RUSS 1416 Introduction to Russian Culture: Evil and the Supernatural (4 Credits)
What is evil? Where does it come from and what place does it have in our world? What, if anything, are we supposed to do about it? We examine how Russian writers wrestle with these thorny questions, and how they engage in a dialogue with the Russian folk tradition and the Orthodox church--two rich resources for thinking about and coping with evil. We read world-famous Russian classics such as Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Gogol, and Bulgakov, as well as Russian folk tales, writings produced by Russian Orthodox clergy, and recent critical studies that represent a broad range of approaches to the problem of evil. No knowledge of Russian is necessary; all class discussion, readings, and writing are in English. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement. Cross listed with RUSS 2416.
RUSS 1613 Introduction to Russian Culture and Civilization (4 Credits)
This course surveys Russia's cultural past and present. Although it touches on aspects of Soviet Culture, the main emphasis is what has been called the "real Russian Culture," eclipsed for seventy years under the communist regime. The course surveys the various attitudes of Russian thinkers and authors towards the question of national identity and national destiny. Examples of Russian high culture (literature, art, film, music) and Russian religious faith (Orthodoxy) are discussed alongisde daily life and folkloric beliefs. The course includes several significant Russian films. Knowledge of Russian language and history is not required. The course format consists of lectures, slides, video and audio presentations, as well as whole-class and small-group discussions. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
RUSS 2110 Russian in a Cultural Context (4 Credits)
Continued development of Russian language and cultural skills with focus on all aspects of Russian culture, particularly Russian literature. Prerequisite: RUSS 2002 or equivalent.
RUSS 2116 Russian 19th-Century Novel: Society, Identity, and the Rise of Prose Fiction (4 Credits)
This course introduces students to classical Russian novels by world-famous authors, including Pushkin, Lermontov, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. Students develop an ability to interpret each work with a dual focus on text and context. Students deepen their appreciation of literary texts as works of art through learning to read closely and focusing on literary devices such as the narrator's voice, plot, structure, and figurative language. Students also learn to relate novels to their historical and cultural context, the better to understand how Russian writers responded to their country's intractable problems that included a crisis of cultural identity, the injustices of serfdom, and debates about women's place in society. All readings in English translation. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement. No prerequisites.