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Polish Courses

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860 - Russian

Language Courses

First Year Russian
Jamie Bennett
MWTh2 9:50-11:10am, Hardenbergh Hall B4
Prerequisite: 860:101 or placement.
This course is intended for students who have taken 860:101 or who have permission to take this course. Students will learn the fundamentals of Russian with exercises in speaking, reading, and writing.
First Year Russian Language Lab
T2 9:50-11:10am, Language Lab 119
This 1-credit course supplements work in 860:102 or 107. Students work on pronunciation, intonation, and comprehension while utilizing the audiovisual and digital capabilities of the Language Lab on College Avenue. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT ALL STUDENTS ENROLLED IN 102 TAKE THIS COURSE.
Russian for Russian Speakers
Natalia Medvedeva
MTTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 116
This course is for students who HAVE a knowledge of Russian from home but who have difficulty reading and writing, and have never studied grammar formally. Heritage speakers will not be given credit for 860:101. Students will provide their knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, and idiomatic usage as well as their reading and writing skills. A student must take a placement test in order to take this course. Please contact the department if you have any questions.
Second Year Russian
Jamie Bennett
MTTh4 1:10-2:30pm, M Scott Hall 119, TTh Scott Hall 220
Prerequisite: 860:201 or placement.
For students who have taken 860:201. Not for students who have taken 107/Russian for Russian Speakers. This section is for students who have no prior knowledge of Russian from home. This course fulfills SAS core goal AH q.
Second Year Russian Language Lab
Jamie Bennett
W5 2:50-4:10pm, Language Lab 119
This 1-credit course supplements work in 860:202 or 208. Students work on pronunciation, intonation, and comprehension while utilizing the audiovisual and digital capabilities of the Language Lab on College Avenue. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT ALL STUDENTS ENROLLED IN 202 TAKE THIS COURSE.
Second Year Russian for Russian Speakers
Jamie Bennett
MTTh5 2:50-4:10pm, M Frelinghuysen Hall B6, TTh Graduate School Education 025B
Prerequisite: 860:207 or placement.
For students who have taken 860:207. Not for students who have taken 860:102. This section is for students who have some prior knowledge of Russian from home. This course fulfills SAS core goal AH q.
Third Year Russian
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Hardenbergh Hall A7
Prerequisite: 860:301, 351, or placement.
This course is for students who have completed 860:301 or 351 at Rutgers or the equivalent at another institution. Students who speak Russian at home and who have studied Russian in school many wish to take this course. Students will work on advancing their writing, reading, and conversational skills and will read and discuss contemporary Russian texts. Students will learn how to search the internet, retrieve information, and will present their findings in class.
Advanced Russian
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Hardenbergh Hall A7
Prerequisite: 860:401 or placement.
This course is for students who have completed 860:401 at Rutgers or the equivalent at another institution. Students who speak Russian at home and who have studied Russian in school many wish to take this course. This course is a continuation of the 401, successful completion of which (or its equivalent) is a pre-requisite. Students will continue to examine the ways America was perceived and depicted in Russian literary texts and cinema. The structure of the course will be based on analytical reading and critical viewing of the movies. The readings will incude "The Voice of America" by B. Lavrenev, "Little Golden America" by Ilf and Petrov, and contemporary texts by V. Aksyonov, I. Voinovich, E. Savella, and others. Movie selections include the documentary on Ilf and Petrov, Amerikanskaya Doch, Musulmanin, and others. Additionally, 402 students will continue to perfect their essay writing skills, with emphasis on persuasive and causative essays. Grammar aspects that will be covered include participles, verbal adverb, and syntax.

