RUSSIAN 220 - New Writing in the New Russia
Section: 001
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Russian (RUSSIAN)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Other:
WorldLit
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course looks at literature in Putin’s Russia – at the new kinds of writing, new markets, new means of distribution, and new roles for writers that have emerged in the last twenty years; and at the relationship of writers and writing to the post-Soviet Russian state. The course will examine the way that writers have responded to transformation, crisis, and the creation of a new socio-political and economic environment for literature. Belles lettres dealing with old and new issues (the situation of Russian women, the fate of the Russian countryside and the Russian provinces, new and not-so-new ideas about sexuality, Russia’s ethnic diversity, interpretations of history, the very idea of Russia itself) will be read and the position of authors discussed. The course will also look at the transformation of the popular literature market, with the creation of native genres drawing on foreign models. New market conditions and new political situations have created new roles and positions for Russian authors, which the course will interrogate: are Russian writers still as politically engaged as they were in the Soviet period; are literary polemics still as intense; do the questions of nationality and a national literature still loom large for Russian literature; what has the new economic world done to popular and “high” literature; what can we learn from the squabbles over literary prizes and internet publications in the new Russia; what new forms have emerged and to what effect; what does it mean nowadays to be a Russian writer or a Russian reader?

The course provides students with instruments for reading literature in its social context, by examining in broad, introductory ways, the relationship of text to society. It also looks at how culture, both high and popular, responds to and is itself shaped by radical social transformation – at the issues of change and continuity which generate and reform meaning in works of literature. Students will be exposed to a wide range of literary texts (from detective fiction to prize-winning “high-cultural” novels, from stories about the lives of Russian women today to pieces of elaborate fantasy), giving them a sense of the huge cultural diversity and intense ideological discussion implied in or generated by Russian writing today. In doing so, they will be able to map many areas of the world’s biggest country in its ongoing process of dramatic change.

Class Format:

The course will also develop skills in analytical writing, requiring students to examine both very specific, materials-based topics and broader, conceptual issues. All assigned materials will be available in English. Two 1500-2000-word papers and a final paper of approximately 3000 words.

RUSSIAN 220 - New Writing in the New Russia
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
P
30297
Open
45
 
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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