Russian 339

Masculinities in Russian Culture

Full course for one semester. The course examines how modern Russian literature and arts represent and imagine normative manhood. Employing theoretical frameworks from such fields as anthropology, sociology, and literary theory, we will approach the cultural elite’s notions of normative and defective masculinity as historically variable cultural constructs. We will focus on distinct types of masculinity characteristic of the several historical trends and fashions: dueling, dandyism, nihilism, decadence, and revolutionary activity. Special attention will be paid to Stalinist and Postcommunist scenarios of masculinity. Besides theoretical and historical works, the reading includes a diverse set of texts (mostly literary but also cinematic and visual) that represent and interpret the patterns of masculinity that were or are prominent in Russia. From this perspective, we will discuss the classics (including Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Chernyshevsky, Chekhov, Babel, and Platonov) as well as non-canonical and marginal literary products. Prerequisite: students who wish to take the course for Russian credit must have completed Russian 220 or obtain the consent of the instructor. Conference. Cross-listed as Literature 339. Not offered 2006-07.

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