National Identity & Visual Culture in St. Petersburg.


National Identity & Visual Culture in St. Petersburg

Summer 2019 | St. Petersburg, Russia

  • Applications Due: Feb. 1, 2019
  • Program Fee: $4,600 (airfare included)
  • Dates:
    • Group flight departs US May 21, 2019
    • Group flight departs Russia June 12, 2019

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St. Petersburg is both the imperial city of the tsars and the cultural capital of modern Russia. Gilded palaces, cathedrals and museums of eye-popping opulence dazzle the tourists who (understandably) flock here. But just as St. Petersburg’s many name changes reflect historic power shifts, so too is its rich visual culture refashioned to suit current ideas about Russia past and present.


Visual Culture as National Identity

How is Russia’s history reflected in the art, architecture, artifacts and public and private spaces of St. Petersburg? How (and why) is the visual culture of the city—from hagiographic statues to underground artwork—manipulated to conform to (or confront) notions of Russian identity?


Synthesize Immersive and Academic Learning

Visit iconic sites of Russian history and culture, from the palace where Rasputin was murdered to the magnificent squares commemorating Russian victories. Take in a ballet or opera; visit with a writer or artist. Ground this cultural immersion in background readings and formal lectures delivered by Russian academics, then synthesize what you’ve learned in weekly short papers.


A nationwide shortage of knowledge in Russian language and culture makes graduates of the Russian studies program valued hires in all spheres. With its interdisciplinary theme, the St. Petersburg program is excellent preparation for students aspiring to careers in art, history, politics and city planning.