Zhivka Valiavicharska

Assistant Professor of Political and Social Theory
Pratt Institute, New York

Core: Self, Culture and Society

Zhivka Valiavicharska works in the fields of modern political and social theory, critical theory, intellectual history, and gender and sexuality studies. Her research focuses on the histories of radical political ideas in twentieth-century socialist Eastern Europe, showing how they continually reconfigured the terms of western political thought and the landscape of social struggles in the West and in the Third World countries. She turns to influential but virtually unstudied or marginalized Marxist-humanist, Marxist-feminist, autonomist, and anarchist ideas and movements flourishing in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and the former Soviet Union during the 1960s and 1970s. Drawing on work from cultural studies, social history, sociology, and the anthropology of socialism and post-socialism, she offers a critical interpretation of their notions of freedom, equality, democracy, social governance, and autonomy, and of their visions for a “third way” for socialism’s future. 

Valiavicharska received her PhD in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley in 2011. She was a Harper-Schmidt Fellow in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago from 2011-14, and is currently Assistant Professor of Political and Social Theory at Pratt Institute, New York. Her work has appeared in journals such as Theory and Event, boundary 2, and Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, and her book manuscript, Socialist Histories in Disquiet, is in progress.