* Course descriptions and required texts are subject to change.

Courses

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

RUSS 6502 - Adv Conversation Practicum      

Advanced Conversation Practicum

Students in this class will focus on expanding their lexicon and syntactical repertoire in scholarly and journalistic speech and on preparing scholarly presentations in their area of interest. The main themes will be political, economic, and cultural, as students approach interesting and sometimes controversial topics concerning contemporary Russian society and culture. Students will read assigned articles from scholarly and media sources; watch videos on Russian politics, society, and culture; discuss these materials; and write compositions. Linguistics Language & Stylistics

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6507 - Russian Syntax & Punctuation      

Russian Syntax and Punctuation

Russian syntax is a very interesting and important part of Russian grammar. Without knowledge of Russian syntactic constructions, one cannot understand the rules of Russian punctuation. We will examine all the main Russian syntactic structures, such as verbal and nominal word combinations and simple and compound sentences, and discuss “free” word order in Russian. Students will listen to lectures, complete exercises, read Russian writers and analyze their texts, and write essays. Grades will be determined according to participation in class discussions, homework, weekly tests and compositions, and a final exam.

Required Text: ?.?. ?????????. ?????????? ???????? ????? ? ??????????? ? ????????????. ?.2. ?????????. ?????-?????????: ????????, 2014. Linguistics Language & Stylistics

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6513 - Nonverbal Communication&Reflec      

Russian Nonverbal Communication and its Reflction

This course will focus on aspects of nonverbal communication that are typically encountered in everyday Russian culture: gestures, touches, eye movements, facial expressions, etc., as well as words and expressions that reflect these aspects: to spit, to lower one’s eyes, to wave something away vs. to wave, to pat someone on the shoulder, to shrug, to put one’s foot down, to make the cuckoo sign (twist one’s finger at one’s temple)/, etc. Particular attention will be paid to situations that might result in misunderstandings in cross-cultural communication. The class will feature specifically-prepared presentations, as well as data from the National Corpus of Russian. Linguistics Language & Stylistics

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6515 - Adv Composition & Stylistics      

Advanced Russian Writing and Stylistics

The course is designed to develop students’ understanding of the peculiarities of various functional styles in the modern Russian language. Students are taught to stylistically evaluate language variants and to distinguish stylistic features of various texts through analysis; they also acquire skills to produce written texts of different styles and genres. The course focuses on different types of texts—e.g., the personal diary, the essay, non-fiction forms, the short story, literary criticism, etc. Readings include diaries of contemporaries; short stories by Pelevin, Tolstaya, and Prilepin; and essays by Genis and Epshtein. During class meetings, students participate in improvisation and write their texts on a range of topics. They prepare written assignments and produce written works in different genre styles. Language & Stylistics

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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RUSS 6516 - Secrets: Verbal Aspect Russian      

Secrets of Russian Verbal Aspect

This course will focus on one of the most challenging areas of Russian grammar, namely verbal aspect. We will discuss not only the use of perfective and imperfective aspect, but also the aspectual system as a whole including such facets as meaning of aspects, aspectual derivation, aspectual pairness, aspectual triplets, verbs of motion as a subsystem of Russian verbs, manners of verbal action (Actionsarten), aspect in dictionaries, etc. Students will work through exercises and read short works of prose (fiction and non-fiction) for analysis; we will use several workbooks and language manuals published in Russia, as well as a course pack of selected readings. Students' grades will be based on three written exams, daily reading and writing homework, and class participation. Linguistics Language & Stylistics

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6517 - Advanced Russian Composition      

This course is designed to offer intensive practice in composition to develop students’ skills in writing. Students will acquire the proficiency necessary to produce texts of different styles and genres in Russian. We will explore the relationship between fact and writing and will focus on different types of texts, e.g. personal diary, essay, non-fiction forms, fictional short stories, literary criticism, etc. We will read diaries of contemporaries, short stories by Pelevin, Tolstaya, and Buida, and essays by Genis and Vail’. During class meetings, students will participate in improvisations and write texts on randomly chosen topics. They will prepare written assignments and produce written works in different genres. Language & Stylistics

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6518 - Russ Lang: Regional Varieties      

Regional Varieties of the Russian Language

The standard literary Russian language exists in several regional varieties characterized by some peculiarities in the sound system, vocabulary, and grammar, and even by their own literary norms. In class we will discuss language policy in the Soviet Union and Russian Federation, as well as Russian dialects and regional varieties of Russian, from the Far East to Kaliningrad and from Arkhangelsk to Makhachkala. We will examine also the varieties of Russian outside Russia. In the course students will discover the difference between Moscow and Saint-Petersburg pronunciation and will learn the characteristics of the vocabulary of the residents of Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, or Rostov-na-Donu. Students will read Russian writers from various origins, watch the regional broadcasts, and prepare presentations about different Russian regions. Linguistics Language & Stylistics

