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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Fall 2005

HIS 350L • Art, Power, & Public Ethics-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
38595 T
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
MEZ 2.124

Course Description

Russian artists have always worked under the pressure of state surveillance and interference. Many of the most creative and original Russian artists collaborated with the state that censored them, even while they may have resisted or opposed state power. In this class we will explore two main questions: how did political culture and creative culture shape each other? What kinds of moral judgments can we make, and what criteria can we use, about artists functioning in an unfree society? We will explore these questions in connection with five case studies drawn from different contexts and artistic genres: Alexander Pushkins drama Boris Godunov, Fedor Dostoevskys Notes from Underground, Natalia Goncharovas paintings, Sergei Eisensteins film, Ivan the Terrible and Alexander Medvedkins film Happiness. In each case we will study the art works in the context of artists biographies and historical reception of the works. Class discussions will address issues including constructions of culture and identity, notoriety and fame, cults of power and iconoclasm, creativity in conditions of freedom and unfreedom.


Gregory Freeze, ed, Russia: A History Alexander Pushkin, Boris Godunov (play) T. J. Binyon, Pushkin Fedor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (novel) Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky: The Miraculous Years, 1865-1871 Natalia Goncharova, various paintings Jane Sharp, Russian Modernism between East and West : Natalya Goncharova and the Moscow Avant-Garde Sergei Eisenstein, Ivan the Terrible (film) Oksana Bulgakowa, Eisenstein: A Biography Joan Neuberger, Ivan the Terrible: The Film Companion Alexander Medvedkin, Happiness (film) Emma Widdis, Alexander Medvedkin


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