Courses

Academic Year

Slavic Department Listings

Course brochure

See also the list of past years' courses.

Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCSN), Czech (CZEC), East European (EEUR), Georgian (GEOR),

General Slavic (SLAV), Polish (POLI), Russian (RUSS), South Slavic (SOSL)

BCSN 10303
First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

In this introductory course of a three-course sequence in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) languages and cultures, students are encouraged to concentrate on the language of their interest and choice. The major objective is to build a solid foundation in the grammatical patterns of written and spoken BCS, while introducing both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. This is achieved through a communicative situation-based approach, textbook dialogues, reinforcement by the instructor, screenings of film shorts, TV announcements, documentaries, commercials, and the like. The course includes a sociolinguistic component, an essential part of understanding the similarities and differences between the languages. Mandatory drill sessions are held twice per week, offering students ample opportunity to review and practice materials presented in class.

BCSN 20103
Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

The first quarter is devoted to an overview of grammar, with emphasis on verbal morphology and syntax, through the reading of a series of literary texts in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets.

BCSN 21101 / 31101
Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Fiction

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
BCSN 20300 or consent of instructor.
Crosslists: 
REES 21100, REES 31103
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

Advanced BCS courses encompass both the 3rd and 4th years of language study, with the focus changed from language structure and grammar to issues in interdisciplinary content. The courses are not in sequence. Language through Fiction is designed to help students and instructors over one of the most difficult hurdles in language training-the transition from working through lessons in a textbook to reading unedited texts. Literature represents the greatest development of the expressive possibilities of a language and reveals the bounds within which language operates. The texts will immerse motivated language students in a complete language experience, as the passages and related exercises present the language's structure on every page. Students will learn how to engage the natural, organic language of a literary text across a variety of styles and themes. The course assumes that students are familiar with basic grammar and vocabulary, as well as both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. It is particularly appealing to students who are interested in the literature, history, and anthropology of the region. Equivalent Course(s): REES 31103,BCSN 31101,REES 21100

CZEC 10103
First-Year Czech I

Sternstein
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

This course introduces the Czech language to those students who would like to speak Czech or use the language for reading and research purposes. All four major communicative skills (i.e. reading, writing, listening, speaking) are stressed. Students will also learn about Czech culture through readings, films and class activities. This three- quarter sequence prepares students for the second-year Czech course and to study or travel abroad in the Czech Republic. Conversation practice is held weekly.

CZEC 20103
Second Year Czech-1

Sternstein
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

The main goal of this course is to enable students to read Czech proficiently in their particular fields. Conversation practice is included. The program is flexible and may be adjusted according to the needs of the students.

POLI 10103
First-Year Polish I

Dag Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

This course teaches students to speak, read, and write in Polish, as well as familiarizes them with Polish culture. It employs the most up-to-date techniques of language teaching (e.g.,communicative and accelerated learning, and learning based on students' native language skills), as well as multileveled target-language exposure.  Drill sessions to be arranged.

POLI 20103
Second-Year Polish I

Dag Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Poli 10303 or equivalent.
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

This course includes instruction in grammar, writing, and translation, as well as watching selected Polish movies. Selected readings are drawn from the course textbook, and students also read Polish short stories and press articles. In addition, the independent reading of students is emphasized and reinforced by class discussions. Work is adjusted to each student's level of preparation.  Drill sessions to be arranged.

POLI 20403 / 30403
Third Year Polish-1

Dag Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

The process of learning in all three quarters of Third-Year Polish is framed by three themes, which most succinctly but aptly characterize Polish life, culture, and history: in the Autumn Quarter-the noble democracy in the Commonwealth of Both Nations, in the Winter Quarter-the fight for independence, and in the Spring Quarter-the newly independent Poland. During the course of the year, students also improve their knowledge of advanced grammar and stylistics. All work in Polish.

