Russian (RUSS)

* RUSS 024a / RSEE 024a, Strange Russian WritersEdyta Bojanowska

The course offers an introduction to some of the most bizarre and haunting works of Russian literature. In this artistic universe of madmen, prophets, and oddballs, of supernatural events and grotesque transformations, a nose can become a high-ranking bureaucrat, a dog turns into a boorish human after a pituitary gland transplant from a local drunk, 2 x 2 most emphatically equals five, and one encounters a diary entry dated “Da 34 te yare, February 349.”   Yet along with all the fun, these fictions offer profound explorations of the challenges of modern life involving sexuality, technology, or class privilege, satirical vistas of both capitalist and communist systems, critiques of rationalism, and dystopian or humorous visions of Russian provincial or national malaise.  This course asks you to suspend all assumptions, exert your powers of sense-making, and learn about a rich literary tradition. The course is especially appropriate for students with some experience in literary analysis, but welcomes any adventurous reader. Enrollment limited to first-year students.  WR, HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* RUSS 025a / EALL 025a, Russian and Chinese Science FictionJinyi Chu

What can we learn about Russian and Chinese cultures through their fantasies? How do Russian and Chinese writers and filmmakers respond to the global issues of animal ethics, artificial intelligence, space immigration, surveillance, gender and sexuality? How are Russian and Chinese visions of the future different from and similar to the western ones? This course explores these questions by examining 20th-21st century Russian and Chinese science fictions in their cultural, historical, and philosophical contexts. All readings and discussion in English. Sci-fi authors and translators will be invited to give guest lectures. Enrollment limited to first-year students.  HU
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

RUSS 110a, First-Year Russian IJulia Titus

A video-based course designed to develop all four language skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. Use of dialogues, games, and role playing. In addition to readings in the textbook, students read original short stories and learn Russian songs and poems. Oral and written examinations.  L1RP0 Course cr

RUSS 120b, First-Year Russian IIJulia Titus

Continuation of RUSS 110. After RUSS 110 or equivalent.  L21½ Course cr

RUSS 122a, Russian for Heritage Learners IJulia Titus

A comprehensive Russian course for native speakers of Russian or other Slavic languages whose formal education has been in English. Overview of Russian grammar, focusing on the writing system, cases, conjunction, and syntax. Readings from Russian prose, film screenings, discussion, and regular practice in translation and composition.  L1, L20 Course cr
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

RUSS 125a, Intensive Elementary RussianConstantine Muravnik

An intensive course that covers in one term the material taught in RUSS 110 and 120. For motivated students. Study of Russian grammar; practice in conversation, reading, and composition. Recommended for prospective seekers of the Advanced Language Certificate and prospective majors in Russian and in Russian and East European Studies.  L1, L20 Course cr
MWF 9:25am-10:15am, MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

RUSS 130a, Second-Year Russian IOlha Tytarenko

The goal of this course is to improve functional competence in speaking and listening by providing culturally-enriched context. The engaging textbook and workbook reflect social, cultural and linguistic norms of contemporary Russia and its diverse regions. In addition, you will be reading some classic and contemporary literature, and using films and other media. After RUSS 120 or equivalent.  L31½ Course cr
MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

RUSS 140b, Second-Year Russian IIOlha Tytarenko

Continuation of RUSS 130. After RUSS 130 or equivalent.  L41½ Course cr
MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

* RUSS 142b, Russian for Heritage Learners IIJulia Titus

Continuation of RUSS 122. Further development of reading and writing skills. Expansion of vocabulary. After RUSS 122 or equivalent.  L3, L4
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

RUSS 145b, Intensive Intermediate RussianConstantine Muravnik

A continuation of RUSS 125 that covers in one term the material taught in RUSS 130 and 140. For students of superior linguistic ability. Prerequisite: RUSS 125.  L3, L42 Course cr
MWF 9:25am-10:15am, MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

RUSS 150a, Third-Year Russian IConstantine Muravnik

Intensive practice in reading, conversation, and composition accompanied by in-depth review and refinement of grammar. Readings from nineteenth-century history and current events are used as the basis of structured conversation, composition, and grammatical practice. Oral examinations and individual and group projects.  After RUSS 140 or 145 or equivalent.  L51½ Course cr
MWF 11:35am-12:50pm

RUSS 151b, Third-Year Russian IIConstantine Muravnik

Continuation of RUSS 150. After RUSS 150 or equivalent.  L5RP1½ Course cr
MWF 11:35am-12:50pm

