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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

Russian Language and Literature

1, 2, 3. Introductory Russian

1. 09F, 10F: 9L, 12

2. 10W, 11W: 9L

3. 10S, 11S: 9L

An introduction to Russian as a spoken and written language. None of these serves in partial satisfaction of the Distributive or World Culture Requirements. The staff.

7. First-Year Seminar in Russian

Consult special listings

11. Russian Popular Culture

Not offered in the period from 09F through 10S

13. Slavic Folklore: Vampires, Witches and Firebirds

09F, 10S, 10F: 10

In this course, we will discuss a variety of genres from Russian folklore. As we move from the familiar genre of the riddle to the often mystifying beliefs and rituals of the ancient Slavs and then to the fairy tale, comfortingly familiar from childhood, we will learn to not only recognize the richness and density of texts that may initially seem uncomplicated but also to discern the patterns and meanings behind the apparently exotic narratives and behaviors. By thoroughly studying one of the world’s richest oral traditions, Slavic folk life and folk lore, we will acquire the tools and techniques necessary for collecting, documenting, and interpreting folklore -- which is perhaps the most truly international of all arts. The course is based on materials in Russian and East European cultures, but also draws from other traditions. (Description pending faculty approval.)

Open to all classes. Dist: INT or LIT; WCult: W. Gronas, Somoff.

14. Faces of Totalitarianism: A History of a Nation through a History of a Medium (Identical to Film Studies 42)

09F: 3A

An interpretative history of Russian, Soviet, Post-Soviet and Central European film. Topics include: tsarist Russia and the psychological school of the silent film (Evegeniy Bauer); the Revolution and the Golden Age of the Soviet montage (Sergey Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov); Stalinism and film as an instrument of mind control and propaganda; late Soviet symbolist cinema (Andrey Tarkovsky); and contemporary Russian Film Noir. The course also touches upon Eastern/Central European film, including Czech New Wave (surrealist animator Jan Svankmeyer) and the “post-Jugoslavian wave” (Emir Kusturica and Dusan Makoveev).

In addition to regular weekly screenings, all films will be made available online in an experimental format: divided into separate short clips that will be used in class for in-depth analysis and close cinematic readings. The final project (done in groups) will be creative: you will make a video-parody or video-stylization of one of the studied films.

Open to all classes: Dist: ART; WCult: W. Gronas.

15. Introduction to Russian Civilization

10W: 2A

An examination of Russia as a cultural, national, and historical entity part of and yet apart from both Europe and Asia. Russia is a continental power of vast proportions whose traditions, character, national myths, and forms of political organization often seem a mirror-image to those of the United States. After a brief survey of Russian history, the course will examine certain determinants of Russian culture, including Christianity, multinationalism, and the status of Russian civilization on the periphery of Europe. The course will then deal with the art, music, and popular literature of Russia, and conclude by examining certain contemporary issues, including the complex coexistence of Russian and Soviet culture.

Open to all classes. WCult: W. Gronas.

19. Understanding the Russians: The Role of Language and Culture in Communication

Not offered in the period from 09F through 10S

21. Russian Civilization: Study Abroad

10X: D.L.S.A.+

This course, taught by the faculty member directing the program, will vary in topic from year to year, depending on the specialty of the faculty member. Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Russia.

Prerequisite: membership in the L.S.A. Program. WCult: W.

22. The Russian Language: Study Abroad

10X: D.L.S.A.+

This course represents the course in grammar and the other written work done by the students at the University of St. Petersburg. Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Russia.

Prerequisite: membership in the Foreign Study Program. WCult: W.

23. The Russian Language: Study Abroad

10X: D.L.S.A.+

This course represents the work done in the phonetics classes and in the conversation classes at the University of St. Petersburg. Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Russia.

Prerequisite: membership in the L.S.A. Program. WCult: W.

27. Intermediate Russian I

09F, 10F: 9L

A continuation of the 1-2-3 cycle, this course is the first of the intermediate language courses offered by the Department. The course prepares the student for further upper-level study of the language. It includes intensive review, introduction to new grammatical topics, as well as reading, composition and conversation.

Prerequisite: Russian 3 or equivalent. Rakova.

28, 29. Intermediate Russian II and III

28. 10W, 11W: 12

29. 10S, 11S: 12

This sequence completes the cycles of second-year Russian. Special emphasis is placed on such difficult areas as participles, aspects and verbs of motion. The course includes extensive reading, video work and vocabulary building.

Prerequisite: Russian 23 or Russian 27, or permission. Rakova.

31. Russian Literature of the Golden Age in Translation

10W, 11W: 10A

Nineteenth-century Russian prose culminated in the masterpieces of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov. Through works such as Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment and The Cherry Orchard, these writers expanded the boundaries of the genres in which they worked, even as they exposed the acute social problems of their time. Their work is distinguished not only by the sharpness of the character analysis but also by the compassion with which the analysis is conducted. This course examines the process by which this literature acquired its unique configuration.

Taught in English.[1] Open to all classes. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Kopper.

32. Modern Russian Literature in Translation

10S, 11S: 2

This course will consider the major works of 20th century Russian literature. During that century, the people of Russia experienced a series of cataclysmic events including two World Wars; the overthrow of the 300-year-old Romanov dynasty and the triumph of the Bolshevik revolution; the Civil War; the mass trauma of collectivization; the Great Terror of Stalinism; and the collapse of the Soviet Union. As we read and discuss novels, stories, poems, and plays written by the leading Russian writers of that time, we will examine the correlations and tensions between the socio-historical reality and aesthetic expression. The course is conducted in a seminar format with an emphasis on student research and discussion. (Description pending faculty approval.)

