RUSSIAN 358 - Central Asia through Russian Eyes: Cultural Appropriation of an Exotic Land
Section: 001 Central Asia through Russian Eyes: Cultural Appropriation of an Exotic Land
Term: WN 2009
Subject: Russian (RUSSIAN)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
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Taught in English.
May not be repeated for credit.
Undergrad and Grad
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Russia's expansion to the East throughout the imperial period provided a cultural, political, and geographical setting for Russian literature and fine arts, dramatically enriching their thematic range. But it also posed challenging questions:

  • Did Russia belong to the East or West?
  • Could Russians perceive their expansion in terms of Europe's mission to civilize the "barbaric" world?
  • How did newly included non-Russian ethnic groups helped reevaluate the Russian self?

The course will address these fundamental issues by exploring key literary and fine arts representations of Turkmenistan — the conventional name for culturally divergent Central Asian lands conquered in 1860-1880. We will discuss why and when Russians' curiosity about the region arose and how their perceptions of its culture have evolved in a changing political environment since the 19th century and all the way into the 21st. Throughout the course, we will highlight how Russian intellectuals' impulse to construct a national identity for the borderland peoples contributed to the Russians' own troubled quest for their authentic self. We will also discuss how Russian positioned themselves in regard to the social, intellectual, and religious values associated with Muslim culture. Emphasis will be placed on metropolis-colony relations, national identity, gender, and religious issues. No prior knowledge of Russian literature, language, or history is required.

RUSSIAN 358 - Central Asia through Russian Eyes: Cultural Appropriation of an Exotic Land
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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