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6519 - Media Language & Culture      

Media Language and Culture in Modern Russia

Rapid changes in the social and political arenas have had a significant impact on the language of Russian media and on their linguistic identity since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This course will explore various aspects of language culture in the Russian media space and the ways in which language fixes innovations and mirrors changes in the society. Questions to be examined include: what is the norm in contemporary Russian? What linguistic ideologies and strategies do we find in various media sources? How are texts encoded? Students will read and analyze various media sources including online newspapers (vedomosti.ru, gazeta.ru, novayagazeta.ru, grani.ru, etc.). Students will practice in interpreting and examining readings and participate in the discussion of the texts assigned for reading. They will prepare written and oral assignments and write essays and short reports. Civ Cul & Soc Linguistics

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6604 - History of Russian Language      

History of the Russian Language

In this course we will focus on the language situation in Russia from the 11th to the 21st centuries. We will address the historical and socio-cultural factors that have played a role in the development of the Russian language. We will trace the development of the sound and grammatical structures of Russian over the past thousand years and find relics of old forms in modern Russian. Over the course of many centuries, both Church Slavonic and native East Slavonic varieties appear to have been in use, sometimes coexisting and sometimes mixing with each other. Though the breakthrough of a unified standard based on the East Slavonic variety took place in the 18th to 19th centuries, we can see the interaction of Church Slavonic and East Slavonic in modern Russian texts.

By the end of this course students should be able to:
1. discuss the most important historical and socio-cultural events in Russian history;
2. discuss phonetic and morphological developments in the history of Russian;
3. identify old grammar forms in modern Russian;
4. identify Church Slavonic versus East Slavonic forms in Russian; and
5. analyze Russian language of the 21st century from a historical perspective. Civ Cul & Soc Linguistics Language & Stylistics

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6607 - The Language of Propaganda      

The Language of Propaganda: Linguistic Manipulation and Hate Speech in Russian

The aim of the course is to study manipulative mechanisms of the Russian language with two purposes in mind: to avoid falling under the influence of propaganda, on the one hand, and to learn how to create manipulative texts in Russian, on the other. Russian offers speakers a rich arsenal of means to realize propagandistic aims. Manipulative functions of discourse create a covert, masked layer of linguistic data that is not easily separated from purely informational content. This is why manipulative texts are not so easy to identify or translate. We will consider linguistic means typical of manipulative texts and language signs of different levels that help us interpret the speaker’s intentions. We will discuss hate speech, now used in Russian political communication. Students will listen to lectures, read articles from the Russian media and internet, watch videos on Russian politics and society, discuss these materials, and write compositions. Grades will be based on participation in class discussions, weekly compositions and oral presentations, and a final examination. Linguistics Language & Stylistics

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6609 - Literature and Revolution      

The Russian Revolution of 1917 was one of the most significant events of the 20th century. The Revolution exerted a dominant influence on all aspects of Russian life, including literature. Literature not only reflected the events of the Revolution (and the Civil War as an important stage of the Revolution) with exceptional vividness, but it also attempted to interpret them artistically. Revolutionary events influenced not only the content of new literature, but also its form, its composition by genre, and its aesthetic principles. Because of this, Russian literature of the 1910s-1920s became one of the most interesting and significant artistic phenomena of the 20th century

We will investigate works of renowned and lesser known Russian writers of the 1910s-1920s that reflect aspects of the 1917 Revolution from different, often opposing, perspectives. We will read poets (Alexander Blok, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, Zinaida Gippius, and others), writers of prose (Ivan Bunin, Aleksey Tolstoy, Mikhail Sholokhov, Marietta Shaginian, Artem Vesely, Anatoly Marienhof, Boris Lavrenev, Boris Pilniak, and others), and publicists (Vasily Rozanov, Larisa Reysner). We will examine literature as it relates to historical events, as well as to the visual art, theater, and film of its time. Civ Cul & Soc Literature

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6612 - The Great Patriotic War      

Many contemporary international problems are the result of the worldwide reorganization after World War II. For 70 years, every country developed its own account of the global conflict that took place from 1939 to 1945. The war between the USSR and Hitler’s Germany and its allies became known as the Great Patriotic War. For present-day Russians, this is one of the chief historical events used to construct national identity.

