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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF2028 The Wanderers. Critical Realism in Nineteenth Century Russia

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Professor David Jackson
Email: D.Jackson@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits of level 1 ARTF modules

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The rise of critical realism in 19th century Russia culminated in 1870 with the formation of the Peredvizhniki (called the Wanderers in the West), Russia's first independent artistic society. Established against a background of academic autocracy, state censorship, political and social inequalities, and fierce controversy over Russia's cultural destiny, the Peredvizhniki realised liberal aspirations for a progressive, national school of art, widening the social audience of art by touring their brand of accessible realism to the provinces. Through depictions of the harsh lives of the peasantry, the fate of political activists, Russian history (professing critical analogies to contemporary events), Russian landscapes and portraits of the nation's cultural elite (Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky etc.), the school became synonymous with dissident sentiments.The Peredvizhniki frequently tackled controversial subjects from within the most totalitarian of European powers, but its members were far from being models of artistic utilitarianism. Consideration is given to the extraneous pressures brought to bear on artists, the majority of whom came form peasant backgrounds, to adopt the ideologies of Russia's celebrated literary intelligentsia.This module engages with universal issues of cultural freedoms and state censorship, the awareness through the visual arts of social injustice, political and social repression and the role of art and artists in seeking to give expression to the political and social tensions of their turbulent engagement with an autocratic regime.

Objectives

On completion of this module, students should be able to identify the salient features, visually and ideologically, of Russian realist art and to position them within a cultural and historical context. They should also be able to provide an analysis of the political, cultural, social and artistic factors that influenced the emergence of the Wanderers as a school; identify and comment critically on some of the key works of late nineteenth century Russian art; and approach a Russian painting with an intellectual strategy for analysing its content and meaning and be able to construct and sustain criticism and analyses with regard to works of visual production, and to related text-based source materials. Students are encouraged to develop an informed and intellectually independent ability to analyse and critique the role played by the visual arts in a political and social context.

Skills outcomes
- Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument.
- Use of audio visual aids
- Participation in group discussions
- Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual visual information
- Using bibliographies and databases


Syllabus

The rise of critical realism in 19th century Russia culminated in 1870 with the formation of the Peredvizhniki (called the Wanderers in the West), Russia's first independent artistic society. Established against a background of academic autocracy, state censorship, political and social inequalities, and fierce controversy over Russia's cultural destiny, the Peredvizhniki realised liberal aspirations for a progressive, national school of art, widening the social audience of art by touring their brand of accessible realism to the provinces. Through depictions of the harsh lives of the peasantry, the fate of political activists, Russian history (professing critical analogies to contemporary events), Russian landscapes and portraits of the nation's cultural elite (Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky etc.), the school became synonymous with dissident sentiments.

The Peredvizhniki frequently tackled controversial subjects from within the most totalitarian of European powers, but its members were far from being models of artistic utilitarianism. Consideration is given to the extraneous pressures brought to bear on artists, the majority of whom came form peasant backgrounds, to adopt the ideologies of Russia's celebrated literary intelligentsia.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture102.0020.00
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

150 hours - class preparation including researching textual and visual materials/reading and presentation preparation
30 hours - essay preparation and writing

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- attendance
- in-class presentation
- participation in class discussion

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000-3,000 word essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/03/2018

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