Russian Course Descriptions
Russian Language Courses
RUS 1, 2 Elementary Russian
RUS 3, 4 Intermediate Russian
Basic conversation and communication skills. Fundamentals of
pronunciation and grammar. Language laboratory. Two courses.
Completion of the formal study of grammar. Emphasis on oral and
compositional skills. Prerequisite: Russian 2 or equivalent. Two
RUS 21, 22 Composition and Conversation
Selected grammar topics. Advanced oral and written drill. Compositions, reports,
and discussions based on readings of journalistic and literary periodicals and prose.
Prerequisite: Russian 4 or equivalent. Two courses.
RUS 99 Internship
Fieldwork at a business, school, government, or community service location that
involves substantial use of Russian language (150 hours, full credit; 75 hours,
half credit). Weekly journal or project in Russian. Students must arrange faculty
advising on campus and professional supervision at the site. May count for the major
with prior consent.
RUS 121, 122 Advanced Russian
Classes conducted entirely in Russian, advanced concepts in grammar and stylistics,
intensive reading, and discussions. Prerequisite: Russian 22.
RUS 123 Russia Today: Business and Politics
Language course for advanced students of Russian, including
native/near-native speakers, focusing on issues of contemporary Russia through
the lens of political and business. Topics include the changing
business climate within the post-Soviet political landscape, the rise of
nationalism and state power, income inequality and new class structures and
issues of migration and the gastarbeiter (guest worker). Course material
includes newspaper and magazine articles, television reporting, documentaries,
and the Internet. Work includes essays and oral reports, and oral exam and a
final paper. All work and materials in Russian. Prerequisite: Russian 121/122 or
RUS 125 Russia Today: Society and Culture
Language course for advanced students of Russian, including
native/near-native speakers, focusing on society and culture in
contemporary Russia. Topics include the revival of the culture
industry and its role in the creation of a resurgent Russia and a
new 21st century, post-soviet, Russian national identity and
society. Course materials include literature, film, music, TV, pop
culture and pulp fiction, and the internet. Work includes essays,
oral reports and an independent research project. All work and
materials in Russian.
Prerequisites: RUSS 122 or placement exam and permission of
Literature and Culture Courses Taught in Russian
RUS 131 Masterpieces of Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature
Reading and discussion of short masterpieces by major authors of
nineteenth-century fiction and poetry: Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov,
Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov. Conducted exclusively in
Russian. Prerequisite: Russian 22.
RUS 132 Masterpieces of Twentieth-Century Russian Literature
Reading and discussion of short masterpieces by major authors of twentieth-century
fiction and poetry: Blok, Akhmatova, Olesha, Bulgakov, Babel, Solzhenitsyn, Tolstaya,
and others. Conducted exclusively in Russian. Prerequisite: Russian
Courses Taught in English
RUS 60 Classics of Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature
Major Russian writers and literary currents (sentimentalism, romanticism, the Golden
Age of realism) and their relation to social, political, and cultural developments.
The evolution of Russian prose fiction with attention to important poetic works.
Readings include Pushkin, Gogol, Pavlova, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and
Dostoevsky. No prerequisites. (May be taken at 100 level with
consent; see Russian 160 below.)
RUS 61 Russian Literature in Revolution: 1880-1930
Russian literature in a period of political, cultural, and aesthetic revolution;
avant-garde movements before the Bolshevik Revolution (symbolists, decadents, futurists,
acmeists) and the dynamic literary response in the 1920s to the revolution itself.
Readings include Chekhov, Bely, Blok, Akhmatova, Mayakovsky, Zamyatin, Bulgakov,
and others. No prerequisites. Alternate years. (May be taken at 100
level with consent; see Russian 161 below.)
