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Course Details

Spring 2012-2013
* SLA 420 / ANT 420 / COM 424 (EM)   na, npdf

Communist Modernity: The Politics and Culture of Soviet Utopia

Serguei A. Oushakine

Inspired by utopian ideas of equality and universal brotherhood, communism was conceived as an alternative to capitalism's crises. This attempt to build a new world was costly and brutal: equality was quickly transformed into uniformity; brotherhood morphed into the Big Brother. The course provides an in-depth review of these oscillations between utopian motivations and oppressive practices. It will present central players of Soviet Utopia: from Lenin to Malevich; from Stalin to Eisenstein. Major political texts, key cultural documents and films of the period help us trace the emergence and disappearance of commumist modernity.

Sample reading list:
Joseph Stalin, Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Karl Marx, Manifesto of the Communist Party
Leon Trotsky, Problems of Everyday Life
Kazimir Malevich, The Non-Objective World
Sergei Eisenstein, The Dramaturgy of Film Form
Asif A. Siddiqi, Sputnik and the Soviet Space Challenge

Reading/Writing assignments:
150 pages of reading per week, weekly class participation and one-page response paper; midterm paper, final paper.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 35%
Paper in lieu of Final - 30%
Class/Precept Participation - 35%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43149 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm M   East Pyne Building   245   Enrolled:7 Limit:15