emancipation and a strident proponent of sexual relations freed from all economic considerations. After the October Revolution, Kollontai became the Commissar of Social Welfare and helped to found the Zhenotdel (the women's section of the Party). She oversaw a wide variety of legal reforms and public policies to help liberate working women and to create the basis of a new socialist sexual morality. But Russians were not ready for her vision of emancipation, and she was sent away to Norway to serve as the first Russian female ambassador (and only the third female ambassador in the world).In this podcast, Kristen R. Ghodsee – a professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence (Bold Type Books 2018) – selects excerpts from the essays, speeches, and fiction of Alexandra Kollontai and puts them in context. Each episode provides an introduction to the abridged reading with some relevant background on Kollontai and the historical moment in which she was writing. 

    138 - Bonus Episode – Socialism: A Logical Introduction with Professor Scott Sehon

    138 - Bonus Episode – Socialism: A Logical Introduction with Professor Scott Sehon

    Kristen Ghodsee speaks to Scott R. Sehon, a professor of philosophy, about his new book, Socialism: A Logical Introduction, and why we should use arguments to make a case for socialism and against capitalism. The first ten U.S.-based listeners to email Alexandra.kollontai.podcast@gmail.com with a name and address will get a free copy of Professor Sehon's new book. Mentioned in this episode:Anti-anti-communism"What Democratic Socialists Should Think about Anti-Communism"www.scottrseh...

    • 23 min
    137 - A.K. 47 - Bonus Episode - Claudia Jones's 8 March 1950 International Women's Day Speech

    137 - A.K. 47 - Bonus Episode - Claudia Jones's 8 March 1950 International Women's Day Speech

    For International Women's Day, Kristen Ghodsee reads the Black Trinidadian activist and journalist Claudia Jones's speech for International Women's Day in 1950. This speech, (and the published version which appeared afterwards) led to Jones's arrest and eventual deportation from the United States. Jones was a member of the CPUSA, and believed that women's emancipation and civil rights required a strong stance against imperialism and militarism. She say capitalism, patriarchy, and white suprem...

    • 22 min
    136 - A.K. 47 - "Diplomat, Novelist, Leader - Versatile Mme. Kollontay"

    136 - A.K. 47 - "Diplomat, Novelist, Leader - Versatile Mme. Kollontay"

    Kristen Ghodsee reads a profile of Alexandra Kollontai which appeared in the Washington Post on May 15, 1927 when Kollontai was serving as the Soviet ambassador to Mexico. Mentioned in this episode: The hardcover of Everyday Utopia is on sale at Amazon.com for $14.99 (50% off)Thanks so much for listening. This podcast has no Patreon account and receives no funding. If you would like to support the work being done here, please spread the word and share with your friends and networks, and consi...

    • 20 min
    135 - A.K. 47 - Bonus Episode - 5th Anniversary Conversation about Parenthood

    135 - A.K. 47 - Bonus Episode - 5th Anniversary Conversation about Parenthood

    Kristen Ghodsee and her daughter share a conversation about Kollontai's pro-natalism and the current discourse about the BirthStrike. Are the relevant moral imperatives about having or not having children? And how does the climate crisis factor into people's decisions? We also discuss the future of the podcast and the newly discovered fact that it is listened to in 100 countries around the world. Thanks so much for listening. This podcast has no Patreon account and receives no funding. I...

    • 32 min
    134 - A.K. 47 - The Labor of Women in the Evolution of the Economy - Part 3

    134 - A.K. 47 - The Labor of Women in the Evolution of the Economy - Part 3

    Kristen Ghodsee reads the final part of Alexandra Kollontai's 1921 essay, "The Labor of Women in the Evolution of the Economy" to explore Kollontai's arguments for the socialization of the family and the socialist uses of the maternal instinct. Although Kollontai is openly pro-natalist, and emphasizes that motherhood is a social obligation to help produce new workers for the world's first workers state, she is making these arguments to suspicious men in the Bolshevik government who do not wan...

    • 17 min
    133 - A.K. 47 - The Labor of Women in the Evolution of the Economy - Part 2

    133 - A.K. 47 - The Labor of Women in the Evolution of the Economy - Part 2

    Kristen Ghodsee reads the second part of Alexandra Kollontai's 1921 essay, "The Labor of Women in the Evolution of the Economy" to explore Kollontai's arguments for the socialization of the family and the socialist uses of the maternal instinct. Although Kollontai is openly pro-natalist, and emphasizes that motherhood is a social obligation to help produce new workers for the world's first workers state, she is making these arguments to suspicious men in the Bolshevik government who do not wa...

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
96 Ratings

96 Ratings

Jwberns13 ,

Fantastic research

This is a deep dive into the writings of radical feminist Alexandra Kollontai. Excellent and thorough research from a professional in the field - Dr. Ghodsee's commentary is insightful and always offers the necessary context to understand each work.

river582 ,

An insightful podcast on the works and life of the amazing Alexandra Kollontai

It’s often hard to find time to read political or feminist theory as a working class person. I often listen to this great podcast featuring Alexandra Kollantai while at work and it’s given me a lot to think about! I haven’t finished it yet but it’s already given me new perspectives on what form love could take in a post-capitalist world and what socialist feminism can offer women that bourgeois feminism can’t. And all of this presented in an easy to understand and engaging format alongside commentary by Kristen Ghodsee and discussions by guests. Would highly recommend.

almostblue22 ,

give a listen!

as a socialist & feminist i really dig the history & commentary of this pod. i’m gonna go buy an AK gun too!!

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