Moscow/Berlin: Dreamworld and Catastrophe|
RUSS 321, GRST 221, RULE 321, WLIT 341|
|Course Cluster and Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate|
The October Revolution of 1917 in Russia and the November Revolution of 1918 in Germany ushered in an era of imagining and building an anti-capitalist world based on the ideals of universal equality, freedom, and comradeship. Between World War I and World War II, Soviet Moscow and Weimar Berlin developed into centers of the international leftist movement that was committed to the cause of global proletarian revolution. While the revolutionary cause proved to be unattainable and costly, the period's artistic and intellectual achievements, known as the avant-garde, offer an extraordinary archive of utopian experimentation across borders.
Focusing on Moscow and Berlin, this course maps the socialist modernist aesthetic in interwar Europe and provides a comparative review of the transnational circulation of leftist and reactionary ideas registered in a variety of -isms: dadaism, expressionism, futurism, suprematism, and constructivism, as well as the New Objectivity, Bauhaus, and the practice of factography. The alignment of art and ideology will be explored through literature, art, and film and will consider the entanglements of egalitarian aspirations with nationalist agendas and emancipatory ideals with patriarchal residues. The course will also review the cultural production of Russian exiles living in Weimar Berlin and their conception of an "off-modern" path. The course will conclude with a discussion of the revolutionary avant-garde's legacy in the East Berlin underground and post-Soviet Moscow.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CSCT)(GRST-MN)(GRST)(REES-MN)(REES-Lang/Lit/C)(REES-Social Sci)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Readings will include
Walter Benjamin, Moscow Diary
Vladimir Nabokov, Mary
Viktor Shklovsky, Zoo, or Letters Not about Love
Alfred Döblin, Berlin, Alexanderplatz (excerpts)
Erich Kästner, Emil and the Detectives
Georg Simmel, Metropolis and Mental Life
Dovid Bergelson, Berlin Stories
Bertold Brecht, The Threepenny Opera
As well as discursive writings by Sergei Tretyakov, El Lissitzky, Boris Arvatov, Varvara Stepanova, Hannah Höch, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Alexandra Kollontai, Rosa Luxemburg, and Clara Zetkin.
Films will include:
Berlin: Symphony of a Big City (dir. Walter Ruttmann)
Man with a Movie Camera (dir. Dziga Vertov)
Battleship Potemkin (dir. Sergei Eisenstein)
Aelita (dir. Yakov Protazanov)
Bed and Sofa (dir. Abram Room)
Anders als die Andern (dir. Richard Oswald)
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Reading responses; midterm project; and a final paper (ca. 12pp).
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
As part of Wesleyan¿s Course Embedded Study Away (CESA) initiative, this course includes a mandatory trip to Berlin led by Professor Utkin during spring break. Students on financial aid will have no additional costs for the trip; students not on aid will need to pay a flat fee of $1500 which will cover flights, ground transport, lodging, entry fees, and most meals. Please contact Prof. Utkin with any questions about the CESA component of the class.
|Instructor(s): Utkin,Roman Times: ..T.R.. 10:20AM-11:40AM; Location: FISK413; |
|Permission of Instructor Required|
Enrollment capacity: 12
|Permission of instructor approval will be granted by the instructor during pre-registration through the Electronic Portfolio. Click "Add to My Courses" and "To request a POI electronically, click here" to submit your request.|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 7||1st Ranked: 1||2nd Ranked: 1||3rd Ranked: 1||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 4|