Slavic 188: Contemporary Russian Prose

MWF 12-1, Dwinelle 189. Instructor: Ivan Sokolov.

Units: 4

The course complements Slavic 181 in focusing on the most recent works of Russian prose. Over the course of the semester we will read a broad range of texts from perestroika to the present day. We will explore how Russian writing “behaves” in an array of genres, from short stories and fragments of a novel to online journalism and advertising to scholarly articles and philosophical essays. What kinds of words and turns of speech inhabit a given discourse in Russian? What reading skills are vital in order effectively to interact with a text in a foreign language? How can we emulate, engage or interpret a written artefact? Besides bringing the social agendas and writing styles of today’s Russia to the students’ close attention, the course aims at developing their fluency in literary Russian, enhancing their vocabulary and perfecting their analytical skills.

All readings will be distributed as photocopies / printouts.

Prerequisite: Instructor’s consent and/or four semesters of Russian are required. The course is open both to Slavic majors and to heritage speakers of Russian.