Russian Studies Department

Professor: Alexis Klimoffb (Chair); Assistant Professor: Dan Ungurianuab;Visiting Assistant Professor: Nikolai Firtich.

Requirements for Concentration: 10 units beyond introductory language; including 331/332 or equivalent, 135/235, 152/252, plus 3 units in literature or culture at the 300-level.

Senior-Year Requirements: 2 units of advanced course work. Senior thesis (300) is required only of students who are candidates for departmental honors.

Recommendations: Study of the language should be started in the freshman year. Study at an accredited summer school is strongly urged. JYA in Russia through approved exchange programs.

A Teaching Certification program is available.

Advisers: The department.

Correlate Sequence in Russian Studies: Four semesters of the Russian language (or equivalent) and three additional units in culture, literature and/or language, one of which must be at the 300-level. Entering students with advanced proficiency in Russian are required to take five units in literature and/or culture, at least two of which are at the 300-level.

 

I. Introductory

 
105a-106b.   Elementary Russian
(11/2)
The essentials of grammar with emphasis on the development of oral-aural proficiency. The department.
       Open to all classes. Five 50-minute periods plus two hours of oral practice.
 
135a.   The Russian Classics: The Great Realists of the Nineteenth Century (in English)
(1)
The great tradition of Russian literature with its emphasis on ultimate existential and moral questions. Selected works by such nineteenth-century masters as Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky. Mr. Klimoff.
       Open to all classes. Readings and lectures in English. Russian majors see 235a.
       Three 50-minute periods.
 
152b.   The Russian Modernists (in English)
(1)
Outstanding works of major twentieth-century Russian writers, with emphasis on those who broke with the realist tradition of the nineteenth century. Mr. Firtich.
       Open to all classes. Readings and lectures in English. Russian majors see 252b.
       Two 75-minute periods.
 
165a.   In Search of Mother Russia
(1)
A survey of selected features of the prerevolutionary cultural tradition within a historical framework. Topics explored include folklore, the religious world of medieval Russia with special emphasis on art and architecture, the inroads of secular culture, the challenges of Westernization, and the emergence of national traditions in literature, art, and music. Given in English. Mr. Klimoff.
       Open to all classes.
       Two 75-minute periods plus regular film screenings.
 
169b.   Utopia in Power: Russian Culture in the Twentieth Century
(1)
A survey of modern Russian culture in its historical context. Topics include cultural and social revolutions, the Red Avant-Garde, Socialist Realism, the creation of the New Man, the Great Terror, the totalitarian system and its collapse, the dissident movement, ethnic identity and ethnic conflicts, Russian rock and pop music, post-Communist Russia. Mr. Firtich
       Open to all classes. All readings and discussions are in English.
       Two 75-minute periods, plus regular film screenings.
 
[171b.   Russia and the Short Story]
(1)
In this course we read and discuss a number of classic short stories by such Russian masters of the genre as Gogol, Turgenev, Chekhov, Babel, and Olesha. Mr. Klimoff.
       Satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Course.
       Not offered in 2002/03.
 
[181b.   Dostoevsky and Psychology]
(1)
Fyodor Dostoevsky was an avid student of the human mind, with particular interest in aberrant and self-destructive behavior. He was steeped in the medical literature of his day, and drew on this knowledge as well as on his four-year-long prison experience to endow his characters with profound psychological depth. And after Dostoevsky's death his works have been cited by Freud and other psychologists in support of their views of human behavior. This course involves a close study of a number of works in which the depiction of psychological issues is particularly crucial to an understanding of what Dostoevsky is attempting to convey. Readings include The Double, Notes From the House of the Dead, Notes from Underground, The Devils, The Idiot, and a number of short stories. An examination of Dostoevsky's texts is accompanied with some discussion of the nineteenth century psychological and medical literature admired by the writer, as well as a consideration of Dostoevsky's influence on later psychological theory. Mr. Klimoff.
       Two 75-minute periods.
       Given in English and open to all classes.
       Not offered in 2002/03.
 
182b.   The Worlds of Vladmir Nabokov
(1)
A Study of themes and imagery in Vladimir Nabokov's fiction, as they evolved from his early short stories to his major novels, with an attempt to situate Nabokov's works in the context of the Russian and Western Literary traditions. The course is heavily discussion oriented. (All readings and discussions are in English) Ms. Sevastianova.
       Two 75-minute periods.
 
