Russian Stylistics and Conversation

Refinement of stylistic control and range in spoken and written Russian through intensive textual analysis, including literary (prose and poetry) texts, popular and scholarly journals, and film. Emphasis on fluent discursive skills, as well as development of expository prose style and rhetorical strategies. Taught in Russian. Prerequisite: RUSSIAN 401 and 402, or consent of instructor. One course.

Senior Honors Seminar

Introduction to methods of research and writing, including selection of thesis topics, preliminary research and organization, and writing of the thesis. In-depth analysis of Russian or other Slavic language texts required. Consent of the instructor or director of undergraduate studies required. One course.

Beat Generation/Russian New Wave: Cultural Dissent in the Cold War

Exploration of identity formation and cultural dissent in US and Soviet Union during Cold War through lens of Beat Generation and New Wave literature and film; explores cultural dissent in relation to both a given culture context but also considers how such dissent is read and appropriated in comparative contexts; introduces students to key figures/features of respective movements, placing these in historical context; figures include: Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Snyder, R. Frank, Aksyonov, Bitov, Akhmadulina, Voznesensky, Visotsky, Tarkovsky and Yevtushenko. One course.


Drama and prose works. Taught in English. Not open to students who have taken THEATRST 157S/RUSSIAN 174S (Chekhov). One course.

Chekhov for Writers

Anton Chekhov as teacher and guide for students of the English and North American short story. Critical analysis combined with writing practicum in a workshop-format seminar. Topics addressed include the role of imitation and parody in the writing process; problems of translation; plagiarism and its limits; critical and scholarly approaches to the short story in the English and Russian traditions; literature across cultural and linguistic boundaries; dramatic versus narrative modes.


Introduction to life, works, and criticism. Readings include: Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov. Taught in English. One course.

The Struggle for Justice and Faith: Russian Literature and Culture, 1855-1900

Considers how Russian writers, artists and activists addressed 19th-century Russia's cursed questions of “who is to blame” and “what is to be done”: specifically, how to reform an increasingly reactionary autocracy; how to bear witness for an impoverished underclass; what roles women should play in culture and politics; how to resist or improve on a soulless West; how to justify the existence of God in an unjust world. Course texts may include fiction and memoirs by Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Kovalevskaia, Figner; works of fine art, drama, and opera. One course.

The Quest for Identity: Russian Literature and Culture, 1800-1855

Examines how Russian writers and artists distinguished imperial Russia's modern political, social, and cultural identity under “Western eyes.” Topics include search for “truly Russian” models, topics, and styles; domestic debate between “Westernizing” and “Slavophile” camps; emergence of women writers; relations between urban and provincial cultures; connections between national identity formation and empire building.