Russian literature and culture 2 (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Stefano Aloe
Stefano Aloe
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Semester 1 dal Oct 2, 2017 al Jan 20, 2018.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

This course is a natural prosecution to the course of Russian culture and literature 1 hold in the first year, as it focuses on those topics connected with history, culture and arts in contemporary Russia (XIX and XX centuries). The aim is to provide the students with those basic cultural coordinates that will allow them to know, understand and interpret contemporary Russia, its history and society. At the end of the course, students must be able to identify the fundamental mechanisms of the Russian history and culture of the last two centuries, they will be able to compare them to other cultural situations, and to evaluate historical, artistic and cultural circumstances by their own judgement.



The course concerns the period from the death of Stalin (1953) up to nowadays Russia, getting through the historical phases called thaw, stagnation, perestroika in the USSR and the recent ones in Russia (the birth the Russian Federation, the post-soviet Yeltsin reforms, Putin’s rise to power, the rehash of national values and the new structure of the country). The course focuses the attention on those cultural phenomena and those forms of artistic expression (i.e. literature, music, film) that were alternative and critical towards the Soviet, and then Russian, power and society.
Among the main topics we have: the 1917 revolution and the Soviet Union as an original model for an alternative political, economical and cultural system; literature and film during the Khrushchev thaw; the bard song in the Sixties and Seventies; the soviet rock in the Eighties; dissidents and other critical positions about politics; the "Sots-art"; the post-modernism and the post-soviet crisis; heroes and anti-heroes of the contemporary Russian culture.

Learning/Educational Arrangements:
taught class/lecture with the maximum interplay between students and professor. Interactive supports will be used (movies, music, e-learning platform and so on), an active involvement of the students will be promoted.

- An anthology of the texts will be provided at the beginning of the course
Besides the anthology, every student have to read and study at least one book chosen among these ones:
- Svetlana Aleksievič, Tempo di seconda mano. La vita in Russia dopo il crollo del comunismo (Светлана Алексиевич, Время секонд хэнд)
- Sergej Dovlatov, Compromesso (Сергей Довлатов, Компромисс)
- Venedikt Erofeev, Mosca-Petuški (Венедикт Ерофеев, Москва-Петушки)
- Viktor Erofeev (a cura di), I fiori del male russi (Виктор Ерофеев <под ред.>, Русские цветы зла)
- Viktor Pelevin, Babylon (Виктор Пелевин, Generation «П»)

- Я шагаю по Москве (1963), реж. Г. Данелия
- Зеркало (1975), реж. А. Тарковский
- Асса (1987), реж. С. Соловьев
- Брат (1997), реж. А. Балабанов
- Левиафан (2014), реж. А. Звягинцев

- M. Martini, Oltre il disgelo. La letteratura dopo l’Urss, Milano, Mondadori, 2002
- C. Olivieri, Il cinema russo da oggi a ieri, Roma, LITHOS, 2015
-G.P. Piretto, Il radioso avvenire. Mitologie culturali sovietiche, Torino, Einaudi 2003
- Storia della letteratura russa, diretta da E. Etkind, G. Nivat, I. Serman e V. Strada. Il Novecento, Vol.III, Torino, Einaudi, 1989.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
C. Olivieri Il cinema russo da oggi a ieri Lithos, Roma 2015
G. P. Piretto Il radioso avvenire. Mitologie culturali sovietiche Einaudi 2003
M. Martini Oltre il disgelo. La letteratura dopo l’Urss, Milano Mondadori 2002
E. Etkind, G. Nivat, I. Serman e V. Strada (a cura di) Storia della letteratura russa, Il Novecento, Vol.III Einaudi, Torino 1990

Assessment methods and criteria

the aim of the exam is to verify:
- The acquisition by the students of the basic space-temporal and conceptual coordinates learned in the course
- The appropriate knowledge concerning the topic and the instruments analysed during the course and/or planned in the programme
- The ability to value independently and with a full knowledge of the situation the peculiar historical, social and cultural phenomena of Russia, above all those ones concerning the period analysed in the course.

The exam will be about the contents included in the programme and about the literary, artistic and historic cultural materials analysed during the course.

Methods for conducting:
The exam is oral and is an interview during which the student must present with precision and showing the ability to judge independently about what has been learned during the course and the individual preparation. The programme is the same for both the attending and non-attending students: the last ones can find the necessary materials to study in the programme, in the lecture notes and on the e-learning internet page; they could ask the professor for additional material or explanations during the office hours if needed.

Arrangements for evaluating:
Single vote in thirties.