Spring 2011 Courses

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 dialogues 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.
223. Dostoevsky and the Novel
Raymond Miller T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Examines Fyodor Dostoevsky’s later novels. Studies the author’s unique brand of realism (“fantastic realism,” “realism of a higher order”), which explores the depths of human psychology and spirituality. Emphasis on the anti-Western, anti-materialist bias of Dostoevsky’s quest for meaning in a world growing increasingly unstable, violent, and cynical. Special attention is given to the author’s treatment of urban poverty and the place of women in Russian society.
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
Films, music, short stories, folklore, and art are 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 conflicts 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-first century. Arrival of “outsiders”: from early traders and 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 (Islam, shamanism). Questions how film 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. Note: May be counted towards a minor in film studies.
310. Modern Russian Literature
Jane Knox-Voina M 6:30 - 9:25
An introduction to twentieth-century Russian literature from Symbolism to Postmodernism. Reading of poetry by Blok, Akhmatova, Mayakovsky, Evtushenko, and Okudzhava, along with short prose by Zamiatin, Babel, Zoshchenko, Kharms, Shalamov, Aksenov, Shukshin, Petrushevskaya, Tolstaya, Ulitskaya, Sadur, and Pelevin. Close readings of the assigned works are viewed alongside other artistic texts and cultural phenomena, including the bard song, film, conceptual and sots-art, and rock- and pop-music.