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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: Win | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

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

The development of 19th-century Russian novel through close reading and broad cultural examination of three masterpieces: Ivan Goncharov's Oblomov (1859), Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (1866), and Leo Tolstoy¿s Anna Karenina (1877) - the novels which have been part of the European literary canon long before Oprah Winfrey put them in her reading list. Through the analysis of the novels and their adaptations, students will study the aesthetic contours of Russian Realism and its intermedial capacities. Special attention will be paid to the questions of genre, discource, medium and itermediality, relationship between artist, audience, and critic.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

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.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

SLAVIC 156: Nabokov in the Transnational Context (COMPLIT 115, COMPLIT 315, SLAVIC 356)

Nabokov's techniques of migration and camouflage as he inhabits the literary and historical contexts of St. Petersburg, Berlin, Paris, America, and Switzerland. His early and late stories, last Russian novel "The Gift," "Lolita" (the novel and screenplay), and "Pale Fire." Readings in English. Russian speakers will be encouraged to read Russian texts in original.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

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 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

SLAVIC 190: Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in Dialogue with Contemporary Philosophical, Social, and Ethical Thought (COMPLIT 190, COMPLIT 390, SLAVIC 390)

Anna Karenina, the novel as a case study in the contest between "modernity" and "tradition," their ethical order, ideology, cultural codes, and philosophies. Images of society, women and men in Tolstoy v. those of his contemporaries: Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, Weber, Durkheim, Freud. Open to juniors, seniors and graduate students. Requirements: three interpretive essays (500-1000 words each). Analysis of a passage from the novel; AK refracted through a "philosophical" prism and vice versa (30% each); class discussion and Forum (10%).
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

SLAVIC 195: Russian and East European Theater (SLAVIC 395)

Evolution of modernist Russian/EEur. dramaturgy, theatrical practices, landmark productions from Chekhov-Meyerhold-Grotowski to present; re-performance of classics; techniques of embodiment. Taught in English.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

SLAVIC 198: Writing Between Languages: The Case of Eastern European Jewish Literature (JEWISHST 148, JEWISHST 348, SLAVIC 398)

Eastern European Jews spoke and read Hebrew, Yiddish, and their co-territorial languages (Russian, Polish, etc.). In the modern period they developed secular literatures in all of them, and their writing reflected their own multilinguality and evolving language ideologies. We focus on major literary and sociolinguistic texts. Reading and discussion in English; students should have some reading knowledge of at least one relevant language as well.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

SLAVIC 236: The Russian Long Take

"Time flows in a film not by virtue but in defiance of montage-cuts," wrote the great Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. An exploration of the phenomenon of long take (a single continuous shot which presents `a vision of time') and its aesthetic and philosophical significance to the art of cinema. Key films by cult Russian/Soviet auteurs such as Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Paradzhanov and Aleksandr Sokurov will be used as case studies and read through the prism of film theory (Gilles Deleuze, Andre Bazin and Jean Epstein). Taught in English.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

SLAVIC 251: Dostoevsky: Narrative Performance and Literary Theory (COMPLIT 219)

In-depth engagement with a range of Dostoevsky's genres: early works (epistolary novella Poor Folk and experimental Double), major novels ( Crime and Punishment, The Idiot), less-read shorter works ("A Faint Heart," "Bobok," and "The Meek One"), and genre-bending House of the Dead and Diary of a Writer. Course applies recent theory of autobiography, performance, repetition and narrative gaps, to Dostoevsky's transformations of genre, philosophical and dramatic discourse, and narrative performance. Slavic students read primary texts in Russian, other participants in translation. Course conducted in English. For graduate students; undergraduates with advanced linguistic and critical competence may enroll with consent of instructor.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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