|Option I: 3 short projects (more "creative writing" orientation)
Do three of the short projects--or do four and count the three best ones. Due as indicated below. No time extensions and no rewrites are possible, but note that you have a couple of options for each. There is no set or required length for these projects, but 4-6 pages has been the past average--you can use that as a guideline. Quality, not quantity counts and no outside research is required. These will be graded for originality, creativity, style, logic of argumentation, organization, critical incisiveness, and also for form and format.
* Project #I.1. Due: September 26: Do a "serious" analysis of one of the following aspects of Lermontov's "The Demon": the demon, the angel, the heroine, or the setting.
* Project #I.2. Due: October 5: Read Pushkin's Eugene Onegin closely, study the "Onegin-stanza" (we'll discuss it in class), and look at the variant translations handed out. Pay attention to the form, but also to Pushkin's style in general (light-hearted tone, types of rhyme words, multi-lingual vocabulary, narrator's digressions, etc.). Do a OR b
a. Use the Onegin-stanza and compose a letter telling your (fictional) boyfriend/girlfriend that you no longer love him/her.
b. Use the Onegin stanza and describe the typical life of a (female or male) Mac student a la Chapter 1 in Eugene Onegin. Here are some Former student Onegin stanzas good and not so hot.
* Project #I.3. Due:November 16. Do a or b:
a. Create a modern gadget, machine, or wearable apparel, based (recognizably) on Karamzin's "Poor Liza," Gogol's "The Nose" or Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. Make a model of it or draw a picture and then write a catchy or humorous (or both!) advertisement for it (any medium).
A written part is mandatory!
b. Write your own contemporary version of "Notes from Underground"--use the quirks of Dostoevsky's first person narrative techniques to illustrate and take a specific stand on one of today's pressing social/political issues (e.g. abortion, affirmative action, the war in Afghanistan, global warming, animal rights, or whatever you feel strongly about--Woody Allen wrote a version about fat folks--see the appendix of "Notes"). Keep Dostoevsky recognizable stylistically and in terms of plot or ideas--the Bakhtin article we'll read might be helpful.
* Project #I.4 December 12. Pretend you are on the staff of the Mac Weekly and are writing for a campus audience. Use the appropriately smart Mac-jargon. Write a review of the film version of Gogol's "The Overcoat" or the Fiennes 1998 film "Onegin" or perhaps Woody Allen's recent "Match Point": (which takes its clues from Crime and Punishment. Comment on how Gogol's story, Pushkin's or Dostoevsky's novel was adapted for film, acting, staging, directing, cinematic techniques, musical score, etc. We will screen the two first mentioned films and they will then be available for personal screenings in the Humanities Resource Center.
Option II: One long research paper (more "scholarly" orientation)
Start thinking of topics you'd like to work on as soon as possible in the beginning of the semester.
Pick one of the works on our syllabus (or if you prefer some other work by "our" authors - consult with me) and interpret it from some specific angle. You can use any approach to any text/s of "our" authors: historical, formalist, psychoanalytical, political, geographical/spacial, narratological, biographical, etc. For longer works in particular, I recommend that you concentrate on some specific aspect of the work and narrow down your topic to a clear focus and manageable proportions. Your paper should reflect your own interpretive thinking but the analysis must be supported by careful critical reading of scholarly sources related to the topic. Analysis is better than simple description and plot summary is not necessary. Your reader (your professor & fellow students) is familiar with the author/work. Use the MLA format for writing in the humanities for your references and bibliography. You can find the relevant information in Lunsford, Andrea A., Easy Writer which most of you should have received in your first-year seminars, or on the web: http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/. Consult with me for further guidance.
Long/Short decisions due September 19
Theme/Title due October 5 (your topic can be further refined later)
Outline, preliminary bibliography due November 23--I encourage previous consultations & brainstorming with me!
Drafts for feedback accepted until December 5--I'd welcome them EARLIER!!
