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Graduate Courses

Russian Realism 1

Major works of the period 1860-1900: prose, poetry and drama from Tiutchev and Turgenev to Tolstoy and Chekhov. Development of the realist school and its relationship to romanticism, its struggle with the questions of the functions and responsibilities of art in Society, its philosophical and political aspirations and achievements.

 

Russian Realism 2

The second stage of the inquiry into the nature, origins, power and limitations of Realism in Major works by Turgenev, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. A more detailed examination of the works’ philosophies, ideologies and poetics.

 

Russian Romanticism 1

The emergence of Russian literature from dependence on stereotypical eighteenth-century European models; its response to the new sensibilities of Sentimentalism and early Romanticism. Focus on the interrelationship between the creation of new literary language based on a hybrid of European and traditional models, and new concepts of the Self.

 

Russian Romanticism 2

A study of Russian Romanticism, the crucible in which a nascent literature matures from the works of Derzhavin, Zhukovsky and others to the works of Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, the Pushkin Pleiade. Of particular importance are questions such as the place of the creative artist in Russian society, the individual, the Russian literary language, and contacts with Western Europe.

 

Russian Twentieth Century 1

Definitive trends from modernism, neo-realism and the avant-garde through the development of and resistance to socialist realism. Their intersection in and impact on the works of key figures in Russian letters and the arts in the early twentieth century.

 

Russian Twentieth Century 2

Defining issues from the post-Stalinist Thaw to the post-Soviet present, including the dismantling of socialist realism, the recovery of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century heritage, the emergence of a new plurality in trends such as rural, urban, youth and alternative, prose, conceptualism and sotsart.

 

19th Century Russian Literature in Theory

Russian formalism and its precursors, the Bakhtin circle considered in the context of major period trends and key texts of the nineteenth century.

 

20th Century Russian Literature in Theory

Russian structuralism, post-structuralism, the Tartu school and Bakhtin considered in the context of major period trends and key texts of the twentieth century.

 

Anton Chekhov: Tradition and Innovation.

Development of the realist school and its relationship to romanticism; its struggle with the questions of the functions and responsibilities of art in society, and philosophical and political aspirations and achievements. Chekhov’s position in relation to the tradition: neither/nor stand and heuristic poetics. Chekhov as the founding father of the modern short story. Chekhov and the modern drama.

 

Russian Drama.

The development of Russian Drama from the end of eighteenth century to the turn of the millennium: from Sumarokov and Gogol to Vampilov and Petrushevskaya. Theories of drama and theater. How dramatic conventions were shaped and radical experiments with the form were possible. Formation of dramatic canon. European influence and Russian context.

 

Russian Postmodernist Literature and Culture.

Russian literature and culture of the period of transition to capitalism. The continuities and discontinuities in literary traditions and in society. Theoretical basis of postmodernism. Its development, time frame, relevance and peculiarities in the context of Russian literature. Satellite theories of postmodernism: post colonialism, genre and queer studies.

 

Genre Theory.

The course will address genre theory concerning novel, drama, short story, selected poetic genres, film genres and the hybrid genres of postmodernism. Form, content, historical development and socio-cultural impact of genres as discussed by Tynianov, Bakhtin, Lukacs and other theorists.

 

Woman in Russian Culture

Representations of and the discourse on woman and by women in Russian literature and cultural thought from medieval times to the present. Topics include the age of Empresses, the salon, Decembrist wives; the Eternal Feminine, fallen woman, new woman, the rise of women’s prose in post-Soviet Russia.

 

History of the Russian Language

Exploration of the principal themes and critical issues in Russian historical grammar and the history of the Russian literary language from the 10th century to the present.

 

Pre-Petrine Foundation

Exploration of the principal themes and critical issues in Russian literature of the Pre-Petrine period. Comparison with similar problems in the candidate’s major fields for the comprehensive examination.

 

18th Century Foundation

Exploration of the principal themes and critical issues in Russian literature of the 18th Century. Comparison with similar problems in the candidate’s major fields for the comprehensive examination.

 

Seminars on Special Topics:

Pushkin
Karamzin, Letters of a Russian Traveller
Dostoevsky and the Rise of Revolutionary Terrorism
Tolstoy and the Birth of Non-Violent Anarchism
Yuri Trifonov & his Times
New Voices in Russian Post-Socialist Realism

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