Please note: The course descriptions displayed here are current as of Tuesday, May 3, 2016, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.
The first course of a three-term sequence. Once students learn the alphabet and pronunciation, they acquire a basis for speaking, understanding, reading, and writing spoken Russian. Cultural information is incorporated throughout the course.
Beginning Russian I
Continued practice in speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension. Cultural information is incorporated throughout the course.
Prerequisite: RUSS 101 or consent of instructor
Beginning Russian II
This course, which deals with contemporary popular culture in Russia since 1991, will use the prism of television, film, popular literature, rock music, graphic novels, rave culture, tatoos and spectator sports to focus on such issues as ethnic conflict, sexual identity, gender, nationalism, anti-Semitism, racism, religious diversity and intolerance, Russia’s relationship with the West, and the burden of/nostalgia for the Soviet past. The purpose of the course is two-fold: to familiarize students with contemporary Russia through its popular culture and to encourage cross-cultural comparisons on the ways in which American popular culture represents contemporary social issues. Taught in English.
Popular Culture in Contemporary Russia (in English)
Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.
Directed Study in Russian
An opportunity for students to apply their Russian language skills in business, government, and the non-profit sector on the regional, national, and international levels. Arranged in collaboration with and supervised by a member of the department. Includes discussion, report, and/or portfolio. Advance consultation and application required. Credit may be given for internships completed during a period of study abroad.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.
Internship in Russian
Students acquire a wider range of linguistic structures, which enables them to start speaking, reading, and writing on a higher level.
Prerequisite: RUSS 102 or consent of instructor
Intermediate Beginning Russian
Grammar review and introduction of more complex grammatical concepts. Students read some authentic literary texts. Cultural information is presented through texts and audio-visual/computer materials.
Prerequisite: RUSS 201 or consent of instructor
Intermediate Russian I
A continuation of Russian 211. More exposure to literary texts, along with newspaper articles. Video clips continue to improve students’ listening comprehension skills and cultural knowledge.
Prerequisite: RUSS 211 or consent of instructor
Intermediate Russian II
A continuation of Russian 212. More intensive reading, writing, and conversational practice to provide a transition to study abroad.
Prerequisite: RUSS 212
Advanced Intermediate Russian
A comparative study of nineteenth century Europoean realism, with readings taken from a variety of national traditions. Authors studied may include Dickens, Flaubert, and Dostoevsky. Collaborative teaching of each text will expose participants to a wide range of critical and pedagogical methods. With instructor approval students may also register for an additional tutorial (3 units) in which we will read and discuss important theoretical works on the history of the novel form.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
The Long Novel (in English)
Also listed as English 245
This course will focus on the works of seminal filmmakers in the post-Soviet period. Through the prism of post-Soviet films students will be introduced to contemporary Russian culture and to the issues explored within these cinematic narratives: national identity, gender relations, role of the arts in a post-Soviet society, and the re-examination of Russia's historical and cultural past. Taught in English.
Post-Soviet Film (in English)
Also listed as Film Studies 270
This course advances skills in reading, understanding, writing, and speaking Russian, with materials from the rich traditions of Russian literary culture. Readings include fiction, plays, and poetry. Conducted in Russian, with frequent writing and grammar assignments, in-class presentations, and occasional translation exercises. May be repeated for credit when topic is different.
Topics in Russian Through Fiction and Poetry
Topic for Fall 2016: The Fantastic in 19th Century Russia
In this course, we will discuss how selected nineteenth-century Russian authors employed the device of the fantastic to explore questions of psychology, religion, education, social inequality, and politics. Readings include short stories by Pushkin and Gogol; fairy-tales by Pogorel’sky and Odoevsky; and poetic works by Zhukovsky and Nekrasov. Some readings will be supplemented with excerpts from film and animation. Students will advance their Russian skills through regular reading, writing, and presentation assignments. Units: 6. Prerequisite: RUSS 250 or consent of instructor
This seminar-style course will allow advanced students an opportunity to further develop their proficiency. Materials include memoirs, journalism, and historical texts. Conducted in Russian, with frequent writing and grammar assignments, in-class presentations, and occasional translation exercises. It will prepare students to do more advanced research in Russian, either here at Lawrence or abroad. May be repeated for credit when topic is different.
Topics in Russian Through Nonfiction
Topic for Spring 2016: Contentious Social Issues in Modern Russia
This class will introduce advanced students of Russian to a number of contentious topics discussed in contemporary Russian press, interviews, and blogs, as well as presented in performance arts. Topics include: gender equality, LGBT, human rights, ethnic tensions, and treatment of people with disabilities. Students will do frequent writing assignments and in-class presentations. Units: 6. Prerequisite: RUSS 250 or consent of instructor
This course will examine topics in Russian film. Topics may include specific genres (e.g. the sad comedy), the work of a director or tradition, films important for a specific historical moment (e.g. the Thaw or World War Two), or films devoted to a specific theme. Students will expand their Russian vocabulary, improve fluency, increase speaking confidence and gain cultural knowledge by viewing Russian films and analyzing the psychology of the characters. Throughout this course, students will be introduced to the practice of reading the filmic text using three structuring lenses: 1) history, 2) formal and generic elements, and 3) film criticism. May be repeated when topic is different.
