Russian Studies EK 71

Semester  I


What is to be done about Russia? Russian philosophers, writers and political activists have struggled with that question for nearly two hundred years now, and the answers seem no clearer today than they were in 1815. Even after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, even after the institution of western economic and political reforms, Russia still struggles to right itself amidst a continuing succession of crises. Can a civil society, be it authoritarian or democratic, be it socialist or capitalist, be established in this country? This course examines the current events in Russia today through the lens of Russian literature from the 19th century. Course Texts include The Overcoat and Other Stories by Nikolai Gogol, Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy and The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov. (This course may be taken either for English or History credit.)