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Norris writes book on Russian posters
Stephen M. Norris (history, director of film studies) is the author of A War of Images: Russian Popular Prints, Wartime Culture and National Identity, 1812-1945.
The book was recently published by Northern Illinois University Press. With text and illustrations, it is the first comprehensive study of how popular prints helped to construct national identity in Russia over a period of more than a century.
“I have always been intrigued by the propaganda of the Soviet era but wanted to know more about its pre-history and whether or not Bolshevik poster art had historic roots,” says Norris. “I learned about a unique Russian popular print known as the lubok. These prints originated as cheap icons in the 1600s but gradually evolved by the 1800s to depict folk tales, daily life and historical events for a largely illiterate audience. When the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, their poster art largely built on the lubok tradition.”
“Norris offers a sweeping analysis of the visual culture of war and its importance in the formation of Russian national identity,” writes Karen Kettering of the Hillwood Museum. “He uses his vast knowledge … to vividly illuminate the close connections among the images that permeated Russian life.”
Date Published: 11/30/2006