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Russian and East European Languages and Literatures

Spring 2024

  • 01:787:102 Elementary Polish II

    Agnieszka Makles

    Open to students with NO prior knowledge of Polish. Students with prior knowledge must take a placement test.

    Elementary Polish is an introductory course intended for students with no or minimal prior experience in the language. Students will learn the Polish sound and spelling system. They will develop proficiency in listening, reading, speaking, and writing. The basic of grammar and core vocabulary are introduced. In addition, the course provides an introduction to Polish culture, including geography, history, literature and practices through authentic texts, maps, websites and other supplementary materials.

  • 01:787:202 Intermediate Polish II

    Agnieszka Makles

    Prerequisite: 787:201 or placement or permission.

    Intermediate Polish is intended for students who have completed Elementary Polish or have placed into the course. Students will continue to develop proficiency in four skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Orthography drills reinforce the sound and spelling system. This course will broaden students’ grammatical understanding and vocabulary. Students will read an authentic literary text, view a Polish film, and discuss current events in Poland, which will deepen students' knowledge of Polish history and culture. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q. 

  • 01:860:102 Elementary Russian II

     

    Prerequisite: 860:101 or placement.

    Elementary Russian is an intensive introductory course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students with no prior experience in the language. It develops proficiency in all four skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing, as well as the basics of Russian grammar. It also introduces students to Russian life, culture, history, geography, and traditions through authentic target-language texts, websites, various media, and other supplementary materials.

  • 01:860:104 Elementary Russian Conversation II

    Professor Cori Anderson

    This one-credit supplementary course helps students improve their pronunciation, intonation, listening, and conversation skills in standard Russian. Students navigate Russian language websites, watch excerpts of Russian film and television, and listen to Russian music and radio broadcasts. Only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 102.

  • 01:860:202 Intermediate Russian II

    Professor Cori Anderson

    Prerequisite: 01:860:201 or placement. Not for students who have taken 01:860:107.

    Intermediate Russian is an intensive intermediate course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students who have completed Russian 102 or placed into the course by exam. This course is not for students who have completed Russian 107 or those who speak Russian at home with their family. The course develops proficiency in all four skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. It includes a review and expansion of Russian grammar and vocabulary. It deepens students’ understanding of Russian life, culture, history, geography, and traditions through authentic target-language texts, websites, media (including films and music) and other supplementary materials. It is strongly recommended that students also take Intermediate Russian Conversation 860:204:01. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.

  • 01:860:204 Intermediate Russian Conversation II

    Professor Cori Anderson

    This one-credit course continues to aid students in improving pronunciation, intonation, listening, and conversation skills in standard Russian. Students will navigate Russian websites, watch excerpts of Russian film and television, and listen to Russian music and radio broadcasts. Only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 202.

  • 01:860:208 Intermediate Russian for Russian Speakers

    Svetlana Bogomolny

    Prerequisite: 860:207 or placement. Not for students who have taken 860:102.

    Intermediate Russian for Russian Speakers is designed for students who learned Russian at home or from family members, and have had some formal study, including Russian 207. This course focuses on improving grammatical control, and expanding active vocabulary for discussing abstract topics. Students will improve their reading skills, through literary and non-literary texts of increasing length and difficulty, and their writing skills, working towards the goal of creating cohesive and organized paragraph-lengthy texts. Students will also increase their knowledge of Russian history, culture, geography and traditions through authentic materials, such as texts, films, music and other supplementary materials. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.

  • 01:860:270 Language and Power Behind the Iron Curtain

    MW5 - Prof. Anderson
    Language can be used to exert power, as well as to subvert power. This course will introduce students to fundamental concepts in sociolinguistics/linguistic anthropology, such as dialects and linguistic identity, and current issues of language in social power structures. Students will examine the role of language in imperialism and decolonization, with special attention to areas once colonized by the Russian Empire, throughout Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Siberia. Students will gain a critical understanding of how language choice and usage impact identity, particularly in newly independent nations, such as Ukraine, Latvia and Kazakhstan. Students will also learn how languages can differ in social status, how their status can change over time, how national language policies are established, and how these policies can differently affect speakers of various languages.

    All readings and discussion in English. No prerequisites. Fulfills Core requirement CCD-1.

     

  • 01:860:302 Advanced Russian II

    Cori Anderson

    Prerequisite: 01:860:301 or placement

    This is an advanced course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students who have completed the equivalent of four semesters of college-level Russian, or have placed into the course by exam. The course strengthens grammatical control and develops proficiency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing. Students will learn to summarize, develop narration, and create connected paragraphs in speech and writing. The will also study complex grammatical structures, such as participles and gerunds, and syntactic constructions, such as subordination. They will broaden their vocabulary through the study of word-formation. This course covers many elements of modern Russian life, such as education, employment, leisure and youth culture, through authentic target-language texts, websites, media (including films and music) and other materials.

