Other Russian and Eurasian Courses

Courses Not Offered This Academic Year

205 Russia under the Tsars
(Taught in English; same as History 205) Russian came into being and achieved maturity under a monarchial rule. The age of the Romanovs, 1613-1917, has been particularly important in shaping Russia's social fabric, culture, national myth, and mindset. We will concentrate on a number of outstanding reigns, from Peter the Great, who created the Russian Empire, to Nicholas II, under whom the old regime collapsed. What signal events and extraordinary individuals contributed to the spectacular successes and horrific blunders that make Russian history? How did Russian society and culture evolve during the age of the Romanovs?

Meets Humanities I-B requirement; 2 meetings (75 minutes); 4 credits
C. Pleshakov

215 Transgression and Transcendence: An Introduction to the Work of Fyodor Dostoevsky
(Taught in English) Perhaps no other writer has delved as deeply into the social, political, and psychological dimensions of transgressive behavior as the great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. This course will explore the dynamics of transgression and transcendence in a sampling of Dostoevsky's work, including Poor Folk, Notes from the Underground, and The Brothers Karamazov.

Meets Humanities I-A requirement; 2 meetings (75 minutes); 4 credits; enrollment limited to 20
P. Scotto

220 Dostoevsky and France: The Influence of Anxiety
(Same as French 220, taught in translation) Dostoevsky as a transformative moment in European literature. French literature exerted a profound influence on Dostoevsky and was in turn inspired by him in the twentieth century. We will read Dostoevsky, his French sources, and his French followers. Themes examined will include: the human propensity for violence, cruelty, and rebellion; the possibility or impossibility of redemption; the renewal of French realism by Dostoevsky and the reappropriation of Dostoevsky by the French existentialists, and Dostoevsky' contribution to the French roman policier. Readins may include Voltaire, Balzac, George Sand, and the Marquis de Sade; Dostoevsky's Notes From the Underground, The Idiot, and The Gambler, and works by Camus, Gide, and Simenon. Students may receive 300-level credit for extra reading and written work in French or Russian.

Meets Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; enrollment limited to 20
P. Scotto

235 Evenings on a Funny Farm Near Dikanka: The Creation of Nikolai Gogol
(Taught in English) "Gogol was a strange creature, but genius is always strange" - Vladimir Nabokov. Nikolai Gogol is one of Russian's greatest and most enigmatic writers. Revered by Dostoevsky, he created an idiosyncratic literary universe that has lost none of its original power with the passage of time. This course will trace the development of Gogol's genius from his early Ukrainian stories, through his tales of Saint Petersburg, to his comic masterpiece, Dead Souls. Special attention to Gogol's deployment of the comic, the fantastic, and the grotesque to confront the reality of tsarist Russia.

Meets Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; enrollment limited to 15
P. Scotto

240 Russia: From Communism to Capitalism
(Taught in English; same as Politics 209) Russia was transformed by communist revolution into a global superpower which challenged the dominant ideologies of liberalism and nationalism. It became a powerful alternative to capitalism. In 1991, this imperial state collapsed and underwent an economic, political, and cultural revolution. What explains the Soviet Union's success for seventy years and its demise in 1991? What sort of country is Russia as it enters the twenty-first century? Is it a democracy? How has Russia's transformation affected ordinary people and Russia's relationship to the West?

Meets Social Sciences III-A requirement; 2 meetings (75 minutes); 4 credits ; enrollment limited to 25
S. Jones

243 Terrorism: Russia and Its Cradle
(Taught in English; same as Politics 243s) Russia was the first nation in the world to face political terrorism. In Russian, the era of terrorism lasted from the 1860s, when the People's Will group launched the hunt on the tsar Alexander II, until 1918, when the Socialist Revolutionary Part attempted to assassinate Lenin. A case study of terrorism in Russia will help us to answer a number of questions highly relevant today. What are the causes of terrorism? What are its goals and methods? What can governments do to cope with it? What is the impact on society?

Meets Social Sciences III-A requirement; 2 meetings (75 minutes); 4 credits
C. Pleshakov

244 Red Star over Russia: The Totalitarian Regime of Lenin and Stalin, 1917-1953
(Taught in English; same as History 260s) The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 marked the coming of totalitarianism to Russia. Led first by Lenin and then by Stalin, the country went through the most brutal civil wars, purges, World War II, and the first stages of cold war. This period also saw immense social change and sweeping economic transformation. What were the causes of totalitarianism in Russia? How did the regime function? What were the major landmarks of Russian history in the period 1917-1953?

Meets Humanities I-B requirement; 2 meetings (75 minutes); 4 credits
C. Pleshakov


315 Utopia and Anti-Utopia
(Taught in English) The twentieth century has been largely shaped by several nations' ambitions to build utopian societies. Russia and China have attempted to realize the vast promises of communism while Nazi Germany aimed to construct a perfect racist world. Beyond political struggle, wars, and revolutions, recent extraordinary achievements in technology have contributed to the utopian mindset. Are political utopias dead in the new millennium? How do cyberspace and the global village contribute to utopian thinking? What will be the role of utopia in the twenty-first century?

Meets Social Sciences III-A requirement; Prereq. 8 credits in politics, international relations, or Russian and Eurasian Studies; 1 meeting (3 hours); 4 credits ; enrollment limited to 15
C. Pleshakov

330 Nationalism
(Taught in English; same as Politics 308) Nationalism is one of the greatest challenges to multiethnic states. They have had to create new strategies to deal with the demands of national minorities. Taking the four states of Spain, Canada, Russian, and the former Yugoslavia as examples, we will focus on nationalist movements within these states and the central governments' responses. What has been the effect of the Communist legacy? Are there alternatives to federalism as a way of managing national claims? What socioeconomic policies have governments used to control ethnic tensions? What role can international organizations play in finding solutions to ethnic conflict?

Meets Social Sciences III-A requirement; Prereq. 8 credits in politics, international relations, or Russian and Eurasian studies; 1 meetings (3 hours); 4 credits; enrollment limited to 15
S. Jones

331 Impacts of War

(Taught in English; same as International Relations 331f) Russian history traditionally has been war plagued. Sometimes the object of aggression, sometimes itself the aggressor, Russia has been party to all the major military conflicts of the last two centuries - Napoleonic Wars, Crimean War, World War I, and World War II. Russia's army has also fought in several regional wars, notably in Afghanistan in 1979-1989 and currently in Chechnya. We will study the impacts of war on society. What generates support for a government's decision to go to war? When does war make a nation stronger, when weaker? How does the notion of "acceptable losses" change over time? How do "victory" and "defeat" affect a nation?

Meets Humanities III-A requirement; 1 meetings (2 hours, 50 minutes); 4 credits; enrollment limited to 15
C. Pleshakov