Slavic Languages and 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

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 S652
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
Analytical studies:
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", 1-39; 212-232
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
Serfs," 113-175.
Benjamin Nathans, "Conflict, Community, and the Jews of Late 19th-
century Petersburg,"
Jahrb, cher 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)