RUS 102 Elementary Russian II

Professor: Lindsay Watton

CRN: 12317

Time: Mon Tu Wed Th 9:30 am - 10:20 am LC 210

This first-year Russian course introduces the student to the fundamentals of Russian grammar, composition, and conversation. Special attention is given to developing phonetic proficiency and effective reading strategies. Audiovisual exercises supplement in-class instruction.


RUS 215 Alexander Pushkin: On the Threshold of a Bicentennial

Professor: Marina Kostalevsky

CRN: 12365

Time: Wed 10:30 am - 12:30 pm LC 120

Alexander Pushkin is universally considered the greatest literary figure in Russian history whose influence has dominated Russian literature over the course of the last two centuries. He has acquired an almost mythical dimension in his country and occupies in Russian culture a place comparable to that of Shakespeare in English letters. The seminal nature of his writing and the scale of his achievement require that one interpret Pushkin within the context of major European literary movements. This course will concentrate on Pushkin's prose, drama works, and his masterpiece, novel in verse Eugene Onegin, which has traditionally been called an "encyclopedia of Russian life." We will explore the myth of Pushkin and Pushkin's own myths through his fictions, letters, and life. All readings and discussions in English.


RUS / HIST 277 Stalin's Russia: History and Fictions

Professor: Lindsay Watton / Gennady Shkliarevsky

CRN: 12265

Time: Tu Th 10:30 am - 12:30 pm OLIN 204

8 credits This team-taught interdisciplinary course will consider in depth Soviet Russian culture from the late 1920s to the early 1950s. This historical period witnessed Stalin's ascent to power, the implementation of collectivization and industrialization, political purges, the evolution of the forced-labor-camp system (Gulag) and World War II. In contrast to conventional approaches which treat Stalinism as a political phenomenon and focus on political, social and economic developments of the period, this course will examine Stalinism as a cultural phenomenon. Believing with Max Weber that "man is an animal suspended in the web of meanings that he himself has spun," we will discuss Stalinism as a cultural system which represented a peculiar fusion of tradition and modernity. In addition to social, political and economic aspects, we will explore the ways in which reality was constructed and represented in art, through fiction primarily, although significant attention will be paid to the visual arts, film, architecture, and the aesthetics of public ritual. Our topics will include the relationship between art and propaganda from the early Soviet avant-garde to Socialist Realism, the anti-utopian novel, the theater of the absurd, memoirs and literature of the Gulag, and artistic portrayals of Stalin. We will devote special attention to the purges of the 1930s, both as a political policy and a symbolic eschatological experience which marked the apocalyptic end of the old and the beginning of the new, socialist world, as well as the phenomenon of the cult of personality. No prerequisites. 8 credits, indivisible.


RUS 302 Advanced Russian II

Professor: Marina Kostalevsky

CRN: 12318

Time: Tu Wed Th 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm LC 208

Increasing oral proficiency is a primary aim of this course, as is developing reading strategies appropriate to the widest variety of written texts. These texts will include artistic literature, poetry, and newspapers. We will proceed to expand vocabulary and study the syntax of the complex Russian sentence and grammatical nuances. Students will be asked to write short essays on a variety of topics. Audiovisual work in the language laboratory will be an important part of our work. The class will be conducted only in Russian.


RUS 407 Chekhov

Professor: Lindsay Watton

CRN: 12366

Time: Tue 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm LC 120

Conducted in Russian. Open to all advanced Russian students. Through close readings of selected short stories and sketches we will attend to the emotional modalities, lyrical descriptions and ironic inflections of Anton Chekhov's prose. We will also view Russian film adaptations of Chekhov's works and consider what it means to be "Chekhovian."