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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Russian Courses

Russian Course Synopses


The Russian Program offers courses in all levels of Russian language and a range of courses on Russian literature and culture. Unless otherwise noted, literature and culture courses are taught in translation--you do not need to know any Russian for these courses. All Russian Program culture courses taught in English or in Russian satisfy the requirement for a course in Non-Western Cultural Awareness.

Russian literature and culture courses also may fulfill:
· General Education Requirements
· Literature requirement in the College of Arts and Sciences
· Cultural awareness requirement in the College of Arts and Sciences (only for students whose foreign language is Russian)
· Cultural Awareness "C" requirement
· General Humanities requirement in College of Arts and Sciences
· Fine Arts requirements in College of Arts and Sciences

Russian Program Courses, Summer 2013

 

MAYMESTER:
New study abroad program in Ufa, Russia!  It's too late to sign up for this summer if you're not already registered, but start planning for next year's trip NOW!


SUMMER I:
Russian 121 (first-year, first semester)
Russian J201 (second-year) via distance ed

 


SUMMER II:
Russian 122 (first-year, second semester--get your language requirement done in one summer! let your friends know about this opportunity!)
Russian J202 (continuation of 201) via distance ed--take these and you can go right into 301 in the fall!


Russian Program Courses, Fall 2013

LANGUAGE COURSES:  Four levels of Russian language, from beginning to advanced: Russian 121, Russian 201, Russian 301, Russian 401 (for placement contact Dr. Kalb, jkalb@sc.edu).  Honors section available for 121 (121-510). 


CULTURE COURSES: NO KNOWLEDGE OF RUSSIAN REQUIRED!*

RUSSIAN 319: NINETEENTH-CENTURY RUSSIAN LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION*
Dr. Ogden  T Th 11:40-12:55
MUST-READ LITERATURE!!! This course introduces masterworks of Russian literature by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Turgenev, Chekhov, and others.  Russia propelled itself onto the map of world literature during the course of the nineteenth century, presenting characters and dramas of universal and enduring significance.  Literature, as the best means of relatively free expression within an often reactionary society, became a voice of conscience, dissent, and searing political insight. The literary characters who express these views are uncompromising in their search for truth, and they turn their eyes both outward to the injustices in society and inward to the miracles, horrors, and eternal questions of human existence.  Refusing to be bound by constraints of propriety, proportion, or even at times of sanity, these characters are truly rebels, romantics, and visionaries.
Prerequisites: None.  All readings in English.   Satisfies requirements in General Humanities, Literature, Cultural Awareness A (for Russian-language students) or C.  COUNTS FOR RUSSIAN MINOR OR MAJOR CREDIT!!!
Note: All Russian majors must take RUSS 319 or RUSS 320!


RUSSIAN 319L: NINETEENTH-CENTURY RUSSIAN LITERATURE IN RUSSIAN (1 credit)
Ms. Vasilyeva (time TBA) Come practice your Russian as you discuss some of the greatest works of world literature in Russian! Prerequisites: RUSS 202 or equivalent.  COUNTS FOR RUSSIAN MINOR OR MAJOR CREDIT!!!


RUSS 598/CPLT 880: RUSSIAN LITERARY AND FILM THEORY
Dr. Ogden, T Th 2:50-4:05
This course will provide an introduction to some of the basic concepts that have occupied Russian theorists and that in many cases have become fundamental to literary theory worldwide.  These include such ideas as art as "infection"; art as "device"; defamiliarization; laughter and carnival; the chronotope; monologic vs. dialogic discourse; primary and secondary modeling systems.  Our primary concern will be with literary analysis, but we will also consider how Russian theory has contributed to and been enriched by contact with other fields, including the study of folklore, linguistics, history, and film.  We will trace the continuities (and forcible breaks) of literary theory in the Soviet Union and will consider the cultural context in which these writers worked.  We will also question how formalism, structuralism, and semiotics in the Soviet Union were different from their counterparts in the West.
Requirements: General Humanities, Cultural Awareness A (for Russian-language students) or Cultural Awareness C.  COUNTS FOR RUSSIAN MINOR OR MAJOR CREDIT!!!
N.B. This course is available for undergraduate and graduate credit. Graduate students will be expected to fulfill additional requirements.


