SLAVIC 470 - Topics in Cultural Studies of Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe
Section: 001 Shtetl: Image and Reality
Term: FA 2009
Subject: Slavic Languages and Literatures (SLAVIC)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
Class Misc Info:
This is a videoconferencing course, connecting with European University in St. Petersburg.
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Until the Holocaust, the majority of East European Jews lived in numerous shtetlekh, small market towns that served as local hubs of trade and commerce. The shtetl was the primary setting of many classical works of Yiddish and Hebrew literature and left a lasting impact on Jewish imagination and memory. But what was real about the shtetl, and what was imaginary? What was true, and what was sentimental wish-fantasy? How do the image and reality interact?

This class will be co-taught by the University of Michigan and the European University at St. Petersburg. Two groups of students, one in Ann Arbor, the other one in St. Petersburg, will study together via distance learning equipment. Methodologically, the class will combine literary, historical, and anthropological approach. Works of Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian literature will be read through the ethnographic lenses, using field and research materials from the recent expeditions to Ukrainian shtetlekh.

Through a variety of different media ­— not only different kinds of writing, but also painting and film — this course will explore the interaction between reality and imagination in the representation of the shtetl. While this class can serve as an introduction to East European Jewish culture, it will also address more general issue.

  • How is collective memory formed?
  • How is a cultural legacy preserved and transmitted?
  • What is the nature of the relationship between fiction and reality?

SLAVIC 470 - Topics in Cultural Studies of Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
W 10:00AM - 1:00PM
002 (LEC)
W 1:00PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for SLAVIC 470 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)