Slavic 147A: East Slavic Folklore

TuTh 12:30-2, 234 Dwinelle. Instructor: Ronelle Alexander.

Units: 3 Satisfies L&S Social & Behaviorial Sciences OR Arts & Literature breadth requirement.

This course surveys the traditional tales, songs, and customs of the East Slavs. The primary focus is on Russian folklore, but some attention is paid to Ukrainian folklore as well. The course focuses primarily on traditional folklore, on recordings made in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which are presumed to have been transmitted orally through many generations. In the final weeks, however, the focus shifts to the modern age, to the ways in which this folklore heritage was transformed to serve Soviet political goals, and to the presence of a still-living minstrel tradition in the Ukraine. Requirements: two brief essays, midterm, final examination.

Texts for purchase:
Afanas’ev, Aleksandr, translated by Norbert Guterman. Russian Fairy Tales. Pantheon Books, 1973. ISBN: 0394730909
Bailey, James and Tatyana Ivanova. An Anthology of Russian Folk Epics. Routledge, 1998. ISBN: 0873326415
Ivanits, Linda. Russian Folk Belief. Routledge, 1992. ISBN: 0873328892

Other texts available online

Prerequisites: None. Course and readings are in English.