Sheila Fitzpatrick

Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Honorary Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 1996


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 twentieth-century Russia, her work has focused mainly on Soviet social and cultural history in the Stalin period, particularly social mobility, social identity and everyday practices. In 2010, she published My Father’s Daughter, a memoir of her father, the radical historian Brian Fitzpatrick, and her own childhood in Melbourne in the 1940s and 1950s. This generated an interest in subjectivity, memoirs and history, on which she has written several articles.

Sheila recently became interested in new approaches to political history, and is working on a book on Stalin and his team, attempting to bring an everyday-ethnographic approach to high politics. Other projects include a second book of memoirs, A Spy in the Archives, on her experiences as a young historian researching her 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.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.