Spring 2017 Russian and Eurasian Courses
MWF 8:35-9:50 a.m.
Continuation of Russian 101. A four-skills course, with increasing emphasis on reading and writing, that completes the study of basic grammar. Major topics include: predicting conjugation patterns, unprefixed and prefixed verbs of motion, complex sentences, time expressions, and strategies of vocabulary building. Students watch Russian films, read and discuss authentic texts.
MWF 1:15-2:30 p.m.
Emphasis on increasing active command of grammar while focusing on conversational topics. Readings include poetry, short stories, and magazine and newspaper articles. Students watch and discuss Russian films. Classes are conducted mostly in Russian.
Topics in Twentieth Century Russian Literature: 'Diabolic Carnival: Bulgakov's Master and Margarita and Its Contexts'
MW 11-12:15 p.m.
Mephistopheles in Moscow? The Gospel retold? At turns both wildly comic and metaphysically profound, Bulgakov's novel has been a cult classic since its unexpected discovery in 1967. This course will consider Bulgakov's masterpiece together with some of its literary, historical, and social contexts. Additional readings from Goethe, Gogol, E.T.A.Hoffman, Akhmatova, and others.
Dostoevsky and the Problem of Evil: the Brothers Karamazov
TTH 11:30-12:45 p.m.
Perhaps no other novelist has delved as deeply into the psychological and metaphysical dimensions of evil as the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. This course will be devoted to a close reading of Dostoevsky's landmark novel of murderous passion and parricide, The Brothers Karamazov. Why should crime and transgression be a privileged avenue of access into the human interior? How is psychology tied to the metaphysical aspect of human existence? What are the sources of evil-- and redemption?
Topics in the Recent History of Europe: 'The Cold War: Perspectives from East and West'
TTH 8:35-9:50 a.m.
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the social, cultural, and political history of both Western and Eastern Europe since 1945. By exploring the permeability of the "Iron Curtain," the course encourages students to critically assess conceptions of division and unity in European history. We will explore ways in which borders were both reinforced and transcended. Topics include the legacy of the Second World War, migration, science, the division of Germany and its re-unification, tourism and the experience of the "other," sport as a unifying culture, the power of media, social protest, transatlantic relations, and the end of the Cold War.