History MA/MA(SocSci)

Russian Literature and State Power RUSSIAN4038

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course explores the history of Russian literature from the specific point of view of its relationship with state power in different eras. Texts drawn from the seventeenth century to the present will be analysed using a range of theoretical approaches, to give students insight into the eternal battle between the "intelligentsia" and the Tsarist, Communist and now Federal state.


20 x 1hour sessions over both semesters, taught at 11am on Wednesday.

Excluded Courses





Seminar presentation of 10 minutes  - 25%

Oral response of 5 minutes - 25%

Essay (2000 words) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ acquaint students with some of the main authors of Russian literature and their relationship to state power;

■ introduce some key concepts related to Russian cultural history and literature (e.g. 'intelligentsia', 'populism', 'poputchiki', 'socialist realism', 'samizdat');

■ explore theoretical and critical approaches related to the study of Russian literature;

■ foster independent thinking in response to course readings.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ analyse and discuss issues related to the history of Russian literature and politics;

■ access and evaluate critically secondary reading material and other relevant resources and utilize them in order to support their claims; 

■ present their ideas effectively both orally and in writing.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.