Russian 570 Spring 2016 The Russian World

Russian 570
The Russian World
Russian Literature and Culture
Department of European Studies
Professor Veronica Shapovalov
Office hours: T 2:00-3:00; Th 6:40-7:40 or by appointment
My office is in SH-228C
Ph. 594-7147/594-5001
Spring 2016
Course overview and objectives
We will explore Russian history and culture in the context of its surrounding nations in
Europe and Asia. Using a variety of literary, artistic (visual art, cinema, music),
historical sources students investigate the main issues in Russian cultural history and
the interrelationship between Russian culture and the cultures of the former Soviet
republics. We will look into Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian and other cultures of the
former Soviet Union. The course examines a variety of forms of identity (ethnic,
national, gender, social, cultural, and religious) and various possible sources and forms
of cultural values (from tradition and community to enlightenment values to
globalization), with a particular focus on eras (including the present one) of change,
revolution, transition, and upheaval. We will read literary works (both in Russian and
English), essays, articles published in scholarly journals. In addition to reading literary
works and cultural and historical sources, we will be viewing films to place the abovementioned issues in the historical and cultural perspectives. We will make connections
between the cultures we study and your own lives/issues.
In this course you will
 learn how to do original research using primary and secondary sources
 develop the critical understanding of the complexity of ideological and cultural
 apply critical thinking skills when approaching a cultural artifact not always given
critical attention
By the end of the semester you will be able to
 demonstrate knowledge of Russia culture of different time periods (pre-Soviet,
Soviet, and post-Soviet ) periods and with the historical phenomena and sociocultural issues related to each time period.
 Identify trans-political continuities in Russian culture.
 Explain issues of ethnic, social, and gender diversity in Russia and Russianspeaking countries.
Course requirements and grading:
At each class meeting you are responsible for that day’s reading, for
asking good questions and answering questions. I hope to keep lecturing to
minimum and 30% of you grade will be for participation in class discussion (more than 1
absence will lower this part of your grade).
One article review 10%
One book reviews 10%
One academic paper (10 12 pages) on assigned topics will be due at the end of the
semester. The paper counts as 25 %of your grade; (The topics are on Blackboard). You
can write on a topic of your choice. If you design your own topic, please discuss your
topic with me before you start writing.
You will have to present your paper in class. At the end of the semester, we shall be
holding a class conference at which each student will have to present her/his paper in
A second student will be critically commenting on the paper after the presentation and
conduct the discussion of the paper. Student might take the reviewer’s comments as
well as comments in the class discussion into consideration before submitting the paper.
Paper comments—10%
The reading journal/writing assignments—15%
Class performance, exams, and papers will be evaluated and graded according to SDSU
policies described in the General Catalogue.
Grades are defined at SDSU as:
A: Outstanding achievement, available for the highest accomplishment.
B: Praiseworthy performance, definitely above average.
C: Average awarded for satisfactory performance; the most common undergraduate grade.
D: Minimally passing, less than typical undergraduate achievement
F: Failing
C/NC: Some students may, subject to their major requirement and the conditions set out in the
General Catalog, choose to take the course credit/no credit. Work equivalent to C or above will
result in a grade of Credit; work equivalent to C- or below will result in NO Credit.
WU: Indicates that an enrolled student did not withdraw from the course but did not fulfill the
course requirements. For purposes of grade point average computation, this grade is equivalent
to an F. Students who are failing when they stop attending class will receive an F, not a U.
All assigned readings should be done prior to the class. Late assignments (homework,
papers, and projects) will receive lower grades: one day late = one grade lower, two days
late = two grades lower, etc. Exception: pre-approved or approved late submission or
lateness in connection with an excused absence.
The course is conducted in Russian and in English, all the readings are available in
English, but students are encouraged to work with original sources when possible.
All written work in English must be turned in as a typed hard copy, doublespaced in 10- or 12-point font, and stapled.
Please do not e-mail your papers unless you have e made arrangements with me before
the day it’s due.
