2022-2023 Course Descriptions
COURSES IN LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTICS
POLISH 108-1 – Elementary Polish
This course is the first in a three-quarter sequence designed to introduce students to Polish language and culture. We learn the basic Polish grammar and vocabulary, focusing on speaking, reading, writing, and listening.
POLISH 108-2 – Elementary Polish
Slavic 108-2 is the second part in a three-quarter sequence designed to introduce students to Polish language and culture. We will continue to learn the basic grammar of Polish, building on the material acquired in first quarter. Our focus will be on speaking, reading, writing, and listening.
POLISH 108-3 – Elementary Polish
This is the third of a three-quarter sequence designed to introduce students to Polish language and culture. We continue to learn the basic grammar of Polish, focusing on speaking, reading, writing, and listening.
POLISH 208-1 – Intermediate Polish: Language and Culture
The primary goal of Intermediate Polish is to expand the student's speaking, reading and writing skills by building on grammar and vocabulary learned during the first year of study. As a complement to the linguistic side of the course, the student will gain a greater familiarity with Polish history and culture through varied means including readings of literary works, articles from contemporary Polish newspapers and movies.
POLISH 208-2 – Intermediate Polish: Language and Culture
In Winter Quarter of Second Year Polish, the students expand their speaking, reading and writing skills by building on grammar and vocabulary. As a complement to the linguistic side of the course, the students will gain a greater familiarity with Polish history and culture through varied means including readings of literary works, articles from contemporary Polish newspapers and movies.
POLISH 208-3 – Intermediate Polish: Language and Culture
In Spring Quarter of Second Year Polish, students expand their speaking, reading and writing skills by building on grammar and vocabulary learned during prior quarters. As a complement to the linguistic side of the course, the students will gain a greater familiarity with Polish history and culture through varied means, including readings of literary works, articles from contemporary Polish newspapers and movies.
POLISH 358-12 – Polish for Advanced and Native Speakers
The goal of this course is to help students acquire and improve their reading and writing skills in Polish. It is taught entirely in Polish. All discussions and readings will also be in Polish; students will learn how to discuss literature, culture and politics in Polish. Topics in grammar and stylistics will also be covered.
RUSSIAN 101-1 – Elementary Russian
Elementary Russian 101-1 is the first in a three-quarter sequence designed to introduce students to the Russian language and contemporary Russian culture. In this course, students will continue to develop the fundamentals of speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Emphasis will be placed on practical communication so that students can function at a basic level in several authentic situations by the end of the year.
RUSSIAN 101-2 – Elementary Russian
Welcome to continuing Elementary Russian! This is the second part in a three-quarter sequence designed to introduce students to the Russian language and contemporary Russian culture. Students will continue to develop the fundamentals of speaking, listening, writing, and reading through a variety of communicative and content-based activities. Emphasis will be placed on practical communication so that students should be able to function at a basic level in authentic situations by the end of the year.
RUSSIAN 101-3 – Elementary Russian
Elementary Russian 101-3 is the third part in a three-quarter sequence designed to introduce students to the Russian language and contemporary Russian culture. In this course, students will continue to develop the fundamentals of speaking, listening, writing, and reading through a variety of communicative and content-based activities. Emphasis will be placed on practical communication so that students should be able to function at a basic level in several authentic situations by the end of the year.
RUSSIAN 102-1 – Intermediate Russian
Intermediate Russian 102-1 is the first in a three-quarter sequence designed to continue exploring the Russian language and contemporary Russian culture. In this course, students will develop the skills of speaking, listening, writing, and reading through a variety of activities. They will be able to function in many authentic situations at an intermediate level by the end of the year.
RUSSIAN 102-2 – Intermediate Russian
Добро пожаловать! Welcome back to Intermediate Russian! This is the second part in a three-quarter sequence focusing on the Russian language and contemporary Russian culture. Students continue to develop the skills of speaking, listening, writing, and reading through a variety of communicative and content-based activities. Emphasis will be placed on practical communication so that students should be able to function in many authentic situations by the end of the year.