RUSS 10103
First-Year Russian-1

Erik Houle; Mark Baugher
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

This course introduces modern Russian to students who would like to speak Russian or to use the language for reading and research. All four major communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) are stressed. Students are also introduced to Russian culture through readings, videos, and class discussions. This year-long course prepares students for the College Language Competency Exam, for continued study of Russian in second-year courses, and for study or travel abroad in Russian-speaking countries. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 10400
Russian Through Pushkin I

Mark Baugher
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

This literary and linguistic approach to Russian allows students to learn the language by engaging classic Russian poetic texts (e.g., Pushkin's The Bronze Horseman), as well as excerpts from Eugene Onegin and selections from Pushkin's shorter poems and prose works. Although the focus is on reading Russian, all four major communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) are stressed, preparing students for the College Language Competency Exam and for continued study of Russian in second-year courses. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 20103
Second-Year Russian-1

Erik Houle
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

This course continues RUSS 10103-10203-10303; it includes review and amplification of grammar, practice in reading, elementary composition, and speaking and comprehension. Systematic study of word formation and other strategies are taught to help free students from excessive dependence on the dictionary and develop confidence in reading rather than translating. Readings are selected to help provide historical and cultural background. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 20702
Third-Year Russian through Culture I

Valentina Pichugin
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

This course, which is intended for third-year students of Russian, covers various aspects of Russian grammar in context and emphasizes the four communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) in a culturally authentic context. Excerpts from popular Soviet/Russian films and clips from Russian television news reports are shown and discussed in class. Classes conducted in Russian; some aspects of grammar explained in English. Drill practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 21302 / 30102
Advanced Russian Thru Media-1

Valentina Pichugin
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

This is a three-quarter sequence designed for fourth- and fifth-year students of Russian. It is also suitable for native speakers of Russian. This sequence covers various aspects of advanced Russian stylistics and discourse grammar in context. This sequence emphasizes the four communicative skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing in a culturally authentic context. It builds transcultural competence by expanding students' knowledge of the language, culture, history, and daily lives of the Russian-speaking people. Vocabulary building is strongly emphasized. We add to the existing skills and develop our abilities to analyze increasingly complex texts for their meaning: to identify various styles and registers of the Russian language and to provide their neutral equivalents in standard Russian. We also work on developing our abilities to paraphrase, narrate, describe, support opinions, hypothesize, discuss abstract topics, and handle linguistically unfamiliar situations (in spoken and written format). Classes conducted in Russian. Course-specific grammar issues are covered during drill sessions (weekly) and office hours (by appointment). Oral Proficiency Interviews are conducted in the beginning and the end of the course (Autumn and Spring Quarters). Prerequisite(s): Four years of Russian, or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

REES 23115 / 33115
Old Church Slavonic

Yaroslav Gorbachov
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
LING 23115; LING 35100
Autumn
2018-2019
Language course

This course is an introduction to the language of the oldest Slavic texts. It begins with a brief historical overview of the relationship of Old Church Slavonic to Common Slavic and the other Slavic languages. This is followed by a short outline of Old Church Slavonic inflectional morphology. The remainder of the course is spent in the reading and grammatical analysis of original texts in Cyrillic or Cyrillic transcription of the original Glagolitic.

REES 26011
Intro to Russian Civilization-1

William Nickell, Eleonora Gilburd; Kaitlyn Tucker
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required
Crosslists: 
HIST 13900; SOSC 24000
Autumn
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

The first quarter covers the ninth century to the 1870s; the second quarter continues on through the post-Soviet period. Working closely with a variety of primary sources-from oral legends to film and music, from political treatises to literary masterpieces-we will track the evolution of Russian civilization over the centuries and through radically different political regimes. Topics to be discussed include the influence of Byzantine, Mongol-Tataric, and Western culture in Russian civilization; forces of change and continuity in political, intellectual and cultural life; the relationship between center and periphery; systems of social and political legitimization; and symbols and practices of collective identity.

REES 26071 / 36071
Film and Revolution

Robert Bird
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMST 24521; CMST 34521
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

On the fiftieth anniversary of 1968 our course couples the study of revolutionary films (and films about revolution) with seminal readings on revolutionary ideology and on the theory of film and video. The goal will be to articulate the mechanics of revolution and its representation in time-based media. Students will produce a video or videos adapting the rich archive of revolutionary film for today's situation. The films screened will be drawn primarily from Soviet and US cinema, from the 1920s to the present day, proceeding more or less chronologically. We begin with newsreels and a "poetic documentary" by Dziga Vertov; they will be paired with classic readings from revolutionary theory, from Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin to Fidel Castro and Bill Ayres, and from film theory, including Vertov, Andre Bazin and Jean-Luc Godard. Readings will acquaint students with contemporary assessments of the emancipatory potential of film.

