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Natalya is Senior Lecturer in Modern History. She has a BA in History and Journalism from the American University in Bulgaria and a BA in Modern Foreign Languages (with Distinction) from the Minsk State Linguistic University. She received her MA (with Merit) in European Studies and her PhD in History from King's College London. 

Natalya’s professional experience includes working as Belarus Media Project Coordinator and editor of the Belarus Reporting Service at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in London, UK. She was a teaching fellow at King's College London, while doing her PhD. At the University of Winchester, Natalya teaches modules on Russian, Soviet and East European history and on 20th-century European history.

Natalya has published on late Soviet consumer culture, including a monograph, Soviet Consumer Culture in the Brezhnev Era (Routledge, 2013), and on Belarusian history. She is currently working on a political biography of Petr Masherau, the First Secretary of the Belarusian Communist Party and the popular leader of Soviet Belarus during 1965 - 1980 (see the project's website). She has also written on the Belarus protests for History & Policy, PONARS Eurasia and History Today.

For 2020/21 academic year, Natalya has been awarded the British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to complete the Masherau project.

Higher Education Teaching Qualification: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Areas of expertise

  • Russian and Soviet history, especially the Brezhnev era (late Soviet)
  • Belarus and Belarusian history in the 20th century
  • Soviet nationalities and nationalism
  • Soviet cinema
  • Everyday life under socialism
  • Socialist consumer culture
  • East European communist regimes



Soviet consumer culture in the Brezhnev era (BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies, 2013; in paperback: 2015)

Articles and chapters

'The West needs to appreciate how the protest movement in Belarus has been shaped by the Soviet past', History & Policy, 5 March 2021.

'The Belarus Protests and Russia: Lessons for "Big Brother",' PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo No. 693, George Washington University, 1 March 2021.

'Belarus remembers', History Today, Vol. 71, Issue 1, January 2021.

'De-Stalinisation and insubordination in the Soviet borderlands: Beria's attempted national reform in Soviet Belarus', Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 73, No. 2 (March 2021), 387-409, https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2020.1825629 Eprint link of the article

'A Very Belarusian Affair: What Sets the Current Anti-Lukashenka Protests Apart', PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo No. 671, George Washington University, September 2020.

'"The great Soviet dream": Blue jeans in the Brezhnev era and beyond’, in Graham H. Roberts (ed.), Material Culture in Russia and the USSR: Things, Values, Identities (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), pp 155-72.

'Consumers as citizens: revisiting the question of public disengagement in the Brezhnev era', in: Dina Fainberg and Artemy M. Kalinovsky (eds), Reconsidering Stagnation in the Brezhnev Era: Ideology and Exchange (Lexington Books, 2016), pp 3-20.

'Philistines on the Big Screen: consumerism in Soviet cinema of the Brezhnev era', Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, Vol. 5, No. 2 (December 2011), 227-54

'Consuming technology in a closed society: household appliances in Soviet urban homes of the Brezhnev era', Ab Imperio, Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post Soviet Space, Issue 2 (July 2011), 188-220.

Book reviews

Jukka Gronow and Sergey Zhuravlev, Fashion Meets Socialism: fashion industry in the Soviet Union after the Second World War, Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2015. p. 303. In: The American Historical Review, No. 5 (2016), pp 1783-1784

Lewis H. Siegelbaum (ed.), The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc, in The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 86, No. 1 (2014), pp 163-65.

Donald J. Raleigh, Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russia's Cold War Generation, in The Russian Review, Vol 73, No. 3 (2014), pp 494-95.

Melanie Ilic and Jeremy Smith (eds), Soviet State and Society under Nikita Khrushchev, in Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 46, No 4 (October 2011), pp 950-52.


Guest on 'Malenkov' episode of 'We Didn't Start the Fire. The History Podcast', hosted by Katie Puckrik and Tom Fordyce, Crowd Network, 9 August 2021.

Guest speaker on PONARS Eurasia Podcasts (Lipman Series 2020), 'Understanding the Protests in Belarus', 11 September 2020.

Public talks

Speaker at 'The Trajectory of Belarus: From Popular Protests to International Provocations', Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University, USA, 10 December 2021. Public event - for the recording of the event follow this link.

Speaker at 'Contemporary Belarus: twenty years on - a discussion of key developments', Oxford Belarus Observatory, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, Oxford University, 2 December 2021.

'Belarus protests, national identity and the Soviet past', invited lecture at the Havighurst Centre for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, Miami University, Ohio, USA, 7 April 2021 (public lecture). YouTube link to follow.

Speaker on Belarus at 'Protests and repression around the globe: A roundtable discussion on Hong Kong, Thailand, Russia, & Belarus', Los Angeles World Affairs Council in partnership with the UCI Forum for the Academy and the Public, Wende Museum, CEU Democracy Institute and the Index on Censorship, 10 March 2021. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLkAJEQHTNM

'The crisis in Belarus: A discussion with Dr Natalya Chernyshova', REEEC Current Affairs Lecture Series, Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US, 25 September 2020 (public lecture)


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