RUSSIAN 102-3 – Intermediate Russian
Intermediate Russian 102-3 is the continuation of a two-year sequence that enables students to acquire intermediate-level proficiency. It proposes the further development and command of skills and abilities in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Emphasis is also placed on vocabulary expansion, especially in the areas of speaking and writing. A great deal of attention will be devoted to the learning of grammar in conjunction with the immediate activation of it in conversation.
RUSSIAN 302-1 – Advanced Russian in Conversations
Добро пожаловать! Welcome back! Slavic 302 is a yearlong combined third- and fourth-year multi-skill course. It is recommended for students who are familiar enough with Russian basic grammatical concepts and vocabulary and are willing to continue moving beyond this level to acquire more advanced language skills–- speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The goal is to help students master all major structures of Russian and to begin to function in a wide range of settings and topics. The course acquaints students with aspects of Russian culture that are familiar to most educated native Russian speakers, through literature, videos and Russian movies). Students are encouraged to pursue and develop their own interests in Russian culture, history and social life.
RUSSIAN 302-2 – Advanced Russian in Conversations
While focusing on conversation, this year-long course promotes the development of all language skills-- speaking, reading, writing, and listening--through a variety of communicative and content-based activities. The goal is to help students to master all of the major structures of Russian and to begin to function in a wide range of settings over a wide range of topics. Beyond assigned topics and themes, students will be encouraged to pursue and develop their own interests in Russian contemporary culture.
RUSSIAN 302-3 – Advanced Russian in Conversations
Добро пожаловать! Welcome back! Slavic 302 is a yearlong combined third- and fourth-year multi-skill course. It is recommended for students who are familiar with Russian basic grammatical concepts and vocabulary and are interested in acquiring more advanced language skills--speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The course also acquaints students with aspects of Russian culture that are familiar to most educated native Russian speakers, through literature, videos and movies.
RUSSIAN 303-1 – Advanced Russian Language and Culture
This course is the first part of a three-quarter sequence focusing on communication, cultural understanding, connections of Russian language and culture with other disciplines (such as history and sociology), and comparisons of Russian and American culture and language. It is a combined third- and fourth-year all skills language and culture class. This course includes topics in grammar, a focus on developing discussion and conversational skills and writing, and readings from a range of contemporary Russian writers. It is taught in Russian and is intended for students who have completed the SLAVIC 302 series and/or the SLAVIC 102 series.
RUSSIAN 303-2 – Advanced Russian Language and Culture
This course is the second part of a three-quarter sequence focusing on communication, cultural understanding, connections of Russian language and culture with other disciplines (such as history and sociology), and comparisons of Russian and American culture and language. It is a combined third- and fourth-year all skills language and culture class. This course includes topics in grammar, a focus on developing discussion and conversational skills and writing, and readings from a range of contemporary Russian writers. It is taught in Russian and is intended for students who have completed the SLAVIC 302 series and/or the SLAVIC 102 series.
RUSSIAN 303-3 – Advanced Russian Language and Culture
This course is the third part of a three-quarter sequence focusing on communication, cultural understanding, connections of Russian language and culture with other disciplines (such as history and sociology), and comparisons of Russian and American culture and language. It is a combined third- and fourth-year all skills language and culture class. This course includes topics in grammar, a focus on developing discussion and conversational skills and writing, and readings from a range of contemporary Russian writers. It is taught in Russian and is intended for students who have completed the SLAVIC 302 series and/or the SLAVIC 102 series.
RUSSIAN 304-1 – Advanced Contemporary and Professional Russian
Russian for advanced speakers, including heritage speakers. Stress on skills in speaking, reading, and writing in professional and formal environments. Taught entirely in Russian. Content varies; may be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: consent of language director.
