Money and the Muse: A Toolbox for Analyzing Culture
This mini-course introduces you to a field: cultural history. Cultural historians question how to analyze, articulate, and define how people ascribe meaning to various ideas, objects, and practices. You’ll acquire a “toolbox” of analytic frames useful for research in any field of study or cultural practice. For our “case study” of cultural history, we will delve into the history of the arts in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union from the late Imperial to the Stalinist period. This is not a comprehensive course on the arts in Russia or the Soviet Union, by any means. Rather, we will focus on the world of the arts by examining social, political and economic structures as opposed to than aesthetics. Ultimately, we'll question how these structures shape how art is created, funded, managed, and consumed. How does the money interact with the muse?