Thawing Out – Prompt #9

The years after Stalin’s death in 1953 brought broad and often contradictory changes to Soviet culture and society. The emptying of the gulag, liberalization of cultural expression, dawn of the space age, and the coming of age of a new generation all contributed to vibrant creativity and heated debate about the future and past. You have a wealth of choices for post topics this week — from the Thaw in literature and film, to guitar poetry, the stilyagi and the International Youth Festival of 1957.  As always, the choice is yours, but please make sure that your focus is on cultural expression or a particular cultural artifact.

As context for this section of the course please read the selections in RR on the Thaw (pp. 537-568), and think about tying your post to at least one of them. Images, texts, music and film ideas can be found in 17 Moments in Soviet History (1954, 1956, 1961). Try using the thematic index to find a good topic — browsing with the filter “youth,” “fine arts,” “film” or “literature” for example might lead you to rich and rewarding material.

It’s time to get serious about two things: 1) image / video sources and captions (you need them — really.) 2) hyperlinking — let the web work for you by creating a network out from your post to the cool, carefully curated materials you consulted in preparing your post. And as always, please think about how you can make this week’s post better than your previous submission — take your analysis to the next level by asking hard questions — and answering them; broaden your source base; use different kinds of primary materials. This the last blogging opportunity. Let’s have even more dazzle in the weekly stars.

Image: Sergei Gerasimov, “Kolkhoz Holiday”