Courses

This page displays the schedule of Bryn Mawr courses in this department for this academic year. It also displays descriptions of courses offered by the department during the last four academic years.

For information about courses offered by other Bryn Mawr departments and programs or about courses offered by Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, please consult the Course Guides page.

For information about the Academic Calendar, including the dates of first and second quarter courses, please visit the College's calendars page.

Fall 2022 RUSS

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location / Instruction Mode Instr(s)
RUSS B001-001 Elementary Russian Intensive 1.5Semester / 1.5 Lecture: 8:10 AM- 9:00 AM MWF Dalton Hall 1
In Person
Dept. staff
Lecture: 7:55 AM- 8:45 AM TTH Dalton Hall 1
In Person
Additional hour: 6:10 PM- 7:00 PM W Dalton Hall 2
In Person
RUSS B101-001 Intermediate Russian 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-10:00 AM MWF Russian Center Conference Room
In Person
Vergara,J., Vergara,J.
Lecture: 8:55 AM- 9:45 AM TTH Russian Center Conference Room
In Person
RUSS B201-001 Advanced Russian 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-10:00 AM MWF Dalton Hall 212A
In Person
Walsh,I., Walsh,I.
Lecture: 8:55 AM- 9:45 AM TTH Dalton Hall 212A
In Person
RUSS B216-001 The Soviet Thaw and Its Culture 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:40 PM- 4:00 PM MW Dalton Hall 212A
In Person
Walsh,I.
RUSS B224-001 The Meaning of Life and the Russian Novel 1Semester / 1 LEC: 1:10 PM- 2:30 PM MW Russian Center Conference Room
In Person
Vergara,J.
RUSS B258-001 Soviet and Eastern European Cinema of the 1960s 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Dalton Hall 25
In Person
Harte,T.
RUSS B319-001 Advanced Russian through Current Events 0.5Semester / 0.5 Lecture: 2:25 PM- 4:15 PM TH Russian Center Seminar Room
In Person
Walsh,I.
RUSS B390-001 Russian for Pre-Professionals I 1Semester / 1 Lecutre: 11:10 AM-12:00 PM MWF Russian Center Conference Room
In Person
Rojavin,M.
RUSS B398-001 Senior Essay 1Semester / 1 In Person Dept. staff, TBA
RUSS B403-001 Supervised Work 1Semester / 1 Dept. staff, TBA
RUSS B403-001 Supervised Work 1Semester / 1 Dept. staff, TBA
ITAL B316-001 Mountaineering Heroes: Masculinity and Nation-building 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM W Carpenter Library 17
In Person
Benetollo,C.

Spring 2023 RUSS

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location / Instruction Mode Instr(s)
RUSS B002-001 Elementary Russian Intensive 1.5Semester / 1.5 Lecture: 8:10 AM- 9:00 AM MWF Dalton Hall 1
In Person
Dept. staff
Lecture: 7:55 AM- 8:45 AM TTH Dalton Hall 1
In Person
Additional meeting: 6:10 PM- 7:00 PM W Dalton Hall 2
In Person
RUSS B102-001 Intermediate Russian 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-10:00 AM MWF Russian Center Conference Room
In Person
Vergara,J., Vergara,J.
Lecture: 8:55 AM- 9:45 AM TTH Russian Center Conference Room
In Person
RUSS B202-001 Advanced Russian 1Semester / 1 LEC: 9:10 AM-10:00 AM MWF Dalton Hall 212A
In Person
Walsh,I., Walsh,I.
Lecture: 8:55 AM- 9:45 AM TTH Dalton Hall 212A
In Person
RUSS B222-001 Language Policy Issues and the Russophone World 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:25 PM- 3:45 PM TTH In Person Walsh,I.
RUSS B235-001 The Social Dynamics of Russian 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:55 PM- 2:15 PM TTH In Person Walsh,I.
RUSS B252-001 Love, Death, Justice, & Russian Literature 1Semester / 1 LEC: 11:45 AM- 4:30 PM T In Person Vergara,J.
RUSS B365-001 Russian and Soviet Film Culture 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:10 PM- 1:00 PM MWF Russian Center Conference Room
In Person
Rojavin,M.
RUSS B391-001 Russian for Pre-Professionals II 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:10 AM-12:00 PM MWF Russian Center Conference Room
In Person
Rojavin,M.
RUSS B399-001 Senior Conference 1Semester / 1 In Person Dept. staff, TBA
RUSS B403-001 Supervised Work 1Semester / 1 Dept. staff, TBA
RUSS B403-001 Supervised Work 1Semester / 1 Dept. staff, TBA
FREN B213-001 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH In Person Crucifix,E.

