Slavic 50: Introduction to Russian/East European/Eurasian Cultures

Session C (June 18 - August 10) TWTh 1-3, Dwinelle 179. Instructor: Dominick Lawton.

Units: 3 Satisfies L&S International Studies OR Arts & Literature OR Social & Behavioral Sciences breadth requirement.

This course is designed to familiarize the student with the major topics of the culture and history of the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian worlds, from their pre-modern origins to 21st century issues of identity and socio-politics. Focus will be on the territory of the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union, including Russia, Ukraine and Belarus; as well as the Caucasus, including Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. From Eastern Europe, we will also discuss West Slavic (Polish, Czech, and Slovak) and South Slavic (former Yugoslav, Bulgarian) culture, history, and experience. Attention will be paid to these regions’ relationship to broader historical developments in Europe, Asia, and the United States. We will focus on key historical events and trends, and their relationship with particular forms of cultural activity.

Readings will come from a variety of sources, including medieval chronicles and saints’ lives, fairy tales, poetry, short stories, excerpts from novels, historical primary sources, mass media, popular music, the internet, and scholarly articles. Secondary readings will be drawn from historical, linguistic, anthropological, and literary disciplines. In addition, subtitled films will be screened during the semester.

Students will be asked to write short papers, as well as take an exam. Readings and discussion in English.

Prerequisites: None

Taught in English with readings in English.

Slavic 50 is required for the major track in Russian/East European/Eurasian Cultures.

Instructor pending appointment.