Exploring Russian Culture

November 14 -  December 14

Duration: 36 hours, 12 lectures
Period and schedule: From November, 14th to December, 14th
Each Monday and Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm. November 19 and 26 (Saturday) from 11am to 1pm.
Location: 20-1 Mira Av. Moscow

Сourse fee: free.
Registration is required.


Course schedule


‘Exploring Russian Culture’ is an English-language course for expatriates living in Moscow who want to immerse themselves in the culture of Russia. Each lecture focuses on one area (literature, theater, music, cinema, etiquette, etc) and is represented by a top-ranking expert in the field.  The aim of this course is twofold. First, to help understand contemporary Russian customs and manners by studying their cultural and historical background. And second, to provide learners with a topical guide to Moscow’s cultural life. In addition, the course will help foreign residents to explore the most significant masterpieces of Russian classics.

 At the end of the course students receive a certificate of completion.


Konstantin Milchin – literary critic, deputy chief editor of the magazine Russian Reporter.

Sasha Obukhova – art historian, curator of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art archive.

Olga Roginskaya – cultural studies scholar, theater critic, PhD in language and literature, Academic Leader and Associate Professor of the BA educational program "Cultural Studies" at the Higher School of Economics.

Sergei Nikitin – historian, cultural studies scholar, “Moscow studies” expert, member of the Russian Geographical Society, founder of Moskultprog projects and Moscow Architectural Velonotte.

Marina Avdonina – Professor of Moscow State Linguistic University and the People's Friendship University, PhD, former personal guide of Countess Tolstoy, the Monferan family, and others.

Jan Levchenko – cultural studies scholar, PhD, professor at the School of Cultural Studies at the Higher School of Economics, author of courses on the theory and history of cinema.

Alexandra Arkhipova – PhD in language and literature, head of the research group ‘Actual Folklore Monitoring’ and a senior fellow at the Laboratory of Theoretical Folklore Studies at The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, researcher at the Center for Applied Urbanism of The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, associate professor of the Center for the Folklore Typology and Semiotics at Russian State University for the Humanities.

Natalia Katonova – PhD, Head of the Exhibition and Memorial Department ‘Presnya’ of State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia.

Lyudmila Alyabieva – PhD inlanguage and literature, chief editor of the journal ‘Theory of Fashion: clothes, body, culture,’ editor of the book series ‘Library Journal ‘Theory of Fashion‘, head of the MA program ‘Theory of Fashion / Fashion studies’ at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, lecturer at the British Higher School of Art and Design and at the ‘Brand management in the fashion industry’ program at the Higher School of Economics, curator.

Alexandra Sankova – Russian designer and curator, co-founder and director of the Moscow Design Museum (the first and only design museum in Russia), member of the International Union of Designers and the Moscow Union of Artists.

Grigoriy Krotenko – contrabass player, historic bass instruments player, lecturer at the Moscow P.I.Tchaikovsky Conservatory, winner of the III International Serge Koussevitzky Double Bass Competition, lecturer at Arzamas project, board member of Persimfans, an orchestra without a conductor.

Unit 1: Highbrow Art: Literature, Theater and Music. Russian brands.

1.      Literature: How both Dostoevsky and Pelevin fit the Russian mind.
2.      Russian theater: National identity and global significance.
3.      The role of music in Russian culture.

Schedule: November 16 and 21, 7pm – 9pm; December 9, 7pm – 9pm.

Unit 2: Habitat. Welcome to our home.

1.      Made in the USSR: Domestic practices in the Soviet Union and their appearance today.
2.      Russian cities: How Moscow has changed.
3.      Traveling through Russia: Major cities and charming towns.

Schedule: November 19 and 26, 11am – 1pm, December 2, 7pm – 9pm.

Unit 3: Russian Mass Culture: leisure, morals and spoken language puzzles.

1.      Money Outside the Economy: Monetary practices and traditions in contemporary Russia.
2.      Russian etiquette, past and the preset: Traditions, rituals, holidays.
3.      From Soviet to Russian cinema: Triumph and trauma.

Schedule: November 14, 23 and December 14, 7pm – 9pm.

Unit 4: Beauty and Visual Art in the USSR and Russia.

1.      Russia à la mode, or Fashion Meets Art Meets Fashion.
2.      The cultural heritage of Russian design, 1920s-1980s. The story of culture through artefacts.
3.      Fine Art: From the classics of Russian painting to Moscow conceptualism.

Schedule: December 5, 7, 12, 7pm – 9pm.

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