Fall 2023 RUSS

(Class schedules for this semester will be posted at a later date.)

2022-23 Catalog Data: RUSS

RUSS B001 Elementary Russian Intensive

Fall 2022

Study of basic grammar and syntax. Fundamental skills in speaking, reading, writing, and oral comprehension are developed. Eight hours a week including conversation sections and language laboratory work.

Course does not meet an Approach

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RUSS B002 Elementary Russian Intensive

Spring 2023

Study of basic grammar and syntax. Fundamental skills in speaking, reading, writing, and oral comprehension are developed. Eight hours a week including conversation sections and language laboratory work.

Course does not meet an Approach

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RUSS B101 Intermediate Russian

Fall 2022

Continuing development of fundamental skills with emphasis on vocabulary expansion in speaking and writing. Readings in Russian classics and contemporary works. Five hours a week

Course does not meet an Approach

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RUSS B102 Intermediate Russian

Spring 2023

Continuing development of fundamental skills with emphasis on vocabulary expansion in speaking and writing. Readings in Russian classics and contemporary works. Five hours a week.

Course does not meet an Approach

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RUSS B201 Advanced Russian

Fall 2022

Intensive practice in speaking and writing skills using a variety of modern texts and contemporary films and television. Emphasis on self-expression and a deeper understanding of grammar and syntax. Five hours a week.

Course does not meet an Approach

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RUSS B202 Advanced Russian

Spring 2023

Intensive practice in speaking and writing skills using a variety of modern texts and contemporary films and television. Emphasis on self-expression and a deeper understanding of grammar and syntax. Five hours a week.

Course does not meet an Approach

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RUSS B216 The Soviet Thaw and Its Culture

Fall 2022

Named by famed Soviet writer Ilya Ehrenburg, the Thaw (Ottepel) was a brief period in Soviet history spanning the late 1950s and early 1960s, when social, political and cultural changes led to more openness and freedom in Soviet society. This course focuses on this brief, yet consequential time in Soviet history. The main text for the course will be the 2013 TV series The Thaw (dir. Valery Todorovsky). As we watch this show, we will discuss its major conflicts and the characters' lives, and we will look into all the allusions to various Soviet texts and realia. As such, we will explore Stalin's repressions, de-Stalinization, the rehabilitation of Stalin's political prisoners, Gagarin's orbiting of the Earth, the Cold War, Khrushchev's policies during the Thaw, artistic movements, government censorship, and fashion. Through articles, literary and non-literary texts, documentaries and feature films, in addition to the TV series, participants in this course will expand their understanding of this time period in Soviet history and Russian culture in general. Participants will also compare and contrast culturally-accepted norms, behaviors, and taboos in Soviet Russia to those characteristic of contemporary Russian society. All texts and class interaction will be in Russian.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

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RUSS B222 Language Policy Issues and the Russophone World

Spring 2023

This course provides an introduction to the study of language policy and language planning in the countries where Russian is or has once been used. The course will offer a survey of current theoretical approaches to language maintenance, bilingualism and language shift, as well as language spread and language death. Having a rich history of language interaction, the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and post-Soviet Russia will be the major foci in this course. We will explore how Russian was often used as a tool for colonization. We will follow the development of various writing systems by Soviet linguists, mostly in the 1920s and 1930s. We will also look at the interactions between Russian and languages currently used in Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Baltic states, and in parts of the Russian Federation. All texts and class interactions will be in Russian.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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RUSS B224 The Meaning of Life and the Russian Novel

Fall 2022

This course examines profound questions about the nature and purpose of human existence raised by preeminent 19th-century Russian authors such as Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Lermontov, Karolina Pavlova, Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Lev Tolstoy, and Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin. (Content varies somewhat each time the course is offered.) Topics include the definition of good and evil, the meaning of freedom, the role of rationality and the irrational in human behavior, power dynamics between individuals and in relation to the state, and the relationship of art to life. In reading and closely analyzing texts that became the foundation for the Russian novelistic tradition, we explore how these works and their contexts speak to contemporary issues, our lives, and eternal, accursed questions. No knowledge of Russian required. Open to all.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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RUSS B228 Russian Narratives of Displacement and Acculturation

