Maria Belodubrovskaya

Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College
mbelodubrovskaya@uchicago.edu

Academic Bio

Maria Belodubrovskaya’s current work is on the history, theory, and aesthetics of Soviet cinema. Her first book, Not According to Plan: Filmmaking under Stalin (Cornell UP, 2017), is a revisionist history of Soviet filmmaking during the Stalin era (1930–1953) and an institutional study of how ideology structures cultural production. It examines five institutions of Soviet cinema—policymaking, production planning, directing, screenwriting, and censorship—to show that it was impossible to build a mass-producing culture industry while working with artisanal production methods, weak control mechanisms, and an entitled artistic workforce. She is currently working on her second book, Beyond Montage: Film Aesthetics and Propaganda under Stalin,which addresses Soviet film aesthetics during this same period. The book looks at Soviet cinema’s approach to style and narrative in comparison with Hollywood and other major film traditions. It seeks to challenge some received notions about Soviet film’s ideological conformity and socialist realism while showing how the Soviet cinematic tradition fits into the transcultural aesthetic discourse. 

Belodubrovskaya’s work on Soviet filmmaking, Ladislas Starewitch, Sergei Eisenstein, and the theory of attractions has been published in Cinema JournalFilm HistorySlavic ReviewStudies in Russian and Soviet CinemaKino Kultura, and Projections: The Journal of Movies and Mind