 

II. Intermediate

 
210a-211b.   Intermediate Russian
(1)
Review of the basics of grammar and analysis of more complex grammatical phenomena through the study of literary, historical, and newspaper texts, composition, and discussion. The department.
       Prerequisite: Russian 105-106 or permission of instructor.
       Four 50-minute periods plus one hour of oral practice.
 
231a.   Russian Screen and Stage
(1)
Aspects of Russian film, drama and performing arts.
       Topic for 2002/03: Russian and Soviet Cinema in its European Context. A survey of Soviet cinema from the 1920s to 2000. Films considered include the early masterpieces directed by Eisenstein, Dovzhenko, Vertov and others the productions of the Stalin era the movies dating from the "Thaw" and the following two decades, including the great works of Tarkovsky and Paradjanov films from the years of "glasnost" and beyond. Readings include critical and theoretical articles by filmmakers and literary scholars. Given in English. Mr. Firtich
       Prerequisite: One of the following courses: Russian 135, 152, 165, 169, or Film 175, or permission of instructor.
       Two 75-minute periods plus weekly film screening.
 
235a.   The Russian Classics: The Great Realists of the Nineteenth Century
(1)
Individually designed for Russian majors and other students with some knowledge of Russian. Students in this course attend the same lectures and discussions as those in Russian 152, but are required to do part of the work in Russian.
       Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
 
252b.   The Russian Modernists
(1)
Individually designed for Russian majors and other students with some knowledge of Russian. Students in this course attend the same lectures and discussions as those in Russian 152, but are required to do part of the work in Russian.
       By Permission of instructor.
 
[267a.   Culture and Ideology]
(1)
In Eastern Europe in general - and in Russia in particular - the impact of ideology on culture has been experienced more intensely than in other European societies. The intersections of ideology and culture are explored in depth, with a specific focus that varies from year to year.
       Not offered in 20002/03, see Russian 181 and 231.
 
[271b.   Focus on Literature]
(1)
Aspects of the Russian literary tradition - including authors, genres, and thematic emphases - and the place of this tradition in world literature.
       Not offered in 2002/03.
 
298.   Independent Work
(1/2 or 1)
Program to be worked out in consultation with an instructor. The department.
 

III. Advanced

Prerequisite for all advanced courses: Russian 210-211. Additional prerequisites indicated where appropriate.

 
300a or b.   Senior Thesis
(1)
 
331a/332b.   Advanced Russian
(1)
A course designed to increase all aspects of Russian proficiency. Includes readings on a wide range of topics, discussion, oral reports, stylistic analysis, written assignments, and review of persistent grammatical difficulties. The department.
       Three 50-minute periods, plus one hour of conversational practice.
 
371a.   Seminar on Russian Culture
(1)
Advanced seminar on Russian culture. Designed for majors and students with sufficient knowledge of Russian.
       Topic for 2002/03: The Myth of St. Petersburg. In this course, we explore the myth of the city of St. Petersburg, the Imperial Russian capital, founded by Peter the Great in the early eighteenth century as a "window on Europe." The city has been seen to embody all of the contradictions of Russia - East vs. West, imperial grandeur vs. the pathos of the little man, nature vs. civilization, free will vs. fate. We consider the semiotics of space in St. Petersburg through a careful reading of selected literary texts, both prose and poetry - Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Blok, Bely, Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Brodsky - and works of literary/cultural criticism, in particular by Bakhtin and Lotman. Mr. Firtich.
       Conducted in Russian.
       Prerequisite: Russian 331 or equivalent.
       Two 75-minute periods plus regular film screenings.
 
373b.   Seminar on Russian Literature
(1)
Focused analysis of an author, work, theme, genre, or literary school in the nineteenth or twentieth century.
       Topic for 2002/03: Russian Literature of the Absurd. A survey of the absurdist current in Russian nineteenth and twentieth century literature, taking into account the relationship of this tradition to the religious and philosophical concepts of the time. The course involves a close reading of texts by Nikolai Gogol, the first Russian absurdist par excellence, Kozma Prutkov, a fictitious author of mind-bending aphorisms, and Vladimir Soloviev, Russia's premier philosopher who contributed a number of notable items to the corpus of absurdist works. In the early twentieth century the absurdist mode was a prominent aspect of the Russian avant-garde, particularly in the works of such writers as Aleksei Kruchenykh and Velemir Khlebnikov, followed in the 1920s by DaniiI Kharms and Aleksandr Vvedensky. Mr. Firtich.
       Conducted in Russian.
       Prerequisite: Russian 331 or equivalent.
       Two 75-minute periods.
 
399.   Senior Independent Work
(1/2 or 1)
Program to be worked out in consultation with an instructor. The department.