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Cynthia V. Hooper


History Department
Russian and Eastern European Studies

Associate Professor
Director, Russian and Eastern European Studies
On Leave 2020-2021

Ph.D., Princeton University

Fields: Russian and Soviet history; comparative dictatorship; culture and politics in 20th century Europe

• CV (PDF) »

Office Phone: 508-793-3447
Office: O'Kane 386
PO Box: 170A
Office Hours:


Publications and Distinctions:

  • "A Darker 'Big Deal':  Concealing Party Corruption, 1945-1953" in Living in Late Stalinism (Routledge, 2006)
  • "Terror of Intimacy:  Family Politics in the 1930s Soviet Union" in Everyday Life in Early Soviet Russia (University of Indiana Press, 2005)
  • "Terror From Within:  Participation and Coercion in Soviet Power, 1924-1964" (dissertation, awarded international Fraenkel Prize).

She has served as a Fellow at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center and as a Fellow of the Davis Center at Harvard. She serves as a Center Associate at Harvard's Davis Center for Russian Studies.Research




The Conversation

Cynthia Hooper is a frequent contributor to The Conversation, an independent news and commentary website. Her most recent contributions appear below.

The Russians are calling it “Ukrainegate.”

“I never thought I’d say it, but CNN is right,” remarked one pundit on Russia 1, the county’s most-watched television station. “The person who wins in this situation is Putin.”

Commentary in Russian media about the impeachment investigation of U.S. President Donald Trump in many ways echoes the language of U.S. coverage. Just a few of the jokes are different.

“Of course, if Trump is impeached, he could probably return here, if you believe the American press,” laughed one Moscow-based moderator.

As a historian who studies contemporary Russia, I have seen the pro-Kremlin Russian p...

Cars pass the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 25, 2019. AP/Pavel Golovkin

“A mountain has given birth to a mouse. The ‘Russian affair’ falls to pieces before our eyes.”

So pronounced the Russian news site, as word of the completed Mueller report swept around the world.

Thus far, official Russian response to the Mueller findings has been scornful. Leaders are taking the conclusions of U.S. Attorney General William Barr – that the report shows no...

Russian-government backed show Comedy Club's Trump and Putin impersonators RUTube

It seems incredible that White House aides would schedule the first U.S.-Russia summit of the Donald Trump Presidency for the day after the World Cup final soccer match in Moscow, given the assiduous attention to detail that has, historically, governed every meeting between the two superpowers.

One-nil, Vladimir Putin. And the game hasn’t even begun.

Amid constant

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a massive rally in his support n Moscow, March 3, 2018 AP/Pavel Golovkin

Long before it happened, Russia’s ruling party had already called it “the ultimate victory.”

On March 18, Russians go to the polls where they will – without doubt – re-elect President Vladimir Putin to a fourth leadership term.

The race is technically contested. Seven other candidates are participating. They include a 34-year-old former reality TV star who admits that “when money gets into her hands, s...

A worker cleans a statue of Vladimir Lenin in St. Petersburg. But how much Russian history gets whitewashed today? Dmitri Lovetsky/AP Photo

“And what, exactly, is there to be celebrating?” snapped Vladimir Putin’s press secretary on Oct. 25, a little more than a week before the 100th anniversary of what, in Soviet times, was lauded as the country’s greatest victory.

On Nov. 7, 1917, Vladimir Lenin seized power in St. Petersburg. Soviet authorities glorified that day as the dawn of the world’s first successful communist revolution – and the creation o...

It seems that Russian state media is starting to chip away at Trump's burnished image. Maxim Apryatin

Four major Russia investigations are underway in Washington, along with at least six related federal inquiries.

Anxiety currently swirls around the Kremlin’s manipulation of popular social media platforms Facebook, YouTube and...

On April 11, the White House released an intelligence report accusing Russia of trying to cover up the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad through a global disinformation campaign replete with “false narratives.”

As a professor of Soviet history with an interest in media studies, I’ve been following Russia’s response to the chemical attack and subsequent U.S. missile strike – the various television and print news stories, tweets and analyses put forth by Russia’s domestic and international media outlets.

Together, they’re reflective a larger Russian information strategy: Stress a unified message at home but sow discord abroad.

Jumping to the wrong conclusion

Inside Russia, all state-run media outlets and many ...

Vladimir Putin appears on the Kremlin-backed news network Russia Today. The multi-platform channel has already garnered more than 2 billion views on YouTube, making it the most-watched news network on the video-sharing website. Commons, CC BY-SA

“Life would be boring without rumors.”

So said Russian President Vladimir Putin, upon re-emerging from a mysterious ten-day disappearance, during which the internet exploded with speculation he was dead.

The Kr...