Thomas R. Beyer, Jr.

CV Starr Professor of Russian & East European Studies

 
 work802.443.5536
 Tues, 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. and by appointment.
 FIC 203

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]

FYSE1286 - Keys to Dan Brown's Inferno      

The Keys to Dan Brown’s /Inferno/
In this project-oriented seminar we will seek to examine, identify, and distinguish fact from fiction in the Dan Brown novel, Inferno (May 2013) popularized already on television and social media. We will explore in greater depth the codes, symbols, and secret passageways of Florence, Dante’s own Inferno, and Brown’s other novels. 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. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2013

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FYSE1463 - 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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RUSS0102 - Beginning Russian      

Beginning Russian
This course is a continuation of RUSS 0101. (RUSS 0101 or equivalent) LNG WTR

Winter 2014

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RUSS0151 - 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 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016

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RUSS0232 / LNGT0232 - 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.

Spring 2014

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RUSS0312 - Russ Cult and Civ II      

Russian Culture and Civilization II
This course is a continuation of RUSS 0311 but may be taken independently. It offers a bilingual approach to the study of Russian culture from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present. Works of literature, art, and music will be examined in their historical and political context. Particular attention will be devoted to the improvement of oral and written skills. (RUSS 0202 or equivalent) (formerly RUSS 0412) 3 hrs. lect. EUR LIT LNG

Spring 2015

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RUSS0351 - 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 2014, Fall 2016

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RUSS0352 - 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

Spring 2014

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RUSS0354 - 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

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RUSS0359 / ENAM0359 - The Art Of Nabokov      

The Art of Vladimir Nabokov (in English)
A study of the "perverse" aesthetics of this Russian-American writer. We will expose the hidden plots under the surface of his fiction, follow and arbitrate the ongoing contest between the author and his fictional heroes, and search for the roots of Nabokov's poetics in Western and Russian literary traditions. An attempt will be made to show the continuity between the Russian and English works of this bilingual and bicultural writer. 3 hrs. lect. LIT NOR

Spring 2015

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RUSS0500 - Advanced Independent Study      

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

Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016

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RUSS0700 - Senior Independent Study      

Senior Independent Study
(Approval required)

Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016

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RUSS0704 - 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 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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Department of Russian

Freeman International Center
203 Freeman Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753