Flight of the Firebird: What Ignites Russia's Imagination in Literature and Culture
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Russia today continues to experience an upsurge in nationalism and national pride--pride in its tumultuous Imperial and Super Power history, and its rich culture and role on the world stage today. How has President Putin inspired Russia to embrace this nationalistic fervor and how he has linked it to Russian patriotism, justifying military action based on historical precedent?
We explore this central question through readings in Russian history and literature and seek the sources of this trend in literary, musical, and artistic culture of the pre-1917-Revolution Russian Empire from the mid-19 th into early 20 th centuries. We discuss in seminar relevant literature of Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, writers who in various ways defined Russian-ness. We listen to the great music of world-class Russian composers who intentionally captured a national Russian folk sound in their compositions, among them Glinka, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, and into the 20 th century, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. We study the magnificent realistic art of the Wanderers ( Peredvizhniki ), the avant-garde art into the 20th century which also drew on folk imagery, and even some nationalistic heavy and folk metal groups. In our exploration, we examine both the socially-conscious aspects of these creative works, as well as how they celebrate Russian identity, Russian Nature, and the Russian soul.
As we continue to monitor the contemporary Russian political scene, we will view relevant films and documentaries to help us get under the surface of the culture. Finally, we will take an overnight field trip to the Maryhill Museum, which houses Russian icons and historical items, as well as a Greek Orthodox women’s monastery where we will learn more about the historical significance of the Orthodox Church, both in Russian history and especially in Putin’s Russia today. Students will write short papers and a research paper on a topic of their choice.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
History, International Studies, Russian and Slavic Studies, Literary Studies, Nationalism Studies
Credits per quarter
- No Required Online Learning - No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional.
A total of $55.00 for the overnight field trip to the Maryhill Museum and Brooks Memorial ELC.
Class Size: 25
Scheduled for: Day
Final schedule and room assignments:
First meeting:Monday, March 30, 2020 - 9:30 am
Located in: Olympia