Russian MA

Brave New Worlds: Russian Culture in the Age of Revolution RUSSIAN4040

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • 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

Short Description

This interdisciplinary research-led course explores Russian culture of the first half of the twentieth century across a wide range of different media and movements, including but not limited to literature, art, and film, with an emphasis on experimental, modernist work. It investigates how these works respond to and contribute to the technological and political changes of the time and examines how Russian modernism is similar and different to other contemporary trends in global culture.


10 x1hr lecture and 10x1hr seminar over both semesters as scheduled in MyCampus.


This is one of the honours options in SMLC and may not run every year. The options which are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Commentary on a specific work (2000 words) - 50%

Essay (2000 words) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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 aims to:

• provide students with a clear understanding of the major themes, developments and debates in Russian culture in the first half of the twentieth century by studying a selection of important and indicative works in a number of fields such as art, music, literature, film and so on;

• help students understand how Russian modernism draws from and contributes to analogous movements around the world in the early twentieth century

• explore the relationship between political change and cultural evolution in the Russian context and more generally;

• investigate how culture manifests the intersection of questions of identity (gender, sexuality, race, religion and others) with political, economic and technological change.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

• express a thorough knowledge of the major developments and debates in Russian culture in this period, identifying elements of both change and continuity;

• analyse a wide range of different media, showing an awareness of the different approaches needed in studying them;

• think critically about the mechanisms of cultural change, both within the specific context of Russian modernism and more broadly;

•discuss Russian modernism's position within European culture and its ongoing relevance.

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.