Sheila Fitzpatrick is primarily a historian of modern Russia. Her recent work has focused on Soviet social and cultural history in the Stalin period, particularly everyday practices and social identity. She is currently working on projects on Soviet society under Khrushchev, displaced persons in Germany after the Second World War, and the Australian Left. In 2002, she received a Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and is a past President of the American Association for Slavic and East European Studies.
As a historian of 20th-century Russia, my work has focused mainly on Soviet social and cultural history in the Stalin period, particularly social mobility, social identity and everyday practices. In 2010, I published My Father’s Daughter, a memoir of my father, the radical historian Brian Fitzpatrick, and my own childhood in Melbourne in the 1940s and ‘50s. This generated an interest in subjectivity, memoirs and history, on which I have written several articles. I recently became interested in new approaches to political history, and am currently working on a book on Stalin and his team, attempting to bring an everyday-ethnographic approach to high politics. Other current project are a second book of memoirs, A Spy in the Archives, on my experiences as a young historian researching my dissertation in Moscow in the 1960s, and a study of “displaced persons” from the Soviet Union who came to Australia after the second world war.