Russia and The Other: A Cultural Approach
Slavic 194 (Fall 2003). Wallenberg Hall (Building 160), Room 322


Tentative Schedule of Readings and Discussion

click here for an Adobe PDF file of the schedule and readings

Wk. 1-2


 An Introduction into History and Theory


Sept. 26

Introduction.  Discussion of Aleksandr Blok, “The Scythians”


Sept. 29

Clifford Geertz, “Thick Description”



Edward Said, Orientalism (selections)



Victor Shklovsky, "Art as Device"



Vs. Ivanov, “The Child”


Oct. 3 

Manuel Castells, “Nations and Nationalism in the Age of Globalization.”



Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (selections)


Oct. 6

Cold War. America looks at Red Russia.



John Milius, Red Dawn (1984).


Oct. 10

Martin Malia, Russia Under Western Eyes. “Russia as Oriental Despotism” (chapter  2, 1815-1855) and “Through the Soviet-Russian Looking Glass” (Chapter 5, 1917-1991)

Wk. 3


The West Looks at Russia


Oct. 13

Marquis de Custine, Russia in 1839 (and Kennan’s Introduction)



Excerpts from Ernst Lubitsch, Ninotchka (1939)

Oct. 17
Alexander Sokurov, Russian Ark (2003)

Wk. 4


Challenging the West and the West as Menace


Oct. 20

F. Tiutchev, “Russia Cannot Be Fathomed by Reason”



F. Dostoevsky, Winter Notes On Summer Impressions



A. Solzhenitsyn, The Harvard Speech


Oct. 24

Aleksei Balabanov, Brother II (1999).

Wk. 5


The West Internalized


Oct. 27

A. Pushkin, "Bronze Horseman"



A. Mickiewicz, Digression from Forefathers' Eve



Nik. Leskov, “The Archbishop and the Englishman”



Mikh. Zoshchenko, “The Bath”



Vlad. Mayakovsky, “The Brooklyn Bridge”

Oct. 31

Oct. 31

Alexander Rogozhkin, Kukushka  (2002)

Wk. 6


The East as Menace


Nov. 3




A. Blok, "On Kulikovo Field"



Vl. Soloviev, “A Short Story of the Anti-Christ” (Three Conversations)


Nov. 7

Vlad. Motyl, White Sun of the Desert (1970)

Wk. 7-9




Nov. 10

Leo Tolstoy, Hadji Murad


Nov. 14

Alexander Pushkin, "Prisoner of the Caucasus"



Leo Tolstoy, "Prisoner of the Caucasus"


Nov. 17

Sergey Bodrov, Prisoner of the Caucasus (1996).


Nov. 24

Nik. Leskov, The Enchanted Wanderer


Nov. 26

Alexei Balabanov, War (2002)

Wk. 10


Summing up


Dec. 1

Student presentations


Dec. 5

Final discussion


Dec. 12

Final paper due to both professors


Attendance at class meetings (Mondays and Fridays 11:00-1:00).  Almost every week, one meeting will be a film screening followed by a brief discussion.


Weekly one-paragraph essays on the readings, due to Professor Safran's and Professor Freidin’s E-mail by 9:00 a.m. on the day of class.  Take care with these essays; you may be called upon to read them aloud in class.  You may miss one week and there is no essay due the first or the final week; thus we expect each student to submit seven paragraphs.


20-minute presentation in class on December 1 based on your final paper.

bullet Final paper of 10-12 pages, due December 12 to both professors. 

Last updated: 10/25/2003