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Unit information: Dostoevsky in 2015/16

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Unit name Dostoevsky
Unit code RUSS30063
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Coates
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Russian
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit will offer an in-depth analysis of the later fiction of Fedor Dostoevsky, building on exposure to earlier works explored in second-year units such as The Struggle for Russia and Hedgehogs and Foxes. The works will be studied in the context of ideological, political, and social developments in 19th-century Russia, and of Dostoevsky’s own creative and ideological evolution. Attention will be paid to both thematic and formal elements of Dostoevsky’s fiction, and account will be taken of both significant historical and recent critical approaches to his work.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will have; 1. Detailed knowledge and understanding of Dostoevsky’s mature fiction. 2. Made connections between the novels and the ideological, political, and social context in which they were written, 3. Situated Dostoevsky’s own world view in that context. 4. Has an understanding of how Dostoevsky has been received both in Russia and the West, and will be able to identify what is of passing, and what of universal significance in his work. 5. Articulated their own response to Dostoevsky orally and in writing, whilst at the same time critically distinguishing that response from existing scholarly criticism.

Teaching Information

Lectures and seminars, with an emphasis on the latter. Seminars to be part student-led and part tutor led.

Assessment Information

One 3,000-word essay 50% (ILO 1-5) A 2-hour exam 50% (ILO 1-5)

Reading and References

F. M. Dostoevskii, The Idiot F. M. Dostoevskii, The Devils F. M. Dostoevskii, The Brothers Karamazov S. J. Young, Dostoevskii’s The Idiot and the Ethical Foundations of Narrative (2004) W. J. Leatherbarrow (ed.), Dostoevskii’s The Devils: A Critical Companion (1999) R. F. Miller, The Brothers Karamazov: Worlds of the Novel (1992)