Russian for Academic Purposes II
In this course, graduate students continue developing skills required to perform in a Russian-speaking academic context across core subject areas of literary analysis, history, and cultural studies. Students are expected to construct and present a research paper in special fields of their competence at the graduate students "mock" conference in Russian. The course includes a comprehensive review of Russian grammar and syntax as well as academic genres and styles.
Critical Approaches to Literature: Russian Contributions
The topic for Spring 2022 is Bakhtin in Context, Then and Now, a close chronological reading of Mikhail Bakhtin's central texts. Context is supplied by several early Formalist essays and by Yuri Lotman's semiotic theory of culture. Each session discusses one set of Bakhtinian ideas weighed against a later strong critic, both pro and contra. Our objective: to reassess the inflated residue of the global "Bakhtin Boom" of the 1970s-90s and its usefulness today by examining portions of Bakhtin's most important texts (now reconstituted in authoritative annotated versions), together with the wisest objections and most productive expansions.
19th-Century Master Novelists: Dostoevsky
The course has four objectives: (1) an investigation of Dostoevsky's evolution as a writer, (2) an intensive analysis of his fiction and non-fiction, (3) an exploration of his religious, philosophical, political, and aesthetic ideas in the context of 19th, 20th, and now, 21st-century Russian intellectual and cultural history, and (4) an examination of 19th, 20th, and now, 21st-century Russian, Soviet, and Western critical approaches to Dostoevsky's writings.
Topics in Contemporary Soviet and Post-Soviet Culture:Narratives of Loss:Trauma,Victims & Witnessing
Trauma is often seen as an event that blocks the victim's expressive capacities. It leaves people speechless, manifesting itself in various symptoms and post-traumatic disorders. Yet, it also generates a stream of narratives, textual, visual, or oral. This course explores this dual nature of trauma: trauma as a tool of repression and silencing, and trauma as a prerequisite for a talking cure. We see how traumatic events are worked through storytelling by creating narratives of loss, suffering, and displacement.