Russian 3306: Syllabus
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  • Homework: each row in this table shows the assignment for the day.
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Week 1: Sunday 01/19/14 - Saturday 01/25/14 [show/hide]
Wednesday
No class: come to the organizational meeting to choose the meeting times that suit everybody. Click Welcome in the navigation bar and look under Current Announcements.
Friday
Optional reading day for those who take the course for 3 credits. No class this week. Viktoria's first assignment for next Friday will be posted this weekend.
Week 2: Sunday 01/26/14 - Saturday 02/01/14 [show/hide]
Monday
Watch Interviews from Russia. Part 1 (less than 50 minutes) at http://youtu.be/3aWE4hPlJkM. (You will watch Part II next week.) Our goal for the first three classes is to discuss the film and the ways to write about it, and then to produce a well-written essay. As you watch the part for this class, take notes on what you would like to speak and write about. These notes are for your use only: you will not be asked to submit them.

Come to class prepared to discuss your ideas about the film and your plans for the essay.

Wednesday
Write a draft essay (less than a page) on Part I of Interviews from Russia. You may write about the events, the people, the context (social, cultural, geographic, etc.), your own reaction to the film, your analysis, and perhaps similar stories that you know from your own experience or education... in short, anything that seems interesting or important.

In class you will be asked to read all or part of your draft, and we will discuss your ideas and the ways to improve your text.

Friday
Read a story that is assigned for each class or as much as you can read in an hour. Александр Солженицин: Двучастные рассказы. Молодняк 1. http://magazines.russ.ru:81/novyi_mi/1995/10/solgen-pr.html
Week 3: Sunday 02/02/14 - Saturday 02/08/14 [show/hide]
Monday
Watch Interviews from Russia. Part 2 at http://youtu.be/aNLz_WTry_8 (about 40 minutes).

Write a final version of your essay on Interviews from Russia.

Wednesday
Watch the first half (Часть 1 - Часть 4, 48 minutes) of the film M & S on the DVD given to you by the teacher.

Take notes for in-class discussion and your future essay. Come to class prepared to discuss your ideas about the film and your plans for the essay.

Friday
Read a story that is assigned for each class or as much as you can read in an hour. Александр Солженицин: Двучастные рассказы. Молодняк 2. http://magazines.russ.ru:81/novyi_mi/1995/10/solgen-pr.html
Week 4: Sunday 02/09/14 - Saturday 02/15/14 [show/hide]
Monday
Write a draft of your essay based on the first half of the film. Use your notes from the previous viewing and from the class. Bring your draft to class. You will be asked to read all or part of your draft, and we will discuss the ways to improve it.
Wednesday
Watch the rest of M & S (Часть 5 - до конца фильма, 40 минут). Amend your essay draft to include any new developments in the film as well as your reaction, analysis, perhaps a changed point of view, etc. This should be a final version of your essay. We will discuss it in class, and you will submit it at the end of the class.
Friday
Viktoria's reading class. Advanced Russian (if you don't yet have a password, get it from the teacher): Chapter 1. Stories. Story 1-1 (A or B). Pages 1-24. (Михаил Мишин «Счастливый»)
Week 5: Sunday 02/16/14 - Saturday 02/22/14 [show/hide]
Monday
февральские каникулы
Wednesday
Watch Children from Russia at http://youtu.be/GQFVKuP2DAc (60 minutes).

Take notes for in-class discussion and your future essay. Come to class prepared to discuss your ideas about the film and your plans for the essay.

Friday
Viktoria's reading class. Advanced Russian: Chapter 2. Stories. Story 2-1 (A or B). Pages 1-20. (Михаил Мишин «История»).
Week 6: Sunday 02/23/14 - Saturday 03/01/14 [show/hide]
Monday
Write a final version of your essay on Children from Russia.

For recent dramatic twist of this theme you may want to watch this TV broadcast and/or scan these articles: Кудрин просит Путина не подписывать закон об усыновлении and Путин подписал закон, запрещающий усыновление в США (or any other publications you may find).

