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SIW 164: Debating the Nation

Last offered: Winter 2016 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

SIW 170: DOCUMENTARY: Films of Persuasion, Advocacy and Change

In recent years, documentaries have shed their identity as the "broccoli" of the film world - they were good for you, but not necessarily palatable. Audiences are now engaged, entertained, and enlightened by the work of Errol Morris, Laura Poitras, Michael Moore, Marshall Curry, and others. Has a documentary film ever provoked you, challenged your beliefs, motivated you to act or changed your mind about something? Was that the goal of the filmmaker? This course offers a conceptual overview of the forms, strategies, and conventions of a documentary film with a particular focus on the social and political documentary, i.e. documentaries that strive to explore issues, construct arguments about the world, and galvanize attitudinal change. A consideration of both form and content will foreground the mutable characteristics of the genre with respect to filmmaker voice and point of view, the objective/subjective conundrum, ethics of representation, aesthetic choices, and the implied contract between filmmaker and audience. Students will hone their critical viewing skills and consider the potential of film to effect attitudinal and behavioral change through a series of case studies of films that represent a wide range of styles and approach.
Last offered: Spring 2016 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 77Q: Russia's Weird Classic: Nikolai Gogol

This seminar investigates the work and life of Nikolai Gogol, the most eccentric of Russian authors, the founder of what was dubbed Fantastic (or Magic) Realism. Our investigation will be based on close reading of the works written in various genres and created in various stages of Gogol's literary career. This study provides a perspective on the relationship between Romanticism and Realism in Russian literature (the so-called "Natural School" of the 1830-1840s), and between the popular Ukrainian culture and "high" Russian and West European traditions in Gogol's oeuvre. The seminar traces Gogol's influences on subsequent Russian literature (Dostoevsky in particular) and investigates the impact of his work on XX century modernist literature, theatre, music, and painting (Vladimir Nabokov, literature of the absurd, Dmitry Shostakovich, Marc Chagall). The seminar is intended for students interested in literature and literary studies.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 78N: Poetry to Prose: The Birth of the Great Russian Novel in Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin

Devoted to a close reading and detailed discussion of Alexander Pushkin's masterpiece in the context of XIX century Russian and continental literary history. Pushkin (1799-1837) is the founder of modern Russian literature; his place in it is comparable to that of Shakespeare in Britain. Taught in English.
Last offered: Spring 2013 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 118N: Other People's Words: Folklore and Literature

What happens when you collect and use other people's words? This class considers folklore and literature based on it, focusing on the theme of objects that come to life and threaten their makers or owners (including Russian fairy tales and Nikolai Gogol's stories, the Golem legend and Michael Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and Ovid's and Shaw's Pygmalion). We read essays by Jacob Grimm, Sigmund Freud, Roman Jakobson, and others, to understand what folklore can mean and how the oral and the written can interact. Students collect living folklore from a group of their choosing. This course fulfills the second-level Writing and Rhetoric Requirement (Write-2) and emphasizes oral and multimedia presentation.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, Writing 2
Instructors: Safran, G. (PI)

SLAVIC 145: Survey of Russian Literature: The Age of Experiment (SLAVIC 345)

This course discusses the transition from predominantly poetic to predominantly prosaic creativity in the Russian literature of the first half of the 19th century Russian literature and the birth of the great Russian novel. It covers three major Russian writers “-- Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov and Nikolai Gogol -- and examines the changes in the Russian literary scene affected by their work. An emphasis is placed on close reading of literary texts and analysis of literary techniques employed in them. Taught in English.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 146: The Great Russian Novel: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky (SLAVIC 346)

Connections of philosophy and science to literary form in War and Peace, Brothers Karamazov, Chekhov stories: alternative shapes of time, perception, significant action. Taught in English. NOTE: This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit.
Terms: Win | Units: 2-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 147: Modern Russian Literature and Culture: The Age of War and Revolution (SLAVIC 347)

The Age of Revolution: Readings in Russian Modernist Prose of the 1920-30s: What makes Russian modernist prose special? Or is there anything special about Russian modernist prose? This course aims to answer these questions through close readings of works by Babel, Mandelstam, Zoshchenko, Platonov, Olesha and Bulgakov. Aesthetic issues such as hero, plot, and narrative devices will be addressed with the aid of contemporaneous literary theory (Shklovsky, Tynianov, Eikhenbaum, Bakhtin). Novels and theory will be read in English. (This course must be taken for a letter grade and a minimum of 3 units to satisfy a Ways requirement.)
Terms: Spr | Units: 2-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 148: Slavic Literature and Cultures since the Death of Stalin (SLAVIC 348)

The course offers a survey of Soviet and post-Soviet literary texts and films created by Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian artists and marginalized or repressed by the Soviet regime. The first part of the course will focus on the topics of opposition and dissent, generational conflict, modernization, Soviet everyday life, gender, citizenship and national identity, state-published and samizdat literature, "village" and "cosmopolitan" culture, etc. The second part of it will be devoted to the postmodernist aesthetics and ideology in the dismantlement of totalitarian society, as well in the process of shaping post-Soviet identities. The reading materials range from the fictional, poetic, and publicistic works written by Noble-prize (Solzhenitsyn, Brodsky, Alexievich) and other major writers of the period to the drama, film, and popular culture.
Last offered: Spring 2016 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

SLAVIC 181: Philosophy and Literature (CLASSICS 42, COMPLIT 181, ENGLISH 81, FRENCH 181, GERMAN 181, ITALIAN 181, PHIL 81)

Required gateway course for Philosophical and Literary Thought; crosslisted in departments sponsoring the Philosophy and Literature track. Majors should register in their home department; non-majors may register in any sponsoring department. Introduction to major problems at the intersection of philosophy and literature, with particular focus on the question of value: what, if anything, does engagement with literary works do for our lives? Issues include aesthetic self-fashioning, the paradox of tragedy, the paradox of caring, the truth-value of fiction, metaphor, authorship, irony, make-believe, expression, edification, clarification, and training. Readings are drawn from literature and film, philosophical theories of art, and stylistically interesting works of philosophy. Authors may include Sophocles, Chaucer, Dickinson, Proust, Woolf, Borges, Beckett, Kundera, Charlie Kaufman; Barthes, Foucault, Nussbaum, Walton, Nehamas; Plato, Montaigne, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Sartre. Taught in English.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
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