Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

The Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies (REES) program offers an interdisciplinary range of courses in Russian language, history, politics, literature, culture, and film, as well as in the culture and society of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. We encourage students to study abroad; our students have done research in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and other countries in the area. Russia continues to play a major role in global affairs, and the study of Russia occupies an important place in the Wesleyan curriculum, for both majors and nonmajors.

The major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of contemporary Russian culture and society, its history, its political and economic institutions, and its place in the world. Students are strongly encouraged to spend a semester or a summer in Russia (or another country in the area, if appropriate). At the end of their studies students should have achieved an advanced level of fluency in the language and should be able to work with Russian sources to conduct original research in their chosen area of specialization. They should be able to read or watch Russian media and understand the historical and cultural references that frame Russians' understanding of their world. Students should also have a basic familiarity with the historical, cultural, social, and political developments of the other post-Soviet states beyond Russia and have the opportunity to explore these countries in more detail if they so desire. The major prepares students for careers in research and cultural analysis, education, law, artistic production, diplomacy and public service, business, and communication. 

Faculty

Irina Aleshkovsky
MA, Vilnius State University
Adjunct Professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Susanne Grace Fusso
BA, Lawrence University; MA, Yale University; PHD, Yale University
Professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; Chair, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Peter Rutland
BA, Oxford University; DPHIL, York University
Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought; Professor of Government; Director, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life; Professor, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; Tutor, College of Social Studies

Victoria Smolkin
BA, Sarah Lawrence College; PHD, University of California, Berkeley
Associate Professor of History; Tutor, College of Social Studies; Associate Professor, Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies

Roman Utkin
MA, Kazan State University; MPHIL, Yale University; PHD, Yale University
Assistant Professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; Assistant Professor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Affiliated Faculty

John P. Bonin
BA, Boston College; MA, University of Rochester; PHD, University of Rochester
Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Science; Professor of Economics; Tutor, College of Social Studies; Professor, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Joseph J. Fitzpatrick
BA, Harvard University; PHD, Duke University
Assistant Professor of the Practice in Letters; Assistant Professor of the Practice, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Katja P. Kolcio
MA, University of Georgia Athens; MA, Ohio State University; PHD, Ohio State University
Associate Professor of Dance; Chair, Dance; Associate Professor, Environmental Studies; Associate Professor, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Nadya Potemkina
DMA, The University of Memphis; MM, University Nthrn Iowa; MM, Ball State University
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Justine Quijada
BA, University of Chicago; MA, Columbia University; PHD, University of Chicago
Assistant Professor of Religion; Assistant Professor, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; Assistant Professor, College of the Environment

Sasha Rudensky
BA, Wesleyan University; MFA, Yale University
Associate Professor of Art; Associate Professor, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Emeriti

Priscilla Meyer
BA, University of California, Berkeley; MA, Princeton University; MAA, Wesleyan University; PHD, Princeton University
Professor of Russian Language and Literature, Emerita; CPE Instructor

Duffield White
BA, Wesleyan University; PHD, University of Michigan
Associate Professor of Russian Language and Literature, Emeritus

Departmental Advising Experts

Susanne Fusso, Peter Rutland, Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock, Roman Utkin

Russian and East European, and Eurasian Studies

REES205 Murder and Adultery: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the 19th-Century Russian Novel

The 19th-century novel is widely regarded as the supreme achievement of Russian literature. This course will trace its development from Pushkin's elegant, witty novel in verse, EUGENE ONEGIN, through the grotesque comedy of Gogol, to the realist masterpieces of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, with their complex depiction of human psychology and the philosophical struggles of late 19th-century society. We will consider the historical background in which the novels were produced and the tools developed by Russian critical theory, especially the Russian formalists and Mikhail Bakhtin, for understanding 19th-century Russian prose.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE205, RUSS205
Prereq: None

REES206 A Matter of Life and Death: Fiction in the Soviet Era

The great Russian writers of the 20th century risked their lives insisting on moral absolutes to counter Soviet doctrine. Zamyatin's WE inspired BRAVE NEW WORLD and 1984; Bulgakov's MASTER AND MARGARITA remained hidden for 27 years; Solzhenitsyn dared to submit IVAN DENISOVICH during Khrushchev's Thaw--each decade has its characteristic masterpiece. (Students who wish to read excerpts from the course readings in the original Russian should see the instructor to enroll in a 0.5 credit tutorial.)
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS206, RULE206
Prereq: None

REES208F Otherness & Belonging (FYS)

One of the many haunting utterances of Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous antihero, the Underground Man, is "I am alone, I thought, and they are everyone." Like him, the other protagonists of this course are outcasts, dissidents, and strangers - jaded office clerks and repressed misanthropes, queer activists and "enemies of the state" - who refuse to conform to societal norms, disrupt conventions by saying the unsayable, and write and make art from the margins, the realm of undesirables. Focusing mainly on Russia and Eastern Europe, we will analyze representations of otherness and belonging in fiction, non-fiction, and film. We will explore narratives of undesirability through the thematic prisms of exile and immigration; gender and sexuality; mental illness; prison writing; ethnic difference; religion; and unrequited love. The concept of undesirability will also be our point of entry for constructing arguments about community, privilege, and a society without outsiders.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE208F, RUSS208F
Prereq: None

REES212 The Short Course: Readings in 20th-Century Fiction

Supplementary to RUSS206, this course should ideally be taken concomitantly with it, since the readings will be excerpts from RUSS206 to be done in Russian. Designed for Russian majors to do advanced work with the texts they read in RUSS206, the discussion will focus on close stylistic analysis.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 0.50
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS212
Prereq: (RUSS202 AND [RUSS206 or REES206 or RULE206])

REES216 Secularism: An Introduction

This course traces the idea and ideal of secularism as an ideological project from classic Enlightenment texts to its contemporary incarnations. We begin with philosophical arguments for the separation of church and state as well as the utopian ideals of secular humanism. We then trace how these underpinnings were embodied in state-sponsored atheism in the Soviet Union, in contrast to liberal democratic principles in the U.S. and Europe. Finally, we examine critiques of the secular project, focusing on secularism as a realpolitik approach to governing multi-religious societies and the idea of religious freedom as a universal human right.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-RELI
Identical With: RELI271
Prereq: None

REES219 Russian and Soviet History, 1881 to the Present

Reversals of fortune have defined Russian history perhaps more so than for any other nation. Though the Russian Empire began the 19th century as an emerging European superpower that defeated Napoleon, it ended that same century as a backward state plagued by political, economic, and social strife that ultimately brought the Romanov dynasty to a revolutionary collapse. A similar trajectory describes the "short" Soviet 20th century that began with the promise of a qualitatively new political order that sought to transform social relations and human nature and concluded with a spectacular implosion that some heralded as the end of history itself.