Not offered 2022-23

Russian narratives of the displaced include memoirs and essays written by those authors who had to immigrate and those who were exiled within their country. What information did these authors include in their narratives? And what did they omit? How did they show their lives within the bigger picture of their country's present? Were they focused on adapting to the new settings or on contemplating the past in their writing? Through discussions of written texts, documentaries and feature films, as well as through interviewing Russophone immigrants about their experiences, we will deepen our understanding of narratives of displacement. We will also look at the mechanisms, stressors, and strategies that authors manifest as signs of acculturation, and eventually adaptation to the new culture or setting.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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RUSS B229 Soviet Culture, Above and Below Ground

Not offered 2022-23

This course serves as a short survey of Soviet literature, art, and film after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. We will explore the works of avant-garde authors and artists, official writers and painters, authors who wrote "for the desk drawer," and those whose creative works were circulated in the underground. We will explore Soviet science fiction and dystopia, the utopian world building of Socialist Realism, trauma of the Gulag, and the parodic humor of late Soviet conceptual art. From canvas to film to the printed page, we will focus on major cultural topics in and around the increasing pressures of shifting political landscapes, ideology, propaganda, the publishing market, and the role of the writer in Russian society.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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RUSS B234 Ecological Displacement in Russophone Literature

Not offered 2022-23

Our era of immense environmental upheaval is striking in its urgency and scale, but it is, of course, far from unprecedented. In this class, we'll consider the effects of ecological displacement, both real and imagined as portrayed in Russophone literature; its ties to solastalgia, nostalgia, and the condition of exile; art as a form of conservation; and historical and environmental issues in the region.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

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RUSS B235 The Social Dynamics of Russian

Spring 2023

An examination of the social factors that influence the language of Russian conversational speech, including contemporary Russian media (films, television, and the Internet). Basic social strategies that structure a conversation are studied, as well as the implications of gender and education on the form and style of discourse. Prerequisite: RUSS B201, RUSS 102 also required if taken concurrently with RUSS 201.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

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RUSS B237 Crime or Punishment: Russian Narratives of Incarceration

Not offered 2022-23

This course explores Russian narratives of incarceration, punishment, and captivity from the 17th century to the present day and considers topics such as social justice, violence and its artistic representations, totalitarianism, witness-bearing, and the possibility of transcendence in suffering. Taught in translation.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Peace, Justice and Human Rights

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RUSS B238 Topics: The History of Cinema 1895 to 1945

Not offered 2022-23

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Film Studies

Counts Toward Visual Studies

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RUSS B252 Love, Death, Justice, & Russian Literature

Spring 2023

This Inside-Out course will be conducted inside a correctional institution and will bring inside (SCI Chester) and outside students (BMC) into dialogue. Can Russian novels and short stories help us understand our lives? We'll closely read and analyze works by several Russian authors and discuss how they each treat themes including life, death, family, love, the individual and society, generational conflicts, crime and punishment, and power dynamics. Finally, our broad goal will be to explore how these texts speak to contemporary issues, our lives, and eternal problems that all of humanity faces--what Russians call the "accursed questions."

Critical Interpretation (CI)

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RUSS B258 Soviet and Eastern European Cinema of the 1960s

Fall 2022

This course examines 1960s Soviet and Eastern European "New Wave" cinema, which won worldwide acclaim through its treatment of war, gender, and aesthetics. Films from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Yugoslavia will be viewed and analyzed, accompanied by readings on film history and theory. All films shown with subtitles; no knowledge of Russian or previous study of film required.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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RUSS B271 Chekhov: His Short Stories and Plays in Translation

Not offered 2022-23

A study of the themes, structure and style of Chekhov's major short stories and plays. The course will also explore the significance of Chekhov's prose and drama in the English-speaking world, where this masterful Russian writer is the most staged playwright after Shakespeare. All readings and lectures in English.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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RUSS B277 Nabokov in Translation

Not offered 2022-23

A study of Vladimir Nabokov's writings in various genres, focusing on his fiction and autobiographical works. The continuity between Nabokov's Russian and English works is considered in the context of the Russian and Western literary traditions. All readings and lectures in English.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

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RUSS B316 Russian and Soviet Short Story

Not offered 2022-23

This new Russian language course will explore the nature and evolution of the Russian short story from the beginning of the 19th century through the beginning of the 21st century. We will begin with the stories of Pushkin and Gogol and continue with Garshin who proved instrumental in developing the genre to its modern form. Students will then read stories by Chekhov, Bunin, Nabokov, Babel, Shukshin, Tolstaya, Pelevin -- writers with distinguished voices who introduced a variety of groundbreaking themes, characters, and plots and whose art reveals the possibilities of the genre. All the readings and discussion will be in Russian.