This course examines the War from the point of view of military-historical anthropology and analyzes Russian cultural reflection of Russia’s war-filled past. Graduate students will familiarize themselves with the main schools of thought of Russian historians on the causes, chronology, and results of the Great Patriotic War. Topics covered will include the most controversial events and issues from the War, such as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact; collaborationism; the fate of non-combatants; economic, demographic, and cultural effects of the War on the USSR; and others. But the course will primarily focus on the forms and mechanisms of memory about the War in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6615 - Poets and Politics      

Poets Against the Authorities: from G. Derzhavin to J. Brodsky

Poetry has always played a unique role in Russian history. Due to the absence of possibilities for legal political life and political action, poets sometimes took the place of politicians. Accordingly, state authorities always desired to convert Russian poets into their allies, or persecuted them as political enemies (i.e., exiled them, expelled them from the country, imprisoned them, and even sent them to their deaths). In 19th-century authoritarian Russia and the 20th-century totalitarian Soviet Union, we often find situations that could not be imaginable in ‘normal’ democratic societies: the leaders of the state (such as Alexander I, Nicholas I, and Joseph Stalin) carefully read the poetic works of the major Russian poets and carried special resolutions about them; some sessions of the State Council of Imperial Russia or the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party were completely devoted to recent poetic works and their possible impact on the inner conditions of society and on foreign affairs. In our course, we will examine the reasons for this unique attention paid by the state to poets and poetry. The political views of different Russian poets, as well as their influence on Russian society, will be a subject of our special examination. We will explore works and ideas of such poets as Gavriil Derzhavin, Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Fedor Tyutchev, Nikolai Nekrasov, Alexander Blok, Osip Mandelshtam, Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, and Joseph Brodsky. We will examine some cases in which poetry became a major issue of political life: Pushkin’s ‘southern exile’ and the case of his poem “André Chénier,” the Central Committee’s Resolution on the journals Zvezda and Leningrad (particularly against Anna Akhmatova), Pasternak’s Nobel Prize scandal, or the trials around Joseph Brodsky (who was charged with “parasitism”). Literature

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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RUSS 6618 - Russian Cultural Scripts      

This course will focus on helping students to better understand Russian culture using the Russian lexicon as a tool. Special attention will be paid to Russian cultural scripts, i.e. representations of cultural norms widely held in Russian society and reflected in Russian language. We will discuss words that reflect and transmit Russian ways of thinking as a “naïve” set of assumptions about what is good and what is bad to do, and what one can or cannot do. Since the worldview encoded in these words is usually presented in non-assertive components of meaning (that is, connotations, presuppositions, etc.), the speakers of Russian tend to take it for granted. Moreover, most of these words are language-specific and defy translation; when translated directly or naïvely into other languages, they may cause cross-cultural miscommunication. Students will write short essays two to three times per week discussing various aspects of Russian culture as understood through its key words. Grades will be based on class participation and essays written throughout the course. Linguistics Language & Stylistics

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6621 - Nikolai Gogol      

Having spent many years abroad looking at Russia from the outside, Ukrainian-born Nikolai Gogol was able to see in everyday, prosaic Russian life a grotesque phantasmagoria in which the humorous is inextricably tied with the frightening. In this course, we will systematically examine Gogol’s most important works. Most of our attention will be paid to the so-called “Petersburg Tales,” The Government Inspector, and the mysterious Dead Souls (which contemporaries labeled a novel, but Gogol himself called a poem). We will investigate Gogol’s artistic strategy, his ideology, and peculiarities of his poetics. Gogol’s artistic works will be examined in parallel with the societal, cultural, and literary milieus of his time. Throughout the course, we will familiarize ourselves with important works by Russian critics that exerted influence not only on Gogol’s attitude towards art, but on the development of literary theory (B. Eichenbaum’s “How Gogol’s Overcoat was made” and others). Literature

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6626 - Russian Literature of 2010s      

This course is dedicated to the newest Russian literature: the books that we will read and analyze were all published in the 2010s, half in the year 2015. Our focus will be on the writings of four authors, representing various generations (from age 48 to 29) and various trends in contemporary Russian literature. The authors have already received critical attention from readers and literary experts. Last year, Alexander Snegirev was awarded the Russian Booker Prize, Alisa Ganieva was selected as a Russian Booker finalist, and Anna Matveeva was a finalist for the «??????? ?????». Special attention will be given to the work of Dmitry Bykov – famous writer, author of a cult-status biography of Boris Pasternak, poet, journalist and media personality, and winner of numerous literary awards («??????? ?????», «???????????? ??????????», ?????? ??. ??????? ??????????, and others). Bykov will be a guest of the Russian School in 2016, so students will have the opportunity to engage with the author directly in discussions of his work and the situation in contemporary Russian literature.

