Spring 2014 COURSES! Looking for an elective? Check out our list of exciting courses with NO PREREQUISITES for Spring 2014! The courses listed below require no prior knowledge of Russian or any other Slavic language. All that's required is your own interest and enthusiasm for learning more about the rich cultural and literary traditions of the Slavic peoples.
RUSS V3221. Literature and Revolution: Tradition, Innovation, and Politics (20th century)
Prof. Rebecca Stanton. TR 1:10 - 2:25
An unforgettable tour of 20th-century Russian literature from Symbolism and the post-Revolutionary avant-garde to the culture of high Stalinism, the Thaw, and beyond, with attention to other media including music, painting, architecture, and film. Reading list includes works by Blok, Mayakovsky, Babel, Bulgakov, Nabokov, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, Erofeev, and others.
→Read about the course in Barnard magazine HERE
RUSS V3222. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.
Prof. Liza Knapp. MW 10:10 - 11:25
Two epic novels, Tolstoy's War and Peace and Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, will be read along with selected shorter works. Other works by Tolstoy include his early Sebastopol Sketches, which changed the way war is represented in literature; Confession, which describes his spiritual crisis; the late stories "Kreutzer Sonata" and "Hadji Murad"; and essays on capital punishment and a visit to a slaughterhouse. Other works by Dostoevsky include his fictionalized account of life in Siberian prison camp, The House of the Dead; Notes from the Underground, his philosophical novella on free will, determinism, and love; "A Gentle Creature," a short story on the same themes; and selected essays from Diary of a Writer. The focus will be on close reading of the texts. Our aim will be to develop strategies for appreciating the structure and form, the powerful ideas, the engaging storylines, and the human interest in the writings of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. No knowledge of Russian is required.
RUSS V3223. Magical Mystery Tour: The Legacy of Old Rus'
Prof. Valentina Izmirlieva. TR 10:10 - 11:25.
Winston Churchill famously defined Russia as "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." This course aims at demystifying Russia by focusing on the core of its "otherness" in the eyes of the West: its religious culture. We will explore an array of texts, practices and pragmatic sites of Russian religious life across such traditional divides as medieval and modern, popular and elite, orthodox and heretical. Icons, liturgical rituals, illuminated manuscripts, magic amulets, religious sects, feasting and fasting, traveling practices from pilgrimages to tourism, political myths and literary mystification, decadent projects of life-creation, and the fervent anticipation of the End are all part of a tour that is as illuminating as it is fun. No knowledge of Russian is required.
CLRS V3302y Fairy Tales Reloaded: Witches, Werewolves, Fools, and Post-Modern Fiction.
Prof. Irina Denishchenko. MW 4:10 - 5:25.
This course aims to reexamine familiar fairy tales in a new light, and to familiarize students with the Russian/Eastern European fairy tale literary tradition. In the process of comparing fairy tale variations and different narrative traditions, students will be introduced to the major schools of fairy tale criticism (structuralist, psychoanalytical, anthropological, Marxist, feminist). By examining different stylistic elements of the fairy tale, the course aims to foster sensitivity to fairy-tale "modes of speaking" in postmodern literature.
UKRN W4037 The Aura of Soviet Ukrainian Modernism.
Prof. Mark Andryczyk. TR 1:10 - 2:25.
This course studies the renaissance in Ukrainian culture of the 1920s - a period of revolution, experimentation, vibrant expression and polemics. Focusing on the most important developments in literature, as well as on the intellectual debates they inspired, the course will also examine the major achievements in Ukrainian theater, visual art and film as integral components of the cultural spirit that defined the era. Additionally, the course also looks at the subsequent implementation of the socialist realism and its impact on Ukrainian culture and on the cultural leaders of the renaissance. The course treats one of the most important periods of Ukrainian culture and examines it lasting impact on today's Ukraine. This period produced several world-renowned cultural figures, whose connections with the 1920s Ukraine have only recently begun to be discussed. The course will be complemented by film screenings, presentations of visual art and rare publications from this period. Entirely in English with a parallel reading list for those who read Ukrainian.
HNGR W4028. Naked Reality: Hungarian Prose.
Prof. Ivan Sanders. TR 6:10 - 7:25.
Exploration of themes and styles in 20th-century Hungarian prose fiction. Topics include turn-of-the-century modernism, "populist and urban" literature in the inter-war years, post-1945 reality in fiction, comparative literature memoirs and reportage, late-century minimalist and postmodernist trends.
CLCZ W4038. Prague Spring of '68 in Film and Literature.
Prof. Christopher Harwood. TR 2:40 - 3:55.
The course explores the unique period in Czech film and literature during the 1960s that emerged as a reaction to the imposed socialist realism. The new generation of writers (Kundera, Skvorecky, Havel, Hrabal) in turn had an influence on young emerging film makers, all of whom were part of the Czech new wave.
RUSS W4155. History of Russian and Soviet Film.
Rad Borislavov. MW 6:10 - 10:00.
History of Russian & Soviet Cinema. 3 pts. This course surveys
developments in Russian film history and style from the prerevolutionary
beginnings of cinema through the Soviet and post-Soviet experience. We will
be studying both the aesthetic qualities of the films and their historical
and cultural contexts. Students will be exposed to a wide range of visual
media, including experimental films of the 1920s, films on Russia's
experience of World War II, Soviet classics, late Soviet and contemporary
Russian films. Readings will include theoretical articles and selections from
Russian film history and criticism. All readings are in English and the films
will be screened with English subtitles.
RUSS W4451. The Cultural Cold War.
Rad Borislavov. MW 2:40 - 3:55
This course will examine major developments in Soviet society after WWII
through the prism of the Cold War. Organized thematically and
chronologically, it will focus selectively on specific episodes of
Soviet-American relations by drawing on a variety of media. Students will
read, discusss and evaluate a broad range of primary and secondary sources
and think critically about historical writing, the relationship bewtween art
and politics, mass culture and proaganda, spy novels, memiors and
travelogues. Films by Sergi Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky, Stanley Kubrick,
and John Frankenheimer. Prose and poetry by Andrei Voznesensky, Viktor
Pelevin, Svetlana Alexievich, Vasily Aksyonov, Viktor Nekrasov and others.
RUSS W4676. Russian Art between East and West: The Search for National Identity.
Prof. Elizabeth Valkenier. TR 10:10 - 11:25.
Aims to be more than a basic survey that starts with icons and ends with the early modernists. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, it aims to highlight how the various cultural transmissions interacted to produce, by the 1910s, an original national art that made an innovative contribution to world art. It discusses the development of art not only in terms of formal, aesthetic analysis, but also in the matrix of changing society, patronage system, economic life and quest for national identity. Several guest speakers will discuss the East-West problematic in their related fields-for example, in literature and ballet. [Barnard GER: ART]