Garage is temporarily closed. Keep in touch with our project Garage. Self-Isolation via social media and our newsletters

Find out how to support us here.

Viktoria Zhuravleva The Point of No Return: The Factor of the Nuclear Threat in US-Russian Relations in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Public program accompanying Taryn Simon’s exhibition Action Research / The Stagecraft of Power
20 May 2016
7:30–9:00 pm


The Cold War as a special type of conflict between two political supersystems brought the arms race to an unparalleled level and first created the possibility of global catastrophe. Historian of US-Russian relations Victoria Zhuravleva shall rise a number of historical themes that, far from receding into the past, have recently regained their significance.

This session will look at the history of how the construction of the atomic bomb by the United States and the ensuing bombardments of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki triggered the US-Soviet nuclear arms race. In the propaganda war between the United States and the Soviet Union, the image of nuclear war as potential reality in accordance with the logic of the division of the world into "friend" and "foe" was set forth in newspapers, television, caricatures, posters, and cinema. The "nuclear missile mentality" eventually led to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, putting the world on the brink of total catastrophe.

What was the responsibility of politicians, the military, and the scientific meritocracy of the United States and the Soviet Union in creating this highly dangerous nuclear dimension of international relations? In what social and psychological context did nuclear diplomacy function and what were the mechanisms of its development? What is "containment culture" and why did it become a positive result of the Cold War? How great is the nuclear threat today? The search for answers to these and other questions leads us to consider the military, political, ethical, and humanitarian aspects of relations between the United States and Russia—two nuclear superpowers whose interactions continue to determine the future of Earth's inhabitants.


Victoria Zhuravleva is a Professor of American History and International Relations, the Director of the Program on American Studies and the Vice-Director of the Department of International Relations and Area Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow. Her field of research is American history, with a specialization in US foreign policy and Russian-American relations. She is the author of the book Understanding Russia in the United States: Images and Myths. 1881-1914 and chapters in the volume Russia and the US: Diplomatic Relations;co-author (with Igor Dolutsky) of the text-book World History of the 20th Century; and editor of four volumes on the US History and Russian-American Relations. Zhuravleva is an Alumna of the Fulbright and Kennan Institute programs.


Free for visitors with an exhibition ticket

Free admission for online broadcasting in Garage Auditorium

Priority booking for GARAGE cardholders. Please send requests to

Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list and get the latest news from Garage