SLAVIC 105-6 – First-Year Seminar
In this course we will explore some of the sociolinguistic issues in Slavic speaking countries and areas (the Russian Federation, the former Soviet Union, the former Czechoslovakia, etc.) and in Central Europe (specifically, Turkish in Germany). We will look at contemporary issues in Russia and the Ukraine, especially the annexation of the Crimea, anti-gay laws in Russia, and censorship of Pussy Riot. We will explore language policies, minority language rights, language vs. dialect, language planning, language and identity, and language and nationalism.
SLAVIC 106-1,2,3 – Elementary Czech
Czech language and culture. Basic reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Must be taken in sequence. Prerequisite: consent of language director.
SLAVIC 206-1,2,3 – Intermediate Czech: Language and Culture
Reading, writing, listening, and speaking on topics in Czech culture. Must be taken in sequence.
Prerequisite: 106-3 or consent of language director.
SLAVIC 255-0 – Slavic Civilizations: What is Lyric Poetry?
What is lyric poetry? What are its roots, and what are its possibilities today? How does it stand in relation to the countless other varieties of rhymed and/or rhythmic language—hymns, pop songs, advertising slogans, campaign mottoes, bumper stickers, and so on—that surround us in our daily life? We will examine lyrics past and present, from psalms and hymns to epitaphs, elegies, songs, and love poems, with particular attention to the meanings of poetic form and the nature of poetic translation. We will pay special attention to the significance--be it private or public, political or personal-- of lyric poetry in different cultures, with readings drawn chiefly from Anglo-American and Eastern European traditions.
SLAVIC 340-0 – History of the Russian Language
Russian phonology and morphology from Proto-Indo-European to modern Russian. Effects of the changes on the contemporary language.
SLAVIC 341-0 – Structure of Modern Russian
Theories and methods of linguistics as applied to the description of modern Russian. Phonetics, morphology, and other topics.
SLAVIC 405 – Russian Teaching Methodology
A graduate level seminar that addresses the complexities of teaching Russian language. The group explores teaching methods with an emphasis on communicative approach to language teaching, working with groups and individuals, and demonstrating and presenting ideas. This seminar is geared toward the student interested in teaching assistantships as well as professional education.
SLAVIC 437-1-0 – Poetry Seminar
COURSES WITH READINGS AND DISCUSSION IN ENGLISH
SLAVIC 105-6 – First-Year Seminar
Rock and punk music played a substantial yet still underappreciated role in subverting the power of the communist system among the youth cultures of the Eastern bloc countries. Poland was no exception, as these two types of music became remarkable artistic and subversive cultural realms during the communist period in Poland. Even though rock was repeatedly attacked, banned, and relegated to illegal culture status it became an integral part of the Polish urban landscape under the communist rule. The rock and punk bands provided a (loud) voice and a space of freedom for the younger generations who were searching for their identity within the controlling and ominous communist state. In this class we will look at the phenomenon of massive popularity of Western rock and punk music along with the exceptional fame of music created by Polish artists as well as its significance in the Polish urban culture under communism.
SLAVIC 210-1 – Introduction to Russian Literature
Before Tolstoy and Dostoevsky came three canonical nineteenth-century Russian writers: Pushkin, Gogol, and Lermontov. In this early era, Russia was heavily in dialogue with Western European culture, which introduced Russia to a new genre of writing—the novel. Steeped in poetry, the gothic, and the Romantic, these writers' groundbreaking works resounded through the generations that followed. We explore the history, culture, and society that produced these long-studied classics of Russian literature.
SLAVIC 210-2 – Introduction to Russian Literature
In this course, we will examine two of the greatest works of world literature, The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky, and Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, in depth. These two novels raise profound questions and offer challenging answers to the most important issues of life: What gives life meaning, how to understand evil, the nature and kinds of love, the significance of death, faith and despair, how to make ourselves and the world around us better, and the way human minds work. We will see why Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are often considered the greatest psychologists who ever lived and why Russian literature conveys a sense of urgency perhaps unmatched anywhere else in human culture. Students will also learn skills for understanding novels that will make it easier and more rewarding to read great fiction generally.