This course will follow the story of how the Soviet Union emerged from the ruins of the Russian imperial order to become the world's first socialist society, the most serious challenge to imperialism, liberalism, and capitalism, and, arguably, modernity's greatest political experiment. We will cover the following topics: the emergence and fate of Russian national identity; the origins and dynamics of Russia's revolutions; the political, economic, and cultural challenges of the Soviet project; the role of the party and ideology in politics and everyday life; the nationalities question and the challenges of governing a socialist empire; Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War and the rebirth of the nation (and nationalism); the emergence of the Soviet Union as a Cold War superpower; the country's historic attempts to reform (and the frequent failure of these attempts); and the dynamics of the system's collapse.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Identical With: HIST219
Prereq: None

REES220 Speak, Memory: The Russian Memoir

Memoirs offer a chance for the individual to make sense of his or her relationship to larger historical forces and allow writers of fiction and poetry to reflect on the tensions between biography and the creative process. We will read prison memoirs by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Eugenia Ginzburg; visions of childhood by Lev Tolstoy, Vladimir Nabokov, and poets Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Joseph Brodsky; and works of autobiography by Viktor Shklovsky and Sergey Gandlevsky that create their own poetic world. The course will also consider the theoretical problems of autobiographical writing. Students will write a memoir of childhood (3--5 pages) to better understand the technical problems faced by Tolstoy in writing about his childhood. Students will also write a piece of memoiristic prose, or a parody or imitation of one of the writers in the course (minimum 10 pages), as one of their three papers. We will devote one class session to a writing workshop session on the creative project.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RUSS
Identical With: RUSS220, RULE220
Prereq: None

REES233 Introduction to Russian and Soviet Cinema

This course provides an introduction to the history and poetics of Soviet and Russian cinema. From the avant-garde experimentation of Lev Kuleshov, Sergei Eisenstein, and Dziga Vertov to the masterpieces of Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Parajanov, and Kira Muratova, the course will explore the development of Russian film as artistic medium and as national tradition. The discussion and comparative analyses of different forms and genres, including silent cinema, propaganda films, blockbusters, and auteur cinema, will be situated within the cultural, political, and aesthetic contexts of the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE233, RUSS233
Prereq: None

REES235 Queer Russia

Russia is accustomed to playing the role of the "evil empire." The current ongoing war in Ukraine has resurrected the Cold War-era narratives about Russia as a dark, aggressive, and ruthless military power. The notorious legislation of recent years--whose functions range from barring Americans from adopting Russian orphans to criminalizing the so-called "gay propaganda"--have further solidified Russia's reputation as a country with little regard for human rights. Yet generations of Russian poets, artists, and writers have transformed the country's systematic oppression and violence into spectacular forms of protest and self-expression. This course focuses on gender and sexuality in exploring an alternative cultural history of Russia, which highlights its queer legacy from the nineteenth century to the present. We will examine poetry, fiction, art, memoirs, plays, films, performances, and discursive texts that showcase uniquely Russian conceptions of marriage, gender relations, gender expression, and sexual identity. Attention will be paid to the ways in which Russian and Western narratives of queerness align and diverge. In English. No knowledge of Russian is required or expected.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS235, RULE235, FGSS234
Prereq: None

REES240 Reading Stories: Great Short Works from Tolstoy to Petrushevskaya

This course is designed to help students improve their writing through the close reading and analysis of short stories and novellas by Russian masters of the form. In each class, we will discuss one or two literary works. Students will be asked to bring to each class their ideas on how to construct an argument that could be developed into a written interpretation of the work. These discussions, along with work on English grammar and style as elucidated by Strunk & White and R. L. Trask, will inform students' own writing (four 5-page papers). We will read works in the realist tradition from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century that include Tolstoy's novellas of faith, adultery, and facing death; Chekhov's subtle psychological tales; Bunin's reflections from exile on a lost Russia; Babel's stories of the Civil War and of Jewish Odessa; Bulgakov's sketches of life as a country doctor; and Petrushevskaya's modern stories of the tortured lives of women in the late Soviet period.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS240, RULE240
Prereq: None

REES251 Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky is widely recognized as one of the world's greatest novelists. His career begins at the end of Russian Romanticism, is interrupted by nine years of prison and exile in Siberia, and resumes at the beginning of the age of the great realist novel. Dostoevsky's major works grapple with the themes of sin and crime, the disintegration of the family, and the difficulty of believing in God in a world full of evil.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE251, RUSS251
Prereq: None

REES252 Tolstoy

During the 19th century when Tolstoy wrote his novels and stories, literature was viewed in Russia as the intelligentsia's primary medium for debating its big questions (such as how to resolve the inequalities that had been institutionalized under serfdom, or how to choose between new and old values as Russia experienced modernization). Writers like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky willingly assumed the responsibility to address a broad range of political, historical, and philosophical-religious questions in their fiction, and they wrote novels with radical formulations as well as solutions to these questions. However, they also viewed literature, particularly the novel, as a medium with rich potential for innovative formal experimentation, and so they resisted the call for conventional ideological novels. Each of Tolstoy's best works is an innovative formal experiment that creates an unprecedented, new type of novel. This course will study how Tolstoy's writings both responded to and transcended their times by creating new novelistic forms and new truths within those forms.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS252, COL262, RULE252
Prereq: None

REES254 Nobel Laureates: The Politics of Literature

The course examines key cultural and socio-historical moments in the development of twentieth-century Russian literature by focusing on the prose and poetry of authors awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature-Ivan Bunin (1933), Boris Pasternak (1958), Mikhail Sholokhov (1965), Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1970), Joseph Brodsky (1987), and Svetlana Alexievich (2015). Additionally, the students will read Lev Tolstoy, who rejected being nominated for the prize, as well as Vladimir Nabokov and Anna Akhmatova, who arguably merited the award but never received it. On the broader level, the class will ponder literature's relevance for shaping public discourse on cultural policies, national identities, and international relations.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS254, RULE254
Prereq: None