Topics in Russian Through Film
Topic for Winter 2016: The Soviet Fairy Tale
This course will introduce advanced students of Russian to the rich tradition of Soviet fairy-tale films, while developing students’ listening, speaking, writing, and reading proficiency. In the first half of the course, we will watch movies based on traditional Russian fairy-tales and learn about such favorite characters as Baba-Yaga, Kashchei the Deathless, Vasilissa the Beautiful, etc. In the second half of the course, we will discuss films based on fairy tales written by Soviet authors and consider the reasons for this genre’s popularity during that time period. Units: 6. Prerequisite: RUSS 250 or consent of instructor
Also listed as Film Studies 287
The texts studied in this course are thematically unified by their examination of romantic and sexual relationships, many of which are limited by social restrictions. Some works will be studied in conjunction with film versions. No knowledge of Russian required. Offered every other year.
Russia's Golden Age: 19th-Century Literature in Translation
Survey of Soviet and post-Soviet literature from 1920 to the present. Course will explore ways in which writers responded to, helped shape, and reacted against the Soviet system. Works will be set in historical and cultural context. No knowledge of Russian required. Offered every other year.
Repression and Resistance in Soviet and Post-Soviet Literature in Translation
This course introduces students to the rich theatrical tradition of Russia. The readings for the course span over two centuries, starting from the social comedies of the late eighteenth century to the contemporary "New Drama" and documentary theater. The plays are situated within the larger historical and political context of Imperial, Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Lecture/discussion. Taught in English.
Russia on Stage: Three Centuries of Russian Theater
Also listed as Theatre Arts 306
Narratives of WW I and the Russian Revolution. Comparisons, where applicable, with American writers influential in Russian letters. Works of Blok, Babel, Sholoxov, Pasternak, Hemingway, and Faulkner.
Men in the Storm of History
This course explores the works, thought, and impact of two of the most profoundly important writers of the nineteenth century, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Lev Tolstoy. Possible topics include “ Crimes and Punishments, ” “History and Narrative, ” and “In the Writer’s Laboratory. ” Taught in English. Russian majors and minors may participate in a two-unit tutorial in which discussions and some course readings will be in Russian.
Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Their World (in English)
This course examines Russia’s complex debate over the nature of sexuality, decadence, morality and mortality. Themes include the moral nature of procreation, lust, murder, and resurrection. Readings include Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Platonov, and Nabokov, as well as film, opera, paintings, and a television mini series. In English.
Russia’s Erotic Utopia
This course examines Nabokov’s Russian works in the context of the Russian literary tradition. We will read poems, stories, a play, and three novels by Nabokov, as well as a sampling of the pre-revolutionary, Soviet, and émigré works upon which he drew. In English.
The Russian Nabokov
The course focusses on the work, world, and influence of Anton Chekhov. Topics may include “Chekhov and the Russian Short Story,” “Chekhov and Modern Russian Drama,” “Chekhov on the Silver Screen,” and “Chekhov and the West.” Taught in English. Russian majors and minors may participate in a two-unit tutorial in which discussions and some course readings will be in Russian.
Chekhov (in English)
This course explores facets of the development of Russian film in its historical and cultural context. Topics may include: “The Golden Age of Soviet Film,” “The Cinema of Tarkovsky,” and “Film as Propaganda.” Taught in English. Russian majors and minors may participate in a two-unit tutorial in which discussions and some course readings will be in Russian.
Topics in Russian Film (in English)
Topic for Spring 2016: The Golden Age of Silent Film
This course examines the beginning of film in Russia and the Soviet Union. Our survey will take us through the actuality films of Lumière and Path, the literary adaptations and melodramas of the crepuscular Romanov Dynasty, the early attempts at a popular Soviet cinematography, and the heady experiments to the avant-garde, including works by Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Vertov, and Dovzhenko. We will stop with the end of the silent film and the dawn of the Stalinist musical. Readings will include historical background, memoirs, and theoretical works by the filmmakers and their contemporaries. Units: 6.
Also listed as Film Studies 320
This course will focus on explorations of human nature and utopian visions of an ideal humanity within the context of Russian culture and literature. Texts will include literary works from both nineteenth and twentieth centuries by such authors as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Bulgakov, Platonov and Zoshchenko. In addition, students will read articles and essays in the fields of Russian psychology and philosophy. Readings and discussion will be in English.
Animal, Human, Machine: Explorations of Humanity in Russian Culture
An interdisciplinary course examining the relationship between politics and culture in Russia since the 18th century through the close analysis of a specific historical theme. Emphasis is placed on reading and discussing literary texts, historical primary sources, and, where applicable, watching films. Possible themes include: Power and Culture in the Russian Revolution, 1900-1936; The Soviet 1960s; and The Agony of Populism: Terrorism and Literature in Russia's Nineteenth Century. Not open to students who have previously received, or need to receive credit for HIST 423. (G&C)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and one course in Russian language, literature, or history
Topics in Russian History and Culture (in English)
Also listed as History 323
An interdisciplinary survey course that examines femininity, womanhood and identity in Imperial, Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia. Materials include works of fiction, non-fiction, and film. No knowledge of Russian required.
Through the Eyes of Women: Women and Gender in Russian Culture (in English)
Students watch, analyze, and discuss freshly archived Russian television news. Students will increase knowledge of journalistic vocabulary and reporting styles, and develop an understanding of Russian perspectives on national and international events. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: RUSS 250 or consent of instructor
Russian TV Talk
This course will introduce the student to the rich and varied tradition of Russian and Soviet cinema from the Pre-Revolutionary period to the present. Works by major filmmakers will be viewed and discussed in the context of the culture, economy, society, and politics of the time. Taught in English.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
History of Russian and Soviet Film
Also listed as History 354, Film Studies 354