Jul 24, 2024  
College Catalog 2015-2016 
College Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

RUSS 261 - Making History: Russian Cinema as Testimony, Propaganda, and Art

Cross-Listed as HIST 261 
Through the study of Russian films starting from the silent era up to the present day, the course will explore how storytelling in cinema differs from professional history and fiction, as well as how power relations, technology, and aesthetics shaped cinematic depictions of major historical events in Russia and the Soviet Union, from medieval times to post-Soviet era. Students will view and analyze films that are among the essential Russian contributions to world cinema, by directors including Eisenstein, Tarkovsky, Mikhalkov, and Sokurov. Course readings will draw upon film theory, history, fiction, and memoirs. We will use our readings to create a conceptual framework for examining the films as documents of real events, as vehicles of propaganda, and as imaginative works of art. In addition to attending weekly film screenings and discussing the films and readings in class, students will give presentations on topics of their choice arranged in consultation with the instructors. Two professors will teach the course jointly, one a historian of Russia and the other a specialist in Russian literature and visual culture. Alternate spring semesters. (4 Credits)