COVID-19: Essential Information

Matthew P. Walker

Assistant Professor of Russian

 work(802) 443-5588
 Via Zoom, by appointment
 FIC 206



Course List: 

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

IGST 0412 / RUSS 0412 - We: Representing Collectives      

The “We”: Representing Collectives
“Who are we?” This may be the fundamental question underlying any community. Rather than propose a particular answer to this question, in this course we will attempt to develop a historical poetics of social formations: how are communities (“we”) maintained and represented under different political paradigms, how do communities appear, and how do they disintegrate? Readings will include foundational texts of modern Western political philosophy, with responses from beyond Europe (Russia, the Global South, and the Americas), and case studies from literature, cinema, protest, and mass media. Students taking this class for a Russian requirement meet one extra hour per week to discuss selected texts in Russian. 3 hrs. sem PHL SOC

Spring 2019

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IGST 0701 - REES Senior Thesis      

Russian and East European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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RUSS 0101 - Beginning Russian      

Beginning Russian
This course is an approach to the language using four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). It provides a firm control of the sound system and the structure of Russian. Although much emphasis is put on the spoken colloquial language, reading, writing, and a conscious understanding of the fundamentals of grammar prepare a strong foundation for work in advanced courses or for reading in specialized fields. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. drill. LNG

Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

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RUSS 0102 - Beginning Russian      

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

Winter 2021

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RUSS 0103 - Beginning Russian      

Beginning Russian
This course is a continuation of the approach used in RUSS 0102, but with increased emphasis on reading. (RUSS 0102) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. drill. LNG

Spring 2018

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RUSS 0122 - The Russian Mind (in English)      

The Russian Mind (in English)
In this course we will study the dominant themes of Russia's past and their role in shaping the present-day Russian mind. Topics will include: Slavic mythology; Russian Orthodoxy; Russian icons; the concept of autocracy; the legacy of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great; the Golden Age of Russian Literature (Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky); Russian composers, including the "Mighty Five"; Russian theater and ballet; the origins of Russian radicalism; the Russian Revolution; the legacy of Lenin and Stalin; and Russia from Khrushchev to Putin. 3 hrs. lect. AAL HIS LIT NOA

Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

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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

Fall 2019

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RUSS 0217 - Revolution: Art & Soviet Cult      

The Idea of Revolution: Aesthetics, Politics and the Avant-Garde in Early Soviet Culture
In this course we will explore intersections between aesthetics and politics in the context of one of the great upheavals of the twentieth century, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the rise of the Soviet Union. How might art represent a revolutionary politics, and in what ways might it betray it? What does Communism mean for artistic production? We will consider these and other questions across different media, including literature, cinema, and the plastic arts. We will discuss works by Mayakovsky, Malevich, Babel, Zamiatin, Tatlin, Eisenstein, Vertov, Olesha, Platonov, and others. Taught in English. 3 hrs. lect. AAL ART CW LIT NOA

Fall 2017

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RUSS 0241 / PSCI 0241 - Putinism & Russian Culture      

Putinism and Contemporary Russian Culture
The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union was hailed in the West as a triumph of democracy over totalitarianism; for some observers the event even signaled “the end of history.” Today however it seems history is “back,” with Russia under Putin once again assuming its former role as enemy and the “other” of the West. In this course we will seek a better understanding of this apparent reversal of vectors from within Russian culture, while situating it within larger illiberal trends in world politics, by analyzing literary works, popular cinema, political theory, journalism, social media, and other forms of cultural production. 3 hrs. lect. AAL NOA SOC

Fall 2018

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RUSS 0312 - Russ Cult and Civ II      

Russian Culture and Civilization II
This course is a continuation of RUSS 0311 but may be taken independently with the approval of the instructor. It offers a bilingual approach to the study of Russian culture. Works of literature, art, film, and music will be examined in their historical and political context. Particular attention will be devoted to the improvement of oral and written skills. As the course topics and emphasis change, depending on the levels of students enrolled, RUSS0312 may be taken a second time with instructor/chair approval. (RUSS 0202 or by permission) 3 hrs. lect. EUR LIT LNG

Spring 2021

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RUSS 0355 - Gogol and Romantic Melancholy      

Gogol and Romantic Melancholy (In English)
In this course we will explore the corpus of one of the canonical figures of nineteenth-century Russian literature, Nikolai Gogol, and situate him within a broader tradition of romantic melancholy in Western, and later, Russian culture (e.g. writers such as Poe, Baudelaire, Benjamin, Dostoevsky, Platonov, filmmakers such as Tarkovsky and Zviagintsev). How does one describe a world where formerly familiar pathways to transcendence have been left in ruins by modernity? Can this loss be remedied in art, or only repeated? Twice weekly discussions of materials in English, though students are encouraged to engage with the original texts. 3 hrs. lect. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2020

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RUSS 0359 / ENAM 0359 - 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. AMR LIT NOR

Spring 2020

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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 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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RUSS 0700 - Senior Independent Study      

Senior Independent Study
(Approval required)

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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Department of Russian

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