Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | The Literature Curriculum in Russia: Cultural Nationalism vs. The Cultural Turn

Title:
The Literature Curriculum in Russia: Cultural Nationalism vs. The Cultural Turn
Author:
Karin Sarsenov: Research fellow at Lund University, Sweden
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.10229495
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2010
Volume:
2
Theme:
Theme: Literary Public Spheres
Pages:
495-513
No. of pages:
19
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2010-11-04


In Western educational systems, the question “Why study literature in school?” has been raised in connection with the theoretical development often summarized as “the cultural turn.” The author strives to contribute to this discussion by examining the development of educational discourse in Russia. During the Soviet period, literature was – together with history – the subject most heavily influenced by the dogmas of Soviet state ideology. As such, literature enjoyed great prestige and was a compulsory and separate subject from the fifth to the eleventh school years. Since 1991, the educational system has undergone radical reform, but the number of hours devoted to literature has not changed significantly. This would suggest that literature still is perceived as an important means of incorporating children into the national and political community. The target of this study is to identify authorities’ specific aims in devoting so much time to literature in school, as well as to elucidate in what way literature is to achieve these aims. Russian guidelines for the development of literature curricula published in the years 1991–2010 are examined to see just how literature is legitimated as a secondary school subject. Based on this material, the author draws conclusions about the rhetorical practices and ideological development of curricular discourse, its relationship to Soviet educational thought and the extent to which the cultural turn has influenced this sphere.

Keywords: Russian education; secondary school; literature; curricular guidelines; required readings

