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.

Bunin: Mystery of the Russian Soul and Metaphysical Memory

Prose works of Ivan Bunin; emphasis on elements of tragedy, metaphysical representations, phenomenological novel and modernism, synthesis of verbal and visual art forms. Works include The Life of Arsenyer, Village, Sun Stroke, Light Breathing, Grammar of Love, Transformations, Pure Monday, and autobiographical and critical writings. Taught in Russian. Primary readings in Russian; secondary readings in Russian and English. One course.


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

Tolstoy and Dostoevsky

Selected representative short works and most of the major novels of Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky. The great issues and their vivid dramatization will be considered in the light of the author's irreconcilable approaches to the human condition, culture, artistic goals, and narrative technique. Not open to students who have taken this course as 89S or have taken RUSSIAN 175 or 323. One course.

Tolstoy and the Russian Experience

Historical approach to Tolstoy's depictions of major societal and ethical issues (e.g., war, peace, marriage, death, religion, relationships). Culture of salons, print culture, censorship, and changing political climate. Central questions on the relationship of fiction and history: uses of fiction for understanding history and dangers of such an approach. Readings include selected fiction of Tolstoy, excerpts from journals and letters, and critical and historical accounts of nineteenth-century Russia. 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.

Women in Contemporary Russian Society

Explores the political, social, economic, and domestic challenges facing women in post-soviet Russia and analyzes Russian women's collective and individual responses through activism, organization, journalism, and the arts. Specific topics include women in official/oppositional politics, women and the market, women's health and physical welfare. One course.