Search Slavic Website:

Fall 2010

Russian Language

Ukrainian Language

Czech Language

Polish Language

Serbo-Croatian Language

Freshman Seminars

Introductory and Survey Courses, Conducted in English

Intermediate and Advanced Seminars, Conducted in English

Intermediate and Advanced Seminars, Conducted in Russian

Courses for Students Who Speak Russian at Home

Graduate Level Courses

Courses Offered Through CLPS


Russian Language

RUSS001 Elementary Russian I

001 MWF 10 - 11am, TR 10:30 -11:30am Walker M
002 MTWRF 3 - 4pm Oleinichenko L
See "Courses Offered Through CLPS" below for additional times.

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, the Internet, 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 simplified literary, ‘commercial’, and other types of texts (signs, menus, short news articles, short stories) and participate in elementary conversations about daily life (who you are, what you do every day, where you are from, likes and dislikes).

RUSS003 Intermediate Russian I
Prior language study required
Prerequisite: RUSS 002 or placement exam

401 MW 11am - 12pm, TR 10:30am - 11:30am Thorstensson V
002 MTWR 5 - 6pm Oleinichenko L
See "Courses Offered Through CLPS" below for additional times.

This course will develop your ability to use the Russian language in the context of typical everyday situations, including university life, family, shopping, entertainment, 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 and their understanding of Russian culture. 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.

RUSS311 Advanced Conversation & Composition I
Prior language study required
Prerequisite: RUSS004 or placement exam

TR 12 -1:30pm Thorstensson V

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.

RUSS360 Literacy in Russian I
Prior language experience required

MWF 11am -12pm Korshunova S

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 culture and social life. Students who complete this course in combination with RUSS361 satisfy the Penn Language Requirement.

RUSS416 Business and Democracy in the New Russia
Prerequisite: RUSS312 or placement exam
Bourlatskaya

TR 1:30 - 3pm

This course continues developing students' advanced skills in Russian, and is designed to familiarize students with contemporary Russian society, its historical background and its present political and economic structure, and to develop functional proficiency in speaking, writing, reading and listening. The course will focus on a variety of issues central to Russian society since the fall of the Soviet Union, including changing values, political parties and movements, the business climate and businessmen, various nationalities within Russia, women in the family and at work. Course materials will include interviews, articles, essays by leading Russian journalists and statesmen, and contemporary Russian movies.

RUSS464 Russian Humor
Cross-Cultural Analysis (Class of ‘10 and after)
Prerequisites: RUSS361 or comparable language competence.
Korshunova

TR 12 - 1:30pm

This course is intended for students who have spoken Russian at home and seek to improve their capabilities in formal and professional uses of the Russian language. One of the most fascinating and most difficult things for a student of foreign culture is to understand “national humor,” as it is presented in various stories and films, jokes and shows. To an extent, humor is a gateway to national mentality. In the present course we will examine Russian cultural history, from the sixteenth through the twenty-first centuries, through the vehicle of Russian humor. How does Russian humor depend on religion and history? What was considered funny in various cultural trends? What are the peculiarities of Russian humorist tradition? Students will be familiarized with different Russian theories of humor (Bakhtin, Likhachev, Panchenko, Tynianov, etc.) and, of course, with a variety of works by Russian “kings of humor” – Pushkin and Gogol, Chekhov and Zoshchenko, Bulgakov and Il’f and Petrov, Erofeev and Kibirov, etc. Class lectures will be supplemented by frequent video and musical presentations ranging from contemporary cartoons to “high” comedies and from comic songs (Chaliapin’s “The Flea”) to the music of Shostakovich (“The Nose”).

Return to top

Ukrainian Language

SLAV590 Elementary Ukrainian I
Offered through Penn Language Center

MW 5 - 7pm Rudnytzky L

SLAV592 Intermediate Ukrainian I
Offered through Penn Language Center
Prior Language Experience Required

MW 7 - 9pm Rudnytzky L

Return to top

Czech Language

SLAV530 Elementary Czech I
Offered through Penn Language Center

MW 6 - 8pm Staff

Return to top

Polish Language

SLAV501 Elementary Polish I
Offered through Penn Language Center

MW 6 - 8pm Wolski-Moskoff

This course is for students who want to acquire the linguistic skills necessary for communication in everyday situations and that would constitute a solid base for further study of the Polish language. In addition students will become acquainted with various aspects of Polish culture (including Polish films), history and contemporary affairs. Students will learn through classroom exercises based on a modern textbook, completion of individual and group assignments and work with various audio and video materials.

