The Chronicle of Current Events and the Soviet Human Rights Movement
Samizdat is a specific textual culture that existed in the Soviet Union from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s. Through the production and circulation of texts outside of official institutional frameworks, the practice of samizdat challenged dominant values and positions and created a space for alternative cultural communication. The Chronicle of Current Events was a human rights bulletin published in samizdat from 1968-1983. Often referred to as the backbone of the human rights movement, the Chronicle provided regular information about human rights violations. This thesis focuses on the networks that produced the Chronicle and the mechanisms by which information was disseminated. By eschewing the traditional political narrative often employed in studies of human rights and dissident activity, my project attempts to shift the focus from content to method of transmission and in doing so answers larger questions about the spread of information and ideas in a repressive society.