RUSS 160a, Fourth-Year Russian IAnastasia Selemeneva

Discussion topics include Russian culture, literature, and self-identity; the old and new capitals of Russia, the cultural impact of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Russia at war. Readings from mass media, textbooks, and classic and modern literature. Use of video materials. After RUSS 151 or equivalent.  L5
MWF 11:35am-12:25pm

RUSS 161b, Fourth-Year Russian IIAnastasia Selemeneva

Continuation of RUSS 160. After RUSS 160 or equivalent.  L5
MWF 11:35am-12:25pm

* RUSS 172b, Russian History through Literature and FilmAnastasia Selemeneva

Study of important events in Russian history, from the medieval times to the present, through authentic reading materials in various genres and through feature and documentary films.  The course is designed to advance students’ speaking proficiency in Russian and to develop their reading, listening, and writing skills. Texts include Russian fairy tales; fragments from The Primary Chronicles; A. Tolstoy’s Peter I; D. Merezhkovsky’s Antichrist; N. Eidelman’s Decembrists; P. Chaadaev’s Philosophical Letters; N. Leskov’s Enchanted Wanderer (fragments); and I. Goncharov’s Oblomov (fragments). Films include A. Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev; N. Mikhalkov’s Several Days from Oblomov’s Life; A. Askoldov’s Comissar; Todorovsky’s Stiliagi; K. Muratova’s Asthenic Syndrome; and A. Zviagintsev’s Loveless. All written assignments, texts, and discussions are in Russian.  RUSS 142 or 151, or permission of instructor.  L5, HU
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* RUSS 174a, The Russian Works of Vladimir NabokovConstantine Muravnik

An aesthetic reading of Vladimir Nabokov's Russian works and him as a writer concerned with the question of the ontological significance of art and various modes of the artist's relationship to the world. Taught in Russian, aimed at advancing students’ speaking, reading, writing, and listening proficiency. Prerequisite: RUSS 151 or equivalent, or with permission of instructor.  L5, HURP
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* RUSS 222a / FILM 369a / HUMS 186a / RSEE 244a, War GamesStaff

Dismissed, mocked, feared or loved for decades, video games have become a staple of contemporary media, art, and popular culture, studied alongside traditional print media and film. They eclipse the global yearly revenue of both film and music industries combined, leaving their financial significance undeniable. What remains understudied, however, is the political and cultural significance of the medium. War Games is a seminar dedicated to the intersection of video games and political violence (both real and imaginary) in a global and particularly post-Cold War context. Students learn to recognize patterns of ideological communication in video games while developing close reading skills of literature and digital media alike. We combine the study of video games with broader inquires into the media that circulate through the game mediaverse, including literature, social and news media, and film. Playing games and reading books, we pose the following questions: How do players “perform” war in games, and how might they resist or subvert expected performances? How indeed are we as readers and players affected by the type of media we consume? What is an adaptation? How do adaptations influence or potentially reshape our relationships with the source material? What themes and ideas are revealed effectively through one medium versus another? Why do certain literary traditions (such as classical Russian literature) provide such fruitful ground for video game adaptation? What are the political implications for the ideologies present in a video game given the globalized position of the medium? Assigned readings include novels, short stories, news media, and internet forums alongside a range of secondary materials, including film and media theory, intellectual and media histories, digital anthropology, reception studies, and interviews.  HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm, W 7pm-8pm

RUSS 241b / HIST 237b / RSEE 390b, Russian Culture: The Modern AgeClaire Roosien and Sergei Antonov

An interdisciplinary exploration of Russian cultural history, focusing on literature, art, religion, social and political thought, and film. Conceptions of Russian nationhood; the myths of St. Petersburg; dissent and persecution; the role of social and cultural elites; the intelligentsia; attitudes toward the common people; conflicting appeals of rationality, spirituality, and idealism; the politicization of personal life; the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath. Readings and discussion in English.  HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* RUSS 309a / HSAR 354a / RSEE 309a, Art and the ArcticMolly Brunson and Emily Cox

This seminar asks how the arctic took shape as an aesthetically contested ground in the visual art, literature, material culture, and popular media of the nineteenth century. How did national styles make claims on a stateless landscape? In what ways was the circumpolar region gendered and racialized? And how did these questions shape the emergence of a northern modernism too often neglected in histories of art? Questions of whiteness, exploration, and exploitation will be considered in the works of Russian, Nordic, and Sami artists from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.   HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* RUSS 313a / LITR 210a / RSEE 313a / SLAV 313a / THST 314a, Art and Resistance in Belarus, Russia, and UkraineAndrei Kureichyk

