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LSA Course Guide Search Results: UG, GR, Winter 2007, Dept = SLAVIC
 
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Title
Section
Instructor
Term
Credits
Requirements
SLAVIC 151 — First Year Seminar
Section 001, SEM
World Utopia and Dystopia in Fiction and Film

Instructor: Khagi,Sofya

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: FYWR
Other: FYSem

Both utopia (describing an imaginary ideal society) and dystopia (describing an imaginary evil society) have captured the imagination of numerous generations of readers. This course investigates the history of these exciting genres across national boundaries through critical writing and reading. It traces the evolution of the genres from the works of antiquity and the Renaissance, through the nineteenth century and the development of Socialist rationalist utopia, to the great age of dystopia, and up to postmodern parodic novels. It explores how English, Russian, American, Czech, Polish, and other utopias/dystopias respond to key socio-political developments in the world, and how they react to various cultural movements (e.g., Romanticism, the Avant-Garde, Postmodernism), as well as how they take on various aspects of fantasy and science fiction. Authors will include Thomas More, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Evgeny Zamyatin, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Karel Čapek, Stanisław Lem, Thomas Pynchon, and Vladimir Voinovich. Select Anglo-American, German, and Russian movies will be shown.

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

SLAVIC 281 — Jews in the Modern World: Texts, Images, Ideas
Section 001, LEC
Jews in the Modern World: Texts, Images, Ideas

Instructor: Pinsker,Shahar M
Instructor: Krutikov,Mikhail
Instructor: Levinson,Julian Arnold

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: HU, RE

In this course students will examine the multiple ways in which Jews in Europe, America, Israel and the Middle East have responded to the cultural, political, economic, and social forces of modernity. By focusing on a variety of textual and visual material from the late 18th century to the present (including literary texts, fine arts, film, architecture), students will have an opportunity to explore the processes by which Jewish culture has been shaped and re-shaped in the face of unprecedented new freedoms and persecutions. The development of Jewish life from the late 18th century to the present offers a microcosm for the study of race, ethnicity, and racism in the modern world and the course will illustrate how deeply embedded racial, ethnic, and religious discourses are in any discussion of Jews. This course is team-taught by three professors: Julian Levinson from English Language and Literature; Shachar Pinsker from Near Eastern Studies; and Mikhail Krutikov from Slavic Studies. This course fulfills the New Traditions and Race and Ethnicity requirements. Requirements include short response papers, a midterm, and final paper.

SLAVIC 312 — Central European Cinema
Section 001, LEC
Race, Ethnicity & Gender Issue

Instructor: Eagle,Herbert J; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: ULWR, HU, RE
Other: WorldLit

During four decades of Communist Party rule, the film industries of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia were under state control. One positive result of this was ample funding for serious films about social and political topics; one serious drawback was the existence of a censorship apparatus which made criticism of the policies of the existing regimes very difficult (though not impossible). Nonetheless, in certain thematic areas, particularly those dealing with racial and ethnic intolerance and with the plight of women in patriarchal societies, filmmakers in East Central Europe were able to be more incisive, frank, and provocative than is generally possible within the profit-driven, entertainment-oriented Hollywood film industry. This is not to say that the Communist regimes themselves gave priority to ameliorating the living conditions of their ethnic minorities or of women. But talented and committed filmmakers were able to take advantage of the progressive official pronouncements of these regimes with regard to ethnic and gender issues in order to craft powerful films, films which the regimes had no grounds to suppress or censor.

This course will study some of the most important films made in four thematic categories:

  1. the Holocaust — the reactions of people in East Central Europe to the genocidal plans of the Nazis, from indifference and collaboration to heroic acts of altruism
  2. ethnic discrimination and its consequences in more recent years — the depressed economic status of the Roma (Gypsies); animosity among Croats, Serbs, Moslem Bosnians and Albanians, leading to Yugoslavia's past and present civil wars — as well as the countervailing examples of a commonality of humanistic values and peaceful coexistence among people of these ethnicities
  3. women's lives under state socialism — women in the work force in large numbers, but plagued by a "double" or "triple" burden, with continued primary responsibility for domestic work and child care, as well as by persistent patriarchal attitudes toward sex and marriage in society as a whole
  4. the response of Central Europe's leading women filmmakers, who, in different contexts and with different stylistic approaches, have presented heroines who rebel and struggle against the patriarchal order

We will view and discuss films from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and Macedonia dealing with the above issues. We also will give attention to the artistic structure of the films — how they go about transmitting their themes with power and emotion. Evaluation will be based on class participation and three short (5-6 page) papers; all students must write a paper for Unit I, and then for two of the remaining three units (the course is divided into four units).

Advisory Prerequisite: A knowledge of Russian is not required.

SLAVIC 396 — Survey of East Central Europe
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Kennedy,Michael D; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: SS

Credit Exclusions: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in REES 397.

An interdisciplinary survey of the people, history, politics, government, economy, social institutions, literature, and arts of the communist and post-communist states of Eastern Europe and their relations with the rest of the world. Lectures and discussions.

SLAVIC 470 — Topics in Cultural Studies of Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe
Section 001, LEC
Urbicide: Violence Against the City

Instructor: Herscher,Andrew H; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

During the wars in Bosnia and Croatia in the 1990s, the term "urbicide" emerged to describe violence aimed specifically at cities. Using case studies in ex-Yugoslavia, Israel/Palestine, Zimbabwe, Iraq and the United States, this seminar will study urbicide as a form of political violence, mode of urbanism, subject of textual and visual representation, and product of cultural ideology.

