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Fall 2003

Russian Language Courses
Freshman Seminars

Russian Literature, Culture and History in English
Russian Literature, Culture and History in Russian
Russian For Russian Speaking Students
Russian Language and Literature offered through CGS
Slavic Courses
Eastern European

Russian Language Courses

Elementary Russian I
RUSS 001 Elementary Russian I
001 Oleinichenko MTWRF 10:00 am -11:00 pm
002 Hayes MTWR 5:00-6:00 pm, F 3:00-4:00 pm

This course develops elementary skills in reading, speaking, understanding and writing the Russian language. We will work with an exciting range of authentic written materials, videos and recordings relating to the dynamic scene of Russia today. At the end of the course students will be comfortable with the Russian alphabet and will be able to read basic texts (signs, menus, news headlines) and participate in elementary conversations about daily life (who you are, what you do every day, where you are from, likes and dislikes).

RUSS 003 - Intermediate Russian I
Prerequisite(s): RUSS 001 and 002 or placement exam.
001 Platt MTWR 12:00-1:00 pm
002 Oleinichenko MTWR 5:00-6:00 pm

This course will develop your ability to use the Russian language in the context of typical everyday situations, including university life, family, shopping, etc. Role-playing, skits, short readings from literature and the current press, and video clips will be used to help students improve their language skills. At the end of the semester you will be able to read and write short texts about your daily schedule and interests, to understand brief newspaper articles, films and short literary texts, and to express your opinions in Russian. In combination with RUSS 004, this course prepares students to satisfy the language competency requirement.

RUSS 311- Advanced Russian Conversation and Composition
Prerequisite(s): RUSS 004 or placement exam
001 Vaganova MWF 2:00-3:00 pm

Prior language experience is required. This course develops students' skills in speaking and writing about topics in Russian literature, contemporary society, politics, and everyday life.  Topics include women, work and family; sexuality; the economic situation; environmental problems; and life values. Materials include selected short stories by 19th and 20th century Russian authors, video-clips of interviews, excerpts from films, and articles from the Russian media. Continued work on grammar and vocabulary building.

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Freshman Seminars

RUSS126 Belief & Imagination
Cancelled
All readings and lectures in English
301 SEM TR 1:30-3 Mossman E
Distribution III: Arts and Letters

RUSS-130 Russian Ghost Stories
All readings and lectures in English
301 SEM MWF 2-3 Vinitsky
Syllabus


In this course, we will read and discuss ghost stories written by some of the most well-known Russian writers. The goal of the course is threefold: to familiarize the students with brilliant and thrilling texts which represent various periods of Russian literature; to examine the artistic features of ghost stories and to explore their ideological implications. With attention to relevant scholarship (Freud, Todorov, GDerrida, Greenblatt), we will pose, questions about the role of the storyteller in ghost stories, about horror and the fantastic. We will also ponder gender and class, controversy over sense and sensation, spiritual significance and major changes in attitudes toward the supernatural. We will consider the concept of the apparition as a peculiar cultural myth which tells us about the "dark side" of the Russian literary imagination and about the historical and political conflicts which have haunted Russian minds in previous centuries.

Russian Literature, Culture, and History in English Translation

RUSS 145 (formerly RUSS 031) Russian Literature to the 1870’s
All readings and lectures in English
001 Steiner TR 3:00-4:30 pm
General Requirement III: Arts & Letters

Major Russian writers in English translation: Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, early Tolstoy, and early Dostoevsky.

RUSS 190 (formerly RUSS 022) Terrorism
All readings and lectures in English

001 Todorov MW 3:00-4:30 pm
Distrubution II: History &Tradition

This course studies the emergence of organized terrorism in nineteenth century Russia. It examines the philosophy of the terrorist struggle through its methods, causes, various codes, and manifestoes that defined its nature for the times to come. We critique intellectual movements such as nihilism, anarchism, and populism that inspired terrorism defining the political violence and disorder as beneficial acts. The issue of policing terrorism becomes central when we study a police experiment to infiltrate, delegitimize and ultimately neutralize the terrorist networks in late imperial Russia.

