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 10203
First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
BCSN 10100 or consent of instructor.
Winter
2019-2020
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 20203
Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
BCSN 10303 or consent of instructor.
Winter
2019-2020
Language course

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 21200 / 31203
Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Film

Nada Petkovic
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
BCSN 20300 or consent of instructor.
Winter
2019-2020
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. This course addresses the theme of Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav identity through discussion and interpretation based on selected films, documentaries, images, and related texts-historical and literary, popular press, advertisements, screenplays, and literature e on film. Emphasis is on interpersonal communication as well as the interpretation and production of language in written and oral forms. The course engages in systematic grammar review, along with introduction of some new linguistic topics, with constant practice in writing and vocabulary enrichment. The syllabus includes the screening of six films, each from a different director, region, and period, starting with Cinema Komunisto (2012), a documentary by Mila Turajlic. This film will be crucial for understanding how Yugoslav cinema was born and how, in its origins, it belongs to what a later cinephile, Fredric Jameson, has called a "geopolitical aesthetic." We shall investigate the complex relationship between aesthetics and ideology in the Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav cinema, and pay close attention to aesthetic conceptions and concrete formal properties, and more importantly, to language, narrative logic, and style.

POLI 10203
First-Year Polish II

Dag Alexander Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Poli 10103 or equivalent; Drill sessions to be arranged.
Winter
2019-2020
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 II

Dag Alexander Lindskog
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
POLI 20103 or equivalent; Drill sessions to be arranged.
Winter
2019-2020
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.

RUSS 10203
First-Year Russian-2

Erik Houle (1); Maria Iakubovich (2); Mark Baugher (3)
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Winter
2019-2020
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 20203
Second-Year Russian II

Erik Houle (1); Mark Baugher (2)
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Winter
2019-2020
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 20802
Third-Year Russian through Culture II

Valentina Pichugin
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Winter
2019-2020
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
Advanced Russian through Media II

Valentina Pichugin
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Winter
2019-2020
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 23708 / 0
Soviet History Through Literature

Eleonora Gilburd
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
HIST 23708
Winter
2019-2020
Literature and Linguistics course

This course considers the main themes of Soviet history through canonical works of fiction, with an occasional addition of excerpts from autobiographies, memories, and police files.

REES 24007 / 0
Chernobyl: Bodies And Nature After Disaster

Peggy Odonnell
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
ENST 24007; GNSE 24007; HIST 24007
Winter
2019-2020
Literature and Linguistics course

When reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station exploded, it quickly made headlines around the world. Swedes found radiation in their air, Germans in their milk, Greeks in their grain, and Britons in their sheep. Ukrainians and Belarusians found it in their rain, wind, water sources, homes, and in their children's thyroids. Americans worried about finding it in their bodies, especially in pregnant or fetal bodies. A lot of roads led to the Chernobyl disaster: the Soviet state system, to be sure, but also the Cold War arms race, a faith in scientific progress shared in East and West, and a global disregard for the natural world and the human body. This course will follow those roads to the climax of the explosion and then examine the many paths out of Chernobyl: the disaster's aftereffects on geopolitics, environmentalism, feminism, and body politics. We will draw on a recent outpouring of scholarly and popular works on Chernobyl, including books, podcasts, and television series. We will also read texts on feminism, environmentalism, and other nuclear disasters, Cold War histories, and fiction to provide context and sites for further inquiry.

REES 25005 / 45005
History Of International Cinema II

Staff
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Prior or concurrent registration in CMST 10100 required. Required of students majoring or minoring in Cinema and Media Studies. CMST 28500/48500 strongly recommended.
Crosslists: 
ARTH 28600; ARTH 38600; ARTV 20003; CMLT 22500; CMLT 32500; CMST 48600; ENGL 29600; ENGL 48900; MAAD 18600; MAPH 33700
Winter
2019-2020
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 26012
Introduction to Russian Civilization II

Faith Hillis (1); William Nickell (2)
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required.
Crosslists: 
HIST 14000; SOSC 24100
Winter
2019-2020
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 27003 / 37003
Narratives of Assimilation

Bozena Shallcross
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
NEHC 20223; NEHC 30223; RLST 26623
Winter
2019-2020
Literature and Linguistics course

This course offers a survey into the manifold strategies of representing the Jewish community in East Central Europe beginning from the nineteenth century to the Holocaust. Engaging the concept of liminality-of a society at the threshold of radical transformation-it will analyze Jewry facing uncertainties and challenges of the modern era and its radical changes. Students will be acquainted with problems of cultural and linguistic isolation, hybrid identity, assimilation, and cultural transmission through a wide array of genres-novel, short story, epic poem, memoir, painting, illustration, film. The course draws on both Jewish and Polish-Jewish sources; all texts are read in English translation.

REES 29009 / 39009
Balkan Folklore

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23301; ANTH 35908; NEHC 30568; CMLT 33301; ANTH 25908; NEHC 20568
Winter
2019-2020
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 first-hand through visits of a Chicago-based folk dance ensemble, “Balkan Dance.”

REES 29023 / 39023
Returning the Gaze: The West and the Rest

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 29023; CMLT 39023; HIST 23609; HIST 33609; NEHC 29023; NEHC 39023
Winter
2019-2020
Literature and Linguistics course

Aware of being observed. And judged. Inferior... Abject… Angry... Proud… This course provides insight into identity dynamics between the “West,” as the center of economic power and self-proclaimed normative humanity, and the “Rest,” as the poor, backward, volatile periphery. We investigate the relationship between South East European self-representations and the imagined Western gaze. Inherent in the act of looking at oneself through the eyes of another is the privileging of that other’s standard. We will contemplate the responses to this existential position of identifying symbolically with a normative site outside of oneself—self-consciousness, defiance, arrogance, self-exoticization—and consider how these responses have been incorporated in the texture of the national, gender, and social identities in the region. Orhan Pamuk, Ivo Andrić, Nikos Kazantzakis, Aleko Konstantinov, Emir Kusturica, Milcho Manchevski.