REES 26077 / 36077
Russian Modernist Theater

William Nickell
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

Russian Modernist Theater explores the theory and practice of the new stage forms developed in Russia from 1900 to 1940. The course begins with the Stanislavsky school, and then delves deeply into the more experimental work of Meyerhold and his generation and the first attempts to create a revolutionary Soviet theater in the 1920s. The course will include a production, which will be scaled to the number and ambitions of the enrolled students. Course requirements can be met through the writing of a conventional paper, or through the production, via set or costume design, dramaturgy, performance, or staging. Each of these production assignments will require a write-up relating the work to the course materials and discussions.

REES 29013 / 39013
The Burden of History: The Nation and Its Lost Paradise

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
HIST 34005, NEHC 20573,HIST 24005,NEHC 30573,CMLT 23401,CMLT 33401
Autumn
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

What makes it possible for the imagined communities called nations to command the emotional attachments that they do? This course considers some possible answers to Benedict Anderson's question on the basis of material from the Balkans. We will examine the transformation of the scenario of paradise, loss, and redemption into a template for a national identity narrative through which South East European nations retell their Ottoman past. With the help of Žižek's theory of the subject as constituted by trauma and Kant's notion of the sublime, we will contemplate the national fixation on the trauma of loss and the dynamic between victimhood and sublimity.

REES 29024 / 39024
States of Surveillance

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 29024,CMLT 39024
Autumn
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

What does it feel to be watched and listened to all the time? Literary and cinematic works give us a glimpse into the experience of living under surveillance and explore the human effects of surveillance - the fraying of intimacy, fracturing sense of self, testing the limits of what it means to be human. Works from the former Soviet Union (Solzhenitsyn, Abram Tertz, Andrey Zvyagintsev), former Yugoslavia (Ivo Andrić, Danilo Kiš, Dušan Kovačević), Romania (Norman Manea, Cristian Mungiu), Bulgaria (Valeri Petrov), and Albania (Ismail Kadare).

BCSN 10203
First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian-II

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
BCSN 10103 or consent of instructor.
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

The major objective of the course is to build a solid foundation in the basic grammatical patterns of written and spoken Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, while simultaneously introducing both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. This course is complemented with cultural and historical media from the Balkans and is designed for students with a wide range of interests. Screenings of movies and other audio-visual materials are held in addition to scheduled class time. Knowledge of a Slavic language and background in linguistics not required.

BCSN 20203
Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
BCSN 10303 or consent of instructor.
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

The Second-Year course in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages and cultures is a continuation of First-Year BCS, and therefore assumes one year of formal study of the target language(s) or equivalent coursework elsewhere. The course is focused on spoken and written modern BCS, emphasizing communicative practice in authentic cultural contexts. The language(s) are introduced through a series of dialogues gathered from a variety of textbooks published in Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia, as well as newspaper articles, short biographies, poems, and song lyrics in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. A vast archive of audiovisual materials, representing both high and popular culture, constitute an integral part of every unit. Simultaneously, aural comprehension, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary are reinforced and further developed throughout the year. Mandatory drill sessions are held twice a week, offering students ample opportunity to review and practice materials presented in class.

BCSN 21200 / 31203
Advanced BCS: Language through Film

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
BCSN 20303 or consent of instructor.
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

This course is tailored to the needs of the students enrolled, depending on their concentration in the field. It enhances language acquisition with continuous reading and translation of essays, newspaper articles, literary excerpts, letters and other selected writings. Vocabulary building is emphasized by the systematic study of nominal and verbal roots, prefixes and suffixes, and word formation thereafter. Discussion follows each completed reading with a written composition assigned in relation to the topic.

CZEC 10203
First Year Czech-2

Sternstein
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
CZEC 10103 or consent of instructor. Drill sessions to be arranged.
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

This course is an introduction to the basic grammar of Czech with attention given to all four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, as well as exposure to Czech culture. Winter and Spring Quarters include work with Czech film and literature. Students gain some familiarity with the major differences between literary and spoken Czech as they learn to use the language both as a means of communication and as a tool for reading and research.

20203
Second-Year Czech-2

Malynne Sternstein
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
CZEC 10303 or consent of instructor.
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

The main goal of this course is to enable students to read Czech proficiently in their particular fields. Conversation practice is included. The program is flexible and may be adjusted according to the needs of the students.

