Professor Jane Sharp

In English. No prerequisites.

cross-listed with Art History 01:082:204:01 and Comparative Literature 01:195:265:01

This course will examine the interaction of art and politics in Soviet culture, focusing on specific artworks (visual and literary) and writings about them. It considers how creative interests in representing a particular social or political ideology are realized, and to what degree notions of artistic autonomy might conflict with appeals to the public and/or state authority. 

Less a survey of Soviet art and literature than a cross-disciplinary inquiry, our course is structured around a series of themes addressing the interpretation, public promotion, and reception of art in the Soviet single Party state. Over the course of the semester, we will encounter a wide cross-section of both mainstream and underground Soviet works of art– including sculptures, paintings, film, and literature, as well as theoretical writings about art, such as manifestos and critical interpretations. We will see how Soviet Culture–often called “totalitarian”–provided a model for the interdependence of art and politics, the consequences of which resonate even today. Although the course focuses primarily on Russia, lectures also are devoted to art in the Caucasus (Georgia), the Baltics, and Central Asia. No prerequisites; all readings and discussions in English.

Fulfills SAS Core goals AHo, AHp.