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Russian Revolution (1917)

The Russian Revolution occurred in two stages toward the close of World War I. It led to the overthrow of the Romanov dynasty and the…

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Nijinska, Bronislava (1891–1972)

The premiere female ballet choreographer of the first half of the twentieth century, Bronislava Nijinska experienced the transformative power of the Russian Revolution and discovered…

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Pasternak, Boris (1890–1960)

Major Russian poet and writer, Pasternak, was recognized as a leading, original poetic talent with the collection My Sister Life (written 1917, published 1922). My…

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Agitprop Theatre

Now widely used as a catchall term to describe politically combative or oppositional art, “agitprop” originated from the early Soviet conjunction of propaganda (raising awareness…

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Lenin, Vladimir (1870–1924)

Vladimir Lenin (born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) was the most prominent figure in the translation of Marxist political economy and theories of proletarian revolution into successful…

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Russian Modernism (1890–1934)

Russian modernism arose as a rejection of positivism and the realism of the major nineteenth-century Russian novelists such as Lev Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Ivan…

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Di Yunge

Di yunge is a group of American Symbolist Yiddish writers and critics that achieved prominence during the first two decades of the twentieth century and…

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Modernism in Europe

We are living in a very singular moment of history. It is a moment of crisis, in the literal sense of that word. In every…

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Strike (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)

The first feature film of legendary Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein, Strike, is an anatomy of the germination of collective action, its surveillance within modern networks…

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Trotsky, Leon (1879–1940)

Leon Trotsky, born Lev Davidovich Bronstein, is one of the most controversial figures in twentieth-century history. Along with Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924), he played a decisive…

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Anarchism

Anarchism is a term derived from the Greek anarkhia, meaning “contrary to authority” or ”without a ruler.“ Anarchism narrowly refers to a theory of society…

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Rozanov, Vasily (1856–1919)

Leading writer, publicist, literary critic, and philosopher in late 19th- and early 20th-century Russia, Rozanov was born in Vetluga, Russia, in 1856, and remained in…

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Weimar Republic

The Weimar Republic (1918/1919–1933) is a term used to describe the German Reich (Deutsches Reich) after the end of World War I and after the…

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The Cantos

The Cantos is a series of 120 long poems by the American poet, essayist, and cultural critic Ezra Pound. Pound began work on them as…

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Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Bolshevism

Communism is first and foremost the reality of long-dismantled or nearly defunct regimes in China, the (former) Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Cuba and North Korea:…

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Ridge, Lola (1873–1941)

A proletarian modernist, the poet Lola Ridge is best known for her work published between 1918 and 1922, which coincided with her editorship of Broom…

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Politics and Cinema

The relationship between politics and the cinema is probably one of the most vexatious questions to have occupied the academic discipline of film studies, and…

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Mayakovsky, Vladimir (1893–1930)

Vladimir Mayakovsky (МАЯКОВСКИЙ, ВЛАДИМИР) was a leading Russian poet of the twentieth century and representative of Russian Futurism, a modernist trend that emerged as an…

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Khlebnikov, Velimir (1885–1922)

One of the founders of Russian Futurism, Khlebnikov can be counted as one of the movement’s most prominent and seminal representatives. Widely acclaimed for his…

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Balanchine, George (1904–1983)

George Balanchine (Georgii Melitonovich Balanchivadze), arguably the greatest ballet choreographer of the twentieth century, was at once both modernist and traditionalist. Unlike many radical innovators,…

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Fokine, Michel (1880–1942)

Michel Fokine’s seventeen works for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (1909–29) revitalized ballet in the early twentieth century. In Fokine’s most successful works, the body became…

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Diaghilev, Serge (1872–1929)

Impresario, critic, curator, and founder-director of the Ballets Russes (1909–1929), Serge Diaghilev was a towering figure and pioneer of early 20th-century modernism. Through his various…