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Cox Computer Classroom - 230A
This course is an introduction to the vast sweep of history, society, politics and culture of Russia in its varied boundaries and complex relations with its neighbors. As such, it takes an interdisciplinary approach to answering the fundamental questions that have been debated for centuries: What is Russia? Where is Russia? Where is Russia going? Along the way, the course examines the essential components of Russia’s national identity, as well as the question of how this identity has been understood by both the Russians themselves and by the other peoples of the region. These issues are approached from a number of perspectives, including historical, political, legal, economic, cultural and artistic. The class relies less on overarching textbook approaches and more on close readings of short and varied texts that illuminate Russia’s past, present, and, hopefully, its future. Proceeding from the fixities of geography and climate, the course explores the weight of history, the power of the state, the constitution of culture, the importance of religion and art, and the exigencies of everyday life. The course highlights continuities in the historical experience while addressing the causes of powerful and violent ruptures in culture and society that, throughout history, have affected Russia itself, its neighbors, and the world at large. We hope that through this course students will receive not simply an introduction to the fascinating riddle that is Russia, but also an understanding of the complexities and multiple interpretive approaches that should animate the study of any nation.
Required Textbooks, Articles, and Resources
- The Russians. ISBN: 0631218491.
The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.