RUS 251: HUSSARS, HOOKERS, HOLY FOOLS: 19TH CENTURY RUSSIAN LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION
FALL 2011: MWF 1:10-2:10 in H 212

INDEX

INSTRUCTOR:


Gitta Hammarberg Office: H 209 B, phone: 696-6556
Office hours: Mon & Wed 11:50-12:50; & by appointment
Home phone: 651-698-7947;
e-mail: hammarberg@macalester.edu
German & Russian Studies Department (Coordinator: Martha Davis): 696-6374

COURSE CONTENT AND OBJECTIVES:

We'll cover the entire 19th century in Russian literature, its "Golden Age." That is to say, you'll get to read a representative selection (from the frivolous to the lofty) of the Russian classics: Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and a few others. The main emphasis will be on prose fiction, although some poetry and drama is also included. The course will be a mixture of lectures, discussion, oral and written projects. The most important thing will be your reading of and thinking about the texts themselves and our classroom discussions of them. Lectures and assigned readings and oral reports will provide historical, social, ideological, and intellectual background information to help you see the works in the relevant cultural context and to give you a deeper understanding of the issues raised in the texts (the "what"). They will also provide critical information about the nature of literary texts, the role of literature in society, literary movements, genres, techniques, textual dialogism, etc. to give you a better grasp of the literariness (the "how"). Although the focus of the course is on the literary texts themselves, the course also aims at giving you a smattering of literary theory and a better understanding of Russian culture.

Studying a specific body of literature will give you new perspectives on general human questions and will make you a more informed reader of literature in general, since Russian literature shares many features with other literatures. Another important aim of the course is fun: you'll find that you actually enjoy reading your assignments.

The oral aspects of the course (class discussions) are aimed at improving your articulation of ideas and opinions. You will be formulating your own points clearly so that others will understand and respond, backing up your points in a convincing way, asking relevant questions, making mistakes gracefully, overcoming your shyness, finding out how others react to the readings and your ideas, and so on.

The written aspects of the course are aimed at making you aware of various ways of writing and research and trying out some of them yourselves. There will be two major options for you to choose between described in the "Writing projects" section. All readings, lectures, and discussions will be in English.

Grading

Texts

Writing projects

Schedule

Last updated on 7/20, 2011