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These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Russian (RUS)

RUS 405 (IL) Seminar in Russian Literature (3-6 per semester/maximum of 6) Readings in classical Russian literature; Topics vary.

RUS 405 Seminar in Russian Literature (3 per semester/maximum of 6)

In no other culture has literature attained the centrality it enjoyed in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russia. Political, social and historical constraints propelled Russian writers into figures of witness, prophecy and moral instruction. Yet far from being limited to the vast, dark novels of legend, Russian literature offers a great deal of variety, including much humor, lyricism and fantasy. Russian 405 is a senior-level seminar devoted to the in-depth study of selected texts of classical nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature. It presupposes a solid reading knowledge of Russian. The choice of authors and texts will vary from one year to the next. Writers discussed on a regular basis will include such major figures as Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Lev Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, as well as selected writers from the Soviet and post-Soviet period.
The thematic emphasis will vary from one year to the next. The focus may be on the oeuvre of a single writer, on the development of a particular genre (e.g., lyric poetry or the short story), on a particular time period (e.g., the so-called “Silver Age” at the beginning of the twentieth century), or a particular theme (e.g., the conflict between liberalism vs. radicalism, the “woman question,” the role of religion, Russia vs. the West, Russian “Orientalism,” the Communist Revolution and its discontents, etc.).
The literary texts will be read in Russian. They will be analyzed both in their socio-historical context and as aesthetically compelling manifestations of verbal art. Explorative analytical writing and class discussion will be essential means to explore the subject matter.

General Education: None
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2012
Prerequisite: RUS 401, RUS 402 orRUS 403

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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