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)

REES 26048 / 36048
Russian Cinema

Robert Bird
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMST 24505, CMST 34505
Winter
2015-2016
Literature and Linguistics course

Russian cinema occupies an important and distinctive place within world film culture. It rose to prominence in the 1920s through the revolutionary (in all senses) films and film theory of Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin, Dziga Vertov and others and maintained its distinction through the early years of socialist realism, a unique media system in which film was recognized, in Lenin’s saying, as “the most important of the arts.” After Stalin’s death Russian film re-captivated its revolutionary energy amidst the “Soviet new wave,” characterized by the films of Mikhail Kalatozov, Sergei Paradzhanov and Andrei Tarkovsky. In recent years film has continued to play a crucial role in defining and animating a post-Soviet cultural identity, both through poetic filmmakers as Aleksandr Sokurov and through genre films. We will survey this history, from 1917 right up to the present moment, with a selection of the most energizing films and theoretical writings by their makers. We will examine how a national style gets established and maintained; how film form and film style have responded to the pressures of ideology and power; how film art has served both as a tool of colonialization and identity-formation; and how film artists have negotiated the pressures of cultural tradition (including that of the Russian novel) and the world film market.

BCSN 20103 - 20203 - 20303
Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I, II, III

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
Language course

The Second-Year course in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) languages and cultures is a continuation of First-Year BCS. It 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 amount 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 with each unit. The course is complemented with cultural and historical media from the Balkans, guest speakers, cultural events, and dinner parties. Mandatory drill sessions are held twice per week.

MWF 11:30-12:20 PM

POLI 10103 - 10203 - 10303
First-Year Polish I, II, III

Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
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. Autumn, Winter, Spring. Meets on MWF 10:30-11:20. Drill sessions to be arranged.

POLI 20103 - 20203 - 20303
Second-Year Polish I, II, III

Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
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. Autumn, Winter, Spring. Meets on MWF 10:30-11:20. Drill sessions to be arranged.
 

POLI 30103 - 30203 - 30303
Third-Year Polish I, II, III

Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
Language course

PQ: POLI 20300 or equivalent. The process of learning in all three quarters of Third Year Polish is framed by three themes, which most succinctly but aptly characterize the Polish life, culture and history: in the Fall 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. Autumn, Winter, Spring. Meets on MWF 11:30-12:20. Conversation hour to be arranged.

POLI 20503 - 20603 - 20703 / 40103 - 40203 - 40303
Polish Through Literary Readings I, II, III

Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
Language course

Meets: TBA
PQ: POLI 303 or equivalent. An advanced language course emphasizing spoken and written Polish. Readings include original Polish prose and poetry as well as nonfiction. Intensive grammar review and vocabulary building. For students who have taken Third Year Polish and for native or heritage speakers who want to read Polish literature in the original. Readings and discussions in Polish. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

RUSS 10103 - 10203 - 10303
First-Year Russian I, II, III

Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
Language course

RUSS 10103 - 10203 - 10303
Second-Year Russian I, II, III

Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
PQ: Russ 10300 or Consent of Instructor, Drill Sessions to be arranged.
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
Language course

RUSS 20702 - 20802 - 20902
Third-Year Russian: Culture I, II, III

Valentina Pichugin
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
PQ: RUSS 20300 or Consent of Instructor
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
Language course

RUSS 21002 - 21102 - 21202
Fourth-Year Russian: Short Story I, II, III

Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
PQ: RUSS 20902 or Consent of Instructor.
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
Language course

RUSS 21302 - 21402 - 21502 / 30102 - 30202 - 30302
Advanced Russian Through Media I, II, III

Valentina Pichugin
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
PQ: RUSS 21202 or Consent of Instructor.
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
Language course

REES 20004
Lolita

Malynne Sternstein
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
FNDL 25300,GNSE 24900,ENGL 28916
Winter
2015-2016
Literature and Linguistics course

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul, Lolita: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate, to tap at three on the teeth.” Popular as Nabokov’s “all-American” novel is, it is rarely discussed beyond its psychosexual profile. This intensive text-centered and discussion-based course attempts to supersede the univocal obsession with the novel’s pedophiliac plot as such by concerning itself above all with the novel’s language: language as failure, as mania, and as conjuration.

REES 29009 / 39009
Balkan Folklore

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
NEHC 20568,NEHC 30568,CMLT 23301,CMLT 33301,ANTH 25908,ANTH 35908
Winter
2015-2016
Literature and Linguistics course

Immerse yourself in the magic world of vampires and dragons, bagpipes and uneven beats, quick-step circle dance. This course give an introduction to Balkan folklore from anthropological, historical/political, and performative perspectives. We become acquainted with folk tales, lyric and epic songs, music, and dance. The work of Milman Parry and Albert Lord, who developed their theory of oral composition through work among epic singers in the Balkans, helps us understand folk tradition as a dynamic process – how is oral tradition transmitted, preserved, changed, forgotten? how do illiterate singers learn their long narrative poems, how do musicians learn to play? We consider the function of different folklore genres in the imagining and maintenance of community and the socialization of the individual. The historical/political part will survey the emergence of folklore studies as a discipline as well as the ways it has served in the formation and propagation of the nation in the Balkans. The class will also experience this living tradition first hand through our in-class workshop with the Chicago based dance ensemble “Balkanski igri.” The Annual Balkan Folklore Spring Festival will be held in March at the International House.

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

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23401,CMLT 33401,NEHC 20573,NEHC 30573,HIST 24005,HIST 34005
Winter
2015-2016
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.

REES 29700
B.A. Paper Workshop

Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
Literature and Linguistics course

REES 29900
Reading/Research: Russian and Eastern European Studies

Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
Literature and Linguistics course

REES 27003 / 37003
Narratives of Assimilation

Bozena Shallcross
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
JWSC 20223
Winter
2015-2016
Literature and Linguistics course

This course offers a survey of the manifold artistic strategies of (self)-representations of the Jewish writers from East Central Europe from the perspective of assimilation, its trials, successes and failures. During this course, we will inquire how the condition called assimilation and its attendants: secularization, acculturation, trans-nationalism, etc. has been explored by Mary Antin, Anzia Yezierska, Adolf Rudnicki, Eva Hoffman and others. Students will be acquainted with problems of cultural alienation and linguistic isolation, hybrid identity, and cultural transmission in conjunction with theoretical approaches by Zygmunt Bauman, Benjamin Harshav, Ryszard Nycz; all texts are read in English.

BCSN 21200
Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Film

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Winter
2015-2016
Language course

This course, which encompasses both the 3rd and 4th years of language study, changes the focus from language structure and grammar to issues in interdisciplinary content. Each module foregrounds a different theme and leverages a different medium—fiction, film, art and architecture, urban anthropology, etc. Unlike the First- and Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) courses, Advanced BCS courses are not in sequence, and students can take them randomly, over the course of two academic years to fulfill their 3rd and/or 4th year of language study.

REES 24400
Twentieth Century Central and East European Theater

Cheryl Stephenson
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Winter
2015-2016

This course provides an introduction to drama, performance, and production in Central and Eastern Europe in the twentieth century. Focusing on major developments in Czech, Russian and Polish theatrical practice, we will examine the relationship between the performance and the dramatic text, changing approaches to both the practical and creative work of staging a play, and the social and political climates that impacted theatrical production. Rather than attempting a broad survey of Central and East European theater, we will focus our attention on major turning points, high and low moments, and major innovators and innovations in theatrical culture.

 

BCSN 10103 - 10203 - 10303
First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Autumn Spring Winter
2015-2016
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.