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Unit information: Hedgehogs and Foxes: The Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel in 2021/22

Unit name Hedgehogs and Foxes: The Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel
Unit code RUSS20068
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Coates
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Russian
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

In this unit, students will study five of the best-known classic Russian novels, by writers including Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Turgenev. They will explore the social, intellectual and artistic contexts that inform the works, while focusing particularly on analysis of the key themes and artistic approaches in each novel. Students will also trace through the works the development in Russian literature of certain key ideas, including the superfluous man, the portrayal of women, ideas of love, freedom, heroism, truth, justice and redemption, the purpose of literature, and the idea of Russia past, present and future.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a thorough understanding of the key themes and preoccupations of major works by some of Russia and the world’s most distinctive and influential novelists;
  2. analyse the contemporaneous social, intellectual and artistic contexts of Russia and Europe;
  3. define the novel form and identify its development and variations in Russia;
  4. present an argument about nineteenth-century Russian literature orally and field questions from the floor;
  5. exercise skills of academic written presentation appropriate to level I.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation.

Assessment Information

Formative: Oral presentation (ILOs 1-5)


1 x 2000-word essay (50%) (ILOs 1-5)

1 x Timed Assessment (50%) (ILOs 1-5)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. RUSS20068).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.