 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPLETE LIST OF REGULARLY-OFFERED RUSSIAN COURSES

Russian Language Courses

RUSS 121: Elementary Russian (4 credit hrs.). This course is the introductory level course for Russian. The most basic features of the language are studied, but emphasis is placed on using knowledge of the structure of Russian to establish the basis for later development of a usable level of ability in reading, listening, speaking, and writing through the use of authentic video, audio, and reading materials. No prerequisites; no previous knowledge of Russian necessary.

RUSS 122: Basic Proficiency in Russian (4 credit hrs.; prereq: 121 or satisfactory score on placement test). Through the use of authentic video, audio, and reading materials students are offered the opportunity to develop a usable level of ability in reading, listening, speaking, and writing modern Russian. The course includes some instruction in everyday Russian culture. Successful completion of the exit examination fulfills the foreign language requirement for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Science and Mathematics.

RUSS 201: Intermediate Russian (Prereq: 122 or satisfactory score on placement test). Listening and speaking are stressed in this course. Watch Russian video films, listen to authentic Russian, participate in different classroom activities, have fun, and you will learn to speak enough to get along in Russia as a tourist.

RUSS 202: Intermediate Russian (Prereq: 201 or satisfactory score on placement test). Focus on developing reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. Emphasis is on reading and writing. You may also bring materials to class you have always wanted to read and understand!

RUSS 301: Russian Conversation and Composition (Prereq.: Russ 202 or satisfactory score on placement test). Russian spoken and written here. This course continues practice in the four skills, but emphasis is placed on correct written expression.

RUSS 302: Russian Conversation (Prereq.: Russ 301 or satisfactory score on placement test). This course continues practice in the four skills, but emphasis is placed on correct, idiomatic oral expression.

RUSS 315: Intensive Readings in Russian. A reading course for graduate students and non-majors). Students will learn to read Russian texts. Specifically intended to prepare graduate students for the graduate reading exam in Russian; also meant to improve undergraduate reading skills (but cannot be applied toward a Russian major and is not a substitute in the course sequence leading to the major). No prerequisites.

RUSS 316: Intensive Readings in Russian. Continued practice reading Russian texts, for graduate students and non-majors. Prerequisite: RUSS 315.

RUSS 401: Advanced Russian (Prereq.: Russ 302 or satisfactory score on placement test). Readings in Russian Culture and history; listening and speaking; structure of Russian.

RUSS 402: Advanced Russian (Prereq: 401 or satisfactory score on placement test). Acquisition of subtleties of Russian grammar. Increased focus on reading, writing, and discussion.

Russian Literature and Culture Courses

RUSS 280 : Introduction to Russian Civilization
Dr. Judith Kalb, Dr. Alexander Ogden

This course is an introduction to the rich and complex culture of Russia. Topics for class meetings and assignments are deliberately interdisciplinary. They range from medieval Russian art to twentieth-century Socialist Realism, from the music of Tchaikovsky to the balladeers of the 1970s, from the poetry of Pushkin to contemporary, post-Soviet writers. Students will be expected to participate in Russian cultural activities and stay aware of contemporary events in Russia. Prerequisites: None. No knowledge of Russian necessary. This course is a prerequisite for the Russian Major.

RUSS 319: Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature in Translation
Dr. Alexander Ogden

Must-read literature! This course introduces masterworks of Russian literature by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Turgenev, Chekhov, and others. Russia propelled itself onto the map of world literature during the course of the nineteenth century, presenting characters and dramas of universal and enduring significance. Literature, as the best means of relatively free expression within an often reactionary society, became a voice of conscience, dissent, and searing political insight. The literary characters who express these views are uncompromising in their search for truth, and they turn their eyes both outward to the injustices in society and inward to the miracles, horrors, and eternal questions of human existence. Refusing to be bound by constraints of propriety, proportion, or even at times of sanity, these characters are truly rebels, romantics, and visionaries. Prerequisites: None. All readings in English.

RUSS 319L: Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature in Russian.
A one-credit Russian-language course designed to supplement 319. Reading and discussion in Russian of 19th-century poetry and prose. Prerequisite: RUSS 302 or instructor's permission.

RUSS 320: Twentieth-Century Russian Literature In Translation
Dr. Judith Kalb

From revolutions (1905 and 1917) to gulags, glasnost, and beyond, modern Russian history has been marked by a series of explosive events. This course examines the major upheavals of twentieth-century Russia through a spectacular literary prism. Works under discussion date from the revolutionary period at the turn of the twentieth century and proceed to the flux of post-Soviet Russia; authors include Chekhov, Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn, and Pelevin. Related films will supplement the readings. Prerequisites: None. All readings in English.

