Slavic 280, Section 1: Graduate Seminar/Proseminar: Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and the Uses of Literary Scholarship

F 1-4, 6115 Dwinelle. Instructor: Irina Paperno.

Units: 4

Cross-listed with Slavic 281: First-year graduate students, enroll in Slavic 281. Other students, register for Slavic 280.

The goals of this course are two-fold. On the one hand, we will pursue a systematic overview of approaches and instruments used in contemporary literary scholarship and pedagogy: epistemological premises of the humanities, concepts of criticism, analytical and interpretive moves, research strategies, and more. With this goal in view, we will discuss concepts (text, intertext, cultural context, narrative, genre, etc.) and theoretical studies (Lotman, Bakhtin, Barthes, Derrida, and many others) and perform practical exercises in research, close reading, interpretation, and more.  As the key text, we will use Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Our second objective will thus be an exploration of this great novel.

 Required of all first-year graduate students in the Slavic Department, the course is open to (and will be adjusted for) more experienced students. (First-year students, register for 281; other students, register for 280.)

Prerequisites: graduate standing; knowledge of Russian. Students are expected to have read Anna Karenina in the original before the start of the semester, using a reliable scholarly edition. The canonical text, along with the manuscript variants and textological commentaries, appeared in the academic (“Jubilee”) edition, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii v 90 tt. (Moscow: Nauka, 1928-1958) and in all subsequent editions based on the 90-volume edition, such as the popular Sobranie sochinenii v 20 tt. (Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1960-65).

Reference source: Irena Makaryk, Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory (University of Toronto Press, 1993): buy at (not ordered for the campus textbook store).