REES255 Prague, Vienna, Sarajevo: 20th-Century Novels from Central and Eastern Europe

This course is a survey of 20th-century prose fiction of Central and Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on the Czech novel. The novels we will read make history come alive through the eyes of vividly individual characters. In Joseph Roth's RADETZKY MARCH, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is viewed through the lens of a single heartbroken family; in Bohumil Hrabal's I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND, the Czech experience in World War II and postwar Stalinization is embodied in the figure of a diminutive hotel waiter; Milan Kundera's THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING refracts the Soviet domination of Czechoslovakia through the traumas and love affairs of a quartet of characters; in Witold Gombrowicz's TRANS-ATLANTYK and Aleksandar Hemon's THE QUESTION OF BRUNO, the main characters find themselves in a foreign land when their home countries (Poland and Yugoslavia, respectively) are torn apart by war. All the works we will read exemplify the high level of narrative sophistication, in realist, absurdist, and experimental modes, that is a hallmark of Central and Eastern European literature.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE255, RUSS255
Prereq: None

REES260 Dostoevsky's BRAT'IA KARAMAZOVY

In this seminar devoted to close reading of the original text of Dostoevsky's 1879--80 novel, all students will be required to read the entire text in English, and each week specific passages will be read in Russian. In class, we will analyze and discuss the text in Russian. Students will give presentations about critical works related to the novel and to Dostoevsky's work in general. The class is conducted in Russian.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS260
Prereq: RUSS301

REES263 Nabokov and Cultural Synthesis

This course will trace the development of Nabokov's art from its origins in Russian literature by close readings of the motifs that spiral outward through his (principally English-language) novels.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE263, COL265, RUSS263
Prereq: None

REES267 Parody: Humor, Artistic Evolution, and Restoration of the Sacred

Parody is a form of artistic expression that has played a major role in literary history, largely through its power of critical revision. According to Russian formalist theorists of the early 20th century, parody is a driving force in literary evolution. Linda Hutcheon's formulation, that parody is "repetition with critical distance, which marks difference rather than similarity," provides perhaps the broadest and most fruitful point of departure. The course will consider various definitions of parody offered by Russian and Western theorists. After examining parody as pure humor (Woody Allen, MAD magazine, Hot Fuzz) and parody as a tool of literary evolution (Gogol and Dostoevsky), we will study the more complicated case of "restorative parody," as exemplified in the medieval practice of parodia sacra (sacred parody), discussed by theorists Mikhail Bakhtin and Olga Freidenberg. We will look at the modern manifestation of parodia sacra in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar, and of restorative parody in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton. The course will also include discussion of legal issues raised by parody, in the case of 2 Live Crew / Roy Orbison (which led to a 1994 Supreme Court decision, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, in which Justice David Souter offered his own definition of parody). At the end of the semester, students will present their own research or creative projects related to parody.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS267, RULE267
Prereq: None

REES277 Gogol and His Legacy: Witches, Con Men, and Runaway Noses

This course will include close reading and analysis of the works of Nikolai Gogol (1809--1852), who created a phantasmagorical world of devils and witches coexisting with the gritty details of life in St. Petersburg and the Russian provinces. We will also read works by later writers who either explicitly or implicitly placed themselves in the Gogolian tradition: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Fyodor Sologub, Andrei Bely, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Vladimir Nabokov. Gogol's satirical observations delighted socially conscious contemporary critics, while his linguistic experimentation and subversion of the rules of logic inspired modernist writers of the 20th century. We will consider Gogol's response to Romantic aesthetics, his interest in the demonic, the influence of his formal and linguistic experimentation on later writers, and the history of his reception by Russian and Western writers and critics.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE277, RUSS277
Prereq: None

REES280 Russian Politics

The course begins with a brief review of the dynamics of the Soviet system and the reasons for its collapse in 1991. The traumatic transition of the 1990s raised profound questions about what conditions are necessary for the evolution of effective political and economic institutions. The chaos of the Yeltsin years was followed by a return to authoritarian rule under President Putin, although the long-run stability of the Putin system is also open to question. While the focus of the course is Russia, students will also study the transition process in the other 14 states that came out of the Soviet Union. Topics include political institutions, social movements, economic reforms, and foreign policy strategies.

The course will include a role-playing simulation of Kremlin decision making that will run over several weeks.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-GOVT
Identical With: GOVT274
Prereq: None

REES282 Modern Shamanism: Ecstacy and Ancestors in the New Age

The wise and mysterious native shaman has long held a particular fascination for Western scholars of religion, but does this figure even exist? What does it mean to be a practicing shaman today? Beginning with Eliade's definition of "archaic ecstasy," we examine the idea of the shaman, its role in the New Age movement, and the challenges faced by contemporary indigenous shamans, from negotiating international intellectual property rights law to Ayahuasca tourism. Course materials are supplemented by A/V materials from the instructor's fieldwork in Siberia.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-RELI
Identical With: RELI239
Prereq: None

REES284 Pushkin

This seminar is for students who are at or above the third year of language study. We will spend the semester reading EVGENY ONEGIN in the original Russian. Class discussions will be in Russian to the degree possible; some biographical reading will be in English. There will be regular listening assignments as well as written ones.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS250
Prereq: RUSS202

REES289 Indigenous Religions: Politics, Land, Healing

From wise old shamans to heroic pipeline protestors, the media is full of romantic representations of indigenous religion, but what do you really know beyond the stereotypes? If indigenous religion is just religion practiced by indigenous people, is it a category at all? Since the first days of colonialism the question of whether or not the "natives" have or are capable of having religion has had political consequences. This class introduces students to the historical and political contexts within which indigenous peoples practice their religions, and critically engages with popular stereotypes. Using ethnography, fiction, critical theory, and the instructor's own fieldwork materials, we will examine some of the criteria by which indigenous religious practices have been romanticized or judged lacking by outsiders: What does an oral tradition sound like? What does it mean to engage in place-based religion? What is a "noble savage," what are sacred sites, animate landscapes, and what are some of the ways indigenous peoples really do relate to the environment in radically different ways? What are some of the contradictions and complications of multiculturalism and the politics of recognition when it comes to indigenous populations? While this is not a survey course, students will be introduced to case studies of indigenous religious practices from North America, Australia, and Siberia.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-RELI
Identical With: RELI289
Prereq: None