SLAVIC 210-3 – Introduction to Russian Literature
In this course, Spiritual Autobiography and Russian Literature, we will read classic works of Russian literature that explore the challenges of achieving spiritual growth in an individual life, with focus on moments of heightened experience and consciousness. Students will have the (optional) opportunity to write a spiritual autobiography. Works by Tolstoy, Chekhov, Turgenev, and Bunin.
SLAVIC 211-1 – 20th Century Russian Literature
(Co-listed with CLS 202)
This course focuses on interconnections between new ideas in literature, culture and politics in the early 20th century. Texts include great Modernist novels Peterburg (1913) by Andrei Bely, Master and Margarita (1940) by Mikhail Bulgakov, and Evgeny Zamiatin's We (1921); poetry by Aleksandr Blok, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Osip Mandelstam. These major works are discussed in the broad Russian and European cultural and historical context.
SLAVIC 211-2 – 20th-Century Russian Literature: Doctor Zhivago
(Co-listed with CLS 202-0-20)
This course is designed as a following sequence to SLAV211-1, a general survey of early 20c. Russian Literature, focused on the interconnections between new ideas in culture and politics. It explores the legendary novel Doctor Zhivago (1957), written by the Noble Laureate Boris Pasternak. This work is discussed in the Russian and European cultural and historical context of the Cold War era; we follow and compare the paths of literary heroes and their real-life prototypes: Pasternak himself and his long-time companion Olga Ivinskaya. Doctor Zhivago was harshly criticized and censored in Soviet Union, then smuggled to the West with the help of the CIA to be preserved and published for the first time, finally becoming a literary sensation and winning the Nobel Prize.
SLAVIC 211-2-0 – Gender and Revolution in Soviet Russian Culture
(Co-listed with CLS 202-0-22)
The Russian Revolution of 1917 was, among other things, a grand experiment in family, sex and marriage. How did the backwards Russia of the early twentieth century become the most advanced nation in the world in gender and family legislation by the 1920's? How did Soviet government attempt to translate Marxist theories of the “woman question” into social practice? What happened when revolutionary visions were replaced by the "Utopia in Power" of Joseph Stalin? What becomes of utopian dreams in first a post-utopian and then a post-Soviet reality? How did the state regulate gender representation in the arts? And how did literature and the arts shape, resist or reflect key transformations in Soviet society as the century progressed? We will examine both state-sanctioned and oppositional works, including poetry, short stories, novellas, novels, memoirs, film, and the visual arts as we explore these questions.
SLAVIC 222 – Slavic Civilizations: The Balkans
(Co-listed with LING 222)
Students will examine and analyze political and identity issues in terms of the languages and dialects of the Balkans (particularly Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Romani, and Serbian). Topics include: linguistic nationalism, language laws, rights of minority languages, language discrimination, language and religion, alphabet issues, language and dialect as ethnic identity, standard language, and others. We explore key issues that have plagued the Balkans and continue to shape its future. SLAVIC 222 and LING 222 both offer Area IV, Historical Studies, and Area V, Ethics and Values.
SLAVIC 255-0 – Russian Culture in Revolution from Lenin to Putin
(Co-listed with Hum 260 and History 200)
Historical Studies (IV), Lit. Fine Arts (VI) or Ethics and Values (V). 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. To make sense of the significance of this anniversary, this team-taught course integrates insights from Northwestern specialists in Russian and Soviet literature, art, music, theatre, film, graffiti, history, and politics. (These include Saul Morson, Clare Cavanagh and Ilya Kutik). The course provides an introduction to modern Russia’s rich cultural history, from the revolutionary fervor of the 1920s to Stalinist repression, from the vitality of art during the post-Stalin “thaw” to the new artistic revolutions that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. The course also grapples with fundamental questions such as how historical and political contexts shape the arts, how the arts have been and can be used to imagine new worlds, how foreign ideologies interact with national cultures, and how scholars’ distinct disciplinary tools and frameworks shape their approaches to the study of Russia’s history, politics, and artistic culture.
