Slavic 190: Russia and the Caucasus

Tu 2-5, 6115 Dwinelle. Instructor: Harsha Ram.

Units: 4 Satisfies L&S Historical Studies breadth requirement.

This course is taught in Russian.

Russia and the Caucasus have been intertwined for two centuries. Famed for its natural beauty, the Caucasus has also witnessed bloody wars, Russia’s civilizing mission, and a lively dialogue between communities across ethnic, religious, geographical and cultural divides. We will be exploring the stakes of the encounter between Russia and the peoples of the Caucasus through poetry, short stories, historical accounts, contemporary television and newspaper coverage, as well as films. Authors to be read include Aleksandr Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Lev Tolstoi, Fazil Iskander, Sayat Nova, Gostan Zarian, Hovhannes Tumanian, Grigol Orbeliani, Vazha Pshavela, and Otar Chiladze.

Class format: The class will be conducted in a participatory seminar format. Students will be required to read defined quanitities of the assigned texts at home with a dictionary, present assigned material, and be involved in class discussion. In addition, students will be given regular writing assignments, a midterm, and final project (the format of which can vary depending on the student’s level of Russian language proficiency and interests).

Material: Course materials will be posted on bCourses.

Prerequisites: The course is intended for students with advanced knowledge of Russian, both those who study Russian as a foreign language and heritage speakers. All texts will be read in Russian. Class lectures, discussions and student presentations will be conducted primarily in Russian.