Academic Integrity
College of Arts and Letters expects the highest standards of academic excellence and ethical
performance from students. It is particularly important that you are aware of and avoid
plagiarism, submitting a paper to more than one instructor, or submitting a paper authored by
anyone other than yourself. All incidents of cheating or plagiarism will be reported to
the Judicial Procedures Office as required by CSU Policy.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the
source of that information. DO NOT DO IT. Please visit the link Tutorial Services page on plagiarism
if you have any questions.
Class Etiquette
Classroom courtesy is necessary to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn
without distractions. Be sure to turn off ALL cell phones prior to class – this is a sign of
respect for myself, your colleagues, and the atmosphere of learning in the classroom.
No cell phone use of any kind, including cell messaging is permitted in this class. Please give
your attention to class process (don’t read newspapers, fall sleep, etc.) You are expected to
remain in the classroom until the instructor ends the class. If you have to leave the class earlier,
please notify the instructor before the beginning of the class.
E-mail Etiquette: please observe basic rules of politeness and formality in email messages.
These rules include:
 any message must include an address line (e.g. “Dear Professor Shapovalov” or
“Professor Shapovalov”)
 use polite and appropriate language.
 always sign your name
 allow some reasonable time for me to answer your emails.
Classroom courtesy and laptop computers
Laptop computers are useful tools for learning and note-taking, but must be used responsibly.
Internet surfing distracts both yourself and your colleagues and hinders classroom discussion.
You may use your laptops in class, but confine your activity to relevant subject matter. That
means no Facebook, chats, email, music, movies, etc. Please do NOT surf the internet
during class time. Offenders will be requested not to bring their computers to future classes.
Please note
All students are welcome to discuss readings, course content, exams, and other
academic topics with the instructor. If you are having trouble with an assignment or
with a concept, please let me either know during class or e-mail me your question.
Questions are always welcome.
Russian 570
Spring 2016
The Russian World
January 26 Introduction. Понятие о русской культуре. Русская Православная
Церковь. Вера и верование на Руси.
February 2 Духовные традиции. Русское благочестие. Российский Патриархат.
Раскол в прошлом и настоящем.
February 9
February 16
February 23
Bожди, герои, анти-герои. I Александр Невский, Иван Грозный.
Bожди, герои, анти-герои II. Петр I, Сталин. Традиция Российской
Русский бунт и гражданиская война.
March 1
Русский путь: декабристы. Октябрьский переворот, «Оттепель»,
March 8
Свои или чужие? Кавказ.
Крым. Средняя Азия.
March 15
Свои или чужие? Прибалтика, Украина, Белорусския
March 22
Pоссия в войне I
April 5
Россия в войне II
April 12
Россия в войне III
April 19
Не)забытое прошлое--ГУЛАГ
April 26
Русские женщины
(Your paper draft due)
May 3 Русский характер. Русский мир
Note: All weekly specific assignments will be posted on Blackboard. You
are responsible for any changes in the syllabus and assignments that are announced in
class, whether you were present or not
Reading list
Saints’ Lives
Ivan the Terrible and Prince Kurbsky Correspondence
Domostroy (excerpts)
Dmitry Merezhkovsky, Peter and Alexis (excerpts)
Alexander Pushkin, The Captain’s Daughter
Isaac Babel The Letter
Evgenii Zamyatin. The Cave
Mikhail Bulgakov, Master and Margarita (excerpts)
Sergei Dovlatov, The Compromise (excerpts)
Aida Basevich, Memoirs (excerpts)
Konstantin Paustovsky, The Book of Life (excerpts)
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Buddah’s Smile
Varlam Shalamov, Major Pugachev’s Last Battle
Elena Glinka, The Hold
Arkady Gaidar, Tale of the Military Secret
Vladimir Papernyi, Architecture in the Age of Stalin: Culture 2, Ch. 8
Jan Plamper, “The Spatial Poetics of the Personality Cult”
Lidiya Ginzburg, The Blockade Diary (excerpts)
Vasily Shuksin , Stories
Svetlana Aleksievich, War’s Unwomanly Face
There will be additional materials on Blackboard.