Slavic Languages & Literatures | Jewish Characters in Russian Literature
R345 | ALL | Perlina
Course description and course requirements:
The course approaches the "Jewish Question" and the identity and and
self-identity of Jewish characters from the standpoints of literary
analyses, cultural ethnography, folklore and religious studies, and social
and political history. Literary works of major 19th--20th-century Russian
writers provide the primary sources for the discussions.
Each class session is divided in two parts: lecture (50-55 min) and
discussion (20-25 min). Students' participation in discussions is absolutely
required. The guidelines for the discussions are provided by the
instructor's handouts. Undergraduate students are expected to write a
take-home mid-term exam (8-10 pp); to present a 20 minute report and to
develop this oral report in a thorough analytical study of a chosen topic.
This analytical study (10-12 pp) undergraduate students will submit as their
final paper for the course.
Graduate students are expected to make one formal in-class presentation of
approx. 20 mins and to produce two research studies of approx 10-12 pages,
one of which can provide a more detailed elaboration of an oral report.
A mid-term exam will cover the main cultural events of the late
18th-late 19th centuries and have its focus in the works by Gogol,
Dostoevsky, Leskov, and Chekhov. An oral report and an analytical study will
treat individual works which are not included into the required reading
list. Those interested in history may provide an overview of a
cultural-historical problem instead of an interpretative treatment of a
literary work. Those fluent in Russian are encouraged to discuss texts that
have not yet been translated in English.
Deadlines for the papers will be shown in the syllabus. Drafts for
oral presentations are to be consulted with the instructor a week before
their presentations. There will be no final exam for this course. The grades
will be determined by the following:
Undergrad. students: 10% -- attendance and class participation; 25% --
take-home exam; 25% -- oral presentation; 40% --final paper.
Graduate students: 10% -- attendance and class participation; 25% -- oral
presentation; 25% -- first paper; 40% --final paper.
Literary works suggested for oral reports and final analyticas
A. Kuprin, Gambrinus and Other Stories (NY, 1925) PG 3467 K8 G2
V. Korolenko, "The Day of Atonement" in his Makar's Dream (1971), PG 3467 K6
O. Mandelstam, The Noise of Time, 1986. PG 3476 M358 A22 1988
I. Ehrenburg, Life and Adventures of Lazar Roitschwanez
A. Terts, On Trial, PG 3476 S539 Z49
Joseph Brodsky, "Less Than One". "In a Room and a Half" in his Less THan
One, NY, 1986, 3-33; 447-501
V. Grossman, Life and Fate (London, 1985, fragments) PG 3476 G7 Z1513 1985
Hans Rogger, Jewish Policies and Right-Wing Politics in Imperial Russia
(L.A., 1986) DS 135 R9 1986
a) "The Question of Jewish Emancipation: Russia in the Mirror of
Europe"; "The Jewish Policy of Late Tsarism"; "Was there a Russian Fascism",
b) "Russian Ministers and the Jewish Question"; "The Formation of
the Russian Right", 56-112, 188-211.
c) "Government, Jews, Peasants and Land after the Liberation of
Benjamin Nathans, "Conflict, Community, and the Jews of Late 19th-century
Petersburg," Jahrbücher f. Geschichte Osteuropas, 44: 2: 1996, 178-215, and
M. Beizer, The Jews of St. Petersburg (Philad, N.Y., 1989), 125-173
(available from the instructor, if not to be found in the library)
Lionell Kochan, ed, The Jews in Soviet Russia since 1917 (London, 1970) DS
135 R9 J59
M. Stanislawski, Tsar Nicolas I and the Jews (Philadelphia, 1983)