Soviet culture and cultural policies, 1917-1953



M.A. Course Fall, 1999


The purpose of this seminar is to examine the inter-relations of politics and culture in the Soviet Union in the pre-Stalin and Stalin eras. We take for granted that literary works and films produced in a given society reflect the politics and values of that society. We also assume that the regime's cultural policies were important and the system could not have existed without Soviet culture. Conversely, Soviet culture would have been unthinkable without the political system that existed in that country.

The seminar will meet once a week. Students will be expected to write short weekly papers (4-6 pages) on the reading. Each week different seminar participants will be asked to introduce the discussion. Students will be expected to write a 15-20 pages research paper and present it in class.

Week 1: S. Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution. Oxford.
Week 2: Gleason et al ed. Bolshevik Culture. Indiana
Week 3 Bolshevik Culture
Week 4: P. Kenez, The Birth of the Propaganda State. Cambridge
Week 5: Kenez
Week 6: Fitzpatrick ed. Cultural Revolution in Russia Indiana
Week 7: H. Gunther, ed. The culture of the Stalin Period. Macmillan 
Week 8: V. Dunham, In Stalin's Time Duke
Week 9: K. Clark, The Soviet Novel Univ. of Chicago
Week 10: R. Stites, ed. Culture and Entertainment in Wartime Russia, Indiana.
Week 11: P. Kenez Cinema and Soviet Society Cambridge 
Week 12: discussion