Global Russia

Globalization of Russian culture as manifested in popular and academic cultural forms, including political ideologies, media and artistic texts, film, theater and television, markets, educational and legal institutions, historical and contemporary social movements.

Back in the U.S.S.R.: Everyday Soviet Culture, 1956-1989

Draws on film, fiction, songs, oral histories, and anthropological studies to explore the cultural expressions, lifestyles, ethical values, and sociopolitical concerns of postwar/Cold War generations of Soviet citizens. Highlighted topics: youth culture, the new consumerism, coping with the Stalinist legacy, politically dissident art and actions, the retreat into private life and nature, the rise of nationalisms. One course.

The Frontiers and Minorities of the Tsarist and Soviet Empires

Introduces multiconfessional, multilingual, multicultural composition of Russian & Soviet empires with questions concerning minorities in an imperial context. Learn about construction, interaction, and manipulation of cultures and identities. Balance Tsarist & Soviet efforts to modernize and Russify minorities, such as Ashkenazi Jews, Poles, & Turkic Muslims, against negotiated transformation and cultural resilience of minorities.

The Actress: Celebrity and the Woman

Explores through fiction, film, autobiographies, and biographies the significance and influence of the actress (on stage and screen) from eighteenth century to present day. Highlighted topics: actress's self-image and perception of her art; relationship between her public profession and private life; how she reflects/sets contemporary standards for beauty and lifestyle; how she provokes public debate over women's “appropriate” sexual, familial, professional, and public roles; her function as symbol/role model for her gender, race, nation.

Imagining the Slumbering Lands: Siberia and Central Asia Through Native and Russian Eyes

Comparative survey of Siberian and Central Asian culture through Russian and native literatures (fiction, travel writing, oral literature, biography, religious texts). The region's history and religions – Shamanism, Buddhism, and Islam – and Russian encounters with region circa 1850-1990. Issues of identity and culture. One course.

Painting Russia Red: Early Soviet Culture, 1917-1934

Through film, drama, fiction, memoir, and eyewitness accounts examines how citizens lived and artists responded to the bold, often traumatic experimentation of the early Soviet state. Topics include the impact of the Bolshevik and Stalinist revolutions on the public and private spheres, individual identity, and cultural production; the fashioning and refashioning of gender roles; the cultivation of modern urban life; and the consequences of the Soviet campaign to master nature. One course.