POLI 10203
First Year Polish-2

Dag Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

This course teaches students to speak, read, and write in Polish, as well as familiarizes them with Polish culture. It employs the most up-to-date techniques of language teaching (e.g., communicative and accelerated learning, and learning based on students’ native language skills), as well as multileveled target-language exposure.

POLI 20203
Second-Year Polish-2

Dag Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Fall Quarter of Second Year Polish or instructor consent
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

The primary goal of second year Polish is to expand the student’s speaking, reading and writing skills by building on grammar and vocabulary learned during the first year of study. As a complement to the linguistic side of the course, the student will gain a greater familiarity with Polish history and culture through varied means including readings of literary works, articles from contemporary Polish newspapers and movies.

POLI 20503 / 30503
Third-Year Polish 2

Dag Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Fall Quarter of Third-Year Polish or instructor consent.
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

The goal of this course is to help students widen their knowledge about contemporary Polish literature, film and politics while expanding their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We will read Polish literary and historical texts from the 20th and 21st centuries, watch movies, read and discuss the news. Topics of stylistics will be covered as well in the course.

RUSS 10203
First-Year Russian-2

Erik Houle; Mark Baugher
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
Russian 10103 or consent of instructor. Drill sessions to be arranged.
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

This course introduces modern Russian to students who would like to speak Russian or to use the language for reading and research. All five major communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening, comprehension, and speaking) are stressed. Students are also introduced to Russian culture through readings, videos, and class discussions. This yearlong course prepares students for the College Language Competency Exam, for continued study of Russian in second-year courses, and for study or travel abroad in Russian-speaking countries. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 10500
Russian Through Puskin-2

Mark Baugher
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
RUSS 20103 or consent of instructor. Drill sessions to be arranged.
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

This course continues RUSS 10100-10200-10300; it includes review and amplification of grammar, practice in reading, elementary composition, and speaking and comprehension. Systematic study of word formation and other strategies are taught to help free students from excessive dependence on the dictionary and develop confidence in reading rather than translating. Readings are selected to help provide historical and cultural background. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 20203
Second-Year Russian-2

Erik Houle
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
RUSS 20103 or consent of instructor. Drill sessions to be arranged.
Winter
2018-2019

This course continues RUSS 10100-10200-10300; it includes review and amplification of grammar, practice in reading, elementary composition, and speaking and comprehension. Systematic study of word formation and other strategies are taught to help free students from excessive dependence on the dictionary and develop confidence in reading rather than translating. Readings are selected to help provide historical and cultural background. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 20802
Third Year Russ: Culture-2

Valentina Pichugin
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
RUSS 20701 or consent of instructor. Drill sessions ot be arranged.
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

This course, which is intended for third-year students of Russian, covers various aspects of Russian grammar in context and emphasizes the four communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) in a culturally authentic context. Excerpts from popular Soviet/Russian films and clips from Russian television news reports are shown and discussed in class. Classes conducted in Russian; some aspects of grammar explained in English. Drill practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 21402 / 30202
Adv Russian Through Media-2

Valentina Pichugin
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
RUSS 21302 or consent of instructor; drill sessions to be arranged
Winter
2018-2019
Language course

This course, which is designed for fifth-year students of Russian, covers various aspects of Russian stylistics and discourse grammar in context. It emphasizes the four communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) in culturally authentic context. Clips from Russian/Soviet films and television news reports are shown and discussed in class. Classes conducted in Russian. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

REES 20001 / 30001
War and Peace

William Nickell
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Winter
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

Written in the wake of the Crimean War (1856) and the emancipation of the serfs (1861), Tolstoy's War and Peace represents Russia's most important national narrative. Tolstoy chooses to set his tale during the Napoleonic wars, the epoch commonly regarded as the moment of national awakening, which gave rise to major social and political transformations within the Russian society that were still underway at the time when Tolstoy wrote and published his epic. Reading War and Peace we not only learn a lot about Russian history and culture, but  also have a rare chance to visit the writer's workshop and witness the creation of a completely original, organic work of art. It is a telling fact that Tolstoy's novel-epic-a unique hybrid of several different genres deliberately designed as a riposte to the typical West European novel - was never finalized, because after publishing this work in a serial form in a leading "thick journal" Tolstoy continued to return to War and Peace throughout the rest of his life. This course will focus on both the artistic and intellectual facets of War and Peace. This course is recommended for students interested in Russian and European literature, history and political science as well as those who are building a Fundamentals major. The course is open to all undergraduates and some graduate students (by consent). Reading, discussion and papers will be in English.

