Courses

Subject Code

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)

SOSL 21700 / 31700
Structure of Macedonian

V. Friedman
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Knowledge of another Slavic or Balkan language
Crosslists: 
LING 24310/34310
Spring
2014-2015
Literature and Linguistics course

An introduction to the standard language of the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonian is often described as the most Balkan of the Balkan languages. The course begins with a brief introduction to Macedonian linguistic history followed by an outline of Macedonian grammar and readings of authentic texts. There is also discussion of questions of grammar, standardization, and Macedonian language in society. Issues of Balkan and Slavic linguistics are also touched upon. 

SOSL 27200 / 37200
Returning the Gaze: The Balkans and Western Europe

A. Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23201,CMLT 33201,NEHC 20885,NEHC 30885
Autumn
2014-2015
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 investigates the complex relationship between South East European self-representations and the imagined Western "gaze" for whose benefit the nations stage their quest for identity and their aspirations for recognition. We also think about differing models of masculinity, the figure of the gypsy as a metaphor for the national self in relation to the West, and the myths Balkans tell about themselves. We conclude by considering the role that the imperative to belong to Western Europe played in the Yugoslav wars of succession. Some possible texts/films are Ivo Andric, Bosnian Chronicle; Aleko Konstantinov, Baj Ganyo; Emir Kusturica, Underground; and Milcho Manchevski, Before the Rain.

SOSL 27601 / 37601
Gender in the Balkans: Sworn Virgins, Wounded Men & Eternal Mothers

A. Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23902,CMLT 33902, GNSE 27607
Autumn
2014-2015
Literature and Linguistics course

Through some of the best literary and cinematic works from Southeastern Europe, we will consider the questions of socialization into gendered modes of being – the demands, comforts, pleasures and frustrations that individuals experience while trying to embody and negotiate social categories. We will examine how masculinity and femininity are constituted in the traditional family model, the socialist paradigm, and during post-socialist transitions. We will also contemplate how gender categories are experienced through other forms of identity–the national and socialist especially–as well as how gender is used to symbolize and animate these other identities. The course assumes no prior knowledge of the history of Southeastern Europe, literature or gender theory. All readings in English translation.

SOSL 26800 / 36800
Balkan Folklore

A. Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
NEHC 20568,NEHC 30568,CMLT 23301,CMLT 33301,ANTH 25908,ANTH 35908
Winter
2014-2015
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.

SOSL 27300 / 37300
The Burden of History: The Nation and Its Lost Paradise

A. Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23401,CMLT 33401,NEHC 20573,NEHC 30573,HIST 24005,HIST 34005
Winter
2014-2015
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.

SOSL 26610 / 36610
The Brighter Side of the Balkans: Humor & Satire in Lit & Film

V. Friedman, A. Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
NEHC 20884,NEHC 30884, CMLT 26610
Spring
2014-2015
Literature and Linguistics course

Laughter is universal but its causes are culturally determined. A joke in one culture can be a shaggy dog story in another.  The figure of the trickster occurs in many places and times and under many guises. Stereotypes can be revelatory about those who deploy them. At the same time, humor can be both an outlet and a danger. There is a special word in Russian for those sentenced to prison for telling political jokes.  This course focuses on Balkan humor, which, like the Balkans itself, is located in a space where "Western Europe", "Eastern Europe" "Central Europe" "The Mediterranean", "The Levant", and the "Near/Middle East" intersect in various ways (linguistically and culturally), compete for dominance or resist domination, and ultimately create a unique--albeit fuzzily bounded--subject of study.

In this course, we examine the poetics of laughter in the Balkans. In order to do so, we introduce humor as both cultural and transnational. We unpack the multiple layers of cultural meaning in the logic of “Balkan humor.” We also examine the functions and mechanisms of laughter, both in terms of cultural specificity and general practice and theories of humor. Thus, the study of Balkan humor will help us elucidate the “Balkan” and the “World,” and will provide insight not only into cultural mores and social relations, but into the very notion of “funny.” Our own laughter in class will be the best measure of our success – both cultural and intellectual.

SOSL 27700 / 37700
Imaginary Worlds: Fantastic & Magic Realism in Russia & Southeastern Europe

A. Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Readings in English. Background in Russia and the Balkans will make the course easier, but is not required.
Crosslists: 
CMLT 27701, CMLT 37701, RUSS 27300, RUSS 37300
Spring
2014-2015
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.

SOSL 29900
BA Paper

Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Open to fourth-year students who are majoring in Slavic Languages and Literature with consent of instructor and Departmental Adviser Note(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. This course must be taken for a qua
Autumn Spring Winter
2013-2014
Literature and Linguistics course

SOSL 29700
Reading and Research Course

Course level: 
Undergraduate
Prerequisites: 
Consent of instructor and Departmental Adviser Note(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.
Autumn Spring Winter
2013-2014
Literature and Linguistics course

SOSL 27300 / 37300
The Burden of History: A Nation and Its Lost Paradise

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23401,CMLT 33401,NEHC 20573,NEHC 30573,
Winter
2013-2014
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.

