From the time the word kul'tura entered the Russian language in the early nineteenth century, Russian arts and letters have thrived on controversy. At any given time several versions of culture have coexisted in the Russian public sphere. The question of what makes something or someone distinctly Russian was at the core of cultural debates in nineteenth-century Russia and continues to preoccupy Russian society to the present day. When Art Makes News examines the development of a public discourse on national self-representation in nineteenth-century Russia, as it was styled by the visual arts and popular journalism. Katia Dianina tells the story of the missing link between high art and public culture, revealing that art became the talk of the nation in the second half of the nineteenth century in the pages of mass-circulation press
Katia Dianina is Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Virginia. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 2002. Her first monograph, When Art Makes News: Writing Culture and Identity in Imperial Russia, was awarded the AATSEEL prize for the best book in literary/cultural studies in 2014.