In the seminar, we will investigate such questions as:

  • What continuities underlie urban destruction in war and in processes sanctioned as "modernization," "urban renewal," and "reconstruction"?
  • How can the interpretive tools of architecture and urbanism be applied to violence against buildings and cities?
  • How does the textual and visual representation of urbicide shape its effects and remembrance?
  • How do testimonies, diaristic accounts, visual documentation and reportage differ as modes of witnessing violence such as urbicide?

Course material will include theoretical readings on space and violence; narrative accounts of urban destruction; photographic documentation; and film and video. As well as providing students with an introduction to the particular subject of urbicide, the course will also introduce students to a set of more general issues, including the theorization of the city; the visual and textual representation of violence; the problematics of witnessing; and the city as a site of visual and textual production.


SLAVIC 470 — Topics in Cultural Studies of Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe
Section 003, LEC
Cultural History of Russian Jews through Literature and Arts

Instructor: Krutikov,Mikhail

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: ULWR

The course spans over two hundred years of Jewish cultural activity in Russia. At the theoretical level, the course will address such issues as multilingualism, minority culture in an imperial context, relationships between culture and ethnicity and culture and religion. At the practical level, we will discuss a wide variety of works of literature, criticism, essays, visual arts and cinema. Structurally the course consists of four section: a historical introduction, two case studies of the cities of St. Petersburg and Odessa as major centers of Jewish cultural production in the Russian Empire, and an overview of the Soviet period.

SLAVIC 490 — Issues in the Cultures of Eastern Europe
Section 002, LEC
Rock Kills Communism: Dismantling of the Totalitarian State in Poland. 1 credit. March 7 — April 11. (Drop/Add deadline=Mar. 13).

Instructor: Westwalewicz,Piotr Antoni; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 1
Other: Minicourse

Rock music was the primary factor in the process of defeating totalitarianism in Poland — argued Franciszek Walicki, one of the prominent veterans of Polish pop music, during a conference on rock and politics in Gdańsk in 2000.

Did Polish popular culture destroy the very foundations of Communism? Or did the decline of Communism allow the increasingly critical voices of prominent cabaret artists, pop musicians and cartoonists to express the sentiments of the population?

A study of Polish popular culture in the 1970's and 1980's, the last two decades of the Communist rule in Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries. Humor, music, political and social commentary by such icons of Polish counterculture as Młynarski, Grzeskowiak, Chyła, Mleczko, Olewicz, Hołdys, Mogielnicki, Ciechowski, and others. A detailed analysis of texts, drawings, performances and films documenting the gradual collapse of the Communist control of all aspects of life.

Grading will be based on attendance, participation, and short reflection papers.

All required readings will be contained in a course pack.

No knowledge of Polish language and culture necessary.

SLAVIC 490 — Issues in the Cultures of Eastern Europe
Section 003, LEC
Ethnicity & Violence in the Former Yugoslavia. Course meets March 8-29. (Drop/Add deadline=Mar. 14).

Instructor: Eagle,Herbert J; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 1
Other: Minicourse

The minicourse will examine the political, economic, social and psychological factors which led to the shocking ethnic violence in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s (conflict involving Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Moslems, Albanians and Macedonians) through discussion and analysis of narrative and documentary films and accompanying historical readings. Evaluation of students' work will be based on class participation and one short paper due at semester's end.

SLAVIC 490 — Issues in the Cultures of Eastern Europe
Section 004, LEC
Music Literature and Politics. The Unbearable Lightness of Czech Arts & Politics. 1 credit. Course meets Jan 11-Feb 15. (Drop/Add deadline=Jan. 24).

Instructor: Stary,Martin

WN 2007
Credits: 1
Other: Minicourse

The course focuses on the ways music was being manifested in literary arts and to what extent both music and literature influenced political events and shaped cultural environment under the communist regime in post war Czechoslovakia (with the main stress on 1970s & 80s). Relevant historical events will be discussed. This will be a multimedia course. Literary excerpts will be studied, related music listened to, and also some movie samples watched and debated. The topics include, among others:

  • Milan Kundera's Joke: Dialogue between the Novel and Kundera's ambivalent approach to folk music;
  • Václav Havel, 'Literature from the Boiler Rooms' & Rebellion of Underground Music (Plastic People of the Universe);
  • Josef Škvorecký, the role of 68 Publishers & Ubiquitous Jazz Element in development of Škvorecký's characters;
  • Song writers, folk singers and the importance of their 'Song Poetry' in forming young generation's minds and in keeping older generation straight (Karel Kryl, Jaroslav Hutka, Jaromír Nohavica, et al.);
  • Czech poets and specific uses of their poetry in Czech Art Rock and Rhythm & Blues scene (Josef Kainar, Václav Hrabe, Pavel Srut, Petr Skoumal, et al.);
  • Bohumil Hrabal, Czech Jazz Section and the unique role of Jazz Music in crushing communist ideology.

SLAVIC 662 — Directed Reading in Slavic Linguistics
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 1 — 4

Designed for individual students who have an interest in a specific topic (usually that has stemmed from a previous course). An individual instructor must agree to direct such a reading, and the requirements are specified when approval is granted.

Advisory Prerequisite: SLAVIC 483 and permission of instructor. Graduate standing.

 
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