Texts will include:
????????? ????????. ???? (2015).
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??????? ?????. ??????, ??????? (2012).
????? ???????. ????? ? ??????? (2015). Literature

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6628 - 1917-2017: Realized Utopia      

Russia 1917-2017: History of Realized Utopia

For 80 years, Russia existed in a constant state of attempting to realize the communist ideal. Through these years, the country went through a civil war, Stalinism, the Virgin Lands Campaign, the Space Race, Stagnation, Perestroika. What united all of these events? What is the common thread of Russian and Soviet history? What role did the events of 1917 really play?
To this day, Russian society is divided in its interpretation of many key events of the 20th century. In this course, we will not only grapple with key events in Russian history, but try to understand their political, social, and cultural significance. 1917 cardinally altered life in Russia and significantly influenced global development. It affected people’s whole lives: language, social ties, value systems, as well as new literature, theater, and cinema. The study of Soviet Russia and its unique attempt to achieve utopian, communist ideals can assist in one’s understanding of the texts and subtexts of Russian life, including those reflected in language, literature, and art. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6633 - The Religions of Russia      

This course is dedicated to the history and variety of Russia’s religions. It will explore the relationship between church and state in Russian history, as well as shed light on cultural, historical, and political aspects of religious processes of the past that influenced the contemporary religious situation. Graduate students will familiarize themselves with historical and cultural idiosyncrasies of the development of Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Russia. Special attention will be paid to Russia’s traditional, pagan religions and religious minorities. The course will rely on comparative-historical and anthropological methodologies. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6634 - Contemporary Russ Literature      

Contemporary Russian Literature: Texts, Myths, Symbols

This course is designed to acquaint students with the way Russian literature has developed during the past decade. The emphasis will be on comprehension of the texts, myths, and symbols created by representatives of different trends in modern Russian literature, from recent examples of traditional psychological prose up to alternative or postmodern authors. We will also discuss modern social and political issues, as well as the most recent cultural events in Russia. Authors will include Tatyana Tolstaya, Victor Pelevin, Liudmila Petrushevskaia, Vladimir Sorokin, and Boris Akunin. Literature

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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RUSS 6662 - Individual & State in Russ Lit      

Face to Face with the Leviathan: Individual and State in Russian Literature

Harrowing or even tragic relationships between the individual and the state exemplify one of the main topics of Russian culture. The course will focus on examining prose and poetry texts of the 19th and 20th centuries. The reading list will include writers from Imperial Russia through the post-Soviet era: Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Zamyatin, Akhmatova, Solzhenitsyn, Pelevin, and Tolstaya.

Required Texts:
????????? ??????. ?????? ???????. ??????????? ?????.
??????? ??????. ????????????? ???????.
??? ???????. ????? ?????. ???????? ??????????? (????????? ????????).
??????? ???????. ??.
???? ????????. ????????? ?????????????.
????????? ??????????. ???? ???? ????? ??????????.
?????? ???????. ??????? ??? ???? ????????. ???? ????? ? ???????? ???????? ???????????.
??????? ???????. ?? ????? ????. Literature

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6663 - Russia & US in 20C & 21C      

History of a Bipolar World: Russia and the US in the 20th-21st Centuries

This graduate course, intended for students interested in history, is centered on the study of global economic, social, political, and cultural processes examined through the prism of interaction between the US and USSR. Of principal importance is the attempt to understand whether the 20th century was indeed bipolar, although naturally such powerful centers as the USSR and US had a serious influence on the development of historical processes. The controversial nature of the problem creates an essential basis for graduate students to work out their own independent judgments, which will be evaluated in discussion, trainings, and the exchange of opinions. In the course of examining these issues, we will consider how and to what extent the historical legacy of the 20th century has carried over and been preserved in the current century. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6664 - Religion in Post-Soviet Russia      

Religion in Post-Soviet Russia: From the Religious Renaissance to Anticlericalism

This course will outline the periods of the religious transformation in post-Soviet Russia, examine the factors that influenced the formation of the contemporary religious situation, and discuss the contemporary cultural and political developments affecting religion in Russia. Special attention will be paid to the relations among the church, government, and society; the development of the so-called “four traditional religions of Russia” and contemporary religious minorities; and the role of the Russian Orthodox Church not only as Russia’s most influential religious organization but also as a serious political force with a clearly defined social agenda. The course will also examine the formation of religious identity, religion and contemporary Russian mass culture, religion and education, religion and interethnic relations, religious tolerance and intolerance, and religious fundamentalism and anticlericalism. Readings will include both scholarly articles and Russian media sources. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6666 - Russia in Post-Soviet Space      

