Socialist Senses

Socialist Senses : Film, Feeling, and the Soviet Subject, 1917-1940

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In a major reimagining of the history and cultural impact of Soviet film, noted film scholar Emma Widdis explores the fundamental transformations in how film, through the senses, remade the Soviet self in the 1920s and 1930s. Following the Russian Revolution, there was a shared ambition for a "sensory revolution" to accompany political and social change: Soviet men and women were to be reborn into a revitalized relationship with the material world. Cinema was seen as a privileged site for the creation of this sensory revolution as film could both discover the world anew and model a way of inhabiting it. Drawing on an extraordinary array of films, Widdis shows how Soviet cinema, as it evolved from the revolutionary avant-garde to Socialist Realism, gradually shifted its materialist agenda from emphasizing the external senses to instilling the appropriate internal senses (consciousness, emotions) in the new Soviet subject.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 418 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.4mm | 680.39g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 50 Illustrations, black and white; 7 Illustrations, color
  • 0253026334
  • 9780253026330

Review quote

A brilliant and pioneering analysis of debates around Soviet selfhood in the 1920s and 1930s. It is a work of rare and exciting scholarly originality, written with elegance and lucidity. -- Julian Graffy * Professor Emeritus of Russian Literature and Film, University College London * In this original and captivating study, Widdis gives us an entirely new way of looking at early Soviet cinema. Widdis' sharp eye for detail and sure hand in applying theory gives us a work of film analysis at its best. -- Joan Neuberger * Professor, University of Texas at Austin *
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About Emma Widdis

Emma Widdis is Reader in Russian Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College. She is author of Visions of a New Land: Soviet Cinema from the Revolution to the Second World War and Alexander Medvedkin, and editor (with Simon Franklin) of National Identity in Russian Culture.
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Table of contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsNote on Translation and TransliterationIntroduction: Feeling Soviet1. Avant-Garde Sensations2. Material Sensations3. Textile Sensations 4. Socialist Sensations5. Primitive Sensations6. Modern Sensations7. Socialist Feelings8. Socialist Transformations9. Socialist PleasuresConclusion: The Death of SensationGlossary of Russian TermsBibliographyIndex
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