Slava Paperno (director)
Krystyna Golovakova
Raissa Krivitsky
Viktoria Tsimberov
Richard L. Leed (1929-2011)
Lora Paperno (retired)

Requirements, etc.
2016 survey

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Produced by two Cornellians
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Russian 3306: Course Description

This is a TBA course. TBA means "time to be arranged" (to accommodate as many students as we can). We hold an organizational meeting for all TBA courses at the beginning of each semester. The time and place of the meeting are posted on our home page, a couple of weeks before the spring semester starts: Click Welcome in the navigation bar and look under Current Announcements.

The course is taught by Slava Paperno (the two required classes) and Raissa Krivitsky or Viktoria Tsimberov (the reading class for those who enroll for 3 credit hours).

The course is taught somewhat differently each year, depending on the interests and needs of the students.

The two required meetings per week are for discussing documentary films (watched individually as part of homework) and writing one-page essays in Russian, as well as (later in the semester) reading Web sites and writing short texts in a variety of other genres: personal letters, blog entries, news articles, technical descriptions, official documents, short stories, and the like. In all these writing assignments, use AI to help your produce the best story (explained below). To watch the documentaries, please visit Lexicon Bridge Publishers and register using your Cornell email address. You will automatically be subscribed to the required films, free of charge.

Each video is covered in two classes.
The first class is for discussing the content, the characters, the social and political environment in Russia in the 1990s. As we talk in this class, take notes for an essay about these aspects of the video.
For the second class, write an essay in 3 stages:
1) consult your notes from viewing the video and discussing it in class and write a draft of your essay about it, no more than a "page" (300 to 400 words);
2) log in to an AI bot (like the one suggested above, a page in ChatGPT), click New chat in top left corner, ignore any suggestions or promotions, and start typing in the input field, e.g. "Correct grammar in this Russian story: (paste your draft)"; or "Rewrite this Russian story in more formal style: (paste your corrected text)"; or "Make this Russian story shorter/longer"; etc.
3) find and inventory the specific phrases that the bot changed/offered in each variation; analyze, in English, the reasons for these editorial changes;
Post the texts that resulted from these 3 steps on the shared Google Docs page for this course, in a folder with your name within the subfolder for the current week. Aim for about two pages total.
Use your analysis as we discuss everyone's writing experience with AI in class.

An optional third weekly meeting (when taken for 3 credit hours) has short reading assignments from contemporary literary and non-literary texts. This optional class may or may not be taught in any given year, depending on the department's resources and the level of interest.

Russian 3306 is a continuation of RUSSA 3305 but may be taken by qualified students who did not take 3305. Issues of style and grammar (in speech and writing) are discussed in every class.

The course is primarily for students who learned to speak Russian at home, but students with other backgrounds may be eligible as well.

Attendance is mandatory and very important. To explain each anticipated absence, send the teacher an email and ask to be excused. Missing more than three classes is likely to affect your grade.

Although spelling and grammar are corrected in your essay, the essays are evaluated on the relevance of their content and clarity of expression--not on spelling or grammatical accuracy. No other written assignments or tests. No final exam.

This Web site uses custom Russian fonts with accented vowels (ЂђЃ Љљѓ ЌќЊ, etc.).
If your browser does not display them correctly, follow these directions.
Dept. of Comparative Literature • Russian Language Program • 240 Goldwin Smith Hall • Cornell University • Ithaca, NY 14853-4701, USA
tel. 607/255-4155 • fax 607/255-8177 • email