Course does not meet an Approach

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RUSS B317 Power and the Poet: Resistance and Otherness in Russian, Sov

Not offered 2022-23

In Imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russia, literature and, later, cinema have served to augment voices calling for freedom and non-conformism in opposition to censorship and oppression. Vis-à-vis these calls for freedom, the concept of the Other has always occupied a prominent space in the Russian collective mindset, as well as in literature and art. Evoking the broad image of the writer, artist, philosopher, and thinker in Russian culture and embodying Otherness, the poet has often challenged Russian society to confront difficult issues. This course will examine how the so-called poet's Otherness has been imagined and depicted in Russian prose and poetry, cinema and media, and in the culture as a whole. By questioning underlying assumptions in Russian culture, students will explore the processes of constructing and representing the Other in terms of ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, and dissidence. Conducted in Russian

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RUSS B319 Advanced Russian through Current Events

Fall 2022

This course offers an exploration of contemporary social, political, ecological, and cultural issues in Russia and on the territories of former Soviet Republics. By working with authentic materials, including articles and video clips, students will solidify Advanced-level reading, listening, writing and speaking skills (ACTFL 2012). All texts and class interactions will be in Russian.

Course does not meet an Approach

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RUSS B342 Russian Culture Today

Not offered 2022-23

This seminar focuses on current cultural trends in Russia, with special emphasis on the interplay between various artistic media and post-Soviet Russia's rapidly developing society. Students will be introduced to contemporary Russian literature, painting, television, film, and music while considering such topics as Russia's ambiguous attitude toward the West, the rise of violence in Russian society, and Russia's evaluation of the past. Prerequisite: RUSS 102 or the equivalent.

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RUSS B365 Russian and Soviet Film Culture

Spring 2023

This seminar explores the cultural and theoretical trends that have shaped Russian and Soviet cinema from the silent era to the present day. The focus will be on Russia's films and film theory, with discussion of the aesthetic, ideological, and historical issues underscoring Russia's cinematic culture. Taught in Russian. No previous study of cinema required, although RUSS 201 or the equivalent is required.

Counts Toward Film Studies

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RUSS B380 Seminar in Russian Studies

Not offered 2022-23

An examination of a focused topic in Russian literature such as a particular author, genre, theme, or decade. Introduces students to close reading and detailed critical analysis of Russian literature in the original language. Readings in Russian. Some discussions and lectures in Russian. Prerequisites: RUSS 102 and one 200-level Russian literature course.

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RUSS B390 Russian for Pre-Professionals I

Fall 2022

This capstone to the overall language course sequence is designed to develop linguistic and cultural proficiency in Russian to the advanced level or higher, preparing students to carry out academic study or research in Russian in a professional field. Suggested Preparation: study abroad in Russia for at least one summer, preferably one semester; and/or certified proficiency levels of 'advanced-low' or 'advanced-mid' in two skills, one of which must be oral proficiency.

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RUSS B391 Russian for Pre-Professionals II

Spring 2023

Second part of year long capstone language sequence designed to develop linguistic and cultural proficiency to the "advanced level," preparing students to carry out advanced academic study or research in Russian in a professional field. Prerequisite: RUSS 390 or equivalent.

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RUSS B398 Senior Essay

Independent research project designed and conducted under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. May be undertaken in either fall or spring semester of senior year.

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RUSS B399 Senior Conference

Exploration of an interdisciplinary topic in Russian culture. Topic varies from year to year. Requirements may include short papers, oral presentations, and examinations.

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RUSS B403 Supervised Work

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RUSS B403 Supervised Work

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FREN B213 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities

Spring 2023

By bringing together the study of major theoretical currents of the 20th century and the practice of analyzing literary works in the light of theory, this course aims at providing students with skills to use literary theory in their own scholarship. The selection of theoretical readings reflects the history of theory (psychoanalysis, structuralism, narratology), as well as the currents most relevant to the contemporary academic field: Post-structuralism, Post-colonialism, Gender Studies, and Ecocriticism. They are paired with a diverse range of short stories (Poe, Kafka, Camus, Borges, Calvino, Morrison, Djebar, Ngozi Adichie) that we discuss along with our study of theoretical texts. The class will be conducted in English with an additional hour in French for students wishing to take it for French credit.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

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ITAL B213 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities

