Demons, Rebels, Madmen, Fools: Non-Conformists in Russian Literature, Culture, and Film


Examines the Russian anti-hero as literary figure, social critic, religious seeker, and revolutionary. The non-conformist hero performs an ethical role in culture, speaking truth to power and suffering the consequences. The tension between hero and society produces one of the world's great literary traditions, and offers a framework for understanding Russia's lurid history. Subjects include the scetic monk, holy fool, anarchist, political revolutionary, Gulag prisoner, drunkard, murderer, punk poet, vampire, and demon. The course will discuss folk tales, hagiographies, stories, poems, songs, films, and multimedia. Authors will include Avvakum, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Leskov, Chekhov, Shukshin, Erofeev, Pelevin, Tolstaya, Pussy Riot, and Tarkovsky.
Curriculum Codes
  • CCI
  • EI
  • ALP
  • CZ
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring