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Unit information: Art in Russia and the Soviet Union (Lecture Response Unit) in 2021/22

Unit name Art in Russia and the Soviet Union (Lecture Response Unit)
Unit code HART30025
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Mike O'Mahony
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit explores developments in the theory and practice of art during a crucial period in Russian and Soviet history. Commencing with an analysis of the historical conditions and cultural debates in early 20th century Russia, the unit considers the following themes: the emergence of an early Russian avant-garde; the impact of the First World War and the 1917 revolutions; the new role for artists in the immediate post-revolutionary era; the ideological and cultural debates of the 1920s; the re-emergence of figurative styles in the 1920s and 1930s; the formation and development of a Socialist Realist aesthetic; and the role of the artist during the conflict known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

(1) articulate a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the development the main artistic currents in Russia and the Soviet Union;

(2) demonstrate an in-depth understanding of its historical, artistic and cultural contexts;

3) analyse and evaluate aesthetic issues pertinent to the study of Russian and Soviet art;

(4) identify and evaluate pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate a cogent argument.

(5) display high level skills in evaluating, analysing, synthesising and (where apt) critiquing images and ideas as appropriate to level H/6.

Teaching details

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Details

One 3000-word essay (50%) [ILOs 1-5]

One timed assessment [ILOs 1-5]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HART30025).