SLAV505 Polish for Heritage Speakers I
Offered through Penn Language Center

TR 5 - 6:30pm Wolski-Moskoff

The course is addressed to students who have spoken Polish at home and seek to achieve proficiency in the language. Students will acquire skills that range from learning grammar and spelling, and developing vocabulary, to interpretation and analysis of different literary genres. Topics will include: Polish literature - classic and modern, social life, contemporary affairs and films.

STUDENTS WHO COMPLETE TWO SEMESTERS OF THIS COURSE SATISFY THE LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT

Online Polish: September 21 - October 28

* Six-week course.
* Classes meet for 90 minutes two times a week.
* $475 tuition includes headset and materials.
* Students will receive a certificate of proficiency in Polish upon successful completion.
* Contact izolda@sas.upenn.edu for more information.
* Click here to register.

This non-credit online course is designed for the beginning student of Polish. The course is available to everyone interested through the Internet. Using the web conference tool ElluminateLive, students will meet with the instructor twice a week in real time. Students will be presented with a variety of instructional materials such as Power Point presentations, videos, audios, illustrations and course content. These materials, based on real-life situations and conversations, will acquaint students with the language and culture of modern Poland. Every class will meet for two hours and cover everyday topics assigned by the instructor according to the course curriculum. With microphones and speakers and cameras, students can actively participate in all activities involving speaking and listening. Through wikis, chats and blogs, students will practice and develop their writing skills by interacting with each other and the instructor. The instructor will provide feedback to the students throughout the course and will be available to tutor and mentor students during on-line office hours. In addition to online meetings in real time, students will have access to online interactive exercises to practice at their own pace. Through the course management tool Bb, students will have access to course reading materials and computer-mediated communication.

Before the first class, the instructor will introduce and train students in the use of the on-line learning tools for the course. Students will be shown how to use computers to complete their assignments and to communicate with their instructor in this collaborative and new learning environment.

Return to top

Serbo-Croatian Language

SLAV390.680 Serbo-Croatian I
Offered through Penn Language Center

TR 4:30- 6:30pm Scepanovic-Uliano

The course level is basic, starting with the alphabet (both versions of it, the Latin and the Cyrillic), moving on to the grammar basics, then some communication and other forms of interaction.

Return to top

 

Freshman Seminars

RUSS130 Russian Ghost Stories: The Supernatural in Russian Literature
All readings and lectures in English.

TR 12 pm - 1:30pm Walker M

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, Derrida, Greenblatt), we will pose questions about the role of the storyteller in ghost stories, and 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. Readings will include literary works by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Chekhov, and Bulgakov, as well as works by some lesser, yet extremely interesting, authors. We will also read excerpts from major treatises regarding spiritualism, including Swedenborg, Kant, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mme Blavatsky. The course consists of 28 sessions ("nights") and includes film presentations and horrifying slides.

Return to top

Introductory and Survey Courses, Conducted in English

RUSS048 Rise and Fall of Russian Empire
All readings and lectures in English
History & Tradition Sector (All Classes)
Cross-listing: HIST048
Holquist

TR 12 - 1:30pm Holquist P

How and why did Russia become the center of the world's largest empire, a single state encompassing eleven time zones and over a hundred ethnic groups? To answer this question, we will explore the rise of a distinct political culture beginning in medieval Muscovy, its transformation under the impact of a prolonged encounter with European civilization, and the various attempts to re-form Russia from above and below prior to the Revolution of 1917. Main themes include the facade vs. the reality of central authority, the intersection of foreign and domestic issues, the development of a radical intelligentsia, and the tension between empire and nation.

RUSS100 Figuring Out Russia: Introduction to Russian Culture
All readings and lectures in English
Cross-Cultural Analysis (Class of ‘10 and after)
Verkholantsev

CANCELLED

RUSS130 Russian Ghost Stories: The Supernatural in Russian Literature
All readings and lectures in English.            FRESHMAN SEMINAR

TR 12 pm - 1:30pm Walker M

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, Derrida, Greenblatt), we will pose questions about the role of the storyteller in ghost stories, and 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. Readings will include literary works by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Chekhov, and Bulgakov, as well as works by some lesser, yet extremely interesting, authors. We will also read excerpts from major treatises regarding spiritualism, including Swedenborg, Kant, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mme Blavatsky. The course consists of 28 sessions ("nights") and includes film presentations and horrifying slides.