Final version due December 12. NO EXTENSIONS WILL BE POSSIBLE
Randomly Selected Paper Topics (to give you food for thought. . .):
Dostoevsky's Characterization of Liza through Religious Themes and Icons of the Virgin.
Lermontov's "Demon" as a Superfluous Hero: a Psychological Study
Imaginative Geographies in Lermontov's "The Demon"
Tamara and "the Feminine"/ Feminine sexuality in Lermontov's "The Demon"
Akakii Akakievich's Manner of Expression in Gogol's "The Overcoat": a Linguistic Analysis.
The Idea of Nothingness in Gogol's "The Overcoat" and "The Nose"
Destruction of the Crystal Palace: Form Mirrors Content in Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground.
Viscious Circles in Notes From Underground.
The Underground Man's Notion of Free Will.
Prostitutes in Notes From Underground and (or?) Crime and Punishment.
Prostitution in 19th-century Russia: how is Russian Reality depicted in Dostoevsky?
The Role of Science in Turgenev's Fathers and Sons
Turgenev's "Fathers and Daughters"
Art in Turgenev's Fathers and Sons
Nonsensical Nihilism in Turgenev's Fathers and Sons.
"Two Fixed Ideas": Ambivalence in Pushkin's "The Queen of Spades"
"The Queen of Spades": Prose Tale and Opera Libretto
Prostitution in Crime and Punishment.
Raskolnikov and Legal Studies in Crime and Punishment
Raskolnikov's Temporal space in Crime and Punishment
Dunya's Sacrifice in Crime and Punishment
Svidrigailov's Crime and Punishment
Greta Garbo [or any one of the other actresses] as Anna Karenina--a Cinematic Analysis
Anna Karenina as a Mother/Mistress/Wife.
Minor Characters in Anna Karenina (choose one or a few and analyze!)
Birth and Death in Anna Karenina
Attitudes to modernity (e.g., railroads) in Anna Karenina
Fashion and Westernism in Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina versus other adulteresses in Tolstoy's novel.
Tolstoy's Feminism/Misogyny as Expressed in Anna Karenina.
The Significance of "Insignificant" details in Anna Karenina.
Foodnotes to Anna Karenina.
The Role of Petersburg (or Moscow, or the countryside) in Anna Karenina.
Approaches to Agriculture in Anna Karenina.
Ecological ideas in Chekhov's "The Seagull"
The "New" Art in Chekhov's "The Seagull"
Below is a specific style sheet for articles in SEEJ, one of our foremost journals in the field.
SEEJ (Slavic and east European Journal) Style Sheet for Authors
When using transliteration please follow the LC system, except for papers in linguistics and pedagogy, where the international system may be used (see transliteration charts published regularly in the Journal). Whenever possible, please use transliteration instead of Cyrillic, since this broadens the potential readership of the journal and is less expensive to set. However, for poetry, long quotations, and especially when a point can be better made by reference to the Cyrillic, Cyrillic may certainly be used. For transliterating miagkii znak and tverdyi znak please use straight quotes and not curly quotes.
Whenever possible, quotations should be given in English translation. All non-English quotations must be provided with an English translation. A translation (and conversely the original wording within an English translation) that is provided within a sentence or paragraph should be set off in square brackets, e.g. “Kakoi durak! [What a fool!]” (Ivanov 15). “What a fool [durak]!” (Ivanov 15). "Formidable! [great!]. Note the punctuation and the fact that the inserted Russian word is italicized (if Cyrillic is inserted, then it need not be italicized). If the original is given as a block quote, then the translation should also be set as a block quote below it, but the brackets may be omitted. The reference information for the original should be attached to the original quote, and a source for the translation should be attached to the translation if the author of the article is not the translator.
When referring to authors and other proper nouns, please use standardized western spellings, i.e. Gogol, Dostoevsky, Solovyov, Tolstoy. Avoid use of ‘ for miagkii znak and spellings with ii or yi, i.e. preferred: Grigoriev, Pietsukh, Gorky, Bezdomny, Vasily, Yury, Maria, Sofia, Fyodor. However, when listing works of authors in the REFERENCES, please use the transliterated version of the name, i.e. Gogol’, Dostoevskii, Solov’ev, Vasilii, Iurii, Mariia.
