Spring 2010 Courses

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102. Elementary Russian II
Jane Knox-Voina M  9:30 - 10:25
W  9:30 - 10:25
F  9:30 - 10:25
Continuation of Russian 101. Emphasis on the acquisition of language skills through imitation and repetition of basic language patterns; multimedia material (seeing and making short film clips); the development of facility in speaking through interactive dialogs and understanding simple Russian. Conversation hour with native speaker.
204. Intermediate Russian II
Raymond Miller M  10:30 - 11:25
W  10:30 - 11:25
F  10:30 - 11:25
A continuation of Russian 203. Emphasis on maintaining and improving the student’s facility in speaking and understanding normal conversational Russian. Writing and reading skills are also stressed. Conversation hour with native speaker.
224. Dostoevsky or Tolstoy
Raymond Miller T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
Explores and compares two giants of Russian literature, Lev Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Their works are read for their signifi cance, both to Russian cultural history and to European thought; special attention is paid to the portrayal of women and women’s issues by both authors. Part I studies Dostoevsky’s quest for guiding principles of freedom and love in a world of growing violence, cynicism, and chaos. “The Woman Question” emerges as a constant subject: Dostoevsky particularly concerned himself with the suffering of poor and humiliated women. A close reading of several short works and the novel Brothers Karamazov set in their historical and intellectual framework. Emphasis on the novelist’s struggle between Western materialistic individualism and Eastern voluntary self-renunciation. Examines Dostoevsky’s “fantastic realism” as a polyphony of voices, archetypes, and religious symbols. Part II studies Tolstoy’s development both as a novelist and a moral philosopher. Examines several works, the most important being the novel Anna Karenina, with special emphasis on the tension between Tolstoy-the-artist and Tolstoy-the-moralist. Discussion of the writer’s role as “the conscience of Russia” in the last thirty years of his life, as well as his infl uence on such fi gures as Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
251. Russia’s “Others”: Siberia and Central Asia through Film and Literature
Jane Knox-Voina T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Sills-Smith Auditorium
Films, music, short stories, folklore, art analyzed for the construction of national identity of Asian peoples from the Caucasus to the Siberian Bering Straits—Russia and the Former Central Asia (the “stans” and Mongolia). Themes: Multicultural confl icts along the Silk Road, the transit zone linking West to East. Changing roles of Asian women as cornerstone for nations. Survival and role of indigenous peoples in solving cultural, economic, and geopolitical issues facing the twenty-fi rst century. Arrival of “outsiders”: from early traders to Siberian settlers to exiled convicts; from early conquerors to despotic Bolshevik rulers, from Genghis Khan to Stalin. Impact of Soviet collectivization, industrialization, and modernism on traditional beliefs, the environment, subsistence indigenous cultures, and Eastern spiritualities (Muslimism, shamanism). Questions how fi lm and literature both tell and shape the story of “nations.” Films include S. Bodrov’s Prisoner of the Mountains (Caucasus) and Mongol; V. Pudovskin’s Storm Over Asia, A. Kurosawa’s Dersu Uzala, N. Mikhalkov’s Close to Eden, A. Konchalovsky’s Siberiade, G. Omarova’s Schizo.