Russian Studies Department

Professor: Alexis Klimoff (Chair); Assistant Professor: Dan Ungurianu; 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 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. Study Away 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 (1 1/2)

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. Ungurianu.

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. Ungurianu.

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 (in English) (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.

Two 75-minute periods.

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 great psychological depth. After Dostoevsky’s death, his works have been cited by Freud and some other psychologists to support theories of their own. This course focuses on a number of works in which Dostoevsky’s depiction of psychological issues is particularly crucial to the central message he attempts to convey. Readings include three of the major novels (Crime and Punishment, The Devils, and The Brothers Karamazov) as well as a number of Dostoevsky’s shorter works. A detailed examination of the texts is accompanied by some discussion of the nineteenth century psychological literature admired by Dostoevsky, as well as a brief look at that which was later produced under his influence. All readings and discussion in English. Mr. Klimoff.

Open to all classes.

Two 75-minute periods.

184a. Russian Drama (1)

A survey of the best-known plays produced in Russia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Authors include Pushkin, Gogol, Ostrovsky, Chekhov, Blok, Mayakovsky, and some others. All readings and discussion in English. Mr. Klimoff

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.

Not offered in 2004/05.

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 135, but are required to do part of the work in Russian.

By permission of 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.

267b. Culture and Ideology (1)

Topic for 2004-05: The Russian Avant-Garde in Literature and Art. Russian painters and writers made a huge contribution to the European avant-garde movement, with Malevich and Khlebnikov being the best known names. This course offers a survey of the Russian phase of movement from its origins in the nineteenth century to its violent suppression by the Soviet regime in the 1920s. All readings and discussion in English. Mr. Firtich.

Prerequisite: One of Russian 169, 152, 135, 165, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

[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 2004/05, see Russian 181.

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.

371b. Seminar on Russian Culture (1)

Advanced seminar on Russian culture. Designed for majors and students with sufficient knowledge of Russian.

Topic for 2004/05: Russian Blockbusters. The culture of the twentieth century includes the phenomenon of “film classics”-productions of enduring popular appeal which, though not necessarily considered great achievement of cinematic art, have become universally recognized cultural symbols within a national group. This course involves a close study of several Russian films of this type, including the Civil War classic Chapayev, the Soviet “Eastern” entitled The White Sun of the Desert, the Russian equivalent of It’s a Wonderful World, The Irony of Fate, and some other comedies. Also included are several episodes from the TV spy serial Seventeen Moments of Spring. In each case an attempt is made to determine the source of the film’s popularity in terms of aesthetic and psychological factors, together with the social and political context that may have played a significant role in its reception. Mr. Ungurianu.

Conducted in Russian.

Prerequisite: Russian 331 or equivalent.

Two 75-minute periods plus weekly film screenings.

373a. Seminar on Russian Literature (1)

Focused analysis of an author, work, theme, genre, or literary school in the nineteenth or twentieth century.

Topic for 2004/05: 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 Daniil Kharms and Aleksandr Vvedensky. Conducted in Russian. Mr. Firtich.

Prerequisite: Russian 331 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

399. Senior Independent Work ( 1/2 or 1)

Program to be worked out in consultation with an instructor. The department.