RUSS136 Portraits of Russian Society: Art, Fiction, Drama
All readings and lectures in English
Humanities and Social Sciences Sector (New Curriculum Only)
Cross-listing: HIST047

TR 10:30am - 12pm Platt K

This course covers 19C Russian cultural and social history. Each week-long unit is organized around a single medium-length text (novella, play, memoir) which opens up a single “scene” of social history—birth, death, duel, courtship, tsar, and so on. Each of these main texts is accompanied by a set of supplementary materials—paintings, historical readings, cultural-analytical readings, excerpts from other literary works, etc. The object of the course is to understand the social codes and rituals that informed nineteenth-century Russian life, and to apply this knowledge in interpreting literary texts, other cultural objects, and even historical and social documents (letters, memoranda, etc.). We will attempt to understand social history and literary interpretation as separate disciplines—yet also as disciplines that can inform one another. In short: we will read the social history through the text, and read the text against the social history.

RUSS145 Russian Literature before 1870
All readings and lectures in English
Arts and Letters Sector (All Classes)
Cross-Cultural Analysis (Class of '10 and after)

TR 3 - 4:30pm Steiner

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

RUSS164 Russian and East European Film from the October Revolution to World War II
All readings and lectures in English
Cross-listing: CINE164

MW 2 - 3:30pm Todorov V

This course presents the Russian contribution to world cinema before WWII - nationalization of the film industry in post revolutionary Russia, the creation of institutions of higher education in filmmaking, film theory, experimentation with the cinematic language, and the social and political reflex of cinema. Major themes and issues involve: the invention of montage, Kuleshov effect, the means of visual propaganda and the cinematic component to the communist cultural revolutions, party ideology and practices of social-engineering, cinematic response to the emergence of the totalitarian state. Great filmmaker and theorist in discussion include Vertov, Kuleshov, Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Medvedkin and others.

RUSS196 Russian Short Story
All readings and lectures in English
Offered through CLPS

M 5:30 - 8:30pm Todorov V

This course studies the development of 19th and 20th century Russian literature through one of its most distinct and highly recognized genres—the short story. The readings include great masters of fiction such as Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, and others. The course presents the best works of short fiction and situates them in a literary process that contributes to the history of a larger cultural-political context. Students will learn about the historical formation, poetic virtue, and thematic characteristics of major narrative modes such as romanticism, utopia, realism, modernism, socialist realism, and post-modernism. We critique the strategic use of various devices of literary representation such as irony, absurd, satire, grotesque, anec¬dote, etc. Some of the main topics and issues include: culture of the duel; the role of chance; the riddle of death; anatomy of madness; imprisonment and survival; the pathologies of St. Petersburg; terror and homo sovieticus.

Return to top

Intermediate and Advanced Seminars, Conducted in English

RUSS201 Dostoevsky
All readings and lectures in English
Benjamin Franklin Seminar

TR 12 - 1:30 pm Steiner

This course explores the ways Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) portrays the "inner world(s)" of his characters. Dostoevsky's psychological method will be considered against the historical, ideological, and literary contexts of middle to late nineteenth-century Russia. The course consists of three parts — External World (the contexts of Dostoevsky), "Inside" Dostoevsky's World (the author's technique and ideas) and The World of Text (close reading of “Crime and Punishment” and “The Brothers Karamazov”). Students will write three essays on various aspects of Dostoevsky's "spiritual realism."

RUSS212 Topics in Russian History: Jews, Witches, and Others in Eastern Europe
All readings and lectures in English
Cross-listing: HIST230; JSWT230

M 2 - 5pm Maciejko P

RUSS213 Saints and Devils in Russian Literature and Tradition
All readings and lectures in English
Arts and Letters Sector (All Classes)
Cross-listing: COML213; RELS 218

TR 3 - 4:30pm Verkholantsev J

This course is about Russian literature, which is populated with saints and devils, believers and religious rebels, holy men and sinners. In Russia, where people’s frame of mind had been formed by a mix of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and earlier folk beliefs, the quest for faith, spirituality and the meaning of life has invariably been connected with religious matters. How can one find the right path in life? Is humility the way to salvation? Should one live for God or for the people? Does God even exist? In “Saints and Devils,” we will examine Russian literature concerning the holy and the demonic as representations of good and evil, and we will learn about the historic trends that have filled Russia’s national character with religious and supernatural spirit. In the course of this semester we will talk about ancient cultural traditions, remarkable works of art and the great artists who created them. All readings and films are in English. Our primary focus will be on works by Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Bulgakov.

