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RUSSIAN 2H03 Soviet Prop. Films/Mass Media (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2019

Term: Spring

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Ekaterina Neklyudova


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 512

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 22790

Office Hours: Monday 12-2

Course Objectives:

This course is designed for students interested in the history of Soviet Propaganda and the way it was represented in Russian books, movies, and news reels. We explore the mechanisms of propaganda using the examples of different media as well as the broader context of 20th century totalitarian states. We also look into the origins of the “fake news” concept. Although the course deals with Russian history and literature, all reading and visual materials will be in English. No prior knowledge of Russian is required.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Robert Conquest, “The Great Terror”  (on order at the bookstore)

Yuri Tsivian, “Early Cinema in Russia and its Cultural Reception”  (available on Avenue)

David Bordwell, “The Idea of Montage in Soviet Art and Film” (available on Avenue)

Richard Taylor, "Film Propaganda: Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany" (available on Avenue)

George Orwell, "Animal Farm" (available on Avenue)

Method of Assessment:

Participation (including timely submissions of the assignments)       15%

Weekly Reaction Paragraphs                                                         15%

Bi-weekly Home Assignments                                                        20%

Midterm Assignment (due February 28)                                         20%

Final Paper              (due April 22)                                                30%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

The participation grade is based upon the overall assessment of the students’ in-class work, the timely submission of the homework, and attendance. The home assignments MUST be submitted on time. Late submissions will not be accepted. The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.