SLAVIC 260-0 – Economics & the Humanities: Understanding Choice
(Co-listed with HUM 260)
This course offers a cross-disciplinary approach to the concept of alternatives and choices. At any given moment, how many alternatives are possible? Is there really such a thing as chance or choice? On what basis do we choose? How does our understanding of the past affect the future? Can we predict the future? Professor Gary Saul Morson, a specialist in literature, and Professor Morton Schapiro, a labor economist specializing in the economics of higher education, will themselves offer alternative approaches to these questions based on the presuppositions of their disciplines.
SLAVIC 261-0 – Heart of Europe: Poland in the Twentieth Century
An introduction to the literature, culture and history of the country Norman Davies has called "the heart of Europe." In the span of a hundred years, Poland has undergone an extraordinary range of transformations and traumas: Division among three empires (Russian, German, and Austro-Hungarian); the brief period of interwar independence; Nazi and then Soviet subjugation; Solidarity and the revolt against Soviet rule; martial law; and finally independence once again. We will explore the relationship between history and culture by way of novels, films, essays, memoirs, historical writing, and poetry. Authors and artists to be discussed include: Czeslaw Milosz, Wislawa Szymborska, Andrzej Wajda, Adam Michnik, Hanna Krall, and others. All work to be read in translation.
SLAVIC 267-0 – Czech Culture: Film, Visual Arts, Music
Czech culture represented in film and visual arts.
SLAVIC 278-1 – Visual Art in the Context of Russian Culture
Introduction to the history of Russian art: Survey of major trends in Russian visual art in the dual contexts of Russian culture and European visual art. Focus on interconnections among visual arts, literature, and political history: Russian art from the medieval period to the beginning of the 20th century.
SLAVIC 278-2 – Visual Art in the Context of Russian Culture
Introduction to the history of Russian art: Survey of major trends in Russian visual art in the dual contexts of Russian culture and European visual art. Focus on interconnections among visual arts, literature, and political history: Russian art of the 20th century.
SLAVIC 310-0 – Tolstoy
In this course we investigate one book, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, in detail. We will consider such themes as the nature of decision-making in a world of uncertainty, how consciousness works, the place of death in an understanding of life, the nature of selfhood, the possibility of a social science, whether history fits a pattern, along with other philosophical and psychological questions. We will also see how Tolstoy’s innovations in plotting and presentation of character express his views about human life.
SLAVIC 311-0 – Dostoevsky
Introduction to Dostoevsky’s life and works: Notes from the Underground, Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov.
SLAVIC 313-0 – Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov’s major Russian and American prose, from his émigré years (The Defense, The Gift, and Invitation to a Beheading) to his celebrated English-language works (Lolita; Speak, Memory; and Pale Fire).
SLAVIC 314 – Chekhov
Anton Chekhov was born into a family of former serfs, worked his way through medical school while supporting his parents and siblings, and became one of the most admired story-tellers in the modern world. He represents a profound departure from his Russian context and pioneered modernist literary form, yet his work is also rooted in the culture of late imperial Russia. This course introduces elements of Chekhov's biography and his Russian context, and follows the trajectory of his development, from the early short stories to mature prose. No previous background in Russian literature is required.
SLAVIC 322-0 – Making a Dictionary
(Co-listed with Linguistics 363)
Northwestern University is a community, working to set goals, achieve them, defining and striving for excellence, etc. As such, we are a speech community, using language to describe and form our culture and identity. This includes jargon (e.g., Wildcat, distros, CAESAR, CTECs, DM, ASG, SafeRide, MMLC, etc.) and slang. We focus on language, identity, and heritage, and the students create “WildWords”: https://nudictionary.mmlc.northwestern.edu/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
SLAVIC 367-1 – Russian Film
(Co-listed with RTVF 351-0-20)
The goal of this course is to provide students with a firm understanding of the major contributions of Russian film art to world cinema, especially what is often termed Russian, or dialectical, montage, introduced in the early 20th century by Lev Kuleshov and developed by Sergei Eisenstein. Students will gain knowledge in classic Russian cinematography, as well as in the theatrical “method” of Stanislavsky and “biomechanics” of Meyerhold that were influential in shaping Russian film theory and history. We will watch major films by Protazanov, Eisenstein, Pudovkin, and Vertov -- and texts – and discuss them in class.