Not offered 2022-23

What is a postcolonial subject, a queer gaze, a feminist manifesto? And how can we use (as readers of texts, art, and films) contemporary studies on animals and cyborgs, object oriented ontology, zombies, storyworlds, neuroaesthetics? In this course we will read some pivotal theoretical texts from different fields, with a focus on race&ethnicity and gender&sexuality. Each theory will be paired with a masterpiece from Italian culture (from Renaissance treatises and paintings to stories written under fascism and postwar movies). We will discuss how to apply theory to the practice of interpretation and of academic writing, and how theoretical ideas shaped what we are reading. Class conducted in English, with an additional hour in Italian for students seeking Italian credit.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Counts toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

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ITAL B216 Body and Mind

Not offered 2022-23

In this course, we will explore representations of the relationship between body and mind, starting from 19th-century Russian novels that conceptualize love as a physical ailment and ending with the history of Alzheimer's disease. Talking about the relationship between body and mind will allow us to investigate how gender roles and models of womanhood and masculinity shaped the evolution of modern sciences, from psychiatry to obstetrics. Investigating how bodies have been (and continue to be) read, we will discuss systems created to police societies by cataloguing bodies, from Lombroso's phrenology to modern fingerprinting and face recognition softwares. Finally, we will consider how our understanding of the relationship between body and mind has changed over time. Many of the theories we will discuss during the semester are now considered outdated pseudo-science - but how can we conceptualize the difference between science and pseudo-science? As new categories and disease designations appear to substitute the old ones, which are the implications of creating a label for a constellation of existing symptoms? The course will be taught entirely in English. There will be an optional hour in Italian for students of Italian.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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ITAL B316 Mountaineering Heroes: Masculinity and Nation-building

Fall 2022

Narration is an intrinsic component of the practice of mountaineering: ascents are conducted in isolation and need to be documented in order to be validated. In the 20th century, with the professionalization of this practice, mountaineering narratives became widespread across a broad range of genres and platforms - from the memoirs of illustrious alpinists to novels and short stories, to propaganda material and articles in popular magazines. In this course, we will focus on Italian mountaineering heroes, exploring how their construction and evolution was shaped by models of masculinity and (less frequently) of womanhood, colonialism and nation-building ideals, and by shifting understandings of the relationship between humans and the environment. We will discus the symbolical and political role of alpine ascents in the Italian unification and in the first world war. We will study Fascist alpinists and the legacy of Fascist, individualist and white supremacist rhetoric in today's mountaineering narratives. At the same time, however, we will encounter groups of alpinists and climbers who challenged this rhetoric, seeking to reframe ascents as play, rather than conquest, influenced by youth movements and the novel American alpinism.All readings and class discussion will be in English. Students will have to option of attending an additional hour of class taught in Italian or in Russian

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ITAL B318 Falling Statues: myth-making in literature, politics and art

Not offered 2022-23

We have become accustomed to the rituals of the dismissal of the heroes of the past: we tear down statues, we rename buildings and places. But how did we get there? How, why and by whom are heroes constructed? When old heroes are questioned, what substitutes them? How are the raise and fall of heroes tied to shifting models of masculinity, womanhood, power and the state? In this course, we will explore these questions focusing on Italy and Russia, two countries that in the 19th and 20th century went through several cycles of construction and deconstruction of their political heroes. In the first part of the course, we will investigate the codification of the "type" of the freedom-fighter in the representations of the protagonists of 19th-century European revolutionary movements, focusing on the links between the Italian Risorgimento and the anti-Tsarist movement in Russia, culminating in the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. From the pamphlets that consecrated the Italian Garibaldi as the "hero of the two worlds" to the autobiographies of the Russian terrorists and the transcripts of their trials, we will investigate myth-making as a constitutive part of political movements and reflect on the models of masculinity and womanhood at the foundation of the "typical" revolutionary hero. In the second part of the semester, we will focus on Stalinism and Fascism, systems that exploited their revolutionary roots to mobilize supporters in favor of oppressive institutions. Finally, we will discuss the many ways in which 19th - and 20th-century heroes have been confronted, neutralized, dismantled - and the many ways in which their models still haunt us. We will focus on literary texts and political speeches, but we will also analyze propaganda posters, movies, paintings, photographs, monuments and even street names. For your final project, you will have the option of building on our class discussions to explore myth-making in contemporary movements or forms of deconstruction of existing heroes.

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Contact Us

Department of Russian

Russian Center
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5187