Winter 2020 Expanded Course Description

Russian Expanded Course Descriptions - Winter 2020

RUS 130 Contemporary Russian Culture
Prof. Olga Stuchebrukhov
CRN 76445
GE credit: AH, OL, VL, WC, WE

Course Description: This course will explore contemporary Russian culture in the context of the perennial conflict between realist and anti-realist trends and movements in literature and art. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, such movements as realism and modernism, later post-modernism, have been succeeding each other and competing for cultural dominance. We will examine the difference between these opposing trends in Russian literature, visual arts, and film, beginning with the last great fin-de-siècle realists, then examining Russian Modernism, Soviet Socialist Realism, and finally Post-Soviet cultural tendencies and trends.

Required Texts: Reader


RUS 142 Women in Russian Culture (Honors)*
Prof. Jenny Kaminer

This course focuses on the representation of (and by) women in Russian fiction (prose, poetry, and drama) and film, with special attention devoted to the late-Soviet and post-Soviet period. Beginning with Anna Akhmatova’s classic narrative poem Requiem, set during the darkest years of the Stalinist terror, the readings will span over five decades and take place against the backdrop of profound social, cultural and political shifts, including perestroika/glasnost of the 1980s and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The texts and films covered in the course will explore such issues as family dynamics/motherhood, sexuality, work, and women’s relationship to the state. Fictional texts will be supplemented by sociological readings that illuminate the conditions of women's lives during the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. Students will become familiar with the works of several prominent contemporary female authors, including Liudmila Petrushevskaia, Svetlana Vasilenko, Liudmila Ulitskaia, Tatiana Tolstaia, and recent Nobel Prize in Literature recipient Svetlana Aleksievich. We will also watch several important films featuring female characters from the past decades.


RUS 143 Chekhov
Prof. Olga Stuchebrukhov
CRN 76448
GE credit: AH, OL, WC, WE.

Course Description: This course examines the unique legacy of the famous Russian playwright and master of modern short story, Anton Chekhov (1860-1904). We will analyze “Chekhov’s method” by reading his short stories and major plays together with the works of other 19th-century Russian and European authors, such as Turgenev, Tolstoy, Maupassant, Zola, and others.

Required Texts:  Reader, The Plays by Anton Chekhov