Fall 2018 courses in Russian Studies
RUSS 101: Elementary Russian I
Sidney Dement, Nancy Tittler
Russian is a living language! We will concentrate primarily on oral communication, as well as listening reading and writing skills. By semester’s end, students should be able to converse on a number of everyday topics, including getting acquainted, daily activities, education, family, clothing. In addition to learning to talk about their own lives, students will gain an understanding of these areas of contemporary Russian life. Grammar elements to be mastered include the first three noun + adjective cases, past-and present-tense verbs and an introduction to verbs of motion. Class meetings will be devoted to intensive oral practice. Background grammar and vocabulary material, as well as listening exercises will be prepared at home, so that you may raise questions and reinforce in class what you have learned from your reading. Offered in the Fall only. For students with no prior knowledge of Russian.
RUSS 110: Russian Culture and Civilization
We will examine the myths, traditions and events that have shaped the Russians’ view
of themselves as a people, as well as the image of Russia on the world stage, from
earliest beginnings to the present day. Three weekly lecture-discussions will incorporate
literature, film, visual arts, music and other cultural artifacts. Students will be
encouraged to express and reexamine their own notions of culture and national identity
in general, and of Russia and the Russians in particular. By semester’s end, students
should be able to demonstrate understanding of Russians’ cultural reactions to the
political and social events that have shaped their history, from pre-Chrisrtian Slavdom
through Klevan and Muscovite civilizations, the Imperial, Soviet and post-Soviet eras,
as well as the increasing segmentation of their social structure through the centuries.
Course counts as H
RUSS 203: Intermediate Russian I
Continues from elementary Russian II and focuses on continued vocabulary acquisition, improved oral proficiency and greater grammatical accuracy. Aspects of Russian culture (film, stories, music) are incorporated, and students work on improving their ability to communicate in a broad range of situations. Emphasis divided among writing, speaking, listening and reading. Four hours per week. Grades are based on class participation and presentations, quizzes, examinations and written assignments. Prerequisites: RUSS 102 or three years of high school Russian. Not for native speakers of Russian.
RUSS 280X: The Fairy Tale
Structure and meaning of fairy tales. Oral vs. literary fairy tales. Different approaches to interpreting fairy tales: anthropological, psychological, socio-historical, structuralist. Lectures approximately once a week; discussion; take-home midterm and final exams; two 10-page papers.
Course counts as H, W
RUSS 305: Advanced Russian Reading and Composition I
Acquisition of substantial vocabulary from various aspects of daily life; description of surroundings, character traits, interpersonal relations, cops-and-robbers, etc. Intensive speaking and writing practice; focus on developing a Russian writing style. Three hours a week; grades based on participation, quizzes, exams and written work. Prerequisites: RUSS 204 or equivalent. Not for native speakers.
RUSS 321: 19th Century Russian Literature in Translation
Through close reading and detailed textual analysis, students will become familiar
with the development of Russian narrative prose in the nineteenth century, beginning
with the question, “Why the nineteenth century?” and its reflection of universal as
well as particularly Russian themes. In discussion and writing, students will display
an understanding of basic literary terms, as presented in class and posted on Bb.
Course counts as C, H
RUSS 351: Russia's Defiant Women
We will consider the experience of women as characters as well as authors of Russian literature. Patterns of behavior, as manifest in both these roles, will be traced through folklore, fiction and memoir from medieval times to the present. These patterns will be seen to reflect and challenge themes fundamental to Russian culture, including moral strength, family and community, and the traditional role of Russian literature as a socio-political forum. By semester's end, you will have gained an understanding of the evolving female role in Russian society, as chronicled in literature, as well as in the creation and production of that literature.
Course counts as H, W
RUSS 380C: Stalingrad
Sidney Dement, Harald Zils
The battle of Stalingrad, fought more than seventy years ago, is burned into the cultural memories of Germans and Russians to this day. More than 700,000 people died; it was the beginning of the end of Hitler's War. This course investigates the battle and its aftermath in German and Russian culture. In order to examine the multiple perspectives on this cultural and historical watershed more fully, GERM 380G, taught by Prof. Zils, and RUSS 380D, taught by Prof. Dement, meet together. We discuss the historical event, its consequences for WW II, the soldiers' and civilians' perspectives, the images of the war in German and Russian propaganda and its impact on German and Russian public discourse, movies, art and literature. Two 8-page papers, one group presentation. This is a course that is team-taught by faculty members of the German Studies and Russian Studies programs. Therefore, there are sections listed and cross-listed in the German Studies as well as in the Russian Studies program. All sections will meet and be taught as one.
Course counts as H, W
UNIV 101R: The Ballets of Marius Petipa
This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great ballet choreographer Marius Petipa. He was born in France, but had a career of some sixty years in St. Petersburg as ballet master of the Imperial Russian Ballet. His surviving works are the foundation of the modern classical ballet repertoire. MW 2:20-3:20 FA 244