REES 25005 / 45005
History of International Cinema, Part II: Sound Era to 1960

Robert Bird
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Winter
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.

REES 25603 / 35603
Media and Power in the Age of Putin and Trump

William Nickell
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Winter
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

Over the past 200 years, various political and cultural regimes of Russia have systematically exploited the gap between experience and representation to create their own mediated worlds--from the tight censorship of the imperial and Soviet periods to the propaganda of the Soviet period and the recent use of media simulacra for strategic geopolitical advantage. During this same period state control of media has been used to seclude Russia from the advancement of liberalism, market economics, individual rights, modernist art, Freud, Existentialism, and, more recently, Western discourses of inclusion, sustainability, and identity. Examining this history, it is sometimes difficult to discern whether the architects of Russian culture have been hopelessly backward or shrewd phenomenologists, keenly aware of the relativity of experience and of their ability to shape it. This course will explore the worlds that these practices produce, with an emphasis on Russia's recent confrontations with Western culture and power, and including various practices of subversion of media control, such as illegal printing and circulation. Texts for the course will draw from print, sound, and visual media, and fields of analysis will include aesthetics, cultural history, and media theory. 

REES 26012
Intro to Russian Civilization-2

Robert Bird
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required
Crosslists: 
HIST 14000, SOSC 24100
Winter
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

This two-quarter sequence, which meets the general education requirement in civilization studies, provides an interdisciplinary introduction to Russian civilization. The first quarter covers the ninth century to the 1870s; the second quarter continues on through the post-Soviet period. Working closely with a variety of primary sources-from oral legends to film and music, from political treatises to literary masterpieces-we will track the evolution of Russian civilization over the centuries and through radically different political regimes. Topics to be discussed include the influence of Byzantine, Mongol-Tataric, and Western culture in Russian civilization; forces of change and continuity in political, intellectual and cultural life; the relationship between center and periphery; systems of social and political legitimization; and symbols and practices of collective identity. Note: Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required.

REES 27027 / 37027
Cinema and the Holocaust

Bozena Shallcross
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Film screenings, class participation, reading assignments, one class presentation, and a final project.
Crosslists: 
CMST 22507, CMST 32507, JWSC 29550
Winter
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course
he course focuses on the cinematic responses by several leading film directors from East and Central Europe to one of the central events of 20th century history -- the event known as the Holocaust.  The Nazis began a cinematic documentation of WWII at its onset, positioning their cameras in places of actual atrocities. Their goal was to produce documentary footage framed by hostile propagandistic schemes; contrary to this ‘method’, the Holocaust feature films are all but a representation of the Jewish genocide produced after the actual, traumatic events of that war took place. In this class we aim at discussing the challenge of representing the Jewish genocide which has often been defined as un-representable. Because of this challenge, the Holocaust films raise questions of ethical responsibility for the cinematic production and a search for relevant artistic means with which to engage the post-traumatic representation. Therefore, among the major tropes we will analyze the voyeuristic evocation of death and suffering; a truthful representation of violence versus the purported necessity of its cinematic aesthetization; as well as the intertwined notions of chance and hope as conditions of survival versus the hagiographic representation of victims.  While our main goal is to grasp the potential of cinema for deepening our understanding of the Holocaust, the course simultaneously explores the extensive and continuous cinematic production of the genre and its historical development in various European countries, to mention the impact of censorship by official ideologies in the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia during the Cold War.
 

All readings for the core texts are in English; they can be downloaded from Canvas.
 

REES 29009 / 39009
Balkan Folklore

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Readings in English. Background in the Balkans will make the course easier, but is not required.
Crosslists: 
ANTH 25908, ANTH 35908, CMLT 23301, CMLT 33301, NEHC 20568, NEHC 30568
Winter
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

Vampires, fire-breathing dragons, vengeful mountain nymphs. 7/8 and other uneven dance beats, heart-rending laments, and a living epic tradition. This course is an overview of Balkan folklore from historical, political, and anthropological perspectives. We seek to understand folk tradition as a dynamic process and consider the function of different folklore genres in the imagining and maintenance of community and the socialization of the individual. We also experience this living tradition firsthand through visits of a Chicago-based folk dance ensemble, “Balkan Dance.”

