Russian life and culture

You will be responsible for completing your own research projects through the semester. You will need to provide an analysis of representation of the Russian life and culture in one of the three distinctive genres: photography, literature and film. You are expected to answer the following questions: 1) What was the intention standing behind the creation of these works of art? 2) What kind of issues did the authors want to draw attention to? 3) What kind of images or broader picture did the authors seek to produce and what kind of expressive means did they use to achieve this goal? 4) What kind of reaction was expected on the part of implied audience? 5) Does this genre have any unique tasks, opportunities and specifics as related to other genres of Russian arts and to corresponding genre in other cultures you are familiar with? 6) What kind of cultural stereotypes portrayed and what kind of expressive means used by the authors did strike you, grab your attention or make you see Russian and your own cultures in a different way? 7) How do the issues analyzed in your essays relate to our class readings and discussions?
Essays must be double-spaced, have normal margins and be properly, consistently referenced. See for an American Anthropological Association (AAA) style citation guide (based on the Chicago Manual of Style).
*** uploaded files. use as sources *** Here are some youtube links for references below:
Moscow Churches
Religion under Communism:
Antennas replaced crosses on church cupolas
Young pioneers on a field trip to museum of atheism located in historical building of Troitse-Sergieva Lavra (one of the most important Russian monasteries).
Postsoviet times:
Russian Orthodox Easter: Morning Service

Werner Herzog, Bells From the Deep.

St. Petersburg: Fountains of Peterhof
White Nights in St. Petersburg
Winter in St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg: Winter Palace / Hermitage Museum KremlinMoscow Kremlin: Historical/Museum Information Website
The Kremlin: Russian Government Website ItemRed SquareRed Square
Lenin’s Mausoleum
Lenin’s Body Embalmed
Victory over Nazis Parade at Red Square on June 24, 1945

GUM: State Department Store
ItemCity of UpheavalThe masterpiece of the world cinema, silent film “October” by Sergei Eisenstein (1928) about the Revolution of 1917. Music by great composer Dmitry Shostakovich. The movie was recently removed from youtube, but you can still watch a couple of short clips.
October: The beginning

October: The bridge scene

==Yuri Norshteyn. “The 25th – the First Day” (1968). This is a short animated film featuring the events of the Socialist Revolution, October 25th, 1917. Please read the film description accompanying the video on youtube website.
Lenin speaks.

The English translation of Lenin’s speech.
NY Times article about the Russian royal family killed by Bolsheviks in 1918.
A video clip “Moscow Clad in Snow” (1908)

Here are a few great Russian cartoons with English subtitles on YouTube:
Hedgehog in the Fog


Russian Winnie the Pooh
Episode 1: Winnie the Pooh

Eposode 2: Winnie the Pooh and The Day of Concerns
Episode 3: Winnie the Pooh Goes Visiting
Crocodile Gena and Cheburashka series
Part 1: Crocodile Gena

Part 2: Cheburashka

Part 3: Shapoklyak


Nu Pogodi! (Wait and See!)
Episodes 1-10

The Cow

My Love (in 3 parts)

Henri Cartier-Bresson, a worldwide known classic of photography (France)
“Images of the Soviet Union” website
Soviet Museum: Photos of the Soviet Moscow
Below is the explanation of the assignment requirements and what skills are being assessed.
1. Context, Audience and Purpose of Writing
Context, audience, and purpose of the assignment suited for the task and present in all elements of work
(A question to ask: does the student clearly understand what s/he is writing, why and for whom?)
– Does the paper convey the understanding of the context of the task, i.e. writing a small-scale, but full-fledged content analysis paper according to the rules of the genre (i.e. student major paper)?
– Does the paper convey the correct perception of the papers audience, i.e. educated English-speaking audience familiar, to a considerable extent, with Russian history, life and culture.
– Does the paper serve its purpose, i.e. completing an exercise in content analysis and a written presentation of its results, done in order to both master and demonstrate students ability to conduct an independent research project and present it clearly to the audience using the tools and conventions characteristic of academic writing across the field of humanities.
2. Content Development
Appropriate, relevant and compelling content; ability to illustrate the mastery of the subject and explore ideas within the discipline (should be consistent throughout the entire text of the work).
(A question to ask: does this paper present a content analysis of a certain art genre seen in relation to Russian history, where the arguments are supported by references to particular works of art?)
Appropriate content
– Does the paper present a content analysis of a particular genre of Russian art in relation to Russian history?
– Does the paper use students own observations and analysis of Russian art works of a particular genre as the primary basis and primary source of the paper?
Relevant content
– Does the paper provide a clever, on-point content analysis, where the students arguments are supported by clear, relevant evidence in the form of both primary and secondary sources? For the purposes of this assignment, the primary sources are the works of Russian art within a particular chosen genre, and secondary ones academic literature on this particular topic.
Compelling content
– Does the paper evoke the readers interest? Is the writer able to hold the readers interest and attention throughout the entire work?
3. Genre and Disciplinary Conventions
Conventions of both the discipline and the writing task, including organization, content, presentation, formatting, and stylistic choices
(A question to ask: is this a good student paper in the field of history, genre-wise?)
– Does the paper have a proper structure (intro presenting the research question and state of the problem, body with cases and supporting evidence, and good conclusion that follows and wraps up the discussion naturally and convincingly)?
– Do the subchapters and paragraphs follow each other meaningfully, logically and sequentially?
– Is there a good ratio between the presentation of material and the analysis?
– Is the paper based primarily on the students own content analysis of Russian art works of a particular genre? Or are the art works themselves just mentioned in passing following a long presentation of various studies by other scholars?
– Has the historical perspective/approach/focus been maintained throughout the entire work?
– Are the objects of study and the approach to them rooted in history as a discipline?
– Does the paper show actual familiarity with the primary sources (by first-hand reading the works of literature, watching the movies, looking through the photo albums)? Or is the paper based on retelling of other scholars descriptions of these works of art? For the purposes of this assignment, first-hand familiarity with the primary sources (works of art) is required.
– Are the arguments consistent? Do they make sense from historical perspective?
– Are the header, in-text citations and bibliography formatted properly, according to a particular style of citation (AAA Style)?
Stylistic choices:
– Are the language, tone, references to quoted works appropriate for the discipline and genre?
4. Sources and Evidence
Credible and relevant sources to develop ideas appropriate for the discipline and genre
(A question to ask: are the sources used quality sources? Do they provide good evidence?)
Credible sources
– Have the primary sources (works of art) been studied and analyzed by student him- or herself?
–  Were students secondary sources either books published by university presses or articles published in academic journals? Random articles found on the Web are not considered acceptable sources for the purposes of this assignment.
Relevant sources
– Do primary and secondary sources provide the right and sufficient material allowing the student to discuss their chosen topic/problem with confidence?
– Did student really engage their sources for tackling their research problem? Or were certain sources listed just for the sake of compiling an impressive bibliography?
Sources appropriate for the discipline and genre
– Were all the listed sources from within the disciplines of history, art history, film studies, literary studies, cultural studies?
5. Control of Syntax and Mechanics
Good language that communicates meaning with clarity and fluency
(A question to ask: are the language and syntax of this paper correct, clear and fluent? Does language convey the meaning well?)
– Is the grammar use correct throughout the essay? Did the student edit and polish their paper?
– Did the student follow the rules of capitalization and punctuation?
– Is the syntax good throughout the essay? Do sentences and passages convey students thoughts clearly and unfold logically?
– Was the student able to create an engaging, flowing narrative, making their paper a pleasure to read?The post Russian life and culture



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