Russian Cultural History and the Arts (MARCA)

As we have learnt from students who have come to study at MARCA, the roots of your interest may be very different: Russian family origins or a love-story with a Russian (including such well known heart-breakers as Dostoevsky, Chekhov or Tchaikovsky), attraction to Russian culture or fear of Russian politics, pure intellectual curiosity or interest in energy politics. Your plans for the future might be vague or clear: business or law, marketing or government, journalism or academics. Whatever it might be, if Russia has anything to do with it, there is one sphere you must understand – Russian culture.

When we say culture we do not mean only literature and the arts, but also religion, science, ideology, popular culture and practices of everyday life. If we accept a wide notion of culture we immediately realize that cultural distinctions are more important than political or economic ones. Major geopolitical changes result not only and not primarily from conflicts of economic interests, but rather from differences in civilizations.

Intellectual innovation is the key to success in many fields. Conservators stay within borders and try to protect them, innovators trespass the frontiers and explore the territories of the others. It is much wiser to borrow from our neighbors than to keep away from them. A truly innovative program nowadays has to be multidisciplinary as well as interdisciplinary.

Russian literature and Russian history are taught in many places, but an MA in Russian culture in a wide sense of the notion is hard to find. That’s why we created a unique program bringing together a team of leading specialists in different fields of Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet culture; our professors come from different departments of the European University at Saint-Petersburg and from other academic institutions.

An important part of our educational process is practiced outside academe. The unique site of St. Petersburg – the ‘window onto Europe’ of the Russian Empire, the ‘cradle of three revolutions’, the cultural capital of modern Russia – integrates and visualizes major cultural paradigms and offers tools for their study. Libraries, museums, archives and architectural sites often substitute classrooms as teaching venues.

Program details

Academic level(s)Master
Language of instructionEnglish
InstitutionEuropean University at St Petersburg
Fields of studySociology and cultural studies
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