This interdisciplinary seminar is devoted to the study of protest art as part of the struggle of society against authoritarianism and totalitarianism. It focuses on the example of the Soviet and post-Soviet transformation of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. The period under discussion begins after the death of Stalin in 1953 and ends with the art of protest against the modern post-Soviet dictatorships of Alexander Lukashenka in Belarus and Vladimir Putin in Russia, the protest art of the Ukrainian Maidan and the anti-war movement of artists against the Russian-Ukrainian war. The course begins by looking at the influence of the “Khrushchev Thaw” on literature and cinema, which opened the way for protest art to a wide Soviet audience. We explore different approaches to protest art in conditions of political unfreedom: "nonconformism," "dissidence," "mimicry," "rebellion." The course investigates the existential conflict of artistic freedom and the political machine of authoritarianism. These themes are explored at different levels through specific examples from the works and biographies of artists. Students immerse themselves in works of different genres: films, songs, performances, plays and literary works.  HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* RUSS 316a / EALL 288a / EAST 316a / LITR 303a / RSEE 316a, Socialist '80s: Aesthetics of Reform in China and the Soviet UnionJinyi Chu

This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of the complex cultural and political paradigms of late socialism from a transnational perspective by focusing on the literature, cinema, and popular culture of the Soviet Union and China in 1980s. How were intellectual and everyday life in the Soviet Union and China distinct from and similar to that of the West of the same era? How do we parse “the cultural logic of late socialism?” What can today’s America learn from it? Examining two major socialist cultures together in a global context, this course queries the ethnographic, ideological, and socio-economic constituents of late socialism. Students analyze cultural materials in the context of Soviet and Chinese history. Along the way, we explore themes of identity, nationalism, globalization, capitalism, and the Cold War. Students with knowledge of Russian and Chinese are encouraged to read in original languages. All readings are available in English.   WR, HUTr
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* RUSS 329a / HIST 398Ja / MMES 300a / RSEE 329a, Introduction to Modern Central AsiaClaire Roosien

An overview of the history of modern Central Asia—modern-day Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. This course shows Central Asia to be a pivotal participant in some of the major global issues of the 20th and 21st centuries, from environmental degradation and Cold War, to women’s emancipation and postcolonial nation-building, to religion and the rise of mass society. It also includes an overview of the region’s longer history, of the conquests by the Russian and Chinese empires, the rise of Islamic modernist reform movements, the Bolshevik victory, World War II, the perestroika, and the projects of post-Soviet nation-building. Readings in history are supplemented by such primary sources as novels and poetry, films and songs, government decrees, travelogues, courtly chronicles, and the periodical press. All readings and discussions in English.  HUTr
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* RUSS 380a / FILM 360a / LITR 301a / RSEE 380a, Putin's Russia and Protest CultureStaff

Survey of Russian literature and culture since the fall of communism. The chaos of the 1990s; the solidification of power in Putin's Russia; the recent rise of protest culture. Sources include literature, film, and performances by art collectives. Readings and discussion in English; texts available in Russian.  WR, HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* RUSS 401b / RSEE 401b, Socialist Realism And Its LegaciesClaire Roosien

Socialist Realism was promulgated in the 1930s as the sole mode for cultural production in the Soviet Union. Since that time, it has been maligned as totalitarian, lauded as emancipatory, dismissed as hackish, and reappropriated in a variety of ways–from homage to parody. This course offers an introduction to Socialist Realism and its legacies, beginning with its prehistory in the early Soviet avant-garde and other cultural movements, tracing its official adoption under Stalin, its reassessment in the late Soviet period, and its legacies after the fall of the Soviet Union. Special attention is paid to the interpretations of Socialist Realism in the emerging national cultures beyond the Russian SFSR. The course also examines select examples of the impact of Socialist Realism beyond the Soviet Union, particularly in the “Third World” during the era of Cold War cultural diplomacy. Questions for discussion include: How did Socialist Realism imagine, enforce, and unsettle hierarchies of gender, race, and ethnicity? What did Socialist Realism look like beyond literature–in film, visual art, architecture, and music? How did the imperative to use Socialist Realism connect to the Soviet project to create minority cultures that would be “national in form, socialist in content”?  How did people outside the Second World receive and appropriate Socialist Realism?  HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* RUSS 490a and RUSS 491b, The Senior EssayJinyi Chu

Research and writing on a topic of the student's own devising. Regular meetings with an adviser as the work progresses from prospectus to final form.