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SESSION A: May 21-June 29

Slavic R5B, Section 1 (4 units)
Instructor: TBA

Monday-Thursday 2-4, 206 Dwinelle Hall
Course Control Number: 81405

Reading and Composition Course
"Little Monsters: Supernatural Short Fiction"

All Reading & Composition courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill this requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.

From fairy tales and ghost stories to the vampire fiction renaissance spawned by Stephanie Meyer's Twilight, narratives of the supernatural represent a powerful and enduring facet of our popular culture. However, such narratives are not merely the province of wide-eyed children or swooning teenagers; the supernatural has been, and remains, a source of inspiration for writers and readers of serious fiction and high art as well. A repository of our most secret wishes and darkest fears, the supernatural allows us to tell complex yet entertaining stories about human nature and society.

This R&C course will both examine the supernatural as a vehicle for storytelling and serve as an introduction to Russian culture and history. Together we will read Russian short fiction from the nineteenth century (with occasional excursions into America and Western Europe, as well as the twentieth century), exploring how developments in folklore studies, science, philosophy, and psychology mingled with authors' enduring interest in the supernatural. We will also have weekly in-class screenings of contemporary movies. By juxtaposing these modern tales with their nineteenth-century forbears, we will observe how supernatural narratives flirt with both high art and lurid entertainment. In doing so, we will illuminate how stories about vampires, phantoms, and ghouls (oh my!) are actually stories about ourselves, and how a simple spooky tale can possess deep philosophical and artistic merit.

A typical class session will be split between an hour of close reading and discussion followed by an hour of writing workshops, tutorials, and grammar exercises. On Thursdays, we will screen the selected films in class and use the remaining time for discussion and analysis (spilling over into next Monday's session if need be). Weekly writing assignments will be due on Friday afternoons and returned, graded and with comments, on Mondays.

Short stories & novellas (to be provided via bSpace and/or course reader):
selected fairy tales
Pushkin: The Queen of Spades
Gogol: The Overcoat, The Nose
Hoffmann: The Sandman
Odoevsky: TBD
Poe: The Fall of the House of Usher, The Black Cat
Dostoevsky: Bobok
Turgenev: Klara Milich (After Death)
Gippius: The Living & the Dead
Chekhov: The Black Monk
Bulgakov: Heart of a Dog
Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper
Wharton: Afterward
Wilde: The Canterville Ghost

Nosferatu (Murnau, 1922)
Corpse Bride (Burton, 2005)
Shadow of the Vampire (Merhige, 2000)
The Fly (Cronenberg, 1985)
Black Swan (Aronofsky, 2010)
(Final film TBD)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement or its equivalent.

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SESSION B: June 4-August 10

Director: Katya Balter, kbalter@gmail.com

This course is the equivalent of a 2-semester course in elementary Russian. The Slavic 10 Workshop takes place Monday-Friday beginning with a 2-hour grammar session from 9-11, followed by a second session for language reinforcement from 11-12, a break for lunch, culminating with a lecture from 1-2. There is also a language reinforcement activity or "Lab" Wednesdays 2-4.


Students must enroll in all sections (Lecture + Section 101 + LAB 101). Students may not take only part of the program; as the program requires significant time and energy investment, no auditors may be admitted to the course.

Enroll in the Lecture + Section 101 + LAB 101 of the Workshop noted below. The 5-digit Course Control Numbers are listed for each. Note: Registration for Section 102 is not needed.

Lecture on M-F 1-2: Course Control Number 81415
Recitation Section 101 on M-F 9-11: Course Control Number 81420
Recitation Section 102 on M-F 11-12
LAB 101 on W 2-4:
Course Control Number 81430

WHERE TO MEET THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES: 9:00 a.m., Room 3401 Dwinelle


Slavic 10 is a 10-week intensive program in elementary Russian (equivalent to the one-year Slavic 1 and 2 sequence at Berkeley) and presumes no previous knowledge of the language. Students will acquire a basic knowledge of Russian grammar and a useful vocabulary. The program emphasizes the fundamental tools necessary for both written and oral communication at the beginning level. Small class sections meet Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and are taught by experienced Russian language instructors. Daily homework and laboratory assignments complement instruction. In order to maximize language acquisition, the course proceeds at a rigorous pace and is conducted, starting in the second week, entirely in Russian. Students should prepare for a full-time investment as these courses cover 30 weeks of regular instruction over a 10-week session.
The course also includes a significant cultural program, intended to supplement the language learning with a broader cultural literacy. This program consists of a Wednesday film series (during the weekly 2:00-4:00 lab section) and a Friday tea, which will feature invited guests and native speakers from the Bay Area Russian community. Not only do these events provide another context for exposure to Russian (they are all conducted in Russian), they also serve as a way to connect with the active Russian-speaking community in San Francisco and the East Bay. The more popular highlights of the summer include a field trip to a Russian restaurant and bookstore and the annual potluck picnic.

