RUSSIAN 561 - Russian Modernism: Decadence, Symbolism, and the Avant-garde in Russia
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Russian (RUSSIAN)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
Credit Exclusions:
May not be repeated for credit.
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Undergrad and Grad
Meet Together Classes:
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This course examines one of the richest periods of Russian writing. Among the major themes are: the repeated re-making of the literary world in response to major economic and political transformations; how authors of the period addressed the ever-pressing issue(s) of the writer in Russian society; the repeated re-construction of ideas of nation in the writing of the period; the development of a literary culture that was, simultaneously, the product of a self-conscious cultural elite and the producer of a self-conscious popular orientation; gender and sexuality in an age of radical change; the specific features of Russian Modernism that distinguish it from comparable cultural phenomena elsewhere; and the meaning of the problematic encounter between Modernism and Soviet power, which generated some of the most important works of Russian literature between the Bolshevik coup and the onset of High Stalinism.

It is assumed that most students will have, at best, passing familiarity with the history of Russian literature and will know very little about individual authors, so the course will introduce each text and author in a briefly-sketched cultural and historical context. This course will aim to develop key skills of literary analysis by detailed exploration, in the perspectives provided by various critical and scholarly methodologies, of landmark texts. Students will be asked to write a series of analytical papers outside of class, to complete three major online writing assignments (of which at least two will include detailed textual analysis of exemplary passages), and to contribute to an online forum for the class.

Course Requirements:

Written assignments for the course are: three papers (each of approximately 2,000 words in length), three online writing assignments (recommended length – approximately 1,500 words), and seven responses to topics for discussion posted on the course web site; those forum responses, of 250-300 words, will be designed to prepare students for each of the more formal writing assignments. Papers should be clearly written, making ample use of course materials, and of the regular online discussions. Students are required to submit drafts of the first two papers for advance discussion and to attend one-on-one consultations with their instructor.

RUSSIAN 561 - Russian Modernism: Decadence, Symbolism, and the Avant-garde in Russia
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780140449976
Red cavalry and other stories, Author: Isaac Babel ; edited with notes by Efraim Sicher ; translated with an introduction by David McDuff., Publisher: Penguin Classics Reissue. 2005
ISBN: 1618113704
Russian Silver age poetry : texts and contexts
ISBN: 0806530081
The Adolescence of Zhenya Luvers, Author: Pasternak, Boris, Publisher: Philosophical Library 2007
ISBN: 9781903517604
The Dedalus book of Russian decadence : perversity, despair and collapse, Publisher: Dedalus 2007
ISBN: 9781590173053
The foundation pit, Author: Andrey Platonov ; a new translation from the definitive Russian text by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler, Olga Meerson ; with notes and an afterword by Robert Chandler and Olga Meerson., Publisher: New York Review Books 2009
ISBN: 9780882338088
The petty demon, Author: Fyodor Sologub ; translated and introduced by S.D. Cioran, with an appendix and critical articles ; edited by Murl Barker., Publisher: Ardis [Rev. ed.] 1989
ISBN: 9781843914310
Wings, Author: Mikhail Kuzmin., Publisher: Hesperus 2007
ISBN: 9780253202192
Petersburg, Author: Andrei Bely [i.e. B.N. Bugaev] ; translated, annotated, and introduced by Robert A. Maguire and John E. Malmstad., Publisher: Indiana University Press 1978
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