RUS 62 Modern Russian Literature, 1930-Today
Russian literature from the rise of Stalin to the chaos of the contemporary post-Soviet
period. Analysis of both socialist-realist and dissident writing. Focus on tensions
between ideological-cultural imperatives and artistic freedom through Soviet period
as well as in post-modern currents of today. Readings include Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn,
Akhmatova, Tolstaya, Platonov. No prerequisites. Alternate years.
(May be taken at 100 level with consent; see Russian 162 below.)
RUS 65 Dostoevsky
Dostoevsky's evolution as a writer and thinker, from his beginnings
in socialist utopianism to his emergence as one of Russia's foremost
religious philosophers. His exploration of the unconscious, social
and moral transgression, revolution, the human condition, and
religious truth. Readings include Crime and Punishment, The Idiot,
Brothers Karamazov. Alternate years. No prerequisites.
RUS 66 Tolstoy
Tolstoy's development as literary master and spiritual force; his life and its counterpoint
with the fictional worlds he created. The philosophy of history in War and Peace;
morality, social conventions, and sexual roles in Anna Karenina and other works.
Tolstoy's spiritual crisis, turn to populism, and the concept of nonresistance to
violence. Other readings include Childhood, The Sevastopol Sketches, The Cossacks,
and Khadzhi-Murat. Alternate years. No prerequisites.
RUS 70 Gender and Politics in Russian Culture
(Cross-listed as ILVS 0074)
Examination of how the social, economic, and political institutions in Russia have shaped
the perception of women and gender over the scope of Russian history; how both women and
men have tried to transcend prescribed gender norms; and how women fulfill their literary,
artistic, and spiritual aspirations. Works to be considered will be drawn from folklore,
poetry, fiction, painting, and film; authors will include both male and female writers
(Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Tolstaya, Petrushevskaya), women painters
(Goncharova, Serebriakova) and filmmakers (Shepitko, Muratova). In English. May be
taken at 100- level, as Rus 0170 with added hour in Russian).
RUS 72 Contemporary Russian Culture
An exploration of Russian culture through literature, film, the media, and the arts
from the era of "stagnation" to glasnost, perestroika, and the post-Soviet period.
The destruction and reconstruction of cultural and political canons and myths: the
Stalinist legacy and reevaluation of Soviet history; the revival of religion and
nationalism; social dislocation: the problems of youth, the generation gap, and
women's issues; the breaking of taboos and the dark side of freedom--violence, crime,
pornography, and neofascism; the liberalization and
commercialization of art. All readings and films are in English. No
RUS 73 The Bible in Russian Literature
(Cross-listed as Comparative Religion 73)
Appropriation of biblical motifs, characters, and themes for moral, political, and
artistic purposes. Emphasis on the varying images of Jesus (teacher, sage, revolutionary)
and the devil (tempter, teacher, Promethean); Genesis, Job, and the writer as spiritual
visionary and prophet. Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Solzhentisyn, Gogol, Zamiatin, Bulgakov,
and others. Supplemented by selected readings from the Bible. No
RUS 75 War Stories
(Cross-listed as ILVS 83 and PJS 75)
Examination of how war has
been represented in fiction, non-fiction, memoir, film, and documentary.
Priority given to Russian and East European materials, supplemented by other
European, Asian, and American texts of the 19th and (mainly) 20th and 21st
centuries. Focus on strategies employed by writers, journalists, historians, and
film makers in depicting war in different cultures and from differing points of
view. Operative questions include: challenges of representing war in a text or
onscreen; commonalities and differences in how war is rendered; and how these
questions impact the understanding of conflicts. The course goal is to develop
sophisticated skills for understanding, deciphering, critiquing and dissecting
the ways in which war and conflict are presented, and to recognize the
ideological and aesthetic strategies behind these representations. All texts and
discussion in English.
RUS 78 Warrior Nations: Russia & U.S.