The course, designed for graduate students interested in modern politics, undertakes a comprehensive study of the problems of Russia's foreign policy toward the countries that became independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The last twenty years have been one of the most complex and dynamic periods for Russia and her neighbors. The issues of independence, identity, interstate relations have been characterized by acute struggle, both within national political elites and among the states. Defining priorities has not been an easy process either in Russia or in the neighboring countries. This process was complicated by the clashing interests of external powerful “actors” (such as the USA, the EU, and China) over the post-Soviet space. Some rising powers (such as Turkey, Iran, and others) have recently become more active and claimed a special role in this Eurasian geopolitical region. This period is full of contradictions and conflicts and gives plenty of insight into historical, geopolitical, political, and cultural aspects of the region, and allows us to test major modern political theories and their applicability to the analysis of many interesting problems. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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RUSS 6670 - Foreign Policy 2014-2017      

Russian Foreign Policy 2014-2017: Strategies within Sanctions

Russia has spent recent years in a state of international isolation. Economic sanctions, introduced after the invasion of Ukraine, exerted and continue to exert multifaceted influence on all aspects of life in Russia. Under these conditions, Russia’s foreign policy had to change significantly.
Today, we are faced with a fairly unique situation: on the one hand, it is not quite a Cold War, but on the other, all normal international communication and relations have been skewed. However, no one country, no matter how large or powerful, can be completely self-reliant.

This course will focus on cases that became particularly significant for the Russian administration and the Russian political elite. This is the first time that Russian leaders have had to deal with such problems. It is therefore a safe assumption that we are dealing with a unique stage in the evolution of Russia’s foreign policy. These topics can be of interest not only to political or international scientists. Life under sanctions has significantly influenced the worldview of a large part of the Russian populace, and this will inevitably affect the formation of new socio-political and cultural priorities. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6673 - Russian-Ukrainian Relations      

History of Russian-Ukrainian Relations

In spite of the fact that Russian-Ukrainian relations have lately become one of the key issues in contemporary international politics, this course will be devoted to the history of relations between Russia and Ukraine. This topic has a lot to offer and there are many aspects that still remain unclear and provoke a lot of discussions not only in society, but also among professional historians.

The early Middle Ages were characterized by joint development of Kiev and Novgorod lands, united by power, self-identification and common outlook. The following period was marked by the development of Ukrainian groups under the strong influence of Russia, Poland, and Austria, which shaped cultural peculiarities and social preferences of Ukrainians. The 17th century was a new stage in Eastern Ukrainian development as an integral part of the Moscow State and then the Russian Empire, while southwestern Ukrainian lands kept developing under the influence of other countries.

The 20th century turned out to be the most dramatic for both peoples. Two world wars, civil war, challenges of modernization — all these contributed to a growing number of contradictions when addressing problems of identity.

The course, aimed at graduate students, deals with the ethnic and cultural aspects of Russian and Ukrainian development as well as the formation of their social and political priorities and symbols. Understanding these phenomena will allow a better analysis and comprehension of the contemporary tension between Russia and Ukraine, which does not always reflect the mutual attitudes and values of both peoples. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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RUSS 6678 - Russian Auteur Cinema      

Russian filmmaking includes a strong line of auteur cinema (avtorskoe kino). Directors of auteur films establish their technique and personal style as their main priority, and they develop their own cinematic language. This course examines films that were outside of the mainstream and explores advancements in film technology and techniques in the context of the continuous evolution of cinema and the cinematic industry. Films of the prominent directors Khutsiev, Muratova, Shepitko, Tarkovsky, German, Sakurov, and others, will be shown. This course includes readings of literary works and criticism, as well as detailed analyses and discussion of the cinematic works with two film screenings weekly. Students have to prepare written and oral assignments including four essays, a journal, and a final paper and project. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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RUSS 6682 - Image of West in Russ Hist/Cul      

Images of the West in Russian History and Culture, 18th – 21st Centuries

This course will focus on one of the key problems of Russian history – Russia’s desire to enter Europe on equal footing and completely retain its identity and uniqueness. Our analysis will begin with the 18th century, as that is when this goal was identified as a foreign policy priority. The course will end with contemporary developments, as Russia finds itself once again in opposition to the European community, though some Russians, as always, see themselves as part of Europe.

