Russian and Eurasian Studies (RES)

Taught in Russian

RES-101 Elementary Russian

Fall. Credits: 4

The four-skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) introduction to the Russian Language with the focus on communicative skills development. Major structural topics include pronunciation and intonation, all six cases, basic conjugation patterns, and verbal aspect. By the end of the course the students will be able to initiate and sustain conversation on basic topics, write short compositions, read short authentic texts and comprehend their meaning, develop an understanding of the Russian culture through watching films and listening to songs.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
D. Brooks
Coreq: RES-101L.

RES-102 Elementary Russian

Spring. Credits: 4

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, un-prefixed and prefixed verbs of motion, complex sentences, time expressions, and strategies of vocabulary building. Students watch Russian films, read and discuss authentic texts.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
D. Brooks
Prereq: RES-101. Coreq: RES-102L.

RES-201 Intermediate Russian I

Fall. Credits: 4

In-depth review of grammar topics and expansion of vocabulary with the goal of developing communicative proficiency. Readings include short stories, poetry, and newspaper articles. Students watch Russian films and discuss them orally and in writing. Classes are conducted mostly in Russian.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
D. Brooks
Prereq: RES-101 and RES-102.

RES-202 Intermediate Russian II

Spring. Credits: 4

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.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
The department
Prereq: RES-201.

RES-301 Advanced Russian Language: From Reading to Speaking

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course aims at expansion of students' vocabulary and improvement of both writing and speaking skills. Heritage learners of Russian (those who speak the language) will also benefit from the course. With a strong emphasis on integrating vocabulary in context, this course aims to help students advance their lexicon and grammar, increase fluency, and overcome speaking inhibitions. We will read and discuss a variety of texts including short stories, films, and articles.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
The department
Prereq: RES-202.
Advisory: The course is intended for students who have completed at least four semesters of Russian or the equivalent.

RES-302 Advanced Russian Language II

Fall. Credits: 4

This course is a continuation of RES-301 and is a further expansion of students' vocabulary, writing and speaking skills. We will read and discuss a variety of texts including short stories, films, and articles. Heritage learners of Russian (those who speak the language) will also benefit from the course.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
The department
Prereq: RES-301.

Taught in English

RES-210 Great Books: The Literature of Nineteenth-Century Russia

Fall. Credits: 4

In no other culture has literature occupied the central role it enjoyed in nineteenth-century Russia. Political, social, and historical constraints propelled Russian writers into the roles of witness, prophet, and sage. Yet, far from being limited to the vast, dark 'Big Question' novels of legend, Russian literature offers much humor, lyricism, and fantasy. We will focus on the Russian novel as a reaction to western European forms of narrative and consider the recurring pattern of the strong heroine and the weak hero. Authors will include: Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Notes: Taught in English

RES-211 Topics in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature

Topics in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature provide students with an intensive study of major writers, themes, and paradigm shifts in Russian literature during this turbulent century.

RES-211DZ Topics in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature: 'Doctor Zhivago: A Poet in History'

Spring. Credits: 4

Combining epic sweep with lyrical intensity, Doctor Zhivago is a great writer's look back at a turbulent epoch in his country's history. Set in Russia's revolutionary years, Boris Pasternak's novel is a testament to the survival of life, love, art -- and the possibility of freedom even under the most difficult conditions. This course will situate a close reading of Pasternak's novel within the various contexts (biographical, political, literary) relevant to understanding this major, but sometimes mysterious, work of Russian fiction.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Notes: Taught in English. May be taken for 300-level credit with permission of instructor and in conjunction with a weekly independent study (RES-395).

RES-211MM Topics in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature: 'Diabolic Carnival: Bulgakov's Master and Margarita and Its Contexts'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

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.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Notes: Taught in English

RES-213 War and Peace

Spring. Credits: 4

We will be engaged in a close reading of a translation of Tolstoy's epic novel War and Peace. Tolstoy's sweeping account of men and women caught up in Russia's desperate struggle to survive against the onslaught of Napoleon's army is often considered among the greatest novels. We will focus on Tolstoy's literary strategies, philosophy, and historical contexts.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Notes: Taught in English.

RES-215 Dostoevsky and the Problem of Evil: The Brothers Karamazov

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

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?

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department
Notes: Taught in English

RES-216 Pushkin: Found in Translation

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) is universally regarded as Russia's greatest poet. However, the magnitude of his achievement has remained inaccessible to readers who do not know Russian. That has now changed. With the renaissance in the art and practice of translation over the past several decades, much of what was previously unavailable to readers of English is now available, and it has become possible to offer this course. Participants will encounter Pushkin in three different, but intersecting ways: through a careful reading of his masterpieces, through a comparison of the renditions of various translators, and finally through responses to his work by his literary heirs.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department
Notes: Taught in English.

RES-231FA Anna Karenina and Contexts: 'Tolstoy on Love, Death, and Family Life'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Anna Karenina (1873) is one of a series of important works Tolstoy wrote pondering love, death, the nature of happiness, and the foundations of family life. Our reading of Anna Karenina will be the centerpiece of this course which will also include works ranging from Childhood (1852) to The Kreutzer Sonata (1889), which shocked and repelled readers with its unsparing depictions of human sexuality and murderous jealousy. Film versions of works will be screened.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department
Notes: Taught in English

RES-235 The Strange World of Nikolai Gogol

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Gogol was a strange creature, but genius is always strange." - Vladimir Nabokov. Nikolai Gogol was one of Russia's greatest and most enigmatic writers. Revered by Dostoevsky, he created a literary universe that has lost none of its original power despite the passage of time. This course will trace the development of Gogol's genius from his early Ukrainian stories, through his tales of St. Petersburg, to his comic masterpiece Dead Souls. Special attention will be paid to Gogol's deployment of the comic, fantastic and grotesque to render the reality of tsarist Russia.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Notes: Taught in English.

RES-240 Contemporary Russian Politics: From Lenin to Putin

Fall. Credits: 4

Russia was transformed by communist revolution into a global superpower that 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 70 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?

Crosslisted as: POLIT-209
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Notes: Taught in English

RES-312 Silk Roads: Ancient and Modern Highways Across the Eurasian Continent

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The silk roads were ancient transportation and trade links that wound their way across the Eurasian continent, or by sea through the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, to Europe. They carried silk, glass, jade, and moved religions and literatures across continents. Today, the new silk roads carry oil, gas, drugs, capitalism, and immigrants seeking better lives. We will investigate the parallels between the ancient and modern silk roads and the contemporary strategic, cultural, and economic significance of these new highways, which link China, Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe.

Crosslisted as: POLIT-312
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
The department
Prereq: 8 credits in Politics, International Relations, History, or Russian and Eurasian studies.
Notes: Taught in English

RES-350 Revolutions

Fall. Credits: 4

By the 1980s, after the failure of Marxist revolutions, scholars and politicians declared that "history" and with it, the age of revolution was over. From now on, they said, all states will move toward the model of market capitalism. But the last decade of the 20th century and the first fifteen years of the 21st century have shown that history, and with it, revolution, is far from over. We will look at the American and Russian revolutions, at Nazism, the Iranian revolution of 1979, Eastern Europe in 1989, the 'colored revolutions,' and the Arab Spring. Revolutions are still with us, and we will study why.

Crosslisted as: POLIT-350
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Prereq: 8 credits in politics, international relations, or Russian and Eurasian studies.
Notes: Taught in English

Independent Study

RES-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

RES-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.