REES299 Imagining Communities: National Religions and Political Rituals

From the Catholic-Protestant troubles in Northern Ireland, Christian nationalism in Serbia, Hindu-Buddhist conflict in Sri Lanka, and the Taliban in Afghanistan, religious nationalism often produces virulent and violent conflict. Yet the Virgin of Guadeloupe is a national symbol of Mexico, Catholicism was central to the Polish Solidarity movement, and America defines itself as "one nation under God." How are we to understand the relationship between religion and national identity, and how do political rituals, both religious and secular, help form communities? Popular media and political science analysis define religious nationalism as dangerous and secular nationalism as good. We will investigate this claim over the course of the semester by asking what the study of religion and ritual can bring to the topic. Are religious and secular political rituals really as different as they seem? We will read and discuss the classic social theories of Samuel Huntington, Benedict Anderson, Emile Durkheim, Victor Turner, Clifford Geertz, and Talal Asad, and these readings will be interspersed with case studies that illustrate how these theories help us understand the world. Case studies include the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the arrest and trial of the punk band Pussy Riot in Russia, and the Yasukuni shrine in Japan, where the souls of kamikaze pilots and World War II war criminals are enshrined. In addition, students will pick a case study of their own for a research project. This project will be conducted through multiple small assignments over the course of the semester that will be combined into a final research paper and class presentation.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-RELI
Identical With: RELI299
Prereq: None

REES340 Reading Theories

In this survey of theories that have shaped the reading of literature and the analysis of culture, emphasis is on key concepts--language, identity, subjectivity, gender, power, and knowledge--and on key figures and schools such as Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Saussure, Barthes, Gramsci, Benjamin, Althusser, Foucault, Lacan, Deleuze, Jameson, postmodernism, and U.S. feminism.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: RL&L290, CEAS340, CCIV393, GRST231, RUSS340, RULE340, ENGL295, COL339
Prereq: None

REES344 "If there is no God, then everything is permitted?" Moral Life in a Secular World

In Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, Dmitri Karamazov famously poses the question of what would happen to mankind "without God and immortal life," asking whether this means that "all things are permitted." Made famous by Dostoevsky, the question of whether we can be moral without God has always haunted secularism and has consistently been the most vocal criticism of unbelief. From papal condemnations of secularism and "godless Soviets," to the contemporary consensus that belief in God is evidence of moral goodness and its absence a sign of a broken ethical barometer, the assumption has been that transcendental authority is all that stands between us and moral abyss. When the atrocities committed by "totalitarian" regimes are cited as evidence of this, it is only the most radical articulation of a broader narrative of secular modernity.

One of modernity's master narratives is that people go from being under the care of the church to being under the care of the state, and our focus will be on historical cases where the question of secular values was explicitly engaged by the state. We will examine individual and collective articulations of morality in three prominent models of secularism: American civil religion, French laïcité, and Communist official atheism. What constitutes the moral foundation of a world without God? Can religion's moral and spiritual function be performed by a different kind of belief system?
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Identical With: HIST395, RELI393
Prereq: None

REES353 The Communist Experience in the 20th Century

Two decades have passed since the collapse of Communism, its empire, and its utopian vision of the kingdom of heaven on Earth. Indeed, the Communist collapse was heralded as not just the end of the Cold War but the end of history itself. Yet how do we understand the nature of the communist way of life, the causes of its decline, and the meaning of its demise? This course will trace the development of Communism's answer to capitalist modernity from the 1917 Revolution through the Soviet collapse. It will seek to shed light on the birth, life, and death of Communist modernity through history, literature, and art, by exploring the world socialism created as an ideological model and a way of life. The emphasis of the course will be on the lived experience of Communism, primarily within the Soviet Union, but also beyond it (in Eastern Europe and Asia). In the global conflict between capitalism and Communism, how did people understand the competing demands of ideology and reality, individual and society, private and public, production and consumption, labor and leisure? How did the state manage the contradictions that arose when lofty ideologies encountered everyday life, and how did citizens make sense of these ideological transformations? What killed Communism: bombs and diplomacy, or refrigerators and Finnish shoes?
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Identical With: HIST353
Prereq: None

REES401 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

REES402 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

REES407 Senior Tutorial (downgraded thesis)

Downgraded Senior Thesis Tutorial - Project to be arranged in consultation with the tutor. Only enrolled in through the Honors Coordinator.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

REES408 Senior Tutorial (downgraded thesis)

Downgraded Senior Thesis Tutorial - Project to be arranged in consultation with the tutor. Only enrolled in through the Honors Coordinator.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

REES409 Senior Thesis Tutorial

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

REES410 Senior Thesis Tutorial

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

REES411 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

REES412 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

REES465 Education in the Field, Undergraduate

Students must consult with the department and class dean in advance of undertaking education in the field for approval of the nature of the responsibilities and method of evaluation.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

Russian Literature in English

RULE205 Murder and Adultery: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the 19th-Century Russian Novel

The 19th-century novel is widely regarded as the supreme achievement of Russian literature. This course will trace its development from Pushkin's elegant, witty novel in verse, EUGENE ONEGIN, through the grotesque comedy of Gogol, to the realist masterpieces of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, with their complex depiction of human psychology and the philosophical struggles of late 19th-century society. We will consider the historical background in which the novels were produced and the tools developed by Russian critical theory, especially the Russian formalists and Mikhail Bakhtin, for understanding 19th-century Russian prose.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES205, RUSS205
Prereq: None

RULE206 A Matter of Life and Death: Fiction in the Soviet Era

The great Russian writers of the 20th century risked their lives insisting on moral absolutes to counter Soviet doctrine. Zamyatin's WE inspired BRAVE NEW WORLD and 1984; Bulgakov's MASTER AND MARGARITA remained hidden for 27 years; Solzhenitsyn dared to submit IVAN DENISOVICH during Khrushchev's Thaw--each decade has its characteristic masterpiece. (Students who wish to read excerpts from the course readings in the original Russian should see the instructor to enroll in a 0.5 credit tutorial.)
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS206, REES206
Prereq: None

