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
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
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 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
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," 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)