Spring 2017 courses in Russian Studies
RUSS 102: Elementary Russian II
Nancy Tittler, Marina Zalesski
Continuation of RUSS 101. Communicative activities involving everyday conversation.
RUSS 204: Intermediate Russian II
Students finish learning the basic elements of Russian grammar, expand their command of vocabulary and begin to read more extensive selections of Russian prose. Emphasizes conversation in practical, everyday situations. Aspects of Russian culture (film, music) incorporated through class sessions and student presentations.
RUSS 210: Introduction to Russian Literature
Introduction to the most important Russian texts from the beginnings of Russian literature
to the present. Students apply the tools of literary analysis to representative novels,
short stories and drama within the context of Russian cultural history. The class
is conducted in English.
Class counts as H
RUSS 280A: Russians in Soviet Film
This course will introduce students to Soviet cinema from its beginnings through the
time of perestroika. The course will concentrate on the issue of Russian cultural
identity and cultural legacy under the pressures of Soviet ideology. It will examine
cinema’s role as the media which spread the new Soviet values, established a new artistic
criterion, and, ironically, helped to preserve the best Russian artistic traditions.
Course will introduce “The Russians”: prominent Soviet writers, film directors, and
actors; teach about their contributions to world cinematography and analyze the ways
in which they were able to navigate between their conscience and political compliance,
their artistic mission and ideological mediocrity. The course will introduce most
prominent multigenre examples of Soviet cinematography, which will be analyzed as
texts within aesthetic, sociopolitical, historical and theoretical backgrounds.
Gen Ed: A
RUSS 280V/COLI 240/GERM 241D/MDVL 280D: 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.
Gen Ed: H
RUSS 306: Advanced Reading and Composition II
Continuation of RUSS 305 with similar emphasis on reading, writing and retelling skills. Additional focus on understanding Russian news media, including newspapers and broadcasts.
RUSS 325: Demons, Fools, and Madmen
This course investigates demons, fools and madmen throughout Russian culture, from
folklore to film, including such particularly Russian manifestations as the “holy
fool” and “petty demon,” against a background of folkloric, theological, existential
and political considerations. We will probe questions including the boundary between
insanity and imagination, the evolving criteria for madness and insanity as a reflection
of the passions, ambitions and malaise of “normal” society.
Gen Ed: H
RUSS 331: Moscow and St. Petersburg
Moscow and St. Petersburg, the centers of power for most of Russia's thousand years
of history, have been constructed and reconstructed to build up and tear down ideologies,
to create and challenge the status quo. This course investigates the uses of these
settings in history, and the incarnations of those same spaces in literature.
Gen Ed: C, H
RUSS 380S: Murderers and Martyrs
This course examines women's centrality to Russian revolution, starting with the early female terrorists of the 1870s and continuing on through Khruschev's leadership in the 1950s. We will discuss women like Sophia Perovskaia, who helped assassinate Tsar Alexander II, Maria Bochkavera of the Women's Battalion of Death in WWI, and Alexandra Kollontai, a major Bolshevik leader. Throughout we will explore how essential women were, both physically and ideologically, to the realization of revolutionary goals.