Volume 2, Theme: Theme: Literary Public Spheres, Article 29, 2010

Author:
Karin Sarsenov
Title:
The Literature Curriculum in Russia: Cultural Nationalism vs. The Cultural Turn
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.10229495
References:
  • Akhmatova, Anna Andreevna & D. M. Thomas (2006): Poems, New York: Knopf.
  • Apple, Michael W. (2004): Ideology and Curriculum, New York: Routledge Falmer.
  • Ball, Stephen, Alex Kenny & David Gardiner (1990): “Literacy, Politics and the Teaching of English,” Ivor Goodson & Peter Medway (eds): Bringing English to Order: The History and Politics of a School Subject, London: Falmer, 47–86.
  • Bénéï, Véronique (2005): Manufacturing Citizenship: Education and Nationalism in Europe, South Asia and China, London: Routledge.
  • Bourdieu, Pierre, & Randal Johnson (1993): The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature, Cambridge: Polity.
  • Collection Textes de reference (2009): Collège Programmes. Français, classes de sixième, cinquième, quatrième, troisième. Available at:
  • http://www.cndp.fr/archivage/valid/140235/140235-18635-24218.pdf, (2010-02-17).
  • Dneprov, E. D. (2004): Obrazovatel’nyi standart – instrument obnovleniia soderzhaniia obshchego obrazovaniia (The Educational standard – an instrument for renewal of the contents of comprehensive education), Moscow: Gos. un-t – Vyssh. sh. ekonomiki.
  •  Dneprov, E. D. & A. G. Arkad’ev (eds) (2007): Literatura v obrazovatek’nykh uchrezhdeniiakh s russkim iazykom obucheniia: primernye programmy po literatury: federal’nyi komponent gosudarstvennogo standarta, federal’nyi bazisnyi uchebnyi plan, Ministerstvo obrazovaniia Rossiiskoi Federatsii (Sbornik normativnykh dokumentov) (Literature in Russian language educational institutions: model programs of literature: the federal component of the state standard, the federal time-plan, Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation (Collection of normative documents) . Moscow: Drofa.
  • Dobrenko, Evgenii Aleksandrovich (1997): The Making of the State Reader: Social and Aesthetic Contexts of the Reception of Soviet Literature, Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press.
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor (1994): A Writer’s Diary, translated and annotated by Kenneth Lantz, Vol. 2. 1877–1881. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press.
  • Eklof, Ben, Larry E. Holmes & Vera Kaplan (eds) (2005): Educational Reform in Post-Soviet Russia: Legacies and Prospects, Cummings Center Series, 20, London; New York: Frank Cass.
  • Eurydice – Eurybase – Descriptions of National Education Systems and Policies, EACEA. Available at: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/eurybase_en.php, (2010-03-05).
  • Gorak, Jan (1991): The Making of the Modern Canon: Genesis and Crisis of a Literary Idea, London: Athlone.
  • Guillory, John (1993): Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation, Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.
  • Heathorn, Stephen J. (2000): For Home, Country, and Race, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Kalganova, T. A. (2000): Literatura: 5–11 kl.(Literature: 5–11 grades), 3rd ed. Moscow: Drofa.
  • Lovell, Stephen (2000): The Russian Reading Revolution: Print Culture in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Eras, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
  • Model Programs of Literature (2010): Primernye programmy osnovnogo obshchego obrazovaniia. Literatura (Model programs of fundamental comprehensive education. Literature), Moscow: Prosveshchenie.
  • Muckle, James (2005): “The Conduct of Lessons in the Russian School. Is Real Change on the Way?” Ben Eklof, Larry E. Holmes & Vera Kaplan (eds): Educational Reform in Post-Soviet Russia: Legacies and Prospects, Cummings Center Series, 20, London; New York: Frank Cass., 222–234.
  • Muckle, James Y. (1988): A Guide to the Soviet Curriculum: What the Russian Child is Taught in School, London: Croom Helm.
  • National Curriculum (2007): English. Programme of study for key stage 3 and attainment targets, (This is an extract from The National Curriculum 2007). Available at:http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/uploads/QCA-07-3332-pEnglish3_tcm8-399.pdf, (2010-02-12).
  • “Parents’ Meeting” (2009): “Roditel’skoe sobranie,” Ekho Moskvy, September 2009, 11:06 a.m. Radio program. Transcription available on the Internet:
  • http://www.echo.msk.ru/programs/assembly/620494-echo/, (2010-03-01).
  •  Persson, Magnus (2007): Varför läsa litteratur? Om litteraturundervisningen efter den kulturella vändningen, Lund: Studentlitteratur.
  • Pieper, Irene (2006): The Teaching of Literature, Strasbourg: Council of Europe, Language Policy Division. Available at: http://www.coe.int/T/DG4/Linguistic/Publications_EN.asp, (2010-02-17).
  • Rabow-Edling, Susanna (2006): Slavophile Thought and the Politics of Cultural Nationalism, Albany: State University of New York Press.
  • Rotkovich, Ia. A. (1980): “The History of Literature Teaching in the Soviet School,” Soviet Education: Selected Articles from Soviet Educational Journals in English Translation, 22: 7–8, 6–160.
  • Sakwa, Richard (2009): “Nation and Nationalism in Russia,” Gerard Delanty & Krishan Kumar (eds): The Sage Handbook of Nations and Nationalism [Electronic resource], London: SAGE. Available at: http://www.sageereference.com/hdbk_nation/Article_n35.html.
  • Schleicher, Klaus (1993): “Nationalism and Internationalism. Challenges to Education,” Klaus Schleicher (ed.): Nationalism in Education, Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 13–38.
  • Swedish Curriculum 2000 = Kursplan för svenska. 2000. Available at:
  • http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/2386/a/16138/func/kursplan/id/3890/titleId/SV1010%20-%20Svenska, (2010-03-12)
  • Viktorovich, V. A. (2006a): “Ot redaktora,” (”From the editor”) V. A Viktorovich (ed.): Zachem literatura v shkole? Materialy seminara vuzovskikh i shkol’nykh prepodavatelei, 26–27 avg. 2005, Kolomna: Kolomenskii pedagogicheskii institut, 5–6.
  • Viktorovich, V. A. (2006b): “Literaturnoe obrazovanie v poiskakh smysla, ili Luchshe men’she da luchshe” (”Literary education in search of meaning, or The lesser the better,”) V. A Viktorovich (ed.): Zachem literatura v shkole? Materialy seminara vuzovskikh i shkol’nykh prepodavatelei, 26–27 avg. 2005, Kolomna: Kolomenskii pedagogicheskii institut, 9–20.
  • Volume 2, Theme:: Theme: Literary Public Spheres, Article 29, 2010

    Author:
    Karin Sarsenov
    Title:
    The Literature Curriculum in Russia: Cultural Nationalism vs. The Cultural Turn
    DOI:
    10.3384/cu.2000.1525.10229495
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
    Citations:
    No citations available at the moment
     

    Export in BibTex, RIS or text