(Cross-listed as ILVS 88)
Comparative study of how war is
central to each nation¿s identity and to the narratives in popular culture that
help shape it. Focus is thematic, not chronological, with the coursestructured
around topics, including shared myths of exceptionalism, points of triumph (how
WWII is memorialized in both) and catastrophic defeat, when the myth of
exceptionalism is shattered (Vietnam, Afghanistan). Other topics include civil
war and the cold war. Attention is also directed to how post-1991 changes impact
the connection between exceptionalism and militarism regarding wars today and
the renewed tension between the two in the dynamics of competing hegemonies.
Texts include film, fiction, and popular history. Course taught in English; no
RUS 80 Russian Film: Art, Politics, and Society
Survey of film classics by Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Vertov, Tarkovsky, and others,
tracing the parallels between the history of film and the history of the new Soviet
state and society. Lenin and film as propaganda; the experimental twenties; cinema
verit? (kinopravda); Socialist Realism; the Great Patriotic War; the
"thaw"; 1960s to present: conservatives vs. liberals; unbanned
films, and the new cinema of glasnost and perestroika. Films with
English subtitles. No prerequisites.
RUS 85 Film and Nation: Russia and Central Asia
(Cross-listed as ILVS 86 and CIV 85)
After the breakup of the
Soviet Union, Russia and several former Central Asian republics, now the
independent countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan embarked on a
nation-building project through cinema; topics considered: how ethnic and
national identities were subsumed into a "Soviet" identity and then split apart
in the post-Soviet period; constructions of new national identities, national
spaces, heroes and myths in films ranging from the Russian mega-hits Brother and
Company 9 to the international festival favorites, The Adopted Son (Kyrgyzstan)
and The Hunter (Kazakhstan); influence of Hollywood and multi-national
productions in historical action films such as Nomad and Mongol; changes in film
styles and genres, as well as in the structure and economics of the film
industry. No prerequisites. All films with English subtitles.
RUS 114 Satire and Absurdist Literature
Comparative investigation of the modes, intentions, and reception of
satiric and absurdist writing in the twentieth century. Includes
other Slavic literatures, particularly Czech. Focus on the writer as
political voice and public conscience. Priority given to development
of critical skills in talking, reading, and writing about
controversial texts in a variety of sociopolitical contexts. Seminar
format. No prerequisites.
RUS 115 Stalinism
Examination of Stalinism as a cultural phenomenon in the Soviet
Union through an array of primary sources: fiction, diaries,
memoirs, art, film, mass media, letters, and party documents. Key
issues include the cult of Stalin, the purges and terror, everyday
life, and the state of the arts. Emphasis on how the system modeled
itself to increase appeal, reach, and power; and the diverse
responses of the people. Special attention devoted to the expression
of ideology in culture and the lived experience of the average
person. No prerequisites. Seminar format.
RUS 160 Classics of Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature
(See Russian 60 for course description.) Additional readings in Russian and extra
RUS 161 Russian Literature in Revolution: 1880-1930
(See Russian 61 for course description.) Additional readings in Russian and extra
RUS 162 Modern Russian Literature, 1930-Today
(See Russian 62 for course description.) Additional readings in Russian and extra
RUS 170 Women in Russian Literature and Culture
(See Russian 70 for course description.) Additional readings in Russian and extra
Special Topics and Directed Studies in Russian
RUS 91, 92 Special Topics
Courses on selected themes and authors given in English. Members of the department
RUS 93, 94 Directed Study: Language or Literature
Guided independent study of an approved topic. Variable credit.
RUS 165 Dostoevsky
(See Russian 65 for course description.) Additional readings in Russian
and extra class meetings.
RUS 166 Tolstoy
(See Russian 66 for course description.) Additional readings in Russian
and extra class meetings.
RUS 191, 192 Special Topics
Study of selected authors, themes, genres, or literary movements given in Russian.
Seminar or lecture/discussion format.
RUS 193, 194 Advanced Directed Study: Language or Literature
Guided independent study of an approved topic conducted in Russian. Variable credit.
RUS 198, 199 Senior Honors Thesis
See Thesis Honors Program for details.
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