Winter '00 Course Guide

Courses in Slavic Linguistics, Literary Theory, Film, and Surveys (Division 474)

Winter Term, 2000 (January 5 April 26, 2000)

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Slavic 240. Introduction to Slavic Folklore.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Benjamin Stolz (bastolz@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU).

Foriegn Lit

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The course aims to give beginning students a background for the study of folklore in general, as well as special insight into the folklore and folklife of the Slavic peoples (including dress, music, dance, cooking, customs, ritual). Lectures, readings, and discussions will provide an introduction to the varied folklore of the Slavs, who form the largest population of Central and Eastern Europe, encompassing the West Slavs (Poles, Czechs, Slovaks), East Slavs (Russians, Belorussians, Ukrainians), and South Slavs (Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Bosnian Muslims, Macedonians, Bulgarians). Within the wide range of traditional oral verse and prose, primary emphasis will be placed on the epic, ballad, lyric, and folktale including the highly developed vampire tale of the South Slavs. Finally, the course will examine survival and adaptation of folkloric forms in contemporary society. No specialized background required. All reading in English. Short papers, midterm, and final examination.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Slavic 312/RC Hums. 312. Central European Cinema.

Section 001 Race, Ethnicity and Gender Issues

Instructor(s): Herbert Eagle (hjeagle@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A knowledge of Russian is not required. (3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($50) required.

R&E Foriegn Lit

Credits: (3).

Lab Fee: Laboratory fee ($50) required.

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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 will also 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).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

Slavic 396/REES 396/Hist. 333/Poli. Sci. 396/Soc. 393. Survey of East Central Europe.

Section 001 Eastern Europe Since 1900. Meets with History 439.001

Instructor(s): Brian Porter (baporter@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in REES 397. (4). (SS). Laboratory fee ($10) required.

Credits: (4; 3 in the half-term).

Lab Fee: Laboratory fee ($10) required.

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See History 439.001.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Slavic 490. Culture and Politics in Russia Today.

Section 003 The Czech New Wave (Film). Meets With REES 405.001. Meets January 18, 25 and February 1, 8, 15, 22.

Instructor(s): Herbert Eagle (hjeagle@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of four credits.

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The fresh approaches of Czech New Wave directors surprised the world in the mid-1960s. A new generation of filmmakers displayed an impressive range of styles from the gentle comic grotesque of Jiri Menzel, the menacing absurdism of Jan Nemec and the dadaist satire of Vera Chytilova to the pseudo-cinema-verite of Milos Forman and the nuanced psychological realism of Jan Kadar. The films were not only artistically innovative, they were often subversive with respect to the bureaucratic Communism of the Novotny regime. The filmmakers exposed the constant repression, the loss of moral and civic values, the lack of meaningful prospects for youth, the subservience of women to a patriarchal order, and the regime's fostering of antisemitism. The movement in film was a harbinger of the Prague Spring, the reform movement led by Alexander Dubcek. And the Czech New Wave directors suffered the same fate as the political reformers (repression and blacklisting) after the Soviet-led invasion in August 1968. Menzel's Larks on a String, the final masterpiece of the Czech New Wave, was banned from distribution until after the fall of Communism in 1989.

Films: Jan Kadar and Elmar Klos, Shop on Main Street (1965); Milos Forman, Loves of a Blonde (1965), Firemen's Ball (1967); Jiri Menzel, Closely Watched Trains (1966), Larks on a String (1969); Vera Chytilova, Daisies (1966); Jan Nemec, Report on the Party and the Guests (1968).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Slavic 490. Culture and Politics in Russia Today.

Section 004 Polish Film. Meets with REES 410.001. Meets Tues, March 7-April 11. Films Will Be Shown 7-9

Instructor(s): Herbert Eagle (hjeagle@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of four credits.

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Since the 1950s, Polish filmmakers have distinguished themselves through challenging cinema, in spite of Communist Party censorship. The first wave of graduates of the State film school at Lodz (which included Wajda, Munk, and Polanski) garnered international prizes at Cannes and elsewhere. Although directors were expected to adhere to the principles of "Socialist Realism" (which required an idealized Communist version of past and present), these filmmakers were able to use intricate symbolism, absurdist allegory, and subtle satire to condemn the loss of decency and civic values in Communist society. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Wajda and a new generation of innovative filmmakers (among them Zanussi, Holland, Has, and Kieslowski) continued to break new ground aesthetically and thematically, tackling tough moral and social issues. Kieslowski was the first to critique post-Communist Poland, in his celebrated White.

Films: Andrzej Wajda, Ashes and Diamonds (1958), Man of Marble (1976); Roman Polanski, Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958), Knife in the Water (1961); Krzysztof Zanussi, Camouflage (1976); Wojciech Has, The Sanatorium under the Hourglass (1974); Agnieszka Holland, A Woman Alone (1981); Wojciech Marczewski, Shivers (1981); Krzysztof Kieslowski, Camera Buff (1979), White.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Slavic 490. Culture and Politics in Russia Today.

Section 005 Apocalypse Now? Scriabin & Russian Culture At the Turn of the Century. (1 credit). Meets with CREES 405.004. Contact CREES at crees@umich.edu for More Info

Instructor(s): Michael Makin (mlmakin@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of four credits.

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

In the winter term of the new millennium, CREES and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, in conjunction with the School of Music and the University Musical Society, will offer an innovative, broadly interdisciplinary mini-course on Russian culture from 1890 to 1915, focusing on the music of Alexander Scriabin. Organized around a series of concerts, multi-media events, and a half-day symposium, this course will explore the historical and artistic context of fin-de-siècle Russia and will seek to interpret the work of Scriabin as a dominant figure in Russian culture. Scriabin was influenced by Occult philosophy, eastern mysticism, and a fascination with modern technologies that typified his age and resonate with our own millennial preoccupations.

In cooperation with the Media Union, we intend to re-create the art milieu, music, and atmosphere of the era. Using current technology we will evoke the core syncratic preoccupation of Russian culture at the turn of the century, a combination of music, visual arts, and sensory perception, infused with religious and even mystical aspirations.

This course will allow us to follow the implications of Russia's historical experience to the end of the Old Regime and to examine current millennial concerns. In addition to an existing contingent of graduate and undergraduate students interested in Russian culture, we hope to attract a broad group of students from across the University to these events. No background in Russian language or culture or music is required; all interested students, regardless of concentration or program of study, are welcome to register.

Students taking the course for credit will be required to attend two 2-hr. class sessions (January 20, 4-6 p.m. and January 27 4-6 p.m.) as well as two concerts (January 23 and January 24) and one half-day symposium (January 23). A 10-page research paper will be required; grading will be done taking the academic background of the student into consideration. A laboratory fee may be assessed.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: Contact CREES at crees@umich.edu for More Info.

Slavic 545. Workshop in Slavic Linguistics.

Section 001 Language and Nation in the Balkans.

Instructor(s): Benjamin Stolz (bastolz@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The workshop will examine the development of the South Slavic Standard Languages (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and Slovenian) with special emphasis on the interrelated growth of national identity and nationalism. The course will be conducted in a modified seminar format, featuring lectures, oral presentations of short papers by participants, discussions, and a final paper.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

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