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Subjects and courses


Original author’s courses to be read in 2019-2020 academic years at ILAS for all the areas of studies.

Newest trends and directions of foreign philosophy. Elena Petrovskaya.

This course offers to examine certain areas of modern philosophy and theoretical cultural studies, which not only left their mark on the intellectual debates of the last decades, but also are still relevant for analyzing the phenomena of contemporary world culture. The focus will be on such schools as philosophical deconstruction (Jacques Derrida and Philippe Lacoubart), phenomenology (Jean-Luc Marion, Marie-Jose Mondzen), and Marxist theory of culture (Fredrik Jameson, Susan Buck-Morse, and Raymond Williams). Special attention should be paid to the theory of the visual, in which philosophers and cultural scientists, holding a variety of theoretical positions, are engaged – from Gilles Deleuze with his original concept of the sign to Jonathan Crary, exploring the basic models of perception in the spirit of Fuchian archeology of the humanities. Understanding the ongoing cultural change will be incomplete without analyzing the new subject of social action, namely the masses, leading to shifts on a global scale. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri remain authoritative here, conceptualizing the very dynamics of social change, as well as Jean-Luc Nancy with his extraordinary version of the global community.

Texts on art and the modern world. Kirill Kobrin.

«Texts on art and the modern world: the sociocultural and political dimension of art criticism and art essay». This course introduces students to the problem of relationships between contemporary art texts and the current political and socio-cultural context. It will be about mutual relations – about how art texts reflect a broad “real” agenda of the current world (ideological conflicts, social and political struggle, etc.), and how art texts affect this agenda. Essays of George Orwell, John Berger, Tom McCarthy, Owen Heatherly and some others, as well as art sections of publications that do not specialize in art – London Review of Books, New Statesman, New Yorker – and so on are taken as examples for the analysis. The course consists of two introductory lectures (chronologically, from art essays by Charles Baudelaire to World War II) and special classes with text analysis.

Kirill Kobrin – historian, writer, editor of «Emergency ration» magazine (Moscow).

Eyesight language. Artur Aristakisyan.

Arthur Aristakisyan shows how the same theme or figurative metaphor changes and transforms through the use of optics of various arts, and at the same time, the center or core of the metaphor remains intact, and it is important to be able to see it. The universality of the metaphor, revealing the invisible reality of the world – this is what Aristakisyan explores. The world, things and people – everything pretends, hides, everything is not what it seems, and if you skillfully adjust the optics or, in other words, your director’s vision, you can hunt the invisible essence of things and capture it using film language. Arthur Aristakisyan encourages students to develop their own unmatched and unique visual language.

Arthur Aristakisyan. Film director, screenwriter and cameraman.

The history of culture of the new time. Oleg Aronson

Oleg Aronson. Philosopher, art theorist

Creative statement. Dmitry Kurlyandsky.

A course of lectures and practical classes on creation of individual performances. Perception is active creation. By perceiving, we create what we hear, see or read. An artist aided by professional tools draws up his own perception into an artistic statement. In the course, we will look at the transformation of professional tools and the blurring of boundaries of territories of various arts in a historical perspective. Students of the course will also be offered the practice of creating individual performances, discovering and developing an individual toolset for translating the environment into artistic reality. Such skills will help in deeper understanding of the nature of creativity and to navigate in the ever-expanding field of artistic expression.

Dmitry Kurlyandskiy. Composer

Introduction to existential philosophy. Andrei Gasilin.

Existentialism is one of the most influential philosophical trends of the 20th century, uniting such dissimilar thinkers as Karl Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, Nikolay Berdyaev, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Gabriel Marcel, Albert Camus, Leo Shestov, Maurice Merlot-Pony, Martin Buber and Ludwig Binswanger. Rooted into the theological treatises of Thomas Aquinas and finding stylistic originality in the works of Blaise Pascal and Cyrene Kierkegaard, existentialism introduces pressing problems of human existence, which were still on the periphery of philosophical reflection, into the philosophical discourse. In this course, we will look at the main themes of existential philosophy, perceiving them not as scientific concepts, but as literary plots.

Andrei Gasilin. A specialist in French philosophy of the XX century and in existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, journalist.

Basic concepts of critical theory. Ilya Budraitskis.

Within this course, the tradition of social criticism will be thoroughly examined, the defining names of which in the past were Karl Marx, Georg Lukács, Walter Benjamin and Theodore Adorno. We will touch upon both the historical sequence in the development of critical theory and the content of its defining concepts: alienation, ideology, mass culture, political violence, etc.

Ilya Budraistkis. Historian, political activist, publicist, artist

Music theory. Music criticism. Vladimir Martynov.

History of philosophy of technology. China. Vladimir Malyavin.

Theatre. Language. Anatoliy Vasilyev.

Anthropology of death. Sergey Mohov.

Autobiography. Valeriy Podoroga.

Anthropology and classics of ethnographic cinema. Ilya Utekhin.

The course consists of 12 topics involving lectures and film screenings. Within the course, through acquaintance with the films that make up the golden fund of visual anthropology, students will get an idea not only about the development of this discipline and the field of practical art, but also about the representation of a number of anthropological problems based on the material about different societies.

Ilya Utekhin. Russian sociologist, ethnologist, cultural historian, anthropologist and specialist in cognitive sciences