Textbook information:

Nachalo: When in Russia…Book 1 by Lubensky, Ervin, McClellan, and Jarvis (hard cover + CD) & Workbook and Lab Manual to Accompany Nachalo: When in Russia…Book 1 (soft cover), Second Edition.

Nachalo: When in Russia…Book 2 by Lubensky, Ervin, McClellan, and Jarvis (hard cover + CD) & Workbook and Lab Manual to Accompany Nachalo: When in Russia…Book 2 (soft cover), Second Edition.

(The textbook and lab manual come shrink-wrapped together at a slight discount.)

Available at the Cal Student Store (Lower Sproul Plaza) or Ned’s. If you buy used make sure you buy the SECOND edition.

Required: Listening exercises for the Nachalo Workbook/Lab Manual are available through the bSpace site or directly at http://blc.berkeley.edu/ under “Online Language Lessons” (Username: berkeley; Password: BLC=languages). Make sure to check the system requirements for the web audio. (See also “Audio for Slavic 1” under “Resources” on the bSpace site.)

English Grammar for Students of Russian by Edwina Cruise (Olivia & Hill Press, 1991): Strongly recommended for students with little or no knowledge of grammar in general.


Registration, Housing, and Financial Aid Information

THE UC BERKELEY OFFICE OF SUMMER SESSIONS ADMINISTERS SUMMER PROGRAMS. See their website for registration, housing, and financial aid information: http://summer.berkeley.edu/

EARLY ENROLLMENT IS ENCOURAGED! The Slavic Department encourages students to enroll February 6 through mid-May to secure a place in Slavic 10. Enrollment after mid-May through the first day of classes will remain available through the Office of Summer Sessions.

Exceptions for Late Enrollment for Quarter-System Students

Accommodations may be made for quarter-system students who are not able to arrive at the beginning of Slavic 10 (normally, this might consist of missing a few days of the first week of classes). Contact Katya Balter, the Director of the Russian Workshop, in advance to determine if it will be possible to start the Workshop after the first class meeting: kbalter@gmail.com.

Housing costs are additional, and students arrange their own housing through Campus Housing Services.

Financial aid is available for continuing UC students from all campuses. Non UC students should apply for financial aid through their home campuses.

Placement in Slavic 10

Katya Balter will be available to answer questions about placement in courses, course structure, and content February 1 through August 10th at: kbalter@gmail.com. Slavic 10 presumes no prior experience with the Russian language; if you are a heritage speaker please contact Ms. Balter before enrolling to determine if this course is an appropriate language level placement for you. However, we do highly recommend this program for students who have taken Slavic 1 in the Spring semester and wish to continue on to Slavic 3 and 4 in the following year, as there is very little overlap between this course and Slavic 1.

General questions about the Russian program may be addressed to the Slavic Department at the following e-mail address: issa@berkeley.edu, or by phone at (510) 642-2979.

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SESSION D: July 2-August 10

Slavic R5B, Section 101 (4 units)
Instructor: TBA

Monday-Thursday 1-3, 206 Wheeler Hall
Course Control Number: 81410

Reading and Composition Course
"The Natural, The Real, The Supernatural"

All Reading & Composition courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill this requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.

Is what we call the supernatural merely a psychological aberration? Are literary devils bad all through? What does the personification of evil tell us about the complexity of morality? In this course, acting as literary detectives, we will ask these and other similar questions, admitting ahead of time that when it comes to truly great ghost stories definitive answers may not be achieved. We will inspect a range of texts drawn from the Russian, American, and English traditions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, training our analytical and interpretive skills as we trace the uncertain boundaries of what we call the “real.”

This class will build upon the skills you acquired in your first “Reading and Composition” course. You will learn to write longer and more complex college essays with specific attention to the cultivation of effective research strategies. Learning how to respond to and incorporate the work of other scholars into your own papers will also be one of our primary goals. In addition to discussing the readings, much of class time will be devoted to writing workshops, where you will outline, draft, edit, and revise your papers in consultation with the instructor and in dialogue with your peers. Contemporary films that complement our readings will also be screened in class.

Nikolai Gogol, “The Diary of a Madman” (1835)
Edgar Allan Poe, “The Purloined Letter” (1844)
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (1898)
G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare (1908)
C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (1942)
Vladimir Nabokov, “The Visit to the Museum” (1966)
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita (1967)

Stranger Than Fiction, dir. Marc Forster (2006)
The Science of Sleep, dir. Michel Gondry (2006)
Other films TBA

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement or its equivalent.

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Courses offered:

Slavic 10: The Ten-Week Russian Workshop  

Reading And Composition Courses:
R5B-1: Little Monsters: Supernatural Short Fiction

R5B-101: The Natural, The Real, The Supernatural

Summer Schedule of Classes



Design: Renee Perelmutter, 2004. Updated by Elizabeth LaVarge-Baptista, 2/8/12