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HIS 30 — A Journey Through Russian Cultural History

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Sep 29—Nov 17
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Oct 1
Unit: 1
Tuition: $410
Instructor(s): Kristen Edwards
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Sep 29—Nov 17
8 weeks
Refund Date
Oct 1
1 Unit
Kristen Edwards
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
This course provides an introductory overview of 19th- and 20th-century Russian popular culture, a distinctive national culture that is celebrated throughout the world. We will study the finest examples of Russian musical cultural expression, including Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov (1873), Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird (first performed by the Ballets Russes in 1910), and several selections from the work of Dmitri Shostakovich. Each week, we will read selections from some of Russia’s most accomplished authors, including Pushkin’s The Bronze Horseman (1833), Gogol’s “The Overcoat” (1842), Dostoevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor” (1880), Chekhov’s Three Sisters (1900), Gorky’s Reminiscences of Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy (1920), Olesha’s Envy (1927), Solzhenitsyn’s “Matryona’s Home” (1959), and Voinovich’s “A Circle of Friends” (1967). We will view and discuss a sampling of Russian art from Ilya Repin to Kazimir Malevich to Vladimir Tatlin, as well as such traditional art as the icon, the matryoshka doll, and the lacquer box. In addition, we will watch some virtual Russian dance and musical performances, and in the final class session, students will enjoy a virtual dinner together.

Senior Lecturer in History, Notre Dame de Namur University

Kristen Edwards received a PhD in history from Stanford and has taught Russian, European, and world history in the Bay Area for over twenty years. She has contributed to Seventeen Moments in Soviet History (an online media archive) and led travel/study trips to Russia, and is currently researching the labor movement in Russian and US higher education.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Orlando Figes, Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia (ISBN 0312421958)
(Required) Clarence Brown, The Portable Twentieth-Century Russian Readers, revised and updated edition (other editions ok) (ISBN 0142437573)
(Required) George Gibian, The Portable Nineteenth-Century Russian Reader (ISBN 9780140151039)
(Recommended) Gregory Hosking, Russian History: A Very Short Introduction (ISBN 0199580987)
(Recommended) Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (ISBN 1400079985)