The Russian Idea

The Russian Idea
In 1866, poet Fedor Tiutchev claimed “Russia cannot be understood by the mind […] Russia can only be believed in”. This mystical interpretation of Russian history and culture is a common trope employed by scholars, artists, and political actors. But why did this conception emerge, how has it evolved, and why does it hold such appeal? We will explore various iterations of the “Russian Idea” in literature, art, philosophy, and politics. In addition to reading excerpts from influential interpreters (Dostoevsky, Tolstoi, Solovev, Berdiaev), we will explore contemporary official and unofficial Russian discourse. Questions we will consider include: What different iterations of the “Russian Idea” have been offered and how have they been connected to state policy (historical and contemporary)? What relationship exists between cultural/artistic production, philosophical ideas, and politics?
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FYSE 1051

All Sections in Fall 2023

Fall 2023

FYSE1051A-F23 Seminar (Mitchell)