REES 29013 / 39013
The Burden of History: The Nation and Its Lost Paradise

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23401,CMLT 33401,NEHC 20573,NEHC 30573,HIST 24005,HIST 34005
Winter
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

The Other Within the Self: Identity in Balkan Literature and Film. This two-course sequence examines discursive practices in a number of literary and cinematic works from the South East corner of Europe through which identities in the region become defined by two distinct others: the “barbaric, demonic” Ottoman and the “civilized” Western European.

This course begins by defining the nation both historically and conceptually, with attention to Romantic nationalism and its flourishing in Southeastern Europe. We then look at the narrative of original wholeness, loss, and redemption through which Balkan countries retell their Ottoman past. With the help of Freud's analysis of masochistic desire and Žižek's theory of the subject as constituted by trauma, we contemplate the national fixation on the trauma of loss and the dynamic between victimhood and sublimity. The figure of the Janissary highlights the significance of the other in the definition of the self. Some possible texts are Petar Njegoš's Mountain Wreath; Ismail Kadare's The Castle; and Anton Donchev's Time of Parting.

BCSN 10303
First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian-3

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
BCSN 10103 or consent of instructor.
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

The major objective of the course is to build a solid foundation in the basic grammatical patterns of written and spoken Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, while simultaneously introducing both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. This course is complemented with cultural and historical media from the Balkans and is designed for students with a wide range of interests. Screenings of movies and other audio-visual materials are held in addition to scheduled class time. Knowledge of a Slavic language and background in linguistics not required.

BCSN 20303
Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian-3

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
BCSN 20103 or consent of instructor.
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

The first quarter is devoted to an overview of grammar, with emphasis on verbal morphology and syntax, through the reading of a series of literary texts in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. The second and third quarters are devoted to further developing active mastery of Bosian/Croatian/Serbian through continued readings, grammar drills, compositions, and conversational practice. Study of word formation, nominal and adjectival morphology, and syntax are emphasized. Screenings of movies and other audio-visual materials are held in addition to scheduled class time.

BCSN 21400 / 31403
Advanced BCS: Language through Art and Architecture

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
BCSN 21200/31203 or consent of instructor.
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

This course is tailored to the needs of the students enrolled, depending on their concentration in the field. It enhances language acquisition with continuous reading and translation of essays, newspaper articles, literary excerpts, letters and other selected writings. Vocabulary building is emphasized by the systematic study of nominal and verbal roots, prefixes and suffixes, and word formation thereafter. Discussion follows each completed reading with a written composition assigned in relation to the topic.

CZEC 10303
First-year Czech III

Malynne Sternstein
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

CZEC 20303
Second-Year Czech-3

Malynne Sternstein
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
CZEC 20203 or consent of instructor
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

POLI 10303
First Year Polish-3

Dag Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Poli 10203 or consent of instructor.
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

This course teaches students to speak, read, and write in Polish, as well as familiarizes them with Polish culture. It employs the most up-to-date techniques of language teaching (e.g.,communicative and accelerated learning, and learning based on students' native language skills), as well as multileveled target-language exposure.

POLI 20303
Second-Year Polish-3

Dag Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Poli 20203 or instructor consent.
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

This course teaches students to speak, read, and write in Polish, as well as familiarizes them with Polish culture. It employs the most up-to-date techniques of language teaching (e.g.,communicative and accelerated learning, and learning based on students' native language skills), as well as multileveled target-language exposure.

POLI 20603 / 30603
Third-Year Polish-3

Dag Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Poli 20503 or instructor consent.
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

The process of learning in all three quarters of Third-Year Polish is framed by three themes, which most succinctly but aptly characterize Polish life, culture, and history: in the Autumn Quarter-the noble democracy in the Commonwealth of Both Nations, in the Winter Quarter-the fight for independence, and in the Spring Quarter-the newly independent Poland. During the course of the year, students also improve their knowledge of advanced grammar and stylistics. All work in Polish.

