Russian 3306: Syllabus
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Below are LAST YEAR'S schedule and syllabus. The actual days and times for this semester will be chosen at the organizational meeting. Click Welcome in the navigation bar and look under Current Announcements.
Week 1: Sunday 02/07/21 - Saturday 02/13/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
This syllabus WILL BE updated after our organizational meeting, see Welcome page. See Course Description (the link at the top of the syllabus) to learn how this course works.
Thursday
Watch online Interviews from Russia. Part 1 (less than 50 minutes). (You will watch Part 2 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.
Week 2: Sunday 02/14/21 - Saturday 02/20/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
Write a draft essay (less than a page) on Part 1 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 this draft, do not try to make your ideas definitive or categorical because as you watch the second half of the film for the next class, you may decide to expand or slightly change some of them.

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.

Thursday
Watch online Interviews from Russia. Part 2. (about 40 minutes).

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

Week 3: Sunday 02/21/21 - Saturday 02/27/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
SEE COURSE DESCRIPTION FOR ACCESS TO THIS FILM. Watch online the first half (Часть 1 - Часть 4, 48 minutes) of the film M & S. 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.
Thursday
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.
Week 4: Sunday 02/28/21 - Saturday 03/06/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
Watch the rest of M & S (Часть 5 - до конца фильма, 40 минут). Amend your earlier 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.
Thursday
Watch online Children from Russia (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.

Week 5: Sunday 03/07/21 - Saturday 03/13/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
Write a final version of your essay on Children from Russia.

For a relatively recent dramatic twist of this theme you may want to 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).

Thursday
Rewrite your essay on Children from Russian in a very different style. For example, if the essay you wrote for the previous class was neutral / unemotional / academic, a typical college essay written for a class, then this new version can be written as a letter to a friend, or a story for a young sibling, or a passionate call-to-action for an activist blog, or an informative article for a student or small-town newspaper, etc.
Week 6: Sunday 03/14/21 - Saturday 03/20/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
февральские каникулы
Thursday
Watch online Life on the Atomic River. You will need to log in with the same password you used earlier. (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.

Week 7: Sunday 03/21/21 - Saturday 03/27/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
Write a final version of your essay on Life on the Atomic River.
Thursday
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.

Week 8: Sunday 03/28/21 - Saturday 04/03/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
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.

Thursday
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

Week 9: Sunday 04/04/21 - Saturday 04/10/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
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.
Thursday
«Воры в законе» at https://youtu.be/NYyHLtuh6HM: 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.

Week 10: Sunday 04/11/21 - Saturday 04/17/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
Watch the rest of «Воры в законе» and write the final version of your essay on it.
Thursday
Алексей Балабанов «Брат». 1997. Кинокомпания СТВ. 100 (96?) минут. Можно смотреть онлайн здесь и здесь (без титров). Есть статья в Википедии. Посмотрите, почитайте, подумайте, приходите на занятие с идеями и планами, как их изложить: в каком жанре, с какой точки зрения, для какого читателя. В противоположность распространенному мнению, это не детективный фильм о бандитах, а своего рода классический — почти эпический — образец современной сказки, своего рода городского фольклора.
Week 11: Sunday 04/18/21 - Saturday 04/24/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
весенние каникулы
Thursday
весенние каникулы
Week 12: Sunday 04/25/21 - Saturday 05/01/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
Перед этим занятием пришлите Славе окончательный текст о «Брате».
Thursday
Starting with this class and for the rest of the semester, your goal is to write texts in a variety of genres as your reaction to media articles (no more films). This will require some use of a different kind of vocabulary: the articles are about key political and cultural issues in the XXI century 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/phenomenon in Russia's politics you should be familiar with is the so-called Гражданская платформа (search around for it).

Week 13: Sunday 05/02/21 - Saturday 05/08/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
Read this brief information on the Закон о запрете пропаганды гомосексуализма и педофилии. Note the four links to more information and peruse some of it. Explore any other sources, Including forums and blogs, e.g. in Живой журнал (livejournal.ru). The Russian Wikipedia also has an article on the history of this law.

Find a way to combine the two controversies—Crimea and LGBT—and write an open letter to some official or some governing body, or a manifest, or a position paper as a member of Russian intelligentsia or any opposing group. Explain and argue your views. We will discuss some of your texts, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.

Thursday
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.

Week 14: Sunday 05/09/21 - Saturday 05/15/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
Read as much of this interview on власть vs. народ in Russia as you have time for: Набираем людей, как в отряд космонавтов.

Write a half-page proposal for solving (some of the) problems that were brought up in the interview. We will discuss some of your texts, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.

Thursday
Read this interview with Mikhail Taratuta, a well-known intellectual and social critic, В какой стране мы хотим жить, или Синдром Великой Империи.

Write the text for a public appearance in which you will argue your position on some aspects of Russia's image in today's world. We will discuss some of your speeches, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.

Week 15: Sunday 05/16/21 - Saturday 05/22/21 [show/hide]
Tuesday
Find and read (or watch) publications on the anti-corruption rallies that took place in several Russian cities on March 26, 2017, and write about them (in any genre). A good starting point may be this series of video interviews in Vladivostok. Do not overlook readers' and viewers' comments, where available--they are often a good way to see alternative perspectives. A more recent series of events is described here.
Thursday
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 or wish to own. We will discuss some of your texts, and at the end of the class you will submