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Russian Course Offerings Fall 2020

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RUSS 205: Russian Conversation (3 credits)

You are so close to proficiency in Russian!  Consolidate your hard-earned language skills through conversation and oral presentations, with grammar review and written work when appropriate.  Students will discuss current events along with material from films, the Internet and other sources.  Have fun while improving your vocabulary and speaking skills! Honors credit available. 

NOTE: RUSS 205 is only offered in the spring.  It is designed to be taken in conjunction with RUSS 211; for Russian Studies majors, minors, and Three-Language majors this is necessary in order to proceed in the course sequence and be fully prepared for the 300-level. 

Honors credit available

Prerequisite:  RUSS 107 or equivalent

RUSS 211: Russian Reading and Composition: Short Fiction (3 credits)

Read entertaining and interesting 20th-century Russian short stories from a variety of genres (detective fiction, satire, tales of adventure, children’s literature) to improve your reading skills and expand your vocabulary. Discussions will help you improve your speaking and listening skills, while writing exercises will facilitate your mastery of the material and develop your skills in composition. Designed to be taken at the same time as RUSS 205, this course will strengthen your grasp of the grammar covered in that course while allowing you to focus on reading techniques and the construction of the complex Russian sentence.  Taking the two courses together will enable you to make a significant and leap forward in learning the language. 

NOTE: RUSS 211 is only offered in the spring.  It is designed to be taken in conjunction with RUSS 205; for Russian Studies majors, minors, and Three-Language majors this is necessary in order to proceed in the course sequence and be fully prepared for the 300-level. 

Satisfies the Group A requirement

Honors credit available

Prerequisite: RUSS 200, if not taken simultaneously with RUSS 200

The Cranes Are Flying

​RUSS 305: Russian Conversation and Composition through Cinema 

This course explores modern Russian culture and society through the prism of Russian cinema. Students will watch, discuss, analyze, and write about some of the best known Soviet and postSoviet films, starting with Aleksandrov’s 1936 propaganda vehicle «Цирк» and ending with «Восток-запад», the 1999 exposé of Stalin’s rule and the cold war. Other films include the prize-winning and heart-rending film about World War II «Летят журавли», the much-loved comedies «Иван Васильевич меняет профессию» and «Ирония судьбы» and the anti-war classic «Кавказский пленник». In the process, students will advance their skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. A diverse array of lexical, grammatical, and creative exercises will speed students’ progress toward higher linguistic proficiency. 

Honors credit available 

Prerequisite: Any 200-level RUSS course

RUSS 310:   Introduction to Russian Literature I (3 credits) 

Explore some of the best Golden-Age Russian fiction written by the masters, ranging from short stories by Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, and Chekhov to excerpts from great novels by Dostoevsky, Turgenev, and Tolstoy. Through close reading and discussion, you will learn to apply literary terminology to analyze and interpret these texts. Improve your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills as we examine these major authors, their literary movements and trends, placing them in their historical context. 

Satisfies the Group B requirement

Honors credit available

Prerequisite: RUSS 200, 205 or 211

RUSS 465: Soviet Prison Camp Literature (3 credits)

The Soviet prison camp system known as the Gulag constituted one of the most notorious examples of the twentieth-century’s totalitarian evil. At the same time, it was subject to one of the most radical campaigns of misrepresentation and manipulation conceived by the Soviet propaganda and supported to a large extent by many cultural and intellectual elites of the West.  From the Bolshevik Revolution to the fall of the Soviet Union, the only evidence of the Gulag available to the outside world, apart from Soviet propaganda, were the testimonies of witnesses and survivors.  Their stories functioned as the only available history. Gulag literature, therefore, complicates the traditional distinctions between literature and history. By examining Gulag literature in its many different forms, including propaganda, short stories, novellas, memoirs, poetry, and drama, we will learn the history of the Soviet Gulag system; we will also address questions of authenticity, authority, and morality in the literary representation of trauma and past events. 

Prerequisite: any 300-level RUSS

Honors credit available

Dr. Zhivago

LLCU 327 Topics in Russian and Soviet Literature: Great Works of Literature in Film 

In the canon of world literature, Anna Karenina, Doctor Zhivago, and Lolita are absolute mustreads. Tolstoy's masterful exploration of social relationships in late 19th century Russia, Pasternak's epic documentation of the country's transition to communism, and Nabokov's daring and explosive exploration of the mind of a pedophile provide a sampling of great works that have spawned various screen adaptations. First explore and compare the relationship between each novel and the historical/literary era to which it belongs, and then experience two film versions inspired by the work. Whether examining the narrative or a cinematic version, we will attempt to gauge the reactions created by our own personal journey. Through these written masterpieces and their screen incarnations, students will gain a better appreciation of the impact that both literature and film can have on the individual, on history, and on humanity itself. 

Honors and second writing requirement available. 

Prerequisite: None 

Satisfies the Group A (Creative Arts and Humanities) requirement 

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Russian Course Offerings Fall 2020
  • Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Jastak-Burgess Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • 30 East Main St.
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2591