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Spring 2024 Russian and Slavic Courses

Introduction to Russian Cinema

RUSS 3300

Dr. Charles Byrd
TR 2:20-3:35PM
207 MLC

A survey of the major periods, genres, and directors of the extensive Russian and Soviet cinematographic heritage, with particular attention to the immediate influence of historical, political, and cultural developments. The class is conducted in English and all films will be shown with English subtitles.
No prerequisites. No knowledge of Russian required.

Masterpieces of 19th Century Russian Literature

RUSS 4260

Dr. Sasha Spektor
TR 9:35-10:50AM
007 Joe Brown Hall

In the nineteenth century, Russia witnessed an unprecedented explosion of literary and intellectual activity, a renaissance which yielded some of the greatest masterpieces world literature has seen. In our course we will read short stories and poems that became part of Russian literary canon. Our authors will include Nikolai Karamzin, Alexander Pushkin, Fedor Tiutchev, Evgenii Baratynsky, Mikhail Lermontov, Ivan Turgenev, Afanasy Fet, Nikolai Nekrasov, Fedor Dostoevsky, Lev Tolstoy, and Anton Chekhov. All readings to be done in Russian.

Slavic Folklore

SLAV 2100

Dr. Olga Thomason
MWF 10:20-11:10AM
117 Joe Brown Hall

In this course we will discuss Slavic folklore and belief systems in different historical periods and their representation in historical accounts, stories, novels, fairy tales, legends, customs, and films. No background knowledge is required. This course will introduce students to the materials and methods of folklore study through a detailed examination of important components of Slavic folk culture and beliefs. Students will read a variety of texts, including scholarly works, historical accounts, and examples of verbal folklore collected by researchers. They will also analyze representations and adaptations of folklore in literary works, film, and animation. Students will acquire knowledge of a variety of genres and images from Slavic folklore and an understanding of how folklore functions in a society and how it is transmitted from one generation to the next. All readings and discussions are in English.

Kind of Human: Animals, Children, and Robots in Russian and Eastern European Literature & Art

SLAV 3400

Dr. Sasha Spektor
TR 12:45-2:00
213 Joe Brown Hall

This course examines a wide variety of works from Russian and East European literature and film that deal with representations of lives that are either non-human (animals, robots, clones) or oftentimes considered to be less human than others (children).  The aim of the course is twofold:  on the one hand we will consider historical and contemporary notions of what it means to be human by looking at the portrayal of what is typically considered to be its polar opposite, i.e. non-human subjects.  On the other hand, we will be pushed to consider our coexistence with those who might fall outside of the fray of humanity.  Our focus will be on those works of art that question and problematize our notions of the human by forcing us to contemplate how much humanity we are willing to give to and accept from non-human subjects.  We will ground our investigation in historical and legal documents as well as philosophical treatises. 
No prerequisites.
Satisfies the Russian major requirement of an upper-level English language course.
Satisfies the Franklin College Literature Requirement
(This course was previously called SLAV 2200)

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