RUSS 320L: Twentieth-Century Russian Literature in Russian
A one-credit Russian-language course designed to supplement 320. Reading and discussion in Russian of 20th-century literature. Prerequisite: RUSS 302 or instructor's permission.

SCCC 353K: Siberia in the Russian Imagination
Dr. Alexander Ogden

For four centuries, Siberia has been Russia's "Wild East." Much more than a geographic entity, it has been a larger-than-life, romantic, mysterious Russian equivalent of the "Wild West" in America. Our course investigates this Siberian mystique through the prism of Russian literature, film, music, and folklore. Topics include nature and ecology, shamanism and other native traditions, the Russian conquest of Siberia, Siberian exiles from the Decembrists through the Stalin period, Old Believers and religious dissent, Russian North America and the Russian-American Company, the "mad monk" Rasputin and his spell, Siberian regionalism in the nineteenth century and today, and Siberia's role within the Russian Federation. Prerequisites: None. All readings in English; films are subtitled.

SCCC 353N: Love, Sex, And Politics In Revolutionary Russia: The Commissar And The Bathhouse
Dr. Judith Kalb

The modernist period in Russia was a time of intense experimentation: cultural, sexual, and political. This course examines how Russian modernist writers portrayed the interaction of love, sex, and politics between 1900 and 1930. We will turn first to the various influences on these writers, including Western influences such as Freud and Nietzsche and native Russian ones such as the philosopher Vladimir Solov'ev. Topics under consideration include redefinitions of sexuality (Russia's first gay novel, feminist novels); the Symbolist belief in the connection between life and art, particularly in the area of love (real-life love triangles and their reflections in literature); the interaction of love and politics (texts describing love during the new regime); and love in exile (Tsvetaeva, Berberova). Related films will supplement the reading. Prerequisites: None. All readings in English translation.

RUSS 398: Selected Topics
Courses taught in English. Intensive study of selected topics in Russian cultural and/or literary movements. May be repeated for credit under a different suffix. Individual RUSS 398 courses are listed below.

RUSS 398E: Medieval Russian Culture
Dr. Alexander Ogden

Learn about medieval chant, Russian princesses, and intriguing folklore! This course will introduce students to the culture of medieval Russia through its written records, folklore, icons, and religious chant. Texts will include excerpts from the Russian Primary Chronicle, sermons and saints' lives, Orthodox liturgy, and folktales and stories. We will also examine the continuing importance of medieval tradition in later periods (reworkings of medieval themes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, literature, and film). Prerequisites: None. All readings in English.

RUSS 398G: Contemporary Russian Fiction
Dr. Judith Kalb

This course is a survey of the work of writers who have played a major role in Russian literature from the 1980s to the present, either as new writers or as reclaimed ones (formerly in exile or forbidden during the latter part of the twentieth century). Particular ideas under discussion include the recovery of the past; reworkings of previous literary models and the creation of new ones; and the search for the writer's new role in a rapidly changing Russia. We will also explore the development in the 1990s of a "postmodern" Russian culture, as we examine such themes as nationalism and exile, aesthetics, and consumerism. Writers under discussion include Tolstaia, Erofeev, Petrushevskaia, Makanin, Pelevin, and Ulitskaya.

RUSS 398F: RUSSIAN FOLKLORE AND FAIRYTALES
Dr Ogden
Discover the world of Russian fairy tales and other genres of folklore, both in their original form within an oral tradition and as reworked in Russian art and literature. Learn to recognize the recurring plots, characters, and elements of folktales; distinguish among genres of folklore; and examine differences between folklore and other forms of artistic creation in composition, structure, and perspective. Readings will include comparative material from Western European folk traditions, and will also survey Slavic and Eastern European folklore beyond Russia to investigate the rich vein of vampire and werewolf stories. All readings in English translation.
Prerequisites: None. Requirements satisfied: Humanities, Literature, Cultural Awareness A (for Russian-language students) and C.

 RUSS 399: Independent Study
Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department chair is required; for undergraduate students. 3-6 credits.

RUSS 598: Selected Topics in Russian
Courses focus intensively on selected topics in Russian cultural and/or literary movements. Course content varies and will be announced in the schedule of courses by suffix and title. May be repeated for credit under a different suffix. Individual RUSS 598 courses are listed below.