RUSS220 From the Other Shore: Russia and the West
All readings and lectures in English
Humanities and Social Sciences Sector (New Curriculum Only)
Cross-Cultural Analysis (Class of '10 and after)
Cross-listing: HIST 220; COML220

TR 1:30 - 3pm Walker M

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 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 lectures, discussion, short writing assignments, and two in-class tests.

RUSS426 Chekhov on Stage and Screen
All readings and lectures in English
Cross-listing: CINE365
Offered through CLPS

T 5:30 - 8:30pm Zubarev V

Forms a part of the CLPS Masters in Liberal Arts Program. “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. Should we cry or should we laugh at Chekhovian characters who commit suicide, or are killed, or simply cannot move to a better place of living? Is the laughable synonymous to comedy and the comic? Should any fatal outcome be considered tragic? All these and other questions will be discussed during the course. 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. Those who are interested will be welcome to perform and/or direct excerpts from Chekhov’s works.

Return to top

Intermediate and Advanced Seminars, Conducted in Russian

RUSS416 Business and Democracy in the New Russia
Prerequisite: RUSS312 or placement exam
Bourlatskaya

TR 1:30 - 3pm

This course continues developing students' advanced skills in Russian, and is designed to familiarize students with contemporary Russian society, its historical background and its present political and economic structure, and to develop functional proficiency in speaking, writing, reading and listening. The course will focus on a variety of issues central to Russian society since the fall of the Soviet Union, including changing values, political parties and movements, the business climate and businessmen, various nationalities within Russia, women in the family and at work. Course materials will include interviews, articles, essays by leading Russian journalists and statesmen, and contemporary Russian movies.

RUSS464 Russian Humor
Cross-Cultural Analysis (Class of ‘10 and after)
Prerequisites: RUSS361 or comparable language competence.
Korshunova

TR 12 - 1:30pm

This course is intended for students who have spoken Russian at home and seek to improve their capabilities in formal and professional uses of the Russian language. One of the most fascinating and most difficult things for a student of foreign culture is to understand “national humor,” as it is presented in various stories and films, jokes and shows. To an extent, humor is a gateway to national mentality. In the present course we will examine Russian cultural history, from the sixteenth through the twenty-first centuries, through the vehicle of Russian humor. How does Russian humor depend on religion and history? What was considered funny in various cultural trends? What are the peculiarities of Russian humorist tradition? Students will be familiarized with different Russian theories of humor (Bakhtin, Likhachev, Panchenko, Tynianov, etc.) and, of course, with a variety of works by Russian “kings of humor” – Pushkin and Gogol, Chekhov and Zoshchenko, Bulgakov and Il’f and Petrov, Erofeev and Kibirov, etc. Class lectures will be supplemented by frequent video and musical presentations ranging from contemporary cartoons to “high” comedies and from comic songs (Chaliapin’s “The Flea”) to the music of Shostakovich (“The Nose”).

Return to top

Courses for Students Who Speak Russian at Home

RUSS360 Literacy in Russian I
Prior language experience required

MWF 11am -12pm Korshunova S

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 culture and social life. Students who complete this course in combination with RUSS361 satisfy the Penn Language Requirement.

RUSS464 Russian Humor
Cross-Cultural Analysis (Class of ‘10 and after)
Prerequisites: RUSS361 or comparable language competence.
Korshunova

TR 12 - 1:30pm

This course is intended for students who have spoken Russian at home and seek to improve their capabilities in formal and professional uses of the Russian language. One of the most fascinating and most difficult things for a student of foreign culture is to understand “national humor,” as it is presented in various stories and films, jokes and shows. To an extent, humor is a gateway to national mentality. In the present course we will examine Russian cultural history, from the sixteenth through the twenty-first centuries, through the vehicle of Russian humor. How does Russian humor depend on religion and history? What was considered funny in various cultural trends? What are the peculiarities of Russian humorist tradition? Students will be familiarized with different Russian theories of humor (Bakhtin, Likhachev, Panchenko, Tynianov, etc.) and, of course, with a variety of works by Russian “kings of humor” – Pushkin and Gogol, Chekhov and Zoshchenko, Bulgakov and Il’f and Petrov, Erofeev and Kibirov, etc. Class lectures will be supplemented by frequent video and musical presentations ranging from contemporary cartoons to “high” comedies and from comic songs (Chaliapin’s “The Flea”) to the music of Shostakovich (“The Nose”).

