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Unit information: Introduction to Russian Literature in 2016/17

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Unit name Introduction to Russian Literature
Unit code RUSS10037
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Connor Doak
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Russian
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to introduce some major figures and themes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature through the study of classic verse and short stories by about eight leading writers. Classes will focus on close analysis of paradigmatic texts as a means of illustrating the more general themes, preoccupations and techniques of the author concerned, while discussion will also place these themes, preoccupations and techniques in the broader context of the development of modern Russian short fiction and poetry and in their socio-historical context.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will acquire a sound understanding of the history of the development of modern Russian short fiction and poetry, in the context of literary, cultural and social history. They will be familiar with the themes and approaches of a number of major Russian writers. They will be more adept at performing close analysis of verse and prose text, while learners of Russian will also develop their ability to read literary Russian.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught in a combination of lectures and seminars.

Assessment Information

Two 2000-word essays (50% each)

Each assessment will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of modern literature and history. They will be required to analyse closely a selection of the primary material studied and through detailed study enhance their familiarity with the language of the texts.

Reading and References

  1. Neil Cornwell (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature, New York: Routledge, 2001.
  2. Caryl Emerson (ed.), The Cambridge Introduction to Russian Literature, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  3. Charles A. Moser, The Russian Short Story: A Critical History, Boston: Twayne, 1986.
  4. Lyudmila Parts (ed.), The Russian Twentieth-Century Short Story: A Critical Companion, Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press, 2010.
  5. Michael L. O'Toole, Structure, Style and Interpretation in the Russian Short Story, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.
  6. Michael Wachtel (ed.), The Cambridge Introduction to Russian Poetry, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004