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LIT 74 — Words across Borders: Literary Voices of Ukraine

Quarter: Summer
Instructor(s): Natalya Sukhonos
Duration: 8 weeks
Format/Location: Live Online
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 19
Class Recording Available: Yes
Class Meeting Day: Mondays
 
Class Meeting Time: 5:00—6:30 pm (PT)
Please Note: No class on August 12
Tuition: $360
   
Refund Deadline: Jun 26
 
Unit(s): 1
   
Status: Open
 
Quarter: Summer
Day: Mondays
Duration: 8 weeks
Time: 5:00—6:30 pm (PT)
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 19
Unit(s): 1
Format/Location: Live Online
 
Tuition: $360
 
Refund Deadline: Jun 26
 
Instructor(s): Natalya Sukhonos
 
Recording Available: Yes
 
Status: Open
 
Please Note: No class on August 12
 
While the word Ukraine means “edge” or “border,” Kyiv in particular played a crucial role in the early cultural and religious development of the Eastern Slavic peoples. Some have argued it is the birthplace of Russian culture. This course examines the work and significance of influential Ukrainian writers spanning the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries and delves into Ukraine's rich sociolinguistic and cultural influences as shaped by the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires, Poland, and beyond.

In this interactive course, we will begin by exploring Ukrainian national identity as expressed by the Romantic bard Taras Shevchenko and the feminist Lesya Ukrainka. We will next journey into the fantastical world of Nikolai Gogol’s short story collections, where witches, mermaids, and folkloric horror come to life, showcasing his skill in re-creating the Ukraine of his childhood through the oral tradition. We will examine Odessa Stories and navigate Isaac Babel's portrayal of the tumultuous world of Jewish gangsters and dark humor in the vibrant Black Sea city, alongside Mikhail Bulgakov's exploration of Kyiv’s social divisions during the civil war of 1917–23 in The White Guard. The course will conclude by diving into the work of Ukrainian post-independence poets such as Serhiy Zhadan, Lyuba Yakimchuk, Boris Khersonsky, and Lyudmila Khersonsky, who demonstrate the pain of their war-torn country through their radical experimentation with language and poetic form. Guest speakers will include a professional translator and a Ukranain poet.

No previous knowledge of Ukrainian, Russian, or Soviet history or literature is required. All the readings for this course will be in English.

Stanford Continuing Studies has lowered the tuition for this course as part of our mission to increase access to education around important world issues and themes.

NATALYA SUKHONOS
Independent Scholar

Natalya Sukhonos’s area of research is 20th-century Russian and Latin American literature. She has taught literature, humanities, and writing at Harvard, Stanford, Cogswell College, UC Davis, and SUNY Albany, among others. She is also a published poet. She received a PhD in comparative literature from Harvard.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Mikhail Bulgakov, Marian Schwartz & Evgeny Dobrenko, White Guard (ISBN 978-0300151459)
(Required) Nikolai Gogol (Author), Richard Pevear(trans), Larissa Volokhonsky(trans.), The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol (ISBN 978-0375706158 )
(Required) Isaac Babel, Boris Dralyuk(trans), Odessa Stories (ISBN 978-1782274735)