Fighters for New Life: Doctors, Medicine, and Modernity in Soviet Central Asia, 1925-1953

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Eby, Marek




This thesis examines Soviet medicine in Central Asia from the mid-1920s until Stalin's death in 1953, using this subject to explore the tensions and contradictions of Soviet socialism in the region. Previous studies have demonstrated how Soviet rule in Central Asia could appear simultaneously as a form of empire, reifying differences between ruler and ruled, and as a universalizing project of modern statehood, aimed at transforming diverse peoples into a homogeneous citizenry. Yet scholars have rarely explored why and how these contradictory tendencies could coexist within the Soviet project. Through the lens of medical discourse, this thesis examines the nexus of colonizing and modernizing impulses within Soviet power, arguing that these tendencies proved interrelated and even mutually supporting within the Soviet imagination of Central Asia. Considering medicine as an important element of socialist construction, it explores the seemingly colonial structure of the universalizing, anticolonial project of Soviet modernity.


Medicine - Asia, Central.




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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