Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

Putinism as an Ideology

S24_Putinism as an ideology_Venyavkin_course_pic


Course Schedule:

Monday; Thursday / 4:10 PM 5:30 PM UTC+2

Professor: Ilia Venyavkin
Semester: Spring 2024 (January 29  – May 21)
Subject: HIST
Course Level: 200
Number of Bard Credits: 4
Course Title: Putinism as an Ideology
Max Enrollment: 22
Schedule: Monday; Thursday / 4:10 PM – 5:30 PM UTC+2
Distribution Area: Historical Analysis
Cross-Listing(s): Politics
Language of Instruction: English

Scholars have been debating for about ten years whether the political regime in Russia has its own ideology and what its most important components may be. Could it be cynicism? Conspiracy theories? Conservatism, perhaps, or nationalism? This debate gained a new momentum after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as various political actors inside Russia started to discuss the importance of state ideology and ideological education, including political indoctrination. This course focuses on these discussions. It offers students the possibility to read and watch key ideological (or proto-ideological) texts, public speeches, videos, and films made by Russian politicians, philosophers, propagandists, and artists, including the “Munich Speech” by Vladimir Putin, the novel “Okolonolya” by Natan Dubovitsky (Vladislav Surkov), essays by Alexander Prokhanov and Alexander Dugin, and TV shows by Dmitry Kiselev, to find their own answer to the following questions: Does Putin’s political regime have an ideologу? What are its components? How has it been evolving?

Guidelines for the Statement of Purpose:
Craft a reflective statement of purpose explaining your interest in the Smolny Beyond Borders online course. The file should be saved with your name and course title as the filename and uploaded accordingly. Your statement’s clarity and substance will significantly influence our selection. Convey your motivations and aspirations for this course succinctly but thoroughly. Kindly write your statement in the course’s Language of Instruction.

Application Portal Instructions:
1) Use the Latin alphabet for all entries on the portal, including your name. If the Language of Instruction is Russian, you may use Cyrillic only within the Statement of Purpose file, and the title of the file should still be in English.
2) Refrain from using email addresses associated with Russian or Belarusian educational institutions.
3) While completing the “Required Information” section, ensure you fill in the “Province” field for your address.
4) Provide an address outside Russia or Belarus in both the “Required Information” and “Geographic Location Confirmation” sections of the “Online Course Application”. This ensures we can send your transcript.
5) You must press the “Sign” button twice during the application.
6) If you hold a bachelor’s degree, select “4th+” in the “Academic Year (online)” section.
7) Applicants either unaffiliated or affiliated with educational institutions in Russia and Belarus should list ‘Smolny Beyond Borders’ as their educational institution.
8) In the student ID section, enter ‘SBB’.
9) Consider drafting your motivation letter ahead of time. Save it as a separate file with this format: LastName_FirstName_CourseTitle for a smoother application process.