Date of Award

Fall 2014

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2014 Treasure J. Tinsley. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Robert Weinberg


In the 1920s and 1930s, the Bolshevik state used health and hygiene propaganda to attempt to reinforce socialist ideology among the Soviet people. This essay analyzes maternity and natal care posters from this era to argue that the state used the absence of the paternal figure to reinforce state authority and power within the private sphere of the household. This required the posters to navigate the tensions between a state that was pushing an ideology of ‘Women’s Liberation’ from the chains of domesticity and a reality in which women were necessary caretakers of the next generation of comrades.


Recipient of the Robert S. DuPlessis Prize, awarded in 2015.