We analyze the technology and phenomenology of terror that generate symmetrical disorganizing threats to any organized form of government and reveal the terrorist act as a sublime end as well as a lever for achieving practical causes. Our study traces the rapid proliferation of terrorism in the twentieth century and its impact on the public life in Western Europe, the Balkans, and America.

RUSS 202 Tolstoy
Cancelled

All readings and lectures in English
001 Mossman TR 10:30 am -12:00 pm
Distribution III: Arts & Letters

Readings will include WAR AND PEACE, ANNA KARENINA, and other works in translation; Tolstoy's innovations, his philosophy of history, and his theories of art.

RUSS 220 - From the Other Shore: Russia and the West
001 Vinitsky MWF 3:00-4:00pm
All readings and lectures in English
Syllabus


This course will explore the representations of the West in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth- century Russian literature and philosophy. We will consider the Russian visions of various events and aspects of Western political and social life - Revolutions, educational system, public executions, resorts, etc. - within the context of Russian intellectual history. We will examine how the images of the West reflect Russia's own cultural concerns, anticipations, and biases, as well as aesthetic preoccupations and interests of Russian writers. The discussion will include literary works by Karamzin, Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Leskov, and Tolstoy, as well as non-fictional documents, such as travelers' letters, diaries, and historiosophical treatises of Russian Freemasons, Romantic and Positivist thinkers, and Russian social philosophers of the late Nineteenth century. A basic knowledge of Nineteenth- century European history is desirable. The class will consist of lecture, discussion, short writing assignments, and two in-class tests.

RUSS 260 Conformity and Dissent in the USSR
All readings and lectures in English
401 Platt and Nathans TR 3:00-4:30 pm
Distribution II: History & Tradition
(Cross-listed HIST 260)

How are human behaviors and attitudes shaped in a socialist society? What forms do conformity and dissent take under a revolutionary regime? This course will explore these issues in the Soviet Union from the end of the Second World War to the collapse of communism in 1991. We will investigate a variety of strategies of resistance to state power as well as the sources of communism’s enduring legitimacy for millions of Soviet citizens.
Above all, we will be concerned with the power of the word and image in Soviet public and private life. Assigned texts will include memoirs, manifestos, underground and officially approved fiction & poetry, films, works of art, and secondary literature.

RUSS 275 (formerly RUSS 225) Russian History in Film
All readings and lectures in English
401 Todorov MW 4:30-6:00 pm
Distribution III: Arts & Letters
(Cross-listed Film 253)

This course draws on the fictional, drama and cinematic representation of the Russian history based on Russian as well as non Russian sources and interpretations. The analysis targets major modes of imagining, such as narrating, showing and reenacting historical events, personae and epochs justified by different, historically mutating ideological postulates and forms of national self-consciousness. Common stereotypes of picturing Russia from "foreign" perspectives draw special attention. The discussion involves the following themes and outstanding figures: the mighty autocrats Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and Catherine the Great; the tragic ruler Boris Godunov; the brazen rebel and royal impostor Pugachov; the notorious Rasputin, his uncanny powers, sex-appeal, and court achinations; Lenin and the October Revolution; images of war; the times of construction and the times of collapse of the Soviet Colossus.

RUSS 299 Independent Study
Instructor permission required

RUSS 399 Supervised Work
Instructor permission required

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Russian Literature, Culture and History in Russian

RUSS 401 Russian Poetics
Conducted in Russian
Prerequisite(s): RUSS 311 or placement exam.
001 Steiner MWF 12:00-1:00 pm
Distribution III: Arts & Letters

Introduction to the analysis of poetic texts, based on the works of Derzhavin, Tyutchev, Blok, Fet, Mayakovsky, and others.

RUSS 412 Romantics and Realists: 19th Century Russian Literature and Culture
Conducted in Russian
Prerequisite(s): RUSS 311 or placement exam.
001 Verkholantsev MW 4:30-6:00 pm

This course combines an advanced work on Russian language with study of some of the fundamental movements, works and figures of nineteenth-century Russian literature and culture. Works studied will include poetry and short prose by some of the acknowledged masters of Russian literature (Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol’, Pavlova, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov), as well as painting and sculpture of the period. Work on Russian will be devoted to composition, advanced grammar, matters of style, and increased proficiency in spoken Russian. The course is primarily intended for students who speak no Russian at home.

