The Russian Revolution and the Arts
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Level: Graduate
Division: The New School for Social Research
Department: Liberal Studies
Course Number: GLIB 5811
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Liberal Arts
  • Art History, Theory & Criticism
  • History
This course is about the great modern revolution, the Russian Revolution of 1917 - and the forces behind it, the artistic experiments provoked by it, the utopian energies unleashed by it. The course also explores the idea of revolution, as an aesthetic as well as a political imperative. We begin with the earlier French revolution that served as model to the Russian, then leap, more than a century, into Russia’s decaying imperial regime, which exploded, in the years surrounding WWI, into several revolutions. Eyewitness accounts and historical analyses of these events will be examined, as well as attempts by artists in several media to delineate a revolutionary new world, and describe some fragmented aspects of its attempted realization. Course authors and auteurs may include T.J. Clark, Hannah Arendt, Edmund Wilson, John Reed, Viktor Shklovsky, Vladimir Nabokov, Aleksandr Blok, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetayeva, Osip Mandelstam, Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Vaslav & Bronislava Nijinska, George Balanchine.
Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions