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Winter Academic Term 2003 Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Winter Academic Term 2003 on in order to use the link "Check Times, Location, and Availability". Once your session is established, the links will function.

Courses in Slavic Linguistics, Literary Theory, Film, and Surveys

This page was created at 11:52 AM on Thu, Feb 6, 2003.

Winter Academic Term, 2003 (January 6 - April 25)

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SLAVIC 151. First Year Seminar.

Section 001 New York, Paris, St. Petersburg: The City in Literature.

Instructor(s): Bogdana Carpenter (

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (4). (Introductory Composition). Laboratory fee may be required. May not be repeated for credit.

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (4).

Lab Fee: Laboratory fee may be required.

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will examine the image of the city in literature. Starting with the ancient Greek concept of polis and ending with contemporary America, it will follow the evolution of the city and its mythology through history. One of the most important components of modern civilization, the city is also a significant expression of cultural values and thus an excellent focal point for studying cultural differences, both across geographic and temporal boundaries. Cities can be unifying spaces, as in ancient Greece, but they can also be dividing spaces as in 20th-century Europe and America, when ghettoization became one of the distinctive features of the urban landscape. The course will examine the symbolism of the city in literature, and discuss it against the background of historical evidence.

Readings include passages from:

  • The Iliad;
  • Balzac's Pere Goriot;
  • Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment;
  • Albert Camus' The Fall;
  • Italo Calvino's The Invisible Cities;
  • James Baldwin's If Beal Street Could Talk;
  • poems by Baudelaire, Poe and Milosz;
  • films;
  • plus a course pack available at Accu-Copy.

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

SLAVIC 270. Contract and Conflict: Jewish Experience in Eastern Europe through Art, Film and Literature.

Slavic Surveys

Section 001 Contacts & Conflicts: Jews & Non-Jews in Eastern Europe in the Past Millennium. Meets with Judaic Studies 317.002.

Instructor(s): Mikhail Krutikov

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.


Credits: (3).

Course Homepage:

Until the Holocaust the majority of Jews in the world lived in Eastern and Central Europe. For centuries Jews lived in that multi-ethnic and multicultural region side by side with people of other nationalities and religions (Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Germans). The Jewish-Christian coexistence was not always easy, but, despite all the tensions and conflicts, the Jews of Eastern and Central Europe succeeded in creating a most original and diverse culture that combined profound religious piety with extreme secularism, and political and aesthetic conservatism with daring experiments in literature, arts, and film. We will explore the richness of East/Central European Jewish cultural heritage through the prism of fiction, poetry, memoirs, and movies, which were originally created in a variety of Jewish and non-Jewish languages. Special attention will be given to the experience of women and to their role in the society, their creativity, and their relationships with men. We will also learn how individual Jews and Jewish communities responded to the challenges of antisemitism, assimilation, modernization, and urbanization in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition we will learn how Jews were portrayed by non-Jewish writers and film makers.

Among the works that we will read and discuss are:

  • the novels and short stories of Yiddish classical writers Mendele Moykher Sforim, Sholem Aleichem, and Y.L. Peretz;
  • novellas of Yiddish modernists David Bergelson, the brothers I.J. Singer and Isaac Bashevis Singer and their sister Esther Kreitman;
  • fiction and poetry of the Hebrew authors Hayim Nachman Bialik and Hayim Hazaz;
  • Russian works by Anton Chekhov, Isaac Babel, and S. Ansky;
  • Polish prose by Eliza Orzeszkowa and Bruno Szulc;
  • works by the Czech author Jiri Langer;
  • journalistic reports by the German-Austrian novelist Joseph Roth, and others.

All readings will be in English, and students do not need to have any prerequisite knowledge of Judaism, European or Jewish history. Requirements: Two short papers and a final exam.

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

SLAVIC 312 / RCHUMS 312. Central European Cinema.

Slavic Film

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Herbert J Eagle (

Prerequisites & Distribution: A knowledge of Russian is not required. (3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($10) required. May not be repeated for credit.

Upper-Level Writing R&E Foreign Lit

Credits: (3).

Lab Fee: Laboratory fee ($10) 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 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).

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

SLAVIC 396 / REES 396 / HISTORY 333 / POLSCI 396 / SOC 393. Survey of East Central Europe.

Slavic Surveys

Section 001 The Political Economy of Transformation in Eastern Europe. Meets with Anthropology 317.001.

Instructor(s): Katherine M Verdery

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in REES 397. (4). (SS). Laboratory fee ($10) required. May not be repeated for credit.

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

Lab Fee: Laboratory fee ($10) required.

Course Homepage:

See Cultural Anthropology 317.001.

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

SLAVIC 470. Topics in Cultural Studies of Central. Eastern, and Southern Europe.

Slavic Surveys

Section 001 The Shtetl: Myth and Reality. Meets with Judaic 496.012

Instructor(s): Mikhail Krutikov

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). May be elected up to three times for credit.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage:

For over than three centuries the majority of East European Jews lived in numerous shtetlekh, small market towns that served as centers of local trade and commerce. The shtetl, with its distinct character, became the primary setting of nineteenth-century Yiddish literature. It also left a lasting impact on Jewish imagination and historical memory. The course will explore complex interactions between reality and imagination, as the shtetl mythology has gradually become a key feature of Jewish "usable past," particularly in the United States. We will look into a variety of historical sources, memoirs, works of fiction and literary criticism, as well as examine visual representations of the shtetl in art and film. A reading knowledge of one of the following languages: Russian, Polish, German, Yiddish, or Hebrew is desirable. The COURSE will combine lectures, group discussions, and student presentations.

Assessment: one 2,500-word essay, one oral presentation based on a work that is not included in the required reading list, active participation in class discussions.

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

Graduate Course Listings for SLAVIC.


This page was created at 11:52 AM on Thu, Feb 6, 2003.

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