Return to top

Graduate Level Courses

SLAV526 In Defiance of Babel: The Quest for a Universal Language
All readings in English
Undergraduates require permission to register
Cross-listing: COML526, HIST526, and ENGL705
Verkholantsev

R 5 - 8 p.m.

This is a course in intellectual history. It explores the historical trajectory, from antiquity to the present day, of the idea that there once was, and again could be, a universal and perfect language to explain and communicate the essence of human experience. The idea that the language spoken in the Garden of Eden was a language which perfectly expressed the essence of all possible objects and concepts has occupied the minds of scholars for more than two millennia. In defiance of the myth of the Tower of Babel and the confusion of languages, they strived to overcome divine punishment and discover the path back to harmonious existence. For philosophers, the possibility of recovering or recreating a universal language would enable apprehension of the laws of nature. For theologians, it would allow direct experience of the divinity. For mystic-cabalists it would offer access to hidden knowledge. For nineteenth-century philologists the reconstruction of the proto-language would enable a better understanding of human history. For contemporary scholars, linguistic universals provide structural models both for human and artificial languages. For writers and poets of all times, from Cyrano de Bergerac to Velimir Khlebnikov, the idea of a universal and perfect language has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Above all, the course examines fundamental questions of what language is and how it functions. Among the course readings are works by Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Dante, Horapollo, Bacon, Giordano Bruno, John Wilkins, Cyrano de Bergerac, Jonathan Swift, and Zamenhof.

SLAV620 Europe: from Idea to Union
All readings and lectures in English. Undergraduates need permission.

W 6 - 8:40pm Steiner P

Employing the methods from the humanities and social sciences this interdisciplinary seminar will explore the variety of factors that contributed to dividing and uniting Europe. The continent will be considered as a geographical and cultural space and the construction of its identity will be examined through several historical periods—from the Middle Ages to Modernism--comprising the rich layer of pan-European civilization across the ethnic or national borders. Finally, the structure of the European Union will be scrutinized including its institutions, decision-making mechanism, shared currency, collective security, and Europe’s changing relationship with the USA. Participants will be encouraged to select a particular topic in European studies and research it through assigned readings, film, literature, and other media. The individual projects will be developed through consultations with the instructor into a class presentation leading to a final paper (about 6,000 words).

Return to top

Courses Offered Through CLPS

RUSS001 Elementary Russian I
Non-CLPS Students need permission from CLPS

MW 6:30 - 9pm Oleinichenko L

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, the Internet, 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 simplified literary, ‘commercial’, and other types of texts (signs, menus, short news articles, short stories) and participate in elementary conversations about daily life (who you are, what you do every day, where you are from, likes and dislikes).

RUSS003 Intermediate Russian I
Prior language study required
Prerequisite: RUSS 002 or placement exam
Non-CLPS Students need permission from CLPS

TR 5 - 7pm Oleinichenko L

This course will develop your ability to use the Russian language in the context of typical everyday situations, including university life, family, shopping, entertainment, 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 and their understanding of Russian culture. 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.

RUSS196 Russian Short Story
All readings and lectures in English
Offered through CLPS

M 5:30 - 8:30pm Todorov V

This course studies the development of 19th and 20th century Russian literature through one of its most distinct and highly recognized genres—the short story. The readings include great masters of fiction such as Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, and others. The course presents the best works of short fiction and situates them in a literary process that contributes to the history of a larger cultural-political context. Students will learn about the historical formation, poetic virtue, and thematic characteristics of major narrative modes such as romanticism, utopia, realism, modernism, socialist realism, and post-modernism. We critique the strategic use of various devices of literary representation such as irony, absurd, satire, grotesque, anec¬dote, etc. Some of the main topics and issues include: culture of the duel; the role of chance; the riddle of death; anatomy of madness; imprisonment and survival; the pathologies of St. Petersburg; terror and homo sovieticus.

RUSS426 Chekhov on Stage and Screen
All readings and lectures in English
Cross-listing: CINE365
Offered through CLPS

T 5:30 - 8:30pm Zubarev V

Forms a part of the CLPS Masters in Liberal Arts Program. “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. Should we cry or should we laugh at Chekhovian characters who commit suicide, or are killed, or simply cannot move to a better place of living? Is the laughable synonymous to comedy and the comic? Should any fatal outcome be considered tragic? All these and other questions will be discussed during the course. 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. Those who are interested will be welcome to perform and/or direct excerpts from Chekhov’s works.

Return to top