Wednesday
A review class: read Slava's Notes #1 as well as the corrections in all your essays. Write a short text of any kind, or even simply a series of sentences, to practice dealing with the problems that you have encountered (or discussed in class) so far this semester.
Friday
Advanced Russian: Chapter 2. Stories. Story 2-2 (A or B). Pages 1-25. (Михаил Веллер «Тест»)..
Week 7: Sunday 03/02/14 - Saturday 03/08/14 [show/hide]
Monday
Watch Life on the Atomic River at http://youtu.be/blOA9FOXVFE (60 minutes).

Take notes for in-class discussion and your future essay. Come to class prepared to discuss your ideas about the film and your plans for the essay.

Wednesday
Write a final version of your essay on Life on the Atomic River.
Friday
Advanced Russian: Chapter 2. Stories. Story 2-2 (A or B). Pages 26-51. (Михаил Веллер «Тест»).
Week 8: Sunday 03/09/14 - Saturday 03/15/14 [show/hide]
Monday
Watch The Anthrax Diaries at http://russian.cornell.edu/bio/cfm/film.cfm?Lang=R (30 minutes).

Take notes for in-class discussion and your future essay. Come to class prepared to discuss your ideas about the film and your plans for the essay.

Wednesday
Go to the Anthrax site, click the Interviews tab, and watch any interviews or portions of interviews: http://russian.cornell.edu/bio/cfm/video.cfm?Lang=R&AccessCode=2000300040005000.

Take notes for in-class discussion and your future essay. Come to class prepared to discuss your ideas and your plans for the essay.

Friday
Advanced Russian: Chapter 3. Stories. Story 3-2 (A, or B), Story 3-3 (A or B). (Сергея Довлатова «Предисловие», aka «Холодильник» и «Остров»)
Week 9: Sunday 03/16/14 - Saturday 03/22/14 [show/hide]
Monday
Watch this 25-minute video called «Война под флагом мира» and write the final version of your essay on The Anthrax Diaries and related interviews.

You may want to look for comments from Russian viewers on that «Война» video and perhaps discuss them in your essay; I found some at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n01grJ8KDm0 and http://maxpark.com/user/4295029450/content/1611629

Wednesday
Watch one or more Экскурсии at Коммунальная квартира: Виртуальный музей советского быта and write about коммуналки either in the style of the essays you've written for this course so far or in some new format (e.g. stories from a Russian бабушка, or a letter to a veteran of communal living asking her about it, etc.). Or you may choose to compare the Soviet style коммунальный быт to life in the student dorm, or a religious commune, and raise any related issues.
Friday
Advanced Russian: Chapter 3. Stories. Story 3-1 (A or B). Pages 1-31. («Сергей Довлатов о времени и о себе»)
Week 10: Sunday 03/23/14 - Saturday 03/29/14 [show/hide]
Monday
«Воры в законе» at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwB9q31Jkew: watch as much as you have time for.

Take notes for in-class discussion and your future essay. Come to class prepared to discuss your ideas about the film and your plans for the essay.

Wednesday
Watch the rest of «Воры в законе» and write the final version of your essay on it.
Friday
Advanced Russian: Chapter 6. Stories. Story 6-1 (A or B), Pages 1-30. (Людмила Улицкая "Явление природы").
Week 11: Sunday 03/30/14 - Saturday 04/05/14 [show/hide]
Monday
весенние каникулы
Wednesday
весенние каникулы
Friday
весенние каникулы
Week 12: Sunday 04/06/14 - Saturday 04/12/14 [show/hide]
Monday
The goal of the rest of the semester is to write texts in a variety of other genres (not academic essays), based on media articles (no more films). The articles are about today's Russia.

Read this article about a forum on the annexation of Crimea: Российская интеллигенция вступилась за Украину. Find one or two other articles, either for or against this move by Russia. Be sure to find out about Крымская речь Путина. Find out about the национал-предатели России: who are they and what do they represent? Another name in Russia's politics you should be familiar with is Гражданская платформа (https://civilplatform.ru/).

For a typical humorous reaction of ordinary Russians to scary political events, see Россияне устроили флешмоб «Санкции против Обамы».