REFERENCES (formerly WORKS CITED)
All works mentioned in your article, whether they are quoted from or not, should be listed under “REFERENCES” alphabetically in a section at the end with full bibliographical information following the basic MLA style (multiple works by the same author should be listed chronologically). Please provide a state code for all but the most major US cities (when in doubt put it in), e.g., Columbus, OH: Slavica. Indigenous spelling of city names is preferred: Moskva, Wien. Publisher citations should be abbreviated to, e.g., U of California P, Yale UP, but other abbreviations that might not be clear to someone not in your field should be avoided.
In the text, references should follow the basic MLA style and be as brief as possible, supplying only as much information as necessary to locate the work and page using the REFERENCES section, e.g., (Smith 45, 67), (Pushkin 9: 25), or, for a general reference, then (Smith) or perhaps nothing, if Smith is already named in the text and there is only one entry for Smith in the References. For multiple works by the same author, use author, date, page (Smith 1990, 23). If there are several works by an author in the same year, use: 1990a, 1990b, etc. Multiple references within a single set of parentheses can be separated by commas, unless commas are already used within a single reference, e.g. (Smith, Jones, Pushkin), but (Smith 1990, 23; Jones; Pushkin) or (Smith, Jones and Davis [i.e. three co-authors]; Pushkin).
For the sake of clarity the date of publication may be given, even if, strictly speaking, it is not necessary. References to major canonical texts, e.g. Eugene Onegin, Crime and Punishment, Dante's The Divine Comedy, may be given by chapter, stanza, etc., to facilitate the use of various editions, but at least one edition of the work should always be given in the REFERENCES.
If there are references to several (more than two) authors' contributions to a multi-author collection, then each author's contribution may be listed separately in the References, with a short reference to the collection, which is given elsewhere in the References with full data. E.g.: Holmes, S. "Major Clues," in Jones and Davis, 23-45.
Archival references should be made in the form used by the given archive, e.g. RGALI f. 235 (I. I. Ivanov), op. 2, ed. 33, s. 15.
When giving page spreads for references in the text, notes and References, please give the last two digits of the second number, e.g.: (234-35). Exceptions: 2-9, 203-5 [i.e. when the first digit would be a zero], 298-304.
BRACKETS and PARENTHESES
Use square brackets for insertions into a quotation (e.g. of a translation into the original or of the original into a translation and of any changes made by you, including ellipses). E.g.: "[Ivan] said [skazal] that he felt […] sick" (Tolstoy 7: 22). Brackets should also be used for insertions of translations into the body of a text.
Parentheses within parentheses should remain parentheses and not be converted to square brackets. E.g.: This point was made before (as she previously noted (Davis 1978b, 32)).
For all literary movement and artistic period names please capitalize the word to distinguish it from the more general concept, e.g. “Russian Symbolism of the 1890s,” but “the author’s use of symbolism.” Also: Futurism, Realism, Communism, Marxism, Postmodernism, Romantic, Sentimental, etc.
Time periods such as the “70s,” or “1920s” are given without an apostrophe or an extra space after the year.
Centuries should be spelled out: nineteenth century, twenty-first century.
Hyphenate when using adjectivally: nineteenth-century authors.
For singular proper nouns ending in s an apostrophe+s should be provided, e.g., “Jones’s novel.”
Periods and commas go to the left of a close quotation mark, unless they are followed by a reference in parentheses, i.e. “Tolstoy was obsessed with blue hares.” But: “Tolstoy was obsessed with blue hares” (Chekhov 21). Other punctuation will go before the close quotes only if it is part of the quote.
Use standard American spelling of words that might have a British variant, unless they are in a quotation.
For questions not answered on this Style sheet please consult the Chicago Manual of Style and/or the MLA Handbook or refer to a recent issue of SEEJ.