SLAVIC 367-2 – Russian Film
Development of Russian film and film theory from the silent era to the 1980s: Russian film since World War II (more socialist realism, neorealism, Tarkovsky, Mikhalkov, Paradjanov, Abuladze; criticism and semiotic theory).
SLAVIC 368-0 – Andrei Tarkovsky’s Aesthetics and World Cinema
(Co-listed with RTVF 321-0-20) In this course, we will review major films of Tarkovsky and of Russian and non- Russian directors whose work is related to his (Eisenstein, Wenders, Bergman, Kurosawa).
SLAVIC 369 – 200 Years of Russian Drama
(Co-listed with Theatre 366-0-22)
Russia’s early 20th century experienced an explosion of activity in the arts. In theatre, the director emerged out of an increased interest in artistically unified theatrical works; avant-garde easel painters began designing for the stage; and a vibrant underground cabaret culture flourished. This course will examine how a rapidly growing pluralism of artistic perspectives and a series of wars, most notably the 1917 October Revolution, coincided with and contributed to one of the most prolific and innovative theatrical periods in history. We will also touch on visual art, opera, and ballet.
SLAVIC 390-0 – Introduction to Polish Literature
This course investigates the richness and complexity of historical and cultural aspects, myths, and multi-religious traditions that have shaped Polish literature in the modern period (1800-2010) —especially the works of Polish-Jewish writers, such as Bruno Schulz, Zuzanna Ginczanka (Sara Ginzburg), and Julian Tuwim. Readings are offered both in English translation and original Polish. Discussion in class is in English, with optional Polish discussion section.
SLAVIC 390-0 – Controlling the Russian Narrative; Stalin to Putin
(Co-listed with Int St 390)
We examine the relationship of the Russian writer to the State. While the Tsars sought to place limits on Tolstoy, Pushkin, and others, they had a privileged place in society. But Stalin’s regime expected the writer not just to enlighten the masses, but to mobilize them to accomplish the goals of the State. Repressive measures continued until the 1980s, when Gorbachev allowed more free debate (“glasnost”). Under Putin, repression returns, rewarding those who support the State, and intimidating or silencing those who don’t.
SLAVIC 390-0-1 – The Fall of the USSR and the Rise of Russia
(Co-listed with Int St 390-0-22)
This course examines the roots and the drivers of Putin’s foreign policy. We will look at factors leading to the USSR’s disintegration and resulting ethnic conflicts, security issues and responses. The U.S. faced four nuclear powers (Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus), under-secured nuclear weapons, and armed secessionist conflicts in the Caucasus and Moldova. We will examine the post-Cold War security environment, focusing on Russia’s efforts to assert a sphere of influence, and its efforts to undermine Western solidarity and confidence in the liberal democratic system.
SLAVIC 390-0-22 – The Nobel Prize in Literature: Three Women
(Co-listed with CLS 390 and CLS 488)
Little history begins where Great History leaves off. --Tadeusz Nyczek. Postwar Eastern Europe produced a remarkable series of Nobel Prize winning writers between 1957-1987: Boris Pasternak, Mikhail Sholokhov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Czesław Miłosz, Jaroslav Seifert, Joseph Brodsky. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, three Eastern European writers, all women, have received the prize: Wisława Szymborska (1996), Svetlana Alexievich (2016), and Olga Tokarczuk (2018). They work in different genres: poetry, literary journalism, and prose fiction. But they share a common concern with recovering the “little histories” lost in the wake of the twentieth century’s great narratives.
