A list of regularly offered courses follows. The indication of when a course will be offered is based on the best projection of the department and can be subject to change. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.
All readings, lectures and discussions in these courses are in English (except for those who wish to read in Russian). There are no prerequisites.
As readers, publishers, and writers can attest, bad deeds make for good books. In this course we will examine depictions of evil and chaos as a literary construct that pervades many Russian works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The readings will focus on texts that have an overtly mischievous or evil protagonist in order to elucidate the means by which this classification is both developed and subverted in the text. We will consider issues such as: the place of moral judgments in discussing a work of literature, the value of a historically and culturally relative point of view, and the uses of irony and ambiguity in the categorization of seemingly “bad” characters. Our overarching objective will be to understand better the notions of good and evil as prominent facets of the literary imagination in general and of Russian literature in particular. Stone
Study of the emergence of a national literary tradition in 19th-century Russia as it was fashioned by writers and their reading publics. Emphasis on the Russian reaction to traditional Western European forms of narrative and the special status of the Russian writer as a social “moral barometer.” Readings will include works by Karamzin, Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. All readings will be in translation, with special assignments for those able to read in Russian. Bernstein
The 20th century was a time of unprecedented upheavals and profound changes in Russian society, politics and culture. Russia and its successor state, the Soviet Union, suffered revolutions, wars, bloody civil strife, collectivization and purges. During those unstable and dangerous times and despite official suppression, Russian writers, artists and filmmakers produced outstanding works. In this course we will study the 20th-century Russian experience through its literature and other art forms. All readings will be in English, with special assignments for those able to read in Russian. Bernstein
For students with no knowledge of Russian. Introduction to the contemporary Russian language. The course presents the fundamentals of Russian grammar and syntax with equal emphasis on speaking, writing, reading, aural comprehension, and cultural awareness. Audio and video exercises, simple readings, short compositions, conversational drills. Bernstein
Continuation of Russian 101. Three 80-minute meetings per week, plus an additional conversation hour conducted by a native speaker. Prerequisite: Russian 101 or placement. Staff
Vocabulary building, continued development of speaking and listening skills and active command of Russian grammar. Readings from authentic fiction and poetry. Short composition assignments. Three 80-minute meetings per week, plus an additional conversation hour conducted by a native speaker. Prerequisite: Russian 102 or placement. Stone
Continuation of Russian 201. Increased mastery of Russian grammatical structures through reading and discussion of authentic literary and cultural texts. Continued emphasis on speaking, reading and writing Russian. Three 80-minute meetings per week, plus an additional conversation hour conducted by a native speaker. Prerequisite: Russian 201 or placement. Staff
The primary purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to read Russian literature in the original while improving their active command of the written and spoken language. Readings have been selected from among the acknowledged masterworks of Russian literature. Prerequisite: Russian 202 or placement. Bernstein
This course continues Russian Literature I (301) and provides students with an opportunity to read Russian literature in the original while improving their active command of the written and spoken language. Readings have been selected from among the acknowledged masterworks of Russian literature. Prerequisite: Russian 301 or placement. Stone
The novel as a cultural force that has changed our sense of reality and of ourselves, and a form that has reshaped the literary universe. Readings will include works by Jane Austen, Gustave Flaubert, Fedor Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka, Willa Cather, and Vladimir Nabokov. Bernstein
One of the most accomplished novelists of the twentieth-century, Vladimir Nabokov astounded readers in two languages. His early career as a young Russian writer of genius witnessed the development of a style that melded a playful mockery of his reader with an acute awareness of the existential and social questions that haunted his peers. When he switched to writing in English, Nabokov composed some of the most erudite and still shocking works of his time. This course will follow Nabokov’s career through both literary contexts and traditions in order to comprehend the totality of his inimitable artistic gift. Stone