SOSL 27200 / 37200
Returning the Gaze: The Balkans and Western Europe

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23201,CMLT 33201,NEHC 20885,NEHC 30885
Autumn
2013-2014
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 investigates the complex relationship between South East European self-representations and the imagined Western "gaze" for whose benefit the nations stage their quest for identity and their aspirations for recognition. We also think about differing models of masculinity, the figure of the gypsy as a metaphor for the national self in relation to the West, and the myths Balkans tell about themselves. We conclude by considering the role that the imperative to belong to Western Europe played in the Yugoslav wars of succession. Some possible texts/films are Ivo Andric, Bosnian Chronicle; Aleko Konstantinov, Baj Ganyo; Emir Kusturica, Underground; and Milcho Manchevski, Before the Rain.

SOSL 26800 / 36800
Balkan Folklore

Angelina Ilieva
Course level: 
Graduate
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23301,CMLT 33301,NEHC 20568,NEHC 30568,
Winter
2013-2014
Literature and Linguistics course

This course is an overview of Balkan folklore from ethnographic, 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. We also 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 our visit to the classes and rehearsals of the Chicago-based ensemble "Balkanske igre."

SOSL 26610 / 36610
The Brighter Side of the Balkans

V. Friedman, A. Ilieva
Course level: 
Undergraduate
Crosslists: 
NEHC 20884,NEHC 30884
Spring
2013-2014
Literature and Linguistics course

Laughter is universal but its causes are culturally determined. A joke in one culture can be a shaggy dog story in another.  The figure of the trickster occurs in many places and times and under many guises. Stereotypes can be revelatory about those who deploy them. At the same time, humor can be both an outlet and a danger. There is a special word in Russian for those sentenced to prison for telling political jokes.  This course focuses on Balkan humor, which, like the Balkans itself, is located in a space where "Western Europe", "Eastern Europe" "Central Europe" "The Mediterranean", "The Levant", and the "Near/Middle East" intersect in various ways (linguistically and culturally), compete for dominance or resist domination, and ultimately create a unique--albeit fuzzily bounded--subject of study.

In this course, we examine the poetics of laughter in the Balkans. In order to do so, we introduce humor as both cultural and transnational. We unpack the multiple layers of cultural meaning in the logic of “Balkan humor.” We also examine the functions and mechanisms of laughter, both in terms of cultural specificity and general practice and theories of humor. Thus, the study of Balkan humor will help us elucidate the “Balkan” and the “World,” and will provide insight not only into cultural mores and social relations, but into the very notion of “funny.” Our own laughter in class will be the best measure of our success – both cultural and intellectual.

SOSL 26800 / 36800
Balkan Folklore

A. Ilieva
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23301/33301, NEHC 20568/30568
Winter
2012-2013
Literature and Linguistics course

This course is an overview of Balkan folklore from ethnographic, 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, help us understand folk tradition as a dynamic process. We also 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 our visit to the classes and rehearsals of the Chicago-based ensemble "Balkanske igre."

SOSL 26900
20thCentury Emigré Southeast European Literature

A. Ilieva
Autumn
2012-2013
Literature and Linguistics course

 

 

SOSL 27200 / 37200
Returning the Gaze: The Balkans and Western Europe

A. Ilieva
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23201/33201, NEHC 20885/30885
Autumn
2012-2013
Literature and Linguistics course

This course investigates the complex relationship between South East European self-representations and the imagined Western "gaze" for whose benefit the nations stage their quest for identity and their aspirations for recognition. We also think about differing models of masculinity, the figure of the gypsy as a metaphor for the national self in relation to the West, and the myths Balkans tell about themselves. We conclude by considering the role that the imperative to belong to Western Europe played in the Yugoslav wars of succession. Some possible texts/films are Ivo Andric, Bosnian Chronicle; Aleko Konstantinov, Baj Ganyo; Emir Kusturica, Underground; and Milcho Manchevski, Before the Rain.

SOSL 27300 / 37300
The Burden of History: A Nation and Its Lost Paradise

A. Ilieva
Crosslists: 
CMLT 23401/33401, NEHC 20573/30573
Winter
2012-2013
Literature and Linguistics course

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.

SOSL 27400 / 37400
Magic Realist and Fantastic Writings from the Balkans

A. Ilieva
Crosslists: 
CMLT 22201/32201
Spring
2012-2013
Literature and Linguistics course

In this course, we ask whether there is such a thing as a "Balkan" type of magic realism and think about the differences between the genres of magic realism and the fantastic, while reading some of the most interesting writing to have come out of the Balkans. We also look at the similarities of the works from different countries (e.g., lyricism of expression, eroticism, nostalgia) and argue for and against considering such similarities constitutive of an overall Balkan sensibility.

SOSL 29700
Reading and Research Course

Prerequisites: 
Consent of instructor and Departmental Adviser.
Autumn Spring Winter
2012-2013
Literature and Linguistics course

Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.

SOSL 29900
BA Paper

Prerequisites: 
Open to fourth-year students who are majoring in Slavic Languages and Literature with consent of instructor and Departmental Adviser.
Autumn Spring Winter
2012-2013
Literature and Linguistics course

Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. This course must be taken for a quality grade.

SOSL 26610 / 36610
The Brighter Side of the Balkans: Humor and Satire in Balkan Literature

A. Ilieva., V. Friedman.
Spring
2012-2013
Literature and Linguistics course