Slavic Languages and Literatures | Topics Course: Breaking the Code
E103 | ALL | Volkova


This course is an interdisciplinary course. It serves to introduce students
to the fundamentals of semiotics, communication theory, linguistics, as well
as to an innovative way of looking at texts from the point of view of the
underlying feelings and implied human values and from the point of view of
cultural conditioning. Students learn about different types of texts and the
goal of the course is to teach them how to be more discerning readers.

Another goal of this course is to teach students the basic concepts of
semiotics and communication theory in a practical and entertaining way,
employing a hands on approach. The course uses an innovative approach to
texts. Instead of the usual analysis of texts which allows us to understand
their surface meaning, we teach students how to see the authors hidden
prejudices as regards to sexism, racism, nationalism, etc. We focus on
hidden, underlying values and silent implications which affect the readers
often without them realizing it. Values which are unconsciously adopted and
often spread without noticing are explored. One of the methods to reach this
goal is exploration of major world religions and myths.