Spatial Studies in Russian Media

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Spatial Studies in Russian Media


Russia has an immense and diverse geography that has fundamentally shaped its culture and

history. Over the second half of the semester we have added imperialism, exile and

imprisonment, the construction of the Soviet state (in both film and literature), creating

art/constructing the self during war (in literature and film), space and gender, and now the

immigrant experience to our list of spatial themes in Russian literature and film. This is in

addition to our already robust set of earlier topics: the home, nature, the city/country contrast,

nature (forests, rivers, open plains, mountains). For your final paper I would like you to continue

thinking spatially about Russian culture, but now also consider the media or genre in which a

work is written. Choose one work from any part in the semester – poetry, a short story, a novel, a

film, an documentary or memoiristic work – and consider, primarily, the role space plays in the

work. Feel free to choose one of the spatial themes listed above or create your spatial theme. But

as you think about space in your essay, do not forget to consider the work’s form, the specificity

of its medium. Although how you create your thesis is up to you, you might attempt to answer

the following question: how does the work utilize the particularities of its medium to address a

problem or opportunity the unique space of Russia/the Soviet Union presents?

The paper must focus on at least one work of artistic writing or film from our reading list. It must

also cite two of our theoretical readings: one theoretical reading about space and one about

media. The citations from the theoretical works should help you develop your thesis and frame

your readings of the literary work or film. For this paper, please also research your topic,

providing at least on source of secondary criticism. Page limit is 5-7 pages.

Writing Guidelines

The focus of this paper is on developing an idea rather than perfecting a form. However, the

form and structure of your argument are valuable tools that will help you present your idea. In

that light, your paper must

have a recognizable



The thesis should

advance claims

that are your own. It

should have a phrase like “I argue that…” or “I claim that…” embedded within it.

provide support for this




in the form of well-chosen

quotations, and interpretations and analysis of these quotations to show how they support

your insights

have an


, a


and a


that reflect your thesis

Include your name, my name, the class title, and the date the paper is due in the upper left

hand column of the first page (single spaced)

Be no less than five full double-spaced pages in length (it


go to the end of the fifth


be typed using standard

Times New Roman 12 point Font

, use 1” margins, have standard

paragraph spacing and indentation, and have page numbers


, in a standard form the bibliographical information of the works you reference (MLA

or CMS)

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