Write a brief article for a student paper (e.g. Cornell Daily Sun) to present the events in a concise story, perhaps combined with your own angle. We will discuss some of your texts, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.

Wednesday

Read this interview, Пионеры в нимбах and write a letter to a teenager, a younger brother or sister, explaining the issues that are raised in the interview. This is the only version of the letter you will write: we will discuss some of your letters, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.

The same interview can be viewed at http://www.aif.ru/society/article/48748

Friday
Advanced Russian: Chapter 6. Stories. Story 6-1 (A or B), Pages 31-53. (Людмила Улицкая "Явление природы").
Week 13: Sunday 04/13/14 - Saturday 04/19/14 [show/hide]
Monday
Read this brief information on the brand new Закон о запрете пропаганды гомосексуализма и педофилии that was enacted in St. Petersburg last year. Note the four links to more information and peruse some of it. Look up anything else you might be interested to read, especially forums and blogs, e.g. in Живой журнал (livejournal.ru). The Russian Wikipedia also has an article on the history of this law.

Write an open letter to губернатор Санкт-Петербурга Георгий Полтавченко or to депутат петербургского заксобрания от "Единой России" Виталий Милонов, who introduced the bill. Explain your view of the new law. We will discuss some of your texts, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.

Wednesday
Read as much of this interview as you have time for Борис Дубин: «Молодежь предъявляет запрос на будущее». A relatively wide range of issues is discussed in the interview, but the underlying theme is "young people and politics."

Write a script for a radio broadcast (or podcast) addressed to your contemporaries (Americans or Russians) on the subject of following, and participating in, the political life of your country. We will discuss some of your texts, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.

Friday
Advanced Russian: Chapter 6. Stories. Story 6-1 (A or B), Pages 54-77. (Людмила Улицкая "Явление природы")
Week 14: Sunday 04/20/14 - Saturday 04/26/14 [show/hide]
Сегћдня воскресљнье, двадцђтое апрљля.
Monday
Read this (fairly sophisticated) opinion on власть vs. народ in Russia, Феномен казанского полицейского.

Write an invitation to a rally (акция) against police brutality (in the US or Russia) in the style of a poster or a leaflet to be handed out to pedestrians on a city sidewalk. We will discuss some of your texts, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.

Wednesday
Read this interview with Irina Prokhorova, a well-known intellectual, publisher, social critic, and founder of the intellectual opposition party Гражданская платформа (as well as the sister of a Russian billionaire who challenged Putin in the 2012 elections), Пока мы для себя честно не определим, в какой стране хотим жить....

Write the text for a public appearance in which you will argue your position on some aspects of education in today's world (Russian, American, or global). We will discuss some of your speeches, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.

Friday
Advanced Russian: Chapter 4. Stories. Story 4-1. Pages 1-12. (Андрей Геласимов «Нежный возраст»). .
Week 15: Sunday 04/27/14 - Saturday 05/03/14 [show/hide]
Monday
Review all Slava's corrections in your texts this semester as well as Slava's typed Notes sheets. Classify the types of problems that you feel may still be an issue for you in your future writing. Be prepared to discuss them in class.
Wednesday
Find and read a technical description/manual/user guide for a device (any type, from a pocket watch to a super-light aircraft) and write a similar description/manual for a device that you own. We will discuss some of your texts, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.
Friday
Advanced Russian: Chapter 4. Stories. Story 4-1. Pages 13-26. (Андрей Геласимов «Нежный возраст»).
Week 16: Sunday 05/04/14 - Saturday 05/10/14 [show/hide]
Monday
Use any Russian Web site on any subject that interests you and write a text about it in any style that you like. We will discuss some of your texts, and at the end of the class you will GIVE YOUR TEXT TO A CLASSMATE for his or her written response, assigned for the last class this semester.
Wednesday
Write an opinion response/reaction/corroboration to a classmate's text that you received in the previous class. These will be read in class, discussed, and handed over to the student to whom you are responding.
 
 
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Dept. of Comparative literature • Russian Language Program • 226 Morrill Hall • Cornell University • Ithaca, NY 14853-4701, USA
tel. 607/255-4155 • fax 607/255-8177 • email slava.paperno@cornell.edu