RULE208F Otherness & Belonging (FYS)

One of the many haunting utterances of Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous antihero, the Underground Man, is "I am alone, I thought, and they are everyone." Like him, the other protagonists of this course are outcasts, dissidents, and strangers - jaded office clerks and repressed misanthropes, queer activists and "enemies of the state" - who refuse to conform to societal norms, disrupt conventions by saying the unsayable, and write and make art from the margins, the realm of undesirables. Focusing mainly on Russia and Eastern Europe, we will analyze representations of otherness and belonging in fiction, non-fiction, and film. We will explore narratives of undesirability through the thematic prisms of exile and immigration; gender and sexuality; mental illness; prison writing; ethnic difference; religion; and unrequited love. The concept of undesirability will also be our point of entry for constructing arguments about community, privilege, and a society without outsiders.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES208F, RUSS208F
Prereq: None

RULE220 Speak, Memory: The Russian Memoir

Memoirs offer a chance for the individual to make sense of his or her relationship to larger historical forces and allow writers of fiction and poetry to reflect on the tensions between biography and the creative process. We will read prison memoirs by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Eugenia Ginzburg; visions of childhood by Lev Tolstoy, Vladimir Nabokov, and poets Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Joseph Brodsky; and works of autobiography by Viktor Shklovsky and Sergey Gandlevsky that create their own poetic world. The course will also consider the theoretical problems of autobiographical writing. Students will write a memoir of childhood (3--5 pages) to better understand the technical problems faced by Tolstoy in writing about his childhood. Students will also write a piece of memoiristic prose, or a parody or imitation of one of the writers in the course (minimum 10 pages), as one of their three papers. We will devote one class session to a writing workshop session on the creative project.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RUSS
Identical With: RUSS220, REES220
Prereq: None

RULE233 Introduction to Russian and Soviet Cinema

This course provides an introduction to the history and poetics of Soviet and Russian cinema. From the avant-garde experimentation of Lev Kuleshov, Sergei Eisenstein, and Dziga Vertov to the masterpieces of Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Parajanov, and Kira Muratova, the course will explore the development of Russian film as artistic medium and as national tradition. The discussion and comparative analyses of different forms and genres, including silent cinema, propaganda films, blockbusters, and auteur cinema, will be situated within the cultural, political, and aesthetic contexts of the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS233, REES233
Prereq: None

RULE235 Queer Russia

Russia is accustomed to playing the role of the "evil empire." The current ongoing war in Ukraine has resurrected the Cold War-era narratives about Russia as a dark, aggressive, and ruthless military power. The notorious legislation of recent years--whose functions range from barring Americans from adopting Russian orphans to criminalizing the so-called "gay propaganda"--have further solidified Russia's reputation as a country with little regard for human rights. Yet generations of Russian poets, artists, and writers have transformed the country's systematic oppression and violence into spectacular forms of protest and self-expression. This course focuses on gender and sexuality in exploring an alternative cultural history of Russia, which highlights its queer legacy from the nineteenth century to the present. We will examine poetry, fiction, art, memoirs, plays, films, performances, and discursive texts that showcase uniquely Russian conceptions of marriage, gender relations, gender expression, and sexual identity. Attention will be paid to the ways in which Russian and Western narratives of queerness align and diverge. In English. No knowledge of Russian is required or expected.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS235, FGSS234, REES235
Prereq: None

RULE240 Reading Stories: Great Short Works from Tolstoy to Petrushevskaya

This course is designed to help students improve their writing through the close reading and analysis of short stories and novellas by Russian masters of the form. In each class, we will discuss one or two literary works. Students will be asked to bring to each class their ideas on how to construct an argument that could be developed into a written interpretation of the work. These discussions, along with work on English grammar and style as elucidated by Strunk & White and R. L. Trask, will inform students' own writing (four 5-page papers). We will read works in the realist tradition from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century that include Tolstoy's novellas of faith, adultery, and facing death; Chekhov's subtle psychological tales; Bunin's reflections from exile on a lost Russia; Babel's stories of the Civil War and of Jewish Odessa; Bulgakov's sketches of life as a country doctor; and Petrushevskaya's modern stories of the tortured lives of women in the late Soviet period.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES240, RUSS240
Prereq: None

RULE251 Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky is widely recognized as one of the world's greatest novelists. His career begins at the end of Russian Romanticism, is interrupted by nine years of prison and exile in Siberia, and resumes at the beginning of the age of the great realist novel. Dostoevsky's major works grapple with the themes of sin and crime, the disintegration of the family, and the difficulty of believing in God in a world full of evil.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES251, RUSS251
Prereq: None

RULE252 Tolstoy

During the 19th century when Tolstoy wrote his novels and stories, literature was viewed in Russia as the intelligentsia's primary medium for debating its big questions (such as how to resolve the inequalities that had been institutionalized under serfdom, or how to choose between new and old values as Russia experienced modernization). Writers like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky willingly assumed the responsibility to address a broad range of political, historical, and philosophical-religious questions in their fiction, and they wrote novels with radical formulations as well as solutions to these questions. However, they also viewed literature, particularly the novel, as a medium with rich potential for innovative formal experimentation, and so they resisted the call for conventional ideological novels. Each of Tolstoy's best works is an innovative formal experiment that creates an unprecedented, new type of novel. This course will study how Tolstoy's writings both responded to and transcended their times by creating new novelistic forms and new truths within those forms.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS252, REES252, COL262
Prereq: None

RULE254 Nobel Laureates: The Politics of Literature

The course examines key cultural and socio-historical moments in the development of twentieth-century Russian literature by focusing on the prose and poetry of authors awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature-Ivan Bunin (1933), Boris Pasternak (1958), Mikhail Sholokhov (1965), Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1970), Joseph Brodsky (1987), and Svetlana Alexievich (2015). Additionally, the students will read Lev Tolstoy, who rejected being nominated for the prize, as well as Vladimir Nabokov and Anna Akhmatova, who arguably merited the award but never received it. On the broader level, the class will ponder literature's relevance for shaping public discourse on cultural policies, national identities, and international relations.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS254, REES254
Prereq: None