Literature Courses

Reading Russian Literature in Russian
TTh6 4:30-5:50pm, Scott Hall 219
Prerequisite: 860:202, 207, or permission of the instructor. (Advanced students who have taken 107 and wish to take this course should consult the instructor.)
This course gives students the tools they need to read, analyze, and interpret literary texts (poetry and prose) in Russian. Students will refine their understanding of grammar and syntax, of the rules and traditions of Russian versification, how various stylistic registers affect meaning, and how grammar is also a way to convey meaning. We will approach this understanding through reading some of the most important and distinctive Russian writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Students will get a sense of the poetics and stylistics of various literary movements in poetry and prose. Most broadly, this course will be useful to all students who wish to improve their reading, interpretive, language, and analytical skills. The course is required of all Russian majors, and counts as a literature course for minors in Russian Language and Literature and Russian Language. All readings in Russian. Discussions and written assignments in English.
Special Topics in Russian Studies: Money for Nothing: The Economics of Russian Literature
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:395:02
Emma Lieber
MW6 4:30-5:50pm, M Scott Hall 105, W Scott Hall 205
From its class-divided Russian empire, to the eradication of private property in the Soviet era, to the rise of the Russian oligarch in the late twentieth century, Russia has had a complicated relationship to economic matters throughout its history.  This course examines the role of money and the depiction of the marketplace in works of Russian literature ranging from the eighteenth to the twenty first centuries, in order to explore how Russian economies take imaginative shape in literary text. We will explore such topics as class, ownership and property, slavery, exchange, gambling, hoarding, prostitution, charity and gift-giving, theft, and squandering as they are given shape in the Russian canon, and we will ask questions like: what is the role of money in realism, and in Russian realism in particular?  In what ways do economic exchange and emotion reflect each other in these narratives?  What does money have to do with sexuality?  How is human worth figured in Russian texts?  Lastly, we will examine specific elements of the Russian historical context—serfdom and its abolition; the Soviet communal apartment—as they make their presence felt in Russian literature.  Texts will include those by Russian authors such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol, Chekhov, Pushkin, Platonov, Zoshchenko, and Ulitskaya, as well as theoretical writing by thinkers like Adam Smith, Marx, Derrida, and Irigaray. All readings and discussions in English.
Topics: Survey of Russian Art & Architecture I
Cross-listed with Art History 01:082:291:01
MW5 2:50-4:10pm, Zimmerli Art Museum EDR

This course will trace the development of Russian art from the Christianization of Russia in 988 A.D. to the late seventeenth century. Of primary importance is the impact of Byzantium, from which Kievan Rus’ adopted Orthodox Christianity in the 10th century. The course will include a wide range of works and architectural monuments from virtually every major period of Old Russian Art. We will examine regional variations in the culture of early Kievan Rus’ and Novgorod, the response to Mongol Rule, the impact on culture of political consolidation around Moscow beginning in the 15th century, the responses to “westernization” in the 15th-17th centuries, and the transformation in Russian society and culture at the end of the seventeenth century.  We will explore the intersection of diverse cultural traditions in Russia and the formation of national identity. The course will treat Russian contributions within the context of international art history, as well as genres and forms specific to Russia such as Russian Orthodox icons, folk prints known as lubki. and parsuna, a type of painting that was a transition between traditional icon painting and the more westernized, realistic type of portraiture.

The course is concerned with painting and architecture in the oldest settlements of Kiev, Novgorod, and Suzdal, from the later tenth century to the Mongol conquest; it also explores Russian icon painting through the seventeenth century, focusing on the iconography and techniques of icons, various schools of icon painting, and the function of icon in Russian society. The course will also trace the beginnings of modern painting in Moscow from 1550-1700 and, in architecture, from the transmission of Byzantine culture in the earliest sacred spaces of Kievan Rus’ to the religious and secular monuments of the seventeenth-century century-- the “Naryshkin Baroque.” Throughout the course, we will study Russian art in its historical and cultural framework, and investigate the ways in which artistic forms, subjects, and styles communicate ideas. No knowledge of Russian required. All readings and class discussions in English.

