56 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 Russian 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

    • Arts
    • 5.0, 35 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 Russian 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 - Red Love: Chapter One

    A.K. 47 - Red Love: Chapter One

    Kristen R. Ghodsee reads Chapter One of the 1927 English translation of Alexandra Kollontai's 1923 novella, Red Love.

    • 20 min
    A.K. 47 - Red Love: Introduction

    A.K. 47 - Red Love: Introduction

    Kristen R. Ghodsee introduces Alexandra Kollontai's 1923 novella, Red Love (full text available at marxists.org) and reads the Foreword to the 1927 English language edition.

    • 18 min
    Bonus Episode - On Kollontai and Turning Fifty

    Bonus Episode - On Kollontai and Turning Fifty

    In this episode, Kristen Ghodsee reads a passage from Cathy Porter's excellent biography of Alexandra Kollontai about the events of the year 1922 when Kollontai turned 50. Her standing in the Party was at its worst and her marriage to Dubenko was...

    • 26 min
    A.K. 47 - Sisters Part III

    A.K. 47 - Sisters Part III

    In this episode Kristen Ghodsee reads the third and final part of Alexandra Kollontai's 1923 short story, "Sisters." The "Nepmen" in the story are Soviet revolutionaries that take advantage of Lenin's New Economic Policy (NEP) to get rich and return to...

    • 20 min
    A.K. 47 - Sisters Part II

    A.K. 47 - Sisters Part II

    In this episode Kristen Ghodsee reads the second part of Alexandra Kollontai's 1923 short story, "Sisters." The "Nepmen" in the story are Soviet revolutionaries that take advantage of Lenin's New Economic Policy (NEP) to get rich and return to...

    • 18 min
    A.K. 47 - Sisters Part I

    A.K. 47 - Sisters Part I

    In this episode Kristen Ghodsee reflects on the coronavirus and begins to read Alexandra Kollontai's 1923 short story, "Sisters." Mentioned in this episode are the $2.99 e-book sale for the entire month of April for Why Women Have Better Sex Under...

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

Jon_M_A ,

Great Learning Resource

As someone new to leftism and leftist criticism, I devoured the first several episodes in one sitting. It is engaging and entertaining. Professor Ghodsee knows her material and her commentary is helpful, but it never detracts from the focus on Kollentai's work.

BigBlindMax ,

Awesome!

This is a great pedagogical tool. Will definitely recommend it to friends!

Haben T ,

Historical feminism and the role of state socialism in Women’s emancipation

I often feel drowned in the propaganda of carceral-feminism, liberal-feminism, and corporate-feminism. This podcast is a rapid departure from such discourse. I love the historical perspective that’s being offered here and love following Dr. Ghodsee’s works. This is a must listen for thinkers, agitators, and organizers on the left as we begin to develop and design our political programming. I would only kindly ask that the episodes are enumerated so that it’s easier to pick up where left off.

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