Russian literature encompasses works written in Russia and/or by Russians, both in the past and present day It can be divided into several distinct categories, including fiction, drama, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as works written in different literary styles such as formalism, symbolism, and realism. A thesis on Russian literature can focus on one of these genres or styles and can address topics such as identity, subjectivity, society and culture, politics, power, and resistance.
Formalism in Russian Literature: This thesis topic focuses on the formalist movement in Russian literature, which emerged in the early 20th century and was influential through the mid-century. It was associated with the idea of an autonomous, self-contained piece of literature that reflected its own internal structure. This thesis could explore works from the formalist literature period, such as those by Vladimir Nabokov, Boris Pasternak, and Andrei Bely, to examine what makes them unique from other literature of the time and how they were shaped by the formalist movement.
Ivan Turgenev and the Representation of Power: This thesis topic focuses on the works of Ivan Turgenev and their depictions of power and social structure. Turgenev often wrote about the nobility of 19th century Russia and explored how its members related to one another and to their subjects. This thesis could examine how Turgenev uses his writing to represent and critique power structures in Russia and how they have changed over time.
The Rise of Symbolism in Russian Poetry: This thesis topic focuses on the rise of symbolism in Russian poetry in the late 19th century. Symbolism, associated with figures like Alexander Blok and Sergei Esenin, was characterized by an emphasis on emotion, dreamlike imagery, and myth. This thesis could explore how symbolism manifested in Russian poetry and how it influenced the works of writers like Andrei Bely and Anna Akhmatova.
Women Writers in Soviet Russia: This thesis topic focuses on the works of female writers in Russia during the period of Soviet rule. While many women writers had to contend with censorship and restrictions, some still managed to achieve success, such as writers like Yekaterina Gippius and Maria Bashmakova. This thesis could analyze their works and examine how they navigated the oppressive constraints of Soviet rule to produce meaningful works of art.
The Role of Satire in Russian Literature: This thesis topic focuses on the role of satire in Russian literature, which has been used to critique the social and political norms of the country. Writers like Gogol, Leskov, and Bulgakov employed a kind of black humor to examine and criticize the ruling class and government. This thesis could explore the works of these authors, as well as more contemporary writers like Vladimir Sorokin, to examine how satire has been used in Russian literature over the years.