What led the Nobel committee to pick these writers? What does their work tell us about gender, politics, and literature in modern Eastern Europe? This course will explore these and other questions through the writings of Szymborska, Alexievich, and Tokarczuk. All work available in English translation.
SLAVIC 392-0 – East European Literature and Visual Arts: Postwar Polish Film
(Co-listed with RTVF 351-0-21)
This course will explore post-World War II film from Poland (with English subtitles). We will watch films by Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Andrzej Munk, Roman Polanski, and others. We will assess what the end of WWII, followed by joining the Eastern Bloc, the fall of communism, and the entry into post-Soviet Europe have meant for the film culture and the Polish national film tradition.
SLAVIC 392-0 – East European Literature and Visual Arts: Czech New Wave Film
The Czech New Wave was one of the most fertile and original periods in Central European cinematography. In the 1960s a young generation of directors captured the imagination of audiences and critics at home and abroad. The New Wave encompassed a variety of revolutionary styles that have made their way into the repertoire of directors around the world. Produced under a reforming but still repressive regime, the films elegantly pushed the boundaries of the permissible by subtly weaving their messages into dramas of daily life and romantic love. Over time the directors, and the new generation of actors who worked with them, ventured into politically more accented topics like critisism of social realism and the consequences of communist policies for ordinary people.
The Wave filmmakers included Věra Chytilová, Ivan Passer, Jiří Menzel, Jan Němec, Jaromil Jireš, and, the most famous of the group, Miloš Forman, who fled communsit Czechoslovakia to become of the leading directors in Hollywood. Two New Wave productions garnered the Academy Award Oscar for Best Foreign Film (Shop on Main Street and Closely Watched Trains). Others were locked away by Communist censors after the Soviet invasion of August 1968 and had to wait 20 years until the 1989 Velvet Revolution for their first screenings.
SLAVIC 393-0 – Prague: City of Cultures, City of Conflict
(Co-listed with German 346) This course examines Prague, one of the most beautiful and culturally vibrant cities in Europe. Its magnificent streets and buildings both conceal and reveal a past full of multiethnic coexistence and interethnic conflict. We explore the development over the past two centuries from a multicultural, democratic city to a homogeneous, communist one, and ultimately to its present open and capitalist incarnation. We will read a range of literary and historical sources, including the story of the Golem and writings by Milan Kundera, Václav Havel, and Franz Kafka, and will study Prague’s architecture and watch several films set on its streets.
SLAVIC 411-0 – Proseminar
*Content varies. May be repeated for credit with a change of topic.
ELENA GURO: A WOMAN IN THE RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE. This course will be focused on Russian Modernism, and early Avant-Garde, reflecting on the works of the first futurist woman poet and artists, Elena Guro (1877-1913) in the context of major issues visual and literary Modernism and Avant-garde carries within: 'life-building' (zhiznetvorchestvo), and mythologization; search for new cultural, national, and personal identity; gender politics; word/image interrelationship; new aesthetic ideology. Poetry and visual works by Bely, Briusov, Gippius, Khlebnikov,Kruchenykh, Malevich, Goncharova et al.
No language prerequisite.
SLAVIC 430 – Studies in Old Russian Literature
Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.
SLAVIC 433 – Studies in 17th-Century Russian Literature
Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.
SLAVIC 434 – Studies in 18th-Century Russian Literature
This course offers a survey of Russian 18th-century culture in its major literary genres and generic trends. Students will be introduced to European classicism in literature as a bigger screen to project and compare with the Russian one, noting major theoretical and practical similarities and differences. We focus on works by Lomonosov, Trediakovsky, Sumarokov, Derzhavin, Bogdanovich, Knyazhnin, Fonvizin, and Karamzin, in comparison with Dryden and Pope (England), Boileau, Racine and Corneille (France).
SLAVIC 436 – Studies in 19th-Century Russian Literature
Content varies. Recent offerings include the role of translation in Russian culture, the Poema, The Brothers Karamazov. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.
