Course Description: Spanning almost a century of Russian literature, this course highlights a gallery of fictional and real rebels and revolutionaries. What was their cause? Who supported them? How were they portrayed in popular novels of the time? We will supplement textual analysis of prose and poetry with the study of historical documents in order to understand the complex historical, moral, and cultural dimensions of such enduring phenomena as revolution, rebellion, and terrorism.
- Pushkin, Aleksandr. The Captain’s Daughter (1836)
- Pushkin, Aleksandr. “In the Depths of Siberian Mines” (1827)*
- Turgenev, Ivan. Fathers and Sons (1862)
- Bakunin, Mikhail. The Revolutionary Catechism (1865) vs. Nechaev's Catechism of the Revolutionary (1869)(excerpts)*
- Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Demons (1873)
- Vera Zasulich's memoirs (excerpts from Five Sisters: Women against the Tsar)*
- Andreyev, Leonid. “The Seven That Were Hanged” (1909)
- Bely, Andrei. Petersburg (1913)
- Related documents and articles*
*Included in Course Packet
a. Two Response Papers (10% each): Response papers should reflect your thinking on assigned reading. Format: 3-5 pages (at least 1,000 words), Times New Roman, 12 pt. You will be evaluated on the depth and quality of your reflections, clarity of style, and cohesive argumentation. After you receive your paper back, you will have about a week to revise and resubmit it. Detailed instructions will be provided two weeks before the due date.
b. Three In-Class Exams (10% each): Each exam will test your knowledge of material discussed in class and read independently at home.
c. Presentation (10%): Individually or in pairs, you will prepare a 5-10-minute oral presentation on one of the topics offered in the beginning of the semester. You will discuss your presentation with your instructor no later than two weeks in advance.
d. Final Paper (30%): You final paper may draw on one of your response papers. It should include your reflections on the topic supported by textual evidence from assigned works. Detailed instructions will be available mid-semester. Format: 8-10 pages (at least 2,500 words), Times New Roman, 12 pt.
e. Participation (10%): Your instructor will determine this part of the grade based on your preparedness and participation in class. There are three components of success: regular attendance, advance reading/preparation of assigned materials, and insightful, well-formulated comments during discussions.