Flight of the Firebird: What Ignites Russia's Imagination in Literature and Culture

Fall
Fall 2018
Olympia
Olympia
Daytime
Day
Sophomore-Senior
Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 25
16
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Russian language and literature

Russia today is experiencing an upsurge in displays of nationalism and national pride--pride in its tumultuous imperial history, its rich culture, and its role on the world stage. How has President Putin inspired Russia to embrace this nationalistic fervor and how he has linked it to Russian patriotism, justifying internal and external political action based on historical precedent? We will explore this central question through readings in Russian history and literature, and will seek the sources of this trend in the literary, musical, and artistic culture of the pre-1917-Revolution Russian Empire from the mid-19th into the early 20th centuries.

We will discuss in seminar relevant literature of Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, writers who in various ways defined Russian-ness. We will 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 20th century, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. We will study the magnificent realistic art of the Wanderers (Peredvizhniki) and the avant-garde art into the 20th century which also drew on folk imagery.

In all of this exploration, we will 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 fieldtrip to the Maryhill Museum, which houses Russian icons and historical items, and a Greek Orthodox women’s monastery where we will learn more about the historical significance of the Orthodox Church, inherited from Byzantium, 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:

international studies,; Russian, East European, and Eurasian area studies; literary studies; cultural studies; and history. 

16

Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • No Required Online Learning - No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional.
Fees:

$64 for an overnight field trip to the Maryhill Museum and Brooks Memorial Environmental Learning Center near Goldendale, WA.

Sophomore-Senior
Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 25
Daytime

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 9:30 am
SEM 2 A2109 - Seminar

Located in: Olympia