To evaluate this issue, we will focus on culture and national-cultural psychology. We will read texts and discuss issues that deal with how European values have affected Russian identity and the role that Russia has played in the development of the European community. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6684 - The Russian Anecdote      

The Russian Anecdote: Understanding Russian Jokes and Humor

This course will focus on helping students toward a better understanding of Russian culture through the tool of Russian canned jokes (‘anekdoty’). We will discuss the conceptualization of the world in Russian jokelore (what is taken for granted in Russian jokes and what one needs to know to understand them) and give an account of the rules of telling jokes in Russian as well as the formal means of introducing a joke text into discourse. We will pay special attention to the main characters of Russian jokes, recognizable by the description of their appearance, behavior, clothes and other accessories, and their “linguistic masks,” which correlate with their “behavior masks.” In addition, we will analyze ways of using jokes in the media (in particular, indirect allusions to jokes). The course grade will be based on student homework, participation in class discussion, and a final exam. Language & Stylistics

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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RUSS 6687 - Youth Movements & Subcultures      

Youth Movements and Subcultures in Russia: From Dandies and Decembrists to Gopniki and Hipsters

The course will focus on political (the decembrists, marxists, dissidents), social (narodniki, nihilists), cultural (futurists, "shestidesiatniki"), lifestyle (dandies, stiliagi, liubery) and even virtual ("lishnie ljudi") species of multi-faceted youth activities in Russia throughout two centuries. Each trend will be carefully described, analyzed, and put in historical perspective. Most of the presented cults and movements will be provided with illustrations from literature, film and music. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6691 - Russian Foreign Policy 2000s      

Eastern Vector in Russian Foreign Policy of 2000s

This is a course for students interested in international affairs. For more than 10 years, the “Big East” has become a critical issue in global politics. The so-called “clash of civilizations,” “the Islamic factor,” “the Chinese wonder,” “the Arab Spring,” and finally the war in Syria and the refugee crisis – all of these affect the geopolitical priorities of the “big players.”

These factors also critically affect Russia. The formation of modern Russian nationhood began with the lion’s share of attention being paid to Western vectors of development – something that was supported both by political élites and by popular opinion. However, the early 2000s saw Russia realizing that it cannot ignore its interests in the East. This demanded significant, painful, and ambivalent changes in foreign policy.

This course will focus on how events in the East affected the transformation of Russia’s foreign policy and internal life. Attention will be paid to the contemporary “eastern crisis” and the “great game” played by the “big players” of the East. The course will examine the issues surrounding the events in the East and analyze the reactive decisions made by Russia vis-à-vis said issues. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6692 - Reading & New Media in the 21C      

Text, Context, Intertext: Readings and New Media in the 21st Century

The goal of this course is to develop students’ skills in reading and interpreting contemporary texts in the post-Soviet era. They will learn to comprehend the background of the text, to grasp the meaning of the context, and to distinguish intertexts. Students will work with different kinds of new media texts including online news, social media excerpts, forums, YouTube videos, interviews, etc. They will read articles and essays of Shenderovich, Rubinshtein, political verses of Bykov, and short stories of Tolstaya, Pelevin, and Sorokin.

During class meetings, students will gain practice in examining and interpreting readings and participate in the discussion of texts—both those assigned and those found by the students themselves. They will prepare written assignments and produce various texts, ranging from essays to reports to short fiction. Literature

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6705 - Rock Music in Russia & USSR      

Rock Music in Russia and the USSR

This course will trace the emergence and development of rock and roll music – initially an exotic American influence which later grew into bona fide Russian genre – in the Soviet Union and, subsequently, the Russian Federation. As in the west, the musical developments in rock went hand in hand with ever-changing youth cults, social trends and cultural shocks: from the 'styliagi' of the 50s to Beatlemania and the Russian hippy movement of the 60s and 70s, to protest-driven 'Russian rock' of the 80s and the current contradictory situation. Lectures will be accompanied by audio and video recordings, as well as selected feature films. Course assignments will include essays on Soviet and Russian rock acts and oral reports. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6706 - Soviet Cinema: 70's & 80's      

Soviet Cinema of the 70s & 80s – New Heroes and Heroines *

This course will focus on new character archetypes in Soviet cinema during the Brezhnev era – a period of economic and cultural stagnation. Many films of this period demonstrate an antihero/antiheroine, neither negative nor positive, who deconstructs the Soviet norm of behavior, lifestyle, and perspective. Students will watch films that belong to popular culture, as well as films outside the mainstream. Films of the prominent directors G. Panfilov, P. Todorovsky, N. Mikhalkov, G. Danelia, A. German, R. Balaian, and others, will be screened. The course incorporates readings that complement the film content, as well as detailed analyses of the cinematic works, and will feature two film screenings weekly.
Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6707 - Women thru History Russ Cinema      

Women through the History of Russian Cinema

This course will explore the history of Russian cinema through the role assigned to women in films of pre-revolutionary Russia, the Soviet Union, and the post-Soviet era. Study of the “woman question” in cinema will include cultural developments and exploration of significant directors and genres. Students will watch films that examine the cultural tendency to define the role of women in retrospective and contemporary society. Films by Yevgeni Bauer, a prominent director who was present at the beginning of world cinema, will be screened, as well as films by other world-renowned directors such as Romm, Mikhalkov, Tarkovsky, Muratova, and Shepitko.

