Perestroika in the USSR (1985–1991): Power, Society, Culture. A lecture by Alexander Barsenkov


Doctor of History Alexander Barsenkov will talk about perestroika—the historical period in which the 1988 Sotheby’s auction was organized and held in Moscow.

In his lecture, Alexander Barsenkov will analyze the origins and the development of the revolutionary transitions in the USSR that have become known as “perestroika” and are strongly associated with the head of the state—the last General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and the only USSR President, Mikhail Gorbachev. Barsenkov will focus on revealing the implications and the very process of democratization, the evolvement of the “glasnost” policy, and its influence on literature and nonfiction of those turbulent years. He will also discuss how political collisions have impacted Soviet art life and will speak about the changes of public attitudes and historical apperception of people, as well as the complex subject of religious revival in the country. Concluding his talk, he will summarize the hopes and delusions, the results and consequences of perestroika. 


Alexander Barsenkov (b. 1957), Doctor of History, professor at Lomonosov Moscow State University, where he graduated from the Faculty of History in 1979. Barsenkov’s field of research concentrates around the history of ideology in the USSR and contemporary Russian history. He reads lecture courses on the history of home and foreign policy of the USSR and modern Russia, having received his doctorate for the dissertation “Mikhail Gorbachev’s Reforms and the Fate of the Union State. 1985–1991” (2001). Barsenkov is one of the leading Russian experts specializing in the perestroika period, and author of multiple research, educational, and biographical publications. He lives and works in Moscow.


Free admission with advance registration.

The lecture will be interpreted into Russian Sign Language and is accessible to deaf and hard of hearing visitors.