RUSS 598A: The Popular Voice in Literature
Dr. Alexander Ogden

This course examines the idea of the “voice of the people” in literature. How is it portrayed in canonical texts? What defines popular literature? Who speaks for “the people”? We’ll consider the origins and unique features of national literary traditions; how “the folk” (das Volk, le peuple, narod) is defined; intersections of folklore and literature; theories of popular culture and pop literature. Literary examples, particularly ones from Russia, will provide an important test case for ideas of the popular.

RUSS 598C/FILM 598C: Stalin's Terror in Literature and Film
Dr. Alexander Ogden

This course focuses on both classic treatments of Stalinist terror and recent attempts to make sense of the Stalinist legacy. Along with a number of devastating personal accounts in both writing and film of the purges, show trials, and labor camps, we investigate darkly satirical portrayals of "normal" life in the 1920s and 1930s and bizarrely happy musicals from the height of the terror. Throughout the course we will ask what motivated these writers and filmmakers? How did they find images and language to depict the sinister absurdity of life under Stalin? What do they reveal about what happens to people's emotions, interactions, and outlook when living in a labor camp, or when living under a totalitarian regime? What can words capture that film cannot, and vice versa? Prerequisites: None. All readings in English; films are subtitled.

RUSS 598L/LING 540R (Topics in Linguistics): Russian Culture Through Language
Dr. Curtis Ford

This course is designed for students of varying backgrounds in Russian language and culture, including those who have never studied Russian or linguistics. Topics under discussion include the origins of the Russian language and its development in the writings of Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky; sociolinguistic issues, such as the way Russians address one another, make requests, and apologize; and the differences between Russian and American modes of communication. Students will gain insight into Russian culture, the interactions of Russian people with one another and with the West, and the way these phenomena are expressed through language. Prerequisites: None. All readings in English.

RUSS 598F/FILM 598: Introduction to Russian Film
Dr. Alexander Ogden

The revolutionary techniques of Russian filmmakers have had a major impact on the development of world cinema. This course will consider classic works by Sergei Eisenstein (Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky) and Dziga Vertov (Man with the Movie Camera); Soviet epics (Andrei Rublëv, Rasputin); and experiments of the 1980s and post-Communist cinema (Repentance, Little Vera, Burnt by the Sun). We will place Russian film in the context of the historical events, cultural debates, and political intrigues of twentieth-century Russia. Reading for the course will draw on the theoretical writings of Russian filmmakers, the film criticism of the Russian formalist critics, and recent scholarly studies. In-class discussion will focus on the films themselves, the background reading, and issues raised during student presentations. Prerequisites: None. All readings in English; films are subtitled.

RUSS 598/CPLT 881: Russian Literary Theory
Dr. Alexander Ogden

This course will provide an introduction to some of the basic concepts that have occupied Russian theorists and that in many cases have become fundamental to literary theory worldwide. These include such ideas as art as "infection"; art as "device"; defamiliarization; laughter and carnival; the chronotope; monologic vs. dialogic discourse; primary and secondary modeling systems. Our primary concern will be with literary analysis, but we will also consider how Russian theory has contributed to and been enriched by contact with other fields, including the study of folklore, linguistics, history, and film. We will trace the continuities (and forcible breaks) of literary theory in the Soviet Union and will consider the cultural context in which these writers worked. We will also question how formalism, structuralism, and semiotics in the Soviet Union were different from their counterparts in the West.

RUSS 598H: HOMER IN RUSSIA (meets with CPLT 415H)
Dr. Kalb
The Greek poet Homer, fabled author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, has played an important and ongoing role in Russian culture. Translating the Homeric epics, rewriting them in a Russian context, and using Homeric characters to comment on a distinctly modern and Russian reality, Russian writers seized upon Homer as a crucial instrument in discussions of Russian culture and national identity. We will study the Homeric texts and then move on to Russian authors including Gogol, Tolstoy, Brodsky, and Ulitskaya, as we delve into the understudied field of Russian reception of the classical tradition.
Prerequisites: None. Requirements satisfied: Humanities, Literature, Cultural Awareness A (for Russian-language students) and C.
N.B. This course is available for undergraduate and graduate credit. Graduate students will be expected to fulfill additional requirements, including, when possible, completion of reading assignments in Russian.

RUSS 790: Directed Reading and Research
A course for graduate students wishing to pursue specific advanced projects in Russian. Special permission required from the professor. 1-3 credits.