This course examines the roots and development of science fiction in Russian literature and cinema, with an emphasis on the Soviet era. Among the questions explored: what are the genre’s associations with utopian and revolutionary politics in Russian culture? What was its relationship to Socialist Realism? What distinguished Russo-Soviet sci-fi from its Western counterpart? How did the genre differ from other types of literature? What sort of readership did it attract? What has been the role of popular culture in Russia through the centuries? We will read and view works by authors both well-known and obscure (at least to non-Russians), including the Strugatsky Bros.; Andrei Tarkovsky; Alexander Bogdanov; Mikhail Bulgakov; Alexander Kazantsev; Alexander Belyaev; Viktor Pelevin; Yevgeny Zamiatin and Ivan Efremov. All works in English translation.
Introduces important trends and movements in Russian literary and cultural history. Offered in English.