RULE255 Prague, Vienna, Sarajevo: 20th-Century Novels from Central and Eastern Europe

This course is a survey of 20th-century prose fiction of Central and Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on the Czech novel. The novels we will read make history come alive through the eyes of vividly individual characters. In Joseph Roth's RADETZKY MARCH, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is viewed through the lens of a single heartbroken family; in Bohumil Hrabal's I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND, the Czech experience in World War II and postwar Stalinization is embodied in the figure of a diminutive hotel waiter; Milan Kundera's THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING refracts the Soviet domination of Czechoslovakia through the traumas and love affairs of a quartet of characters; in Witold Gombrowicz's TRANS-ATLANTYK and Aleksandar Hemon's THE QUESTION OF BRUNO, the main characters find themselves in a foreign land when their home countries (Poland and Yugoslavia, respectively) are torn apart by war. All the works we will read exemplify the high level of narrative sophistication, in realist, absurdist, and experimental modes, that is a hallmark of Central and Eastern European literature.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS255, REES255
Prereq: None

RULE263 Nabokov and Cultural Synthesis

This course will trace the development of Nabokov's art from its origins in Russian literature by close readings of the motifs that spiral outward through his (principally English-language) novels.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: COL265, REES263, RUSS263
Prereq: None

RULE267 Parody: Humor, Artistic Evolution, and Restoration of the Sacred

Parody is a form of artistic expression that has played a major role in literary history, largely through its power of critical revision. According to Russian formalist theorists of the early 20th century, parody is a driving force in literary evolution. Linda Hutcheon's formulation, that parody is "repetition with critical distance, which marks difference rather than similarity," provides perhaps the broadest and most fruitful point of departure. The course will consider various definitions of parody offered by Russian and Western theorists. After examining parody as pure humor (Woody Allen, MAD magazine, Hot Fuzz) and parody as a tool of literary evolution (Gogol and Dostoevsky), we will study the more complicated case of "restorative parody," as exemplified in the medieval practice of parodia sacra (sacred parody), discussed by theorists Mikhail Bakhtin and Olga Freidenberg. We will look at the modern manifestation of parodia sacra in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar, and of restorative parody in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton. The course will also include discussion of legal issues raised by parody, in the case of 2 Live Crew / Roy Orbison (which led to a 1994 Supreme Court decision, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, in which Justice David Souter offered his own definition of parody). At the end of the semester, students will present their own research or creative projects related to parody.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES267, RUSS267
Prereq: None

RULE277 Gogol and His Legacy: Witches, Con Men, and Runaway Noses

This course will include close reading and analysis of the works of Nikolai Gogol (1809--1852), who created a phantasmagorical world of devils and witches coexisting with the gritty details of life in St. Petersburg and the Russian provinces. We will also read works by later writers who either explicitly or implicitly placed themselves in the Gogolian tradition: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Fyodor Sologub, Andrei Bely, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Vladimir Nabokov. Gogol's satirical observations delighted socially conscious contemporary critics, while his linguistic experimentation and subversion of the rules of logic inspired modernist writers of the 20th century. We will consider Gogol's response to Romantic aesthetics, his interest in the demonic, the influence of his formal and linguistic experimentation on later writers, and the history of his reception by Russian and Western writers and critics.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS277, REES277
Prereq: None

RULE340 Reading Theories

In this survey of theories that have shaped the reading of literature and the analysis of culture, emphasis is on key concepts--language, identity, subjectivity, gender, power, and knowledge--and on key figures and schools such as Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Saussure, Barthes, Gramsci, Benjamin, Althusser, Foucault, Lacan, Deleuze, Jameson, postmodernism, and U.S. feminism.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: RL&L290, CEAS340, CCIV393, GRST231, RUSS340, REES340, ENGL295, COL339
Prereq: None

RULE401 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

RULE402 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

Russian Language and Literature

RUSS101 Elementary Russian I

This beginning course in Russian language teaches basic grammar while providing extensive practice in speaking and listening to contemporary Russian. Because of the intensive workload, the student earns 1.5 credits for this course.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.50
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Prereq: None

RUSS102 Elementary Russian II

This beginning course in Russian language teaches basic grammar while providing extensive practice in speaking and listening to contemporary Russian. Because of the intensive workload, the student earns one and half credits for this course.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.50
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Prereq: RUSS101

RUSS201 Intermediate Russian I

This course presents a continued study of Russian grammar with an emphasis on a complete analysis of the verb system. Exercises in class and in the language lab develop fluency in speaking and understanding spoken Russian while teaching the rules of Russian grammar. The readings used for analysis of the verb system are classic short stories by Chekhov, Tolstoy, Zoschenko, and others.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Prereq: (RUSS101 AND RUSS102)

RUSS202 Intermediate Russian II

Exercises in class and in the language lab develop fluency in speaking and understanding spoken Russian while teaching the rules of Russian grammar. Readings for the course (short works of Russian prose and poetry) will be listened to as well as read.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Prereq: RUSS101 AND RUSS102 AND RUSS201

RUSS205 Murder and Adultery: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the 19th-Century Russian Novel

The 19th-century novel is widely regarded as the supreme achievement of Russian literature. This course will trace its development from Pushkin's elegant, witty novel in verse, EUGENE ONEGIN, through the grotesque comedy of Gogol, to the realist masterpieces of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, with their complex depiction of human psychology and the philosophical struggles of late 19th-century society. We will consider the historical background in which the novels were produced and the tools developed by Russian critical theory, especially the Russian formalists and Mikhail Bakhtin, for understanding 19th-century Russian prose.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE205, REES205
Prereq: None

RUSS206 A Matter of Life and Death: Fiction in the Soviet Era

The great Russian writers of the 20th century risked their lives insisting on moral absolutes to counter Soviet doctrine. Zamyatin's WE inspired BRAVE NEW WORLD and 1984; Bulgakov's MASTER AND MARGARITA remained hidden for 27 years; Solzhenitsyn dared to submit IVAN DENISOVICH during Khrushchev's Thaw--each decade has its characteristic masterpiece. (Students who wish to read excerpts from the course readings in the original Russian should see the instructor to enroll in a 0.5 credit tutorial.)
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE206, REES206
Prereq: None

RUSS208F Otherness & Belonging (FYS)