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Russian For Russian Speaking Students

RUSS 360 Russian for Russian Speakers
Conducted in Russian
001 Verkholantsev MW 3:00-4:30 pm

This course is intended for students who have spoken Russian at home and seek to achieve proficiency in the language. Topics will include an intensive introduction to the Russian writing system and grammar, focusing on exciting materials and examples drawn from classic and contemporary Russian and émigré culture and social life. Students who complete the course with a passing grade will satisfy their language competency requirement in Russian. Students should have completed no more than five years of formal schooling in Russian, or the equivalent. If you have questions about your language abilities, please contact the instructor.

RUSS 460 Post-Soviet Russia in Film
Conducted in Russian
001 Bourlatskaya TR 1:30-3:00 pm

Syllabus

Film is arguably the most powerful medium for reflecting changes in modern society. This course will examine Russian's transition to democracy and market economy through the eyes of its most creative and controversial cinematographers. The course will focus on the often agonizing process of changing values and attitudes as the country moves from Soviet to Post-Soviet society. Russian films with English subtitles will be supplemented by readings from contemporary Russian media sources. The course provides an excellent visual introduction to the problems of contemporary Russia society. This course is primarily intended for students who have spoken Russian at home and who have already gained advanced competency in written Russian.

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Russian Language and Literature Offered Through the College of General Studies

RUSS 001 Elementary Russian I
Closed to non-CGS students except by special arrangement.
601 Hayes MW 5:00-7:30 pm

RUSS 003 Intermediate Russian I
Closed to non-CGS students except by special arrangement
Prerequisite(s): Elementary Russian I & II
601 Oleinichenko T,R 5:00-7:00 pm

RUSS 426 (formerly RUSS 203) Chekhov, Stage and Screen
All readings and lectures in English
601 Zubarev T 5:30-8:30 pm
Distribution III: Arts & Letters
(Cross listed: Film 436)

“What’s so funny, Mr. Chekhov?” This question is often asked by critics and directors who still are puzzled with Chekhov’s definition of his four major plays as comedies. Traditionally, all of them are staged and directed as dramas, melodramas, or tragedies.

The course is intended to provide the participants with a concept of dramatic genre that will assist them in approaching Chekhov’s plays as comedies.

In addition to reading Chekhov’s works, Russian and western productions and film adaptations of Chekhov’s works will be screened. Among them are, Vanya on 42nd Street with Andre Gregory, and Four Funny Families (by Vera Zubarev). Those who are interested will be welcome to perform and/or direct excerpts from Chekhov’s works.

RUSS 436 (formerly RUSS 024) Film and Art of the Russian Revolution
All readings and lectures in English
601 Todorov M 6:00-9:10 pm
Distribution III: Arts & Letters
(Cross listed: FILM 436)

This course examines cutting edge trends and artistic experimentation in Russian film, theater, visual arts, and architecture in the context of the October Revolution (1917). Themes include: inventing the Kino-eye; reflexology, bio-mechanics and performance theory; staging the revolution; proletarian culture and sexuality; social-engineering of the new man; bodies and machines; cosmism, rocketry and the emergence of the Soviet outer-space doctrine; city-planning and constructivist design of the new social condensers; Lenin's mummy and the communist psyche; the Mausoleum and symbolic system of the Red Square.

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Slavic Courses

SLAV 399 Independent Study
Instructor permission required

SLAV 503 Intermediate Polish I
680 Sachs MW 7:00-8:30 pm
Offered through the Penn Language Center

SLAV 532 Intermediate Czech I
680 Stejskal TR 6:30-8:00 pm
Offered through the Penn Language Center

 

Eastern European

EEUR 121 Elementary Hungarian I
680 Mizsei TR 5:30-7:00 pm
Offered through the Penn Language Center

EEUR 123 Intermediate Hungarian I
680 Mizsei TR 4:00-5:30 pm
Offered through the Penn Language Center

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