Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-9-2012

Major Department or Program



Aaron Bobrow-Strain; Jeanne Morefield; Matthew Reynolds


This thesis examines the art historical discourse surrounding Soviet Socialist Realism. The author critiques the recent emergence of scholarship on this topic for blindly privileging and imposing the liberal humanist values of self-determination and artistic autonomy onto a radically different culture. Ultimately, the author argues that art historians of the Soviet era must interrogate their historically and politically constituted biases in order to allow Socialist Realism a space to exist outside of western hegemony.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Socialist realism in art, Agent (Philosophy), Stalinist -- The Stalin Era, Socialist realism, Artists -- Soviet Union, Art -- Political aspects, Art and state -- Soviet Union, Subjectivity, Interpretation (Philosophy) in art, League of Socialist Artists -- Socialist Artists, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2012 -- Politics Department

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Public Accessible Thesis

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