The Pedagogy of Images: Depicting Communism for Children
In the 1920s, with the end of the Revolution, the new Soviet government began investing resources and energy in creating a new type of the book for the first Soviet generation of young readers. In a sense, these early Soviet books for children were the ABCs of Soviet modernity. Creatively illustrated and intricately designed, they were manuals and primers that helped the young reader enter the field of politics through literature. Children’s books provided the basic vocabulary and grammar for understanding new, post-revolutionary realities, but they also taught young readers how to perceive modern events and communist practices.
Relying on a process of dual-media rendering, illustrated books presented propaganda as a simple, repeatable narrative or verse, while also casting it in easily recognizable graphic images. A vehicle of ideology, an object of affection, and a product of labour, the illustrated book for the young Soviet reader emerged as an important cultural phenomenon. Communist in its content, it was often avant-gardist in its form.
Spotlighting three thematic threads – communist goals, pedagogy, and propaganda – Pedagogy of Images traces the formation of a mass modern readership through the creation of the communist-inflected visual and narrative conventions that these early readers were supposed to appropriate.
- Series: Studies in Book and Print Culture
- World Rights
- Page Count: 640 pages
- Illustrations: 260
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationSerguei Alex. Oushakine is a professor of Anthropology and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University.
Marina Balina is a professor of Russian Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University and holds the Isaac Funk professorship.
Table of contents
Primers of Soviet Modernity: Depicting Communism for Children in Early Soviet Russia
Serguei Alex. Oushakine and Marina Balina
Part One: Mediation
1. Three Degrees of Exemplary Boyhood in Boris Kustodiev’s Soviet Paradise
2. How the Revolution Triumphed: Alisa Poret’s Textbook of Cultural Iconography
3. Foto-glaz: Children as Photo-Correspondents in Early Soviet Periodicals
4. Autonomous Animals Animated: Samozveri as a Constructivist Do It Yourself Book
5. The Fragile Power of Paper and Projection
Birgitte Beck Pristed
Part Two: Technology
6. From Nature to “Second Nature” and Back
7. The Production of the Man-Machine: The Child as Instrument of Futurity
Sara Pankenier Weld
8. Spells of Materialist Magic, or Soviet Children and Electric Power
9. “Do It Yourself!”: Teaching Technological Creativity at the Time of Soviet Industrialization
10. The Camel and the Caboose: Viktor Shklovsky’s Turksib and the Pedagogy of Uneven Development
11. Aero-plane, Aero-boat, Aero-sleigh: Propelling Everywhere in Soviet Transportation
Katherine M. N. Reischl
Part Three: Power
12. Spatializing Revolutionary Temporality: From Montage and Dynamism to Map and Plan
Kevin M. F. Platt
13. “Poor, Poor Il’ich”: Visualizing Lenin’s Death for Children
Marina Sokolovskaia and Daniil Leiderman
14. Young Soldiers at Play: The Red Army Solder as Icon
Stephen M. Norris
15. The Working Body and Its Prostheses: Inventing the Aesthetics and Anatomy of Class for Soviet Children
16. Amerikanizm: The Brave New World of Soviet Civilization
List of Illustrations
Subjects and Courses