  • 01:860:304 Advanced Russian Conversation I

    Advanced Russian Conversation is a one-hour course to supplement Russian 302, providing additional work on conversational skills, pronunciation and intonation, and grammatical control in spoken contemporary standard Russian. This course is only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 302. This course also provides students with extra opportunities to engage with authentic Russian materials, such as print media and films. 

  • 01:860:322 Love and Death in the Russian Short Story

    In English. No prerequisites.

    Love and death push at the edges of the human experience, and writers of every era take up the challenge of depicting these ideas afresh. Moreover, these central existential categories provide a lens for writers to reveal the wider social reality around them, often in an intensely personal way. Our class will trace the evolution of love and death within the Russian short story form over almost two centuries, produced by some of the greatest writers of the Russian language, including Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Lev Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Zinaida Gippius, Andrei Platonov, Yuri Trifonov, Lyudmila Petrushevskaya and Lyudmila Ulitsakaya, among many others. We will consider how together, “love” and “death” drive storytelling and forge bonds between stories and readers. Why do we ‘believe’ in love or death in a given story? Do we seek to be inspired by stories of ‘ideal love’ or ‘beautiful death’? Do we prefer to follow realistic depictions of human desire, violence, and tragedy? Or might we be drawn to grotesque or surreal renderings of these existential forces? And what cultural-historical situations might lead writers and readers towards preferring one form over another?

    All readings and discussion in English. Fulfills SAS core goals AH o, p; WC d.

  • 01:860:326 Russian and East European Science Fiction

     TTh4 - Prof. Khazanov

    Eternal life, eternal peace, new humans, and of course, travel through the dead of space to find the Other(s)– these dreams, and their dystopian opposites, are familiar in science fiction across the world. In the Soviet Union, especially in the beginning of the Soviet experiment, they acquired new weight, as high Communist Party figures proclaimed these objects of age-old human fantasy as goals that the “scientific socialist” state would actively pursue. What happens to the genre of scientific utopia when it encounters some of its most willing adepts among the highest echelons of power—or when power starts to realize its failures (as in the post-Stalin decades) or decomposes entirely (as in the post-Soviet era)? What happens to sci-fi when its makers and readers try to align their perspective with socialism— or when they intentionally try to undermine it? Finally, how does the Soviet legacy continue to inform Russian sci-fi today, and what does post-Soviet sci-fi retroactively say about the meaning of the terminated socialist experiment? To get at these questions, our course will proceed in thematic modules, following several arcs of development of key sci-fi tropes in the hands of influential Soviet and post-Soviet Russian creators, including writers like Alexander Bogdanov, Evgeny Zamyatin, Mikhail Bulgakov, the Strugatsky brothers and Tatiana Tolstaya, as well as filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovsky, Georgy Daneliya and Timur Bekmambetov, among others.

    No prerequisites; all readings and discussions in English. Fulfills Core requirement AHo.

    cross-listed with Comparative Literature

  • 01:860:349 Russia's Wars on Page and Screen

    Professor Emily Van Buskirk MTh3

    As historian Drew Faust has noted, “Only a story of purpose and legitimation can transform random violence into what human convention has designated as war.” In this course we study the experience of “war” as described in Russian- and Ukrainian-language short stories, novellas, poetry, diaries, memoir, and film, from the nineteenth century to Russia’s present war of aggression in Ukraine. How do narratives give voice to experiences of war, and represent what these experiences signify? A special focus of the course will be the Second World War, in which the Soviet Union triumphed while suffering unspeakable losses (roughly 26 million deaths). We will seek to understand not only how this war was experienced, but also how its memory cult has developed, and how it has lately been instrumentalized in reference to Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine. We will also reflect on poetry and prose by Ukrainian and Russian authors in our own day, documenting and representing the largest land war to afflict Europe since 1945. Throughout the course, the topic of war will serve as a window onto culture, values, memory, and literary politics.

    All readings and discussions in English. No prerequisites. Fulfills WCr.

  • 01:860:403 Contemporary Russian Culture: From Perestroika to the Present

    Professor Cori Anderson - TTh5

    Prerequisite: 01:860:302, or 01:860:306, or placement. May be taken out of sequence with 860:401, 860:402, 860:404, or 860:407.

    This course fulfills a literature course requirement for the Russian Language minor.

    Taught primarily in Russian, the course fosters advanced language skills of conversational fluency, listening comprehension, writing and composition, expanded vocabulary, recognition of stylistic registers, and advanced syntax. These skills are practiced while exploring the recollections of Perestroika (Soviet political reforms of the 1980s) and contemporary cultures that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, through the changes in the economy, family relations, domestic politics, and foreign policy. Students will read literary and non-literary texts on these topics, alongside contemporary films and television programs.

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