RUSS 10600
Russian Through Pushkin III

Mark Baugher
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
RUSS 10500.
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

This literary and linguistic approach to Russian allows students to learn the language by engaging classic Russian poetic texts (e.g., Pushkin's The Bronze Horseman), as well as excerpts from Eugene Onegin and selections from Pushkin's shorter poems and prose works. Although the focus is on reading Russian, all four major communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) are stressed, preparing students for the College Language Competency Exam and for continued study of Russian in second-year courses. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 10303
First-Year Russian-3

Erik Houle; Mark Baugher
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

This course introduces modern Russian to students who would like to speak Russian or to use the language for reading and research. All four major communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) are stressed. Students are also introduced to Russian culture through readings, videos, and class discussions. This yearlong course prepares students for the College Language Competency Exam, for continued study of Russian in second-year courses, and for study or travel abroad in Russian-speaking countries. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 20303
Second-Year Russian-3

Erik Houle; Mark Baugher
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

This course continues RUSS 10103-10203-10303; it includes review and amplification of grammar, practice in reading, elementary composition, and speaking and comprehension. Systematic study of word formation and other strategies are taught to help free students from excessive dependence on the dictionary and develop confidence in reading rather than translating. Readings are selected to help provide historical and cultural background. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 20902 / 30902
Third-Year Russian through Culture III

Valentina Pichugin
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Russian 20701 or consent of instructor. Drill sessions to be arranged.
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

This course, which is intended for third-year students of Russian, covers various aspects of Russian grammar in context and emphasizes the four communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) in a culturally authentic context. Excerpts from popular Soviet/Russian films and clips from Russian television news reports are shown and discussed in class. Classes conducted in Russian; some aspects of grammar explained in English. Drill practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 21502 / 30302
Adv Russian Through Media-3

Valentina Pichugin
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Russian 21302 or consent of instructor. Drill sessions to be arranged.
Crosslists: 
REES 21502; REES 30302
Spring
2018-2019
Language course

This course, which is designed for fifth-year students of Russian, covers various aspects of Russian stylistics and discourse grammar in context. It emphasizes the four communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) in culturally authentic context. Clips from Russian/Soviet films and television news reports are shown and discussed in class. Classes conducted in Russian. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

REES 27028 / 37028
David Bergelson’s Strange New World

Harriet Murav
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

This course introduces the Yiddish modernist David Bergelson (1884-1952) by putting him in dialogue with Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Nabokov, and Isaac Babel. The comparisons place us in three settings: the provinces, in exile in Berlin, and along the revolutionary border. In Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Bergelson’s The End of Everything characters are bored and sense their own belatedness; they’ve missed the main event that is taking place elsewhere, including the joy of their own lives. In Bergelson’s and Nabokov’s Berlin stories, displaced characters find themselves in a strange city of  surfaces and shadows, offering both new pleasures and the unbidden return of the past. In Bergelson’s Judgment and Babel’s Red Cavalry violence and a new, harsh law line the joy and freedom of revolution. In the works to be examined, both time and place are out of joint. Particular attention will be given to the language and literary structures that reproduce-- as an effect of reading-- the temporal and spatial shifts experienced by the characters. No Yiddish or Russian required.

 

REES 26065 / 36065
The Underground: Alienation, Mobilization, Resistance

Robert Bird
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

The ancient and multivalent image of the underground has crystallized over the last two centuries to denote sites of disaffection from—and strategies of resistance to—dominant social, political and cultural systems. We will trace the development of this metaphor from the Underground Railroad in the mid-1800s and the French Resistance during World War II to the Weather Underground in the 1960s-1970s, while also considering it as a literary and artistic concept, from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground and Ellison’s Invisible Man to Chris Marker’s film La Jetée and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker. Alongside with such literary and cinematic tales, drawing theoretical guidance from refuseniks from Henry David Thoreau to Guy Debord, this course investigates how countercultural spaces become—or fail to become—sites of political resistance, and also how dissenting ideologies give rise to countercultural spaces. We ask about the relation between social deviance (the failure to meet social norms, whether willingly or unwittingly) and political resistance, especially in the conditions of late capitalism and neo-colonialism, when countercultural literature, film and music (rock, punk, hip-hop, DIY aesthetics etc.) get absorbed into—and coopted by—the hegemonic socio-economic system. In closing we will also consider contemporary forms of dissidence—from Pussy Riot to Black Lives Matter—that rely both on the vulnerability of individual bodies and global communication networks.