One of the many haunting utterances of Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous antihero, the Underground Man, is "I am alone, I thought, and they are everyone." Like him, the other protagonists of this course are outcasts, dissidents, and strangers - jaded office clerks and repressed misanthropes, queer activists and "enemies of the state" - who refuse to conform to societal norms, disrupt conventions by saying the unsayable, and write and make art from the margins, the realm of undesirables. Focusing mainly on Russia and Eastern Europe, we will analyze representations of otherness and belonging in fiction, non-fiction, and film. We will explore narratives of undesirability through the thematic prisms of exile and immigration; gender and sexuality; mental illness; prison writing; ethnic difference; religion; and unrequited love. The concept of undesirability will also be our point of entry for constructing arguments about community, privilege, and a society without outsiders.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES208F, RULE208F
Prereq: None

RUSS212 The Short Course: Readings in 20th-Century Fiction

Supplementary to RUSS206, this course should ideally be taken concomitantly with it, since the readings will be excerpts from RUSS206 to be done in Russian. Designed for Russian majors to do advanced work with the texts they read in RUSS206, the discussion will focus on close stylistic analysis.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 0.50
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES212
Prereq: (RUSS202 AND [RUSS206 or REES206 or RULE206])

RUSS220 Speak, Memory: The Russian Memoir

Memoirs offer a chance for the individual to make sense of his or her relationship to larger historical forces and allow writers of fiction and poetry to reflect on the tensions between biography and the creative process. We will read prison memoirs by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Eugenia Ginzburg; visions of childhood by Lev Tolstoy, Vladimir Nabokov, and poets Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Joseph Brodsky; and works of autobiography by Viktor Shklovsky and Sergey Gandlevsky that create their own poetic world. The course will also consider the theoretical problems of autobiographical writing. Students will write a memoir of childhood (3--5 pages) to better understand the technical problems faced by Tolstoy in writing about his childhood. Students will also write a piece of memoiristic prose, or a parody or imitation of one of the writers in the course (minimum 10 pages), as one of their three papers. We will devote one class session to a writing workshop session on the creative project.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RUSS
Identical With: REES220, RULE220
Prereq: None

RUSS233 Introduction to Russian and Soviet Cinema

This course provides an introduction to the history and poetics of Soviet and Russian cinema. From the avant-garde experimentation of Lev Kuleshov, Sergei Eisenstein, and Dziga Vertov to the masterpieces of Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Parajanov, and Kira Muratova, the course will explore the development of Russian film as artistic medium and as national tradition. The discussion and comparative analyses of different forms and genres, including silent cinema, propaganda films, blockbusters, and auteur cinema, will be situated within the cultural, political, and aesthetic contexts of the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE233, REES233
Prereq: None

RUSS235 Queer Russia

Russia is accustomed to playing the role of the "evil empire." The current ongoing war in Ukraine has resurrected the Cold War-era narratives about Russia as a dark, aggressive, and ruthless military power. The notorious legislation of recent years--whose functions range from barring Americans from adopting Russian orphans to criminalizing the so-called "gay propaganda"--have further solidified Russia's reputation as a country with little regard for human rights. Yet generations of Russian poets, artists, and writers have transformed the country's systematic oppression and violence into spectacular forms of protest and self-expression. This course focuses on gender and sexuality in exploring an alternative cultural history of Russia, which highlights its queer legacy from the nineteenth century to the present. We will examine poetry, fiction, art, memoirs, plays, films, performances, and discursive texts that showcase uniquely Russian conceptions of marriage, gender relations, gender expression, and sexual identity. Attention will be paid to the ways in which Russian and Western narratives of queerness align and diverge. In English. No knowledge of Russian is required or expected.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE235, FGSS234, REES235
Prereq: None

RUSS240 Reading Stories: Great Short Works from Tolstoy to Petrushevskaya

This course is designed to help students improve their writing through the close reading and analysis of short stories and novellas by Russian masters of the form. In each class, we will discuss one or two literary works. Students will be asked to bring to each class their ideas on how to construct an argument that could be developed into a written interpretation of the work. These discussions, along with work on English grammar and style as elucidated by Strunk & White and R. L. Trask, will inform students' own writing (four 5-page papers). We will read works in the realist tradition from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century that include Tolstoy's novellas of faith, adultery, and facing death; Chekhov's subtle psychological tales; Bunin's reflections from exile on a lost Russia; Babel's stories of the Civil War and of Jewish Odessa; Bulgakov's sketches of life as a country doctor; and Petrushevskaya's modern stories of the tortured lives of women in the late Soviet period.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES240, RULE240
Prereq: None

RUSS250 Pushkin

This seminar is for students who are at or above the third year of language study. We will spend the semester reading EVGENY ONEGIN in the original Russian. Class discussions will be in Russian to the degree possible; some biographical reading will be in English. There will be regular listening assignments as well as written ones.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES284
Prereq: RUSS202

RUSS251 Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky is widely recognized as one of the world's greatest novelists. His career begins at the end of Russian Romanticism, is interrupted by nine years of prison and exile in Siberia, and resumes at the beginning of the age of the great realist novel. Dostoevsky's major works grapple with the themes of sin and crime, the disintegration of the family, and the difficulty of believing in God in a world full of evil.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE251, REES251
Prereq: None

RUSS252 Tolstoy

During the 19th century when Tolstoy wrote his novels and stories, literature was viewed in Russia as the intelligentsia's primary medium for debating its big questions (such as how to resolve the inequalities that had been institutionalized under serfdom, or how to choose between new and old values as Russia experienced modernization). Writers like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky willingly assumed the responsibility to address a broad range of political, historical, and philosophical-religious questions in their fiction, and they wrote novels with radical formulations as well as solutions to these questions. However, they also viewed literature, particularly the novel, as a medium with rich potential for innovative formal experimentation, and so they resisted the call for conventional ideological novels. Each of Tolstoy's best works is an innovative formal experiment that creates an unprecedented, new type of novel. This course will study how Tolstoy's writings both responded to and transcended their times by creating new novelistic forms and new truths within those forms.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES252, COL262, RULE252
Prereq: None

