Firebird! The Russian Arts Under

Tsars and Commissars

Russian Area Studies 222/322

The magical Russian Firebird—with its feathers of pure gold—embodies creative genius and
the salvational glory of Russian visual and performing arts. In this course we will explore
Russian art, ballet, music, opera and theater and their place in the culture and history of both
Russia and Europe. One of the great paradoxes of the Russian experience in the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries was the astonishing capacity of Russia’s composers, choreographers,
dancers, writers and other artists to produce many of the world’s greatest artistic creations while
living and working under almost unimaginably repressive political regimes. How was this
possible? In addition to larger themes and movements we will consider the contexts, histories,
meanings—and, in some cases, iconic afterlives—of selected works and performers. Nina
222 Prerequisite: Open to all students.
322 Prerequisite: Normally open to juniors and seniors who have taken at least one course in a
related area (such as Russia, Europe, performing arts or visual arts). Students enrolled in 322
must complete a major research paper in addition to other coursework.
Offered Spring 2017, Th 1:30-4:00

For more information or questions, please contact Professor Tumarkin at ntumarki@wellesley.edu