REES 13803
The Soviet Union

Eleonora Gilburd
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
HIST 13803
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

This lecture course surveys the making and unmaking of the Soviet Union as a society, culture, economy, superpower, and empire from 1917 to 1991. The Soviet Union began as an unprecedented radical experiment in remaking society and economy, ethnic and gender relations, personal identities, even human nature. In the course of its history, it came to resemble other (capitalist) societies, sharing, in turn, their violence, welfare provisions, and consumerism. The story of this transformation—from being unique and exhilarating to being much like everyone else, only poorer and more drab—will be at the center of our exploration. The main themes of the course include social and cultural revolutions; ideology and the role of Marxism; political violence from the birth of the socialist state to the end of the Stalin terror; Stalinism, its origins, practices, aesthetics, legacies, and critiques; law, dissent, and human rights; nationality policies and the role of ethnic minorities; the economy of shortages and the material culture it created; institutions of daily life (communal apartments, courtyards, peasant markets, dachas, and boiler rooms); socialist realism and the Soviet dreamworld.

REES 29018 / 39018
Imaginary Worlds:Fantastic & Magic Realism in Russia& SE Europe

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 27701, CMLT 37701, RUSS 27300, RUSS 37300
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

In this course, we will ask what constitutes the fantastic and magic realism as literary genres while reading some of the most interesting writings to have come out of Russia and Southeastern Europe. While considering the stylistic and narrative specificities of this narrative mode, we also think about its political functions —from subversive to escapist, to supportive of a nationalist imaginary—in different contexts and at different historic moments in the two regions.

REES 29021 / 39021
The Shadows of Living Things: the Writings of Mikhail Bulgakov

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

“What would your good do if evil did not exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people…. Do you want to strip the earth of all the trees and living things just because of your fantasy of enjoying naked light?” asks the Devil.
 
Mikhail Bulgakov worked on his novel The Master and Margarita throughout most of his writing career, in Stalin’s Moscow. Bulgakov destroyed his manuscript, re-created it from memory, and reworked it feverishly even as his body was failing him in his battle with death.  The result is an intense contemplation on the nature of good and evil, on the role of art and the ethical duty of the artist, but also a dazzling world of magic, witches, and romantic love, and an irresistible seduction into the comedic. Laughter, as shadow and light, as subversive weapon but also as power’s whip, grounds human relation to both good and evil. Brief excursions to other texts that help us better understand Master and Margarita.

REES 47000
Time and Memory

Harriet Murav
Course level: 
Graduate
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

At the beginning of the 20th century moderns and modernists announced their break with the past and launched various artistic , philosophical, political, and social experiments that claimed to construct society and the individual anew. The machine, speed, technology, and the future were the watchwords of Futurists and other modernist groups. Revolutionary transformation on all fronts was the way forward. In the same period advances in science and technology radically changed the horizon of possibility. Yet other important artists and thinkers offered the contrasting view that the past remains alive in the present—both in individuals and in human cultures. Memory was key to the future. This seminar focuses on the second tendency by examining the work of three theorists—Henri Bergson, Walter Benjamin, Victor Shklovsky—and three literary authors—Victor Shklovsky, Virginia Woolf, and Osip Mandelshtam.

REES 49701
Colloquium: Cultural Cold War

Eleonora Gilburd
Course level: 
Graduate
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course

In this course we will consider culture wars amidst the Cold War. We will range across media and aesthetic schools to examine the entanglement of art and politics, culture and diplomacy, creativity and propaganda, consumerism and the avant-garde, nuclear aspirations and dystopian visions, artistic freedom and police operations. The course's basic premise is that, notwithstanding the bipolar world it created, the Cold War was a multisided affair, so our readings will extend beyond the United States and the Soviet Union to include various national contexts.

REES 24418
Ruining Chekhov: Reading and Staging the Modernist Play

Cheryl Stephenson
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Spring
2018-2019
Literature and Linguistics course
"Stanislavski has ruined my play!" Anton Chekhov's notoriously negative response to Konstantin Stanislavski's production of The Cherry Orchard at the Moscow Art Theater provides the point of departure for this course and its examination of both Chekhov's plays and their production history in Russia, the Soviet Union, and abroad. As we investigate the texts, performances, and non-theatrical adaptations of The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard, we will explore the particular problems of reading and staging Chekhov, whose often sparse stage directions and ambiguous dialogue create the potential for strikingly different interpretations. Through questioning this openness and other defining features of Chekhov's plays, we will study the ways these productions changed and adapted to new countries, new political contexts, and new tendencies in theater and performance throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Over the course of the quarter, we will bring together our discussion of the stage and screen history of these works together with our own ideas about potential approaches to staging or adapting Chekhov's works.