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Archived teaching schedules 2011–2012
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RSTA3/SLAFS25 Vampires and Nightmares in Russian and Post-Soviet Culture 3 ECTS
Period I Period II Period II Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Intermediate studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Russian Studies
School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies

General description

Over the last 30 years a new distinctive trend has become apparent in fiction and visual arts which is often referred to as "horror genre". However, the specificity of this genre as well as a coherent explanation of its popularity has not been delivered yet by cultural studies. On the contrary, there are multiple explanations of the current popularity of vampires. Analyses of particularities of the "horror genre" and vampire fiction and movies will help conceptualize this new trend as "Gothic aesthetics".

In the first part of the course we will consider importance of vampires as the most popular nonhumans. Post-Soviet and the US vampires' bestsellers will be compared to analyze what the figure of monster signifies in contemporary culture. Differently from the US productions, post-Soviet fiction and movies populated by all kind of nonhuman monsters reveal the work of suppressed memory of Stalinism and describe a new social order emerging in post-Soviet Russia. The course will consider post-Soviet fiction and movies as a particular source to study historical memory.

The second part of the course will be focused on the origins of Gothic Aesthetics which departed from Gothic novel and works by Russian classical writers. We will examine why nightmares became am important theme for several outstanding writers such Charles Robert Maturin, Nikolay Gogol and Feodor Dostoevsky and how literary experiments conducted by these outstanding writers with their readers and their protagonists influenced contemporary culture. 

The course is organized in cooperation with Aleksanteri Institute's Russian and East European Master's School.

Enrolment for University Studies

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Dina Khapaeva, Teacher responsible


25-Jan-2012 – 22-Feb-2012
Lectures 15 hours
Wed 25-Jan-2012 - 22-Feb-2012 weekly at 14-17, Main building, A32
Wed 14-Mar-2012 at 14-17, Main building, A32