The World According to Gogol
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:396:01
MW4 1:10-2:30pm, Hardenbergh Hall B6
Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852) may well be the most bizarre and haunting of all Russian writers. In an age when the mirror-like reflection of reality was considered the highest aesthetic achievement, he created fictions that defied this imperative. His artistic universe is filled with grotesque transformations, narrative red herrings, supernatural occurrences, pervasive irony, unreliable narrators, and perplexing shifts in the customary meanings of words and actions. This is a very special world, in which a nose can become a high-ranking bureaucrat, a man can develop an ardent love for a coat, a creature can have eyelids that fall to the ground like curtains, and a diary entry can be dated "Da 34 te yare, February 349." Through slow and meticulous reading, this course will ask you to suspend all assumptions and will teach you unique strategies for making sense of Gogol. It will also offer you a window onto Gogol's powerful legacy in Russian culture. The luminescent image of three horses that opened the 2014 Sochi Olympics came from Gogol's fiction. No other cultural figure framed the clash between Russian and Ukrainian nationalisms - which flared up most recently in 2014 in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine - with as much lasting relevance as Gogol. We will study Gogol's short fiction about Ukraine and St. Petersburg, perhaps the funniest Russian comedy ever – The Government Inspector, and a foundational text of modern Russian literature, the novel Dead Souls. The materials will also include work on Gogol produced by Rutgers undergraduates. Class discussion and all readings are in English.
Emma Lieber
MW5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 204
Artist or thinker? Saint or sinner? Moralist or sensualist? Woman defender or woman despiser? Leo Tolstoy, one of the greatest Russian nineteenth-century writers, is also one of the most contradictory. The energetic conflicts that are rife within both his persona and his work make for extremely compelling and exciting study. This course covers Tolstoy's major works, from his first (Childhood, Boyhood, Youth) to his last ("Hadji Murat," about Islamic rebels against the Russian empire—a relevant topic today), and including his great novel Anna Karenina. We will chart his development as a writer, from his early forays into realistic writing, through his spiritual crisis of the 1870s and 80s and into his more didactic later works, concentrating on the themes that inspired his writing throughout his career: religion and God as guiding forces in modern life; death, and its capacity to reveal the ethical dimensions of lived life; sexuality, its pleasures and dangers; imperialism and national feeling; aggression and the human capacity for violence. We will ask what motivated the life and work of a Christian prophet who was excommunicated from the Christian church, of an aristocrat who dressed in peasant garb, of a father of 13 who preached celibacy, with our readings of his texts consistently locating these sorts of oppositions and contradictions in order to determine what, as readers, we are to make of them. All readings and discussions in English. Fulfills SAS core goal AH o, p, WCd.
Gender & Sexuality in Russian Literature
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:480:01, and Women and Gender Studies 01:988:435:01
TTh4 1:10-2:30pm, T Scott Hall 120, Th Scott Hall 205
In this course we study questions of gender and sexuality in Russian literature and culture through close readings of novellas, short stories, poems, films, and essays, from the nineteenth century to the present. How have gender and sexuality been constructed in different periods of Russian history? What erotic utopias did radical thinkers propose? How did Soviet ideology build on traditional myths and images of femininity and masculinity? How have gay and lesbian love been represented, given the enduring presence of cultural taboos? Our special focus is on the decades surrounding the Bolshevik Revolution –- the extreme depths and heights of symbolism, decadence, and various avant-garde movements. We will broaden our study through encounters with influential theoretical and critical texts, including those outside the Russian tradition. We will devote a unit in this course to understanding what Pussy Riot's performance art, and the reactions to it, can tell us about gender and sexuality in today's Russia. All readings and discussions in English.


787 - Polish

First Year Polish
MTTh4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 202
Prerequisite: 787:101 or permission of the instructor.
For students who have taken 787:101 or have permission of the instructor. Basic grammar, simple dialogues, and vocabulary building. Some elements of Polish culture and tradition.
Second Year Polish
MTTh5 2:50-4:10pm, M Scott Hall 101, TTh Scott Hall 206
Prerequisite: 787:201
A continuation of 787:201. More complex grammar. An incorporation of some topics in Polish history and literature. Short pieces of text to be translated from English to Polish.