Nothing is True and Everything is Possible Fall 2018

Tsarism or Feminism?
Debate the future of Russia this Fall in a new course

Russian 38/Film 42 Griffin @ 2A, Fall 2018
No prerequisites!
Distribs: W/LIT

Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Politics, Media, and Religion in Post-Soviet Russia
In 1987, the Soviet Union was the largest political entity on the planet. Four years later, it had vanished from the map entirely. In this interdisciplinary course, you will learn about the ‘new Russia’ that has emerged in the three decades since that stunning collapse. Drawing on a wide variety of resources in English translation—from Russian films and novels to YouTube videos and social media posts—you will navigate the diverse technologies and media products that are helping to shape contemporary Russian identity. You will explore, for example, the ‘violent entrepreneurship’ of oil oligarchs, the cynicism of state-funded television propagandists, and the avant-garde theatrics of Moscow’s feminist dissidents. Your study of Putin’s Russia should also allow us to discuss some of the most pressing questions facing citizens in a democracy today: What is the nature of truth in the digital age? How do content creators and media consumers determine what is credible? What factors and forces are shaping the messages we consume through our televisions, tablets, and smartphones, and how can we learn to critically evaluate these messages in order to lead better lives?

Dr. Sean Griffin
Department of Russian
Society of Fellows
Reed Hall, room 211A