Slavic 46: 20th-Century Russian Literature

MWF 10-11, 229 Dwinelle. Instructor: Harsha Ram.

Units: 3 Satisfies L&S Arts & Literature breadth requirement.

Instructor’s email:

Slavic 46 is required for the major track in Russian Language and Literature.

The twentieth century was the richest and most tumultuous period in modern Russian history. It began with the literary and cultural ferment associated with artistic modernism, which coincided in Russia with the collapse of the tsarist order and the hopes unleashed by three revolutions, the last of which ushered in the communist experiment. Before and after the revolution, Russian writers played a vital role in transfiguring Russian society. They did so by linking political change to artistic innovation (the avant-garde), conforming to didactic models that celebrated the workers’ utopia (socialist realism), or by satirizing and questioning the authoritarian and dystopian elements of Soviet society.

Authors to be studied include Chekhov, Gippius, Akhmatova, Maiakovskii, Belyi, Babel, Gladkov, Platonov, Zamiatin, Nabokov, Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn, Erofeev, Siniavsky, Brodsky, Prigov.

Texts: For specific texts, contact the instructor via email at

Prerequisites: None. Lectures and readings in English.