RUSS254 Nobel Laureates: The Politics of Literature

The course examines key cultural and socio-historical moments in the development of twentieth-century Russian literature by focusing on the prose and poetry of authors awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature-Ivan Bunin (1933), Boris Pasternak (1958), Mikhail Sholokhov (1965), Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1970), Joseph Brodsky (1987), and Svetlana Alexievich (2015). Additionally, the students will read Lev Tolstoy, who rejected being nominated for the prize, as well as Vladimir Nabokov and Anna Akhmatova, who arguably merited the award but never received it. On the broader level, the class will ponder literature's relevance for shaping public discourse on cultural policies, national identities, and international relations.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES254, RULE254
Prereq: None

RUSS255 Prague, Vienna, Sarajevo: 20th-Century Novels from Central and Eastern Europe

This course is a survey of 20th-century prose fiction of Central and Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on the Czech novel. The novels we will read make history come alive through the eyes of vividly individual characters. In Joseph Roth's RADETZKY MARCH, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is viewed through the lens of a single heartbroken family; in Bohumil Hrabal's I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND, the Czech experience in World War II and postwar Stalinization is embodied in the figure of a diminutive hotel waiter; Milan Kundera's THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING refracts the Soviet domination of Czechoslovakia through the traumas and love affairs of a quartet of characters; in Witold Gombrowicz's TRANS-ATLANTYK and Aleksandar Hemon's THE QUESTION OF BRUNO, the main characters find themselves in a foreign land when their home countries (Poland and Yugoslavia, respectively) are torn apart by war. All the works we will read exemplify the high level of narrative sophistication, in realist, absurdist, and experimental modes, that is a hallmark of Central and Eastern European literature.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE255, REES255
Prereq: None

RUSS260 Dostoevsky's BRAT'IA KARAMAZOVY

In this seminar devoted to close reading of the original text of Dostoevsky's 1879--80 novel, all students will be required to read the entire text in English, and each week specific passages will be read in Russian. In class, we will analyze and discuss the text in Russian. Students will give presentations about critical works related to the novel and to Dostoevsky's work in general. The class is conducted in Russian.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES260
Prereq: RUSS301

RUSS263 Nabokov and Cultural Synthesis

This course will trace the development of Nabokov's art from its origins in Russian literature by close readings of the motifs that spiral outward through his (principally English-language) novels.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE263, COL265, REES263
Prereq: None

RUSS267 Parody: Humor, Artistic Evolution, and Restoration of the Sacred

Parody is a form of artistic expression that has played a major role in literary history, largely through its power of critical revision. According to Russian formalist theorists of the early 20th century, parody is a driving force in literary evolution. Linda Hutcheon's formulation, that parody is "repetition with critical distance, which marks difference rather than similarity," provides perhaps the broadest and most fruitful point of departure. The course will consider various definitions of parody offered by Russian and Western theorists. After examining parody as pure humor (Woody Allen, MAD magazine, Hot Fuzz) and parody as a tool of literary evolution (Gogol and Dostoevsky), we will study the more complicated case of "restorative parody," as exemplified in the medieval practice of parodia sacra (sacred parody), discussed by theorists Mikhail Bakhtin and Olga Freidenberg. We will look at the modern manifestation of parodia sacra in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar, and of restorative parody in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton. The course will also include discussion of legal issues raised by parody, in the case of 2 Live Crew / Roy Orbison (which led to a 1994 Supreme Court decision, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, in which Justice David Souter offered his own definition of parody). At the end of the semester, students will present their own research or creative projects related to parody.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES267, RULE267
Prereq: None

RUSS277 Gogol and His Legacy: Witches, Con Men, and Runaway Noses

This course will include close reading and analysis of the works of Nikolai Gogol (1809--1852), who created a phantasmagorical world of devils and witches coexisting with the gritty details of life in St. Petersburg and the Russian provinces. We will also read works by later writers who either explicitly or implicitly placed themselves in the Gogolian tradition: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Fyodor Sologub, Andrei Bely, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Vladimir Nabokov. Gogol's satirical observations delighted socially conscious contemporary critics, while his linguistic experimentation and subversion of the rules of logic inspired modernist writers of the 20th century. We will consider Gogol's response to Romantic aesthetics, his interest in the demonic, the influence of his formal and linguistic experimentation on later writers, and the history of his reception by Russian and Western writers and critics.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RULE277, REES277
Prereq: None

RUSS301 Third-Year Russian I

This course reviews and reinforces grammar and develops speaking and writing skills while reading Russian literary texts.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Prereq: RUSS202

RUSS302 Third-Year Russian II

Conducted in Russian, this course will focus on reading and composition and on such topics as verbal aspect, functional word order, and word formation. The course requires language lab work.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Prereq: RUSS301

RUSS340 Reading Theories

In this survey of theories that have shaped the reading of literature and the analysis of culture, emphasis is on key concepts--language, identity, subjectivity, gender, power, and knowledge--and on key figures and schools such as Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Saussure, Barthes, Gramsci, Benjamin, Althusser, Foucault, Lacan, Deleuze, Jameson, postmodernism, and U.S. feminism.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: RL&L290, CEAS340, CCIV393, GRST231, REES340, RULE340, ENGL295, COL339
Prereq: None

RUSS401 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

RUSS402 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

RUSS407 Senior Tutorial (downgraded thesis)

Downgraded Senior Thesis Tutorial - Project to be arranged in consultation with the tutor. Only enrolled in through the Honors Coordinator.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

RUSS408 Senior Tutorial (downgraded thesis)

Downgraded Senior Thesis Tutorial - Project to be arranged in consultation with the tutor. Only enrolled in through the Honors Coordinator.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

RUSS409 Senior Thesis Tutorial

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

RUSS410 Senior Thesis Tutorial

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

RUSS411 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

RUSS412 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

RUSS465 Education in the Field, Undergraduate

Students must consult with the department and class dean in advance of undertaking education in the field for approval of the nature of the responsibilities and method of evaluation.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

RUSS466 Education in the Field, Undergraduate

Students must consult with the department and class dean in advance of undertaking education in the field for approval of the nature of the responsibilities and method of evaluation.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

RUSS491 Teaching Apprentice Tutorial

The teaching apprentice program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to assist in teaching a faculty member's course for academic credit.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

RUSS492 Teaching Apprentice Tutorial

The teaching apprentice program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to assist in teaching a faculty member's course for academic credit.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT