Thomas R. Beyer, Jr.

CV Starr Professor of Russian & East European Studies

 
 work(802) 443-5536
 Tues, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and by appointment.via email
 FIC 204

I have been teaching Russian language and literature at Middlebury for the past 35 years. I have published extensively on Russian language, translated the works of Andrei Bely into English. I am also the editor of the Middlebury Studies in Russian Language and Literature. In the past few years I have taught seminars on the works of Dan Brown, including 33 Keys to Unlocking the The Lost Symbol: A Reader's Companion to Dan Brown's Novel. I use technology extensively in and out of the classroom that can be accessed at my homepage.

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1286 - Keys to Dan Brown's Origin      

The Keys to Dan Brown’s /Origin/
In this project-oriented seminar we will seek to distinguish fact from fiction in Dan Brown’s novel, Origin (September 2017), in the context of his previous novels: Angels&Demons, The DaVinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and Inferno. We will explore in greater depth the art, codes, symbols, and secret geography of Amsterdam. We will create and publish electronically a 21st century illustrated annotated guide to the novel using the latest in new technologies, wikis, Google mapping, graphics, and video. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2017

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FYSE 1463 - Scholars Communicate Meaning      

How Scholars Communicate Meaning
Students will explore the texture of the text, learn to identify an issue, research, then organize their findings in oral and written presentations of that work using 21st century means and technologies. Drawing from a palette of creative works such as Pale Fire, S./, /Mission Impossible III, Star Trek IV, Sandrine’s Case, The Woman in White, and TED talks, you will find patterns and meaning in a random, hyperlinked world of associations and interconnections, and then organize and articulate them to an audience. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2015

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RUSS 0151 - Golden Age Russian Literature      

Russian Literature's Golden Age: 1830-1880 (in English)
Duels, ghosts, utopias, murders, prostitution, and adultery- these are the raw materials Russian authors turned into some of the world's greatest literature. This course is an introduction to Russian literature of the 19th century, from the short stories of Pushkin and Gogol to the great novels of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. The centrality of literature in Russian society and the interrelations among the authors and texts will be discussed. How do the authors combine reality, fantasy, and philosophy to make these works both uniquely Russian and universal? 3 hrs. lect. EUR LIT

Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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RUSS 0152 - Russian Modernism      

Russian Literature's "Bloody Age": Twentieth-Century Literature and Society (in English)
Writers die for literature in Russia. This course is a survey of Russian literature from before the Revolution to the present. Beginning with Chekhov's stories, we will read supernatural tales, futurist utopias, and harrowing realistic accounts of life in the prison camps of Siberia. Official, émigré, and underground literature will be read to show the complex role of literature in Russian life and politics. 3 hrs. lect. EUR LIT

Fall 2019

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RUSS 0232 / LNGT 0232 - Nature and Origin of Language      

The Nature and Origin of Language
This course will provide students with the basic principles and tools needed to study and explore languages. Relying on philology and contemporary linguistics, we will examine both the history of human language, along with recent efforts to explain its origin and development. This course will encourage individual effort and learning by incorporating independent readings, research, and weekly written and oral presentations.

Fall 2018, Fall 2019

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RUSS 0351 - Dostoevsky      

Dostoevsky (in English)
A study of the most important works by literary giant Fyodor Dostoevsky. Readings include: selected early fiction (Poor Folk, The Double, The Gambler); his seminal manifesto Notes from Underground; his first major novel Crime and Punishment; and his masterpiece The Brothers Karamazov.Biographical information, excerpts from the author's notebooks, analysis of comparative translations, and film adaptations will supplement readings. No knowledge of Russian required. Open to first-year students. 3 hrs. lect. EUR LIT

Fall 2016, Fall 2019

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RUSS 0352 - Tolstoy      

Tolstoy (in English)
In this course we will focus on major works by literary giant Leo Tolstoy. Students will be introduced to his epic range, philosophical depth, and psychological acuteness. Readings encompass early short fiction including selected Sevastopol Tales, Three Deaths, and Family Happiness; in-depth analysis of his masterpiece Anna Karenina; and several late, post-conversion works including The Death of Ivan Ilych, The Kreutzer Sonata, and Master and Man. Excerpts from Tolstoy's memoirs, diaries, and letters. No knowledge of Russian required. 3 hrs. lect. EUR LIT

Fall 2018

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RUSS 0354 - Chekhov      

Chekhov (in English)
A study of Chekhov's major dramatic output: a survey of the history of Russian theatre before Chekhov; Turgenev's Month in the Country; Chekhov's evolution as a writer; analysis of his four major plays: Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and Cherry Orchard; Chekhov's European contemporaries and his Russian successors. 3 hrs. lect. EUR LIT

Spring 2016, Fall 2017

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RUSS 0500 - Advanced Independent Study      

Advanced Studies in Language and Literature
Supervised individual study for highly qualified students. (Approval required)

Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019

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RUSS 0700 - Senior Independent Study      

Senior Independent Study
(Approval required)

Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019

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RUSS 0704 - Senior Seminar      

Senior Seminar (in Russian)
This seminar topic changes every year. Recent seminar titles have included Research, Recast, Relay, The History of Russian Poetry, and Russian Drama. This course will provide students with the skills to identify and utilize Russian sources, provide professional quality written summaries and analyses, make oral presentations in Russian, and produce a substantial written assignment and project. (Senior Majors) 3 hrs. sem.

Fall 2015

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Program in International and Global Studies

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