Course Title:  01:082:204  Art and Power: The Visual and Literary Culture of the Soviet Century

Academic Credits:  3 credits

Mode of Instruction:  Lecture

Course Prerequisites and Corequisites: None

  Credit not given for this course and 01:195:265 and 01:860:268

Core Curriculum: AHo and AHp

Course Description:

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.

Learning Goals:

Required and Recommended Course Materials:





Professor Jane Sharp 

Disclaimer:  These course descriptions/synopses pages have been provided as samples and the information should not be considered accurate or current.  For actual course information, refer to the course site hosted by a Rutgers Learning Management System (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) as of first day of class.