SLAVIC 437 – Russian Poetry: Romanticism East & West
(Co-listed with Comp Lit 413-0-20)
What do notions of empire, colonization, Orient and Occident look like from the vantage point of an expanding Eurasian empire (Russia) and a colonized nation at the juncture of Eastern and Western Europe (Poland)? What does Romanticism look like as it moves eastward to what Louis Phillipe, Comte de Ségur, called, in 1779, ‘the Orient of Europe’? We will explore these and other questions through the work of George Lord Byron (1788-1824), Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855), and Aleksandr Pushkin (1799-1837).
SLAVIC 437-1 – Russian Poema (Long Narrative Poem)
Russian poema is a specific genre in Russian poetry that appeared in the 18th century and continues till now. Without knowing about its originality in Russian literary culture it is impossible to imagine the development of Russian poetry through its all periods. Course covers all major poema masterpieces, including those by Pushkin, Baratynsky, Blok, Belyi, Tsvetaeva, Mayakovsky, Pasternak, and Akhmatova.
SLAVIC 439 – Theories in Fiction and Fictionality
SLAVIC 440 – Studies in Russian Literary Criticism
Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.
SLAVIC 441 – 20th Century Russian Literature and Cultural Criticism
RUSSIAN FORMALISM. This seminar will examine the school and theory of Russian Formalism, which influenced and informed many developments in the XX century literary and art theory, from Prague Linguistic Circle through Structuralism and Semiotics. Along with the detailed study of the critical and theoretical essays by such adherents of Formalism as Victor Shklovsky, Roman Jacobson, Yuri Tynianov, Boris Eikhenbaum, et al., we will be exploring the major works of Russian modernism and avant-garde in literature and film through the methodological approach of Formalist theory. Special focus on the issues of Formalism and Marxism, Formalism and History, and the interconnections between culture and politics of the time.
Discussion and presentations in English.
SLAVIC 442 – Bakhtin's Prosaics
An examination of Bakhtin's theories of the novel, culture, and time. Topics include Bakhtin's key concepts: novelistic language, polyphony, the chronotope, menippean satire, dialogue, the non-alibi for responsibility. We will read his texts closely, with attention to literary examples and consideration of their broader implications for cultural theory.
SLAVIC 490 – Independent Reading
Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.
SLAVIC 499 – Independent Study
Permission of instructor and department required.
SLAVIC 590 – Research
COURSES IN LITERATURE WITH PREREQUISITE IN RUSSIAN
RUSSIAN 359-0 – Russian Prose
Selected works of Russian masters. Lecture, readings, and discussion in Russian. 1940s to the present. Content varies; may be repeated for credit.
SLAVIC 360-0 – Survey of 19th-Century Russian Poetry
Poetry in Russian culture is a powerful and unique catalyst. This course offers a survey of the main trends in 19th Century Russian poetry, which, at the time, became a national symbol through the works of Zhukovsky, Pushkin, Baratynsky, Lermontov, Tiutchev, and others. Although the topics of this so-called Golden Age of Russian literature were many, particular emphasis was on the genre of elegy.
SLAVIC 361-0 – Survey of 20th-Century Russian Poetry
Introduction to the major currents of Russian 20th-century lyric poetry and basic techniques for its study: Tsvetaeva, Mayakovsky, Khlebnikov, Blok, Akhmatova, Mandelshtam, Pasternak, Brodsky.
SLAVIC 398-0 – Senior Seminar
Topics vary yearly.
SLAVIC 399-0 – Independent Study
For majors selected as candidates for departmental honors; for other advanced students with consent of instructor.
SLAVIC 438 – Studies in 20th Century Russian Literature
RUSSIAN MODERNISM: 1910–1930s PROSE. This course is a general survey of Russian Prose of the early 20th century, with emphasis on Modernist works in the context of Formalist Theory. Readings are in Russian (or in both Russian and English translation where available) and include major works and short stories by Ivan Bunin and Maxim Gorky; Fedor Sologub, Andrei Platonov, Boris Pilniak, Mikhail Bulgakov, and others.