Taught in English.* Open to all classes. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Somoff.

35. Dostoevsky and the Problem of Evil

10S, 11S: 2A

Dostoevsky laid bare the tragedy of human existence and probed the innermost recesses of the human psyche to show the terrifying isolation of a human being separated from God. Revolted by a world in which innocent children suffer, Dostoevsky tested the meaning to be found in Christianity, personal responsibility and human solidarity. This course examines his major novels, with particular emphasis on the artistic expression of his philosophical views. Those views will be examined in the context of Russian intellectual and literary history. Readings include Notes from Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Demons, and The Brothers Karamazov.

Taught in English.* Open to all classes. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Kopper.

36. Tolstoy and the Problem of Death

10X: 2A

From childhood to the end of his life, Tolstoy struggled to overcome his fear of death. As he himself put the problem, ‘Is there any meaning in my life which the inevitable death awaiting me does not destroy?’ In his quest for bulwarks against that fear, he studied the great philosophers and he examined closely the value system of the peasants. He found temporary relief in war and in marriage, but the definitive solution always eluded him. The evolution of this theme, and the formal devices by which Tolstoy expressed it in his prose, will be traced in the major novels, War and Peace and Anna Karenina. The course will conclude with a brief examination of the prose that Tolstoy produced after his conversion.

Taught in English. Open to all classes. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. The staff.

38. Special Topics in Russian Literature (Identical to Theater 10)

10W, 11W: 12

This course is devoted to Russian drama and theatre from the 19th through the 21st century. We will read eight plays that are central to Russian literary and theatrical tradition and then discuss their most significant interpretations on both the Russian and the world stage. The meetings will be conducted in a non-traditional format. In our examination of the plays, we will attempt to model the process of stage production in accordance with the principles developed by Konstantin Stanislavsky—a celebrated Russian director whose approach to theatre transformed acting in Russia and beyond. The course will culminate in the production of a play by a Russian playwright which students themselves will cast, direct, and design. (Description pending faculty approval.)

All readings are in English. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Somoff.

39. Ethnicity and Nationalism in Russia and Neighboring States (Identical to Anthropology 39)

10W: 10

This course explores the emergence of ethnic identity and nationalism among the peoples of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union and their successor states. Drawing on anthropological and historical works, it examines the process of formation of a centralized multiethnic Russian empire and the liberation struggle of its nationalities prior to 1917. It then proceeds to the crucial period of 1917-1991 and explores the theory and practice of nationalities politics of the Bolshevik, Stalinist, and the late Soviet socialism. The dissolution of the USSR, the rise of interethnic conflicts, and the relations between ethnic groups in Russia and the successor states are the focus of the second half of the course, where several case studies are discussed in depth.

Open to all classes. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Kan.

41. Advanced Conversation and Composition

10S: 10

Advanced Russian Grammar through the study of the Russian Short Story and a brief synopsis of Russian History. Students will continue to develop their spoken, written and reading proficiency in the Russian language.

Prerequisite: Russian 29 or higher. Rakova.

42. Advanced Grammar I

Not offered in the period from 09F through 10S

43. Advanced Grammar II

Not offered in the period from 09F through 10S

45. Special Topics in Russian Language

10S: 11

History of the Russian language. This course introduces the student to the history of the phonology (sound development) and morphology (development of grammatical categories) of Russian as a Slavic and Indo-European language.

Prerequisite: Russian 29 or higher. Garretson.

62. Structure of Modern Russian

Not offered in the period from 09F through 10S

71. Topics in Russian Literature

10W: 10

In this seminar students read works of prose and poetry in Russian, study methods of critical analysis, and practice translation. Each offering of the course will be based on a particular theme or period. Students may take the course more than once provided that the topic is not the same as in a previous election.

In 10W, Lermontov. Mikhail Lermontov provides a unique connecting link between the two most celebrated achievements of 19th century Russian literature: the “Golden Age” of poetry and the “Age of the Novel.” Lermontov’s works which belong to the highest achievements of classical Russian poetry have also played a crucial role in the emergence and development of the Russian novel of the 1860s and 1870s—the novel that has given Russian literature an international reputation and a prominent place in the history of the novelistic genre.

Readings for the course will include Lermontov’s poetry, drama, and prose as well as some of the works from the Russian novelistic tradition by authors such as Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy among others. Readings and discussion in Russian and English (adjusted to the Russian proficiency level of the seminar’s participants).

Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Somoff.

85. Independent Reading

All terms: Arrange

Russian 85 is available to students in the Honors Program who intend to do preparatory work for a thesis or to students who wish to study a topic not normally covered in a regularly offered course. In the latter case it is necessary to prepare a one-page proposal describing what the student plans to study and to accomplish during the term. The proposal must then be approved by the faculty member who has agreed to direct the course and by the Department as a whole. Final approval must be received before the beginning of the term in which the course is to be taken.

86. Senior Seminar

Not offered in the period from 09F through 10S

87. Thesis

All terms: Arrange

A program of individual research designed for honors students. Interested students should consult the Chair of the Department.

[1] Russian majors will meet during the x-period to do assignments involving use of the Russian Language.