This course includes readings of literary works and criticism, as well as detailed analyses and discussion of the cinematic works, with two film screenings weekly. Students will prepare written and oral assignments including four essays, a journal, and a final paper and project. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6710 - Intertextuality in Russian Dis      

Intertextuality in Russian Discourse

Intertextuality means that texts gain meaning not only through their reference to an external reality, but also by their reference to pre-existing texts. The understanding of Russian texts requires not only knowledge of Russian grammar and vocabulary, but also background knowledge of quotations, clichés and winged words. Modern Russian literature, media, and private communication bristle with quotations from novels and movies, allusions and references to historic events or TV shows. In this course we will try to reproduce the intertextual vocabulary of an average native Russian speaker and learn to recognize unacknowledged quotations in Russian texts. We will read fairy tales, classical and modern Russian literature, watch movies and cartoons, tell jokes and discuss social networks. By the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of the meaning and underlying themes of Russians texts and will have learned many popular expressions. Linguistics Literature Language & Stylistics

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6711 - Russ Culture between West&East      

Russian Culture between West and East

The course will dwell on eternal Russian questions: Where is Russia’s place? In Europe? In Asia? Or maybe there is some “third path” between West and East? Students will investigate how the most famous Russian writers (18th-21th centuries) sought answers to these questions. We will examine how Russia was perceived by foreign travelers, and how Russian writers construed West or East while traveling abroad. Slavophiles and westernizers from Nikolay Karamzin and Denis Fonvizin up to Vladimir Maikovsky or Andrei Platonov will be among our topics. We will study literary works in the wide context of Russian political history, arts, and music. Civ Cul & Soc Literature

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6715 - Pushkin's Evgeny Onegin      

Alexander Pushkin’s /Evgeny Onegin/

It is difficult to find a work that has had a greater impact on Russian literature than A. Pushkin’s novel in verse Evgeny Onegin. Hundreds if not thousands of works in various languages have been devoted to the novel. Nevertheless, many puzzles remain. How should we understand Pushkin’s words: «???? ?? ?????, ? ????? ? ?????? – ??????????? ???????»? How is the “Onegin stanza” constructed, why is it necessary? What literary works, Russian and foreign, must be known in order to read Pushkin’s text? Where in the novel is the boundary between tragedy and parody? What in the novel could Pushkin’s contemporaries understand at once, which for us requires clarification and detailed commentary? Why does Tchaikovsky’s famous opera not so much help, but rather hinder, our understanding of Pushkin’s original work? What have writers such as Vissarion Belinsky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the Russian Formalists, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Yuri Lotman seen and not seen in Evgeny Onegin, and why? We will try to answer these and many other questions through a close reading of Pushkin’s novel in verse and other writings by Pushkin, his contemporaries, and his later critics.

Texts will include:
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Course pack (????????? ?? ?????? ?. ?. ??????????, ?. ?. ????????, ?. ?. ????????????; ????????? ?? ????? ?. ?. ??????????, ?. ?. ????????, ?. ?. ????????, ?. ?. ???????, ?. ?. ???????, ?. ?. ??????????; ??????????? ?????? ?. ?. ??????? ? ??? ?????????????).
Literature

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6746 - Everyday Cultre:Russian People      

Everyday Culture of the Russian People

Despite the gradual disappearance of a more rural style of life, urbanization, and globalization, traditional folk values and ethno-cultural idiosyncrasies continue to affect the lives of modern Russians. This course will focus on the ethics and aesthetics of the Russian people as they are manifested in everyday life and holidays.

The course will consist of five thematic parts: (1) labor and economics of the Russian village;
(2) the typology and semantics of the traditional home; (3) family and marriage among Russians; (4) Russian views on beauty; and (5) Russian artistic crafts and folklore. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6752 - Tarkovsky/Mainstrm/Sov Culture      

Tarkovsky, the Mainstream, and Soviet Culture

This course will explore the cinematic art of Andrei Tarkovsky, a Soviet filmmaker who produced some of the most compelling and significant cinematic works of the 20th century. Tarkovsky established his technique and personal style as his main priority and developed his own cinematic language. Looking at his films alongside films that were made at the same time, students will examine cinematic art in the broader context of Soviet culture. Films by Konchalovsky, Todorovsky, Shukshin, Iosseliani, and others will be screened. The course incorporates readings of criticism and Tarkovsky’s own writing, as well as detailed analyses of the cinematic works. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6763 - Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina"      

Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and the Family Novel

The course is designed as a close reading of the most acclaimed of Tolstoy’s works—his novel Anna Karenina. The novel was written and published in separate chapters during 1875-1877, and readers remained in suspense, as they did not know what would happen next with the heroes. Students will be repeating the experience of Tolstoy’s first readers during their six weeks of study. Tolstoy’s work is an encyclopedia of the Russian culture of the second half of the 19th century, making our course completely interdisciplinary: we will discuss social, historical, philosophical, religious, cultural, and legal issues, relevant for Tolstoy as well as for his heroes. Such topics as family, marriage, women’s emancipation, and children’s education will be the themes of our class discussion. Students must be prepared to read about 30 pages for each class session, to actively participate in class discussion, and to write weekly short papers. Students will compose their final paper and present it during the mini-conference at the end of the course. Literature

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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RUSS 6766 - Dostoevsky's Crime &Punishment      

F.M.Dostoevsky's /Crime and Punishment/

This monographic course focuses on the examination of one of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s key novels and its historical and ideological context. Course objectives are to study and comment on the philosophical, social, religious, and intertextual problems of Dostoevsky's novel. Topics of discussion will include the so-called “Petersburg text” and the symbolism of space; sex, violence, and suicide in the novel; Dostoevsky’s perception of capitalism and socialism; the religious canvas underlying the main plot; and the concept of polyphony in the novel (M. Bakhtin). Students will become familiar with the most brilliant interpretations of the novel, as well as the main film adaptations. Literature

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6767 - Contemporary Russia in Prose      

Contemporary Russia in the Mirror of Russian Prose

The course is designed to acquaint students with the development of Russian literature over the last two decades. We will examine modern patterns of literature (prose, poetry, and non-fiction) and the ways they reflect and interpret dynamic changes in Russian society, politics, and customs. We will analyze such topics as Russian Postmodernism, its concepts and paradigms; Rituals of the Totalitarian State in the Postmodernist Mode; and Metaphors and Symbols of Post-Soviet Culture. We will also discuss modern social and political issues, as well as the most recent cultural events in Russia. We will use heterogeneous materials: works of literature (both fiction and non-fiction), Russian popular culture, and Internet texts. Authors to be read include Tatyana Tolstaya, Victor Pelevin, Liudmila Petrushevskaia, Vladimir Sorokin, Dmitry Bykov, and Lev Rubinshtein. Other requirements will include 5 short written assignments (2 pages), and a final paper (10 pages). Literature

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6790 - Putinomania & Putinophobia      

Putinomania and Putinophobia: The Political Image of Contemporary Russia

This graduate course, intended for students interested in contemporary Russian society and politics, is centered on the analysis of the formation of contemporary Russia's image in the world. Special attention will be paid to characterizing the political transformation of Russia in the 2000's, which is inseparably connected with the name of the Russian President. The ambiguous and conflicting assessments of this problem constitute a good field for intellectual discussion and the examination of one's own views. The course will consist of lectures, discussion, round tables, and the independent analysis of political documents. Grades will be based on the preparation of independent essays, analytical notes, and other written assignments. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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RUSS 6884 - Master and Margarita      

M. Bulgakov's Master and Margarita

This course will be designed as a close reading of the famous “demonic” novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. We will discuss the unique structure and philosophy of the novel, as well as its political background and the novel’s artistic genealogy (literary, musical, religious, and philosophical sources).Class lectures will be supplemented by frequent slide, video, and musical presentations.

Students have to write weekly short papers, and a final paper. Literature

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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RUSS 6888 - Independent Study      

This course consists of a thesis written in Russian, for which an advisor will be assigned, and is a requirement for MA candidates. The course can only be taken for the completion of the master’s thesis and may be taken only once.

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2015 Language Schools, Summer 2016 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools

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RUSS 6903 - Research Paper      

This research paper is a requirement for DML candidates during their summer of application.

Summer 2015 Language Schools, Summer 2016 Language Schools

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Davis School of Russian

Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury College
P: 802.443.2006
F: 802.443.2075

Mailing address
Russian School
Middlebury College
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury, VT 05753

Oliver Carling, Coordinator
schoolofrussian@middlebury.edu