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Unit information: Art in Russia and the Soviet Union (Level M Lecture Response Unit) in 2015/16

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Unit name Art in Russia and the Soviet Union (Level M Lecture Response Unit)
Unit code HARTM0031
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Mike O'Mahony
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit explores developments in the theory and practice of art during a crucial period in Russian and Soviet history. Commencing with an analysis of the historical conditions and cultural debates in early 20th century Russia, the unit considers the following themes: the emergence of an early Russian avant-garde; the impact of the First World War and the 1917 revolutions; the new role for artists in the immediate post-revolutionary era; the ideological and cultural debates of the 1920s; the re-emergence of figurative styles in the 1920s and 1930s; the formation and development of a Socialist Realist aesthetic; and the role of the artist during the conflict known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.

Intended Learning Outcomes

1) To provide students with a detailed understanding of the major development in Russian and Soviet art during the twentieth century.

2) To place students in direct contact with the current research interests of the academic tutor and to enable them to explore the issues surrounding the state of research in the field.

3) To develop students’ ability to work with primary sources relating to this field and produce a research-led essay based on such sources.

4) To develop students’ abilities to integrate primary source material into a wider art historical and historiographical analysis.

5) To develop students’ ability to learn independently within a group context.

Teaching Information

1 x 2-hour interactive lecture per week.

Assessment Information

One summative coursework essay of 5000 words (100%). This will assess ILOs 2-5.

Reading and References

Cullerne Bown, Matthew, Socialist Realist Painting, New Haven 1998. Cullerne Bown, Matthew, and Brandon Taylor, Art of the Soviets: Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in a One-Party State, 1917-1992, Manchester 1993. The Great Utopia: the Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde 1915-32 (exh. cat.), Guggenheim Museum, New York 1992. Günther, Hans (Ed.), The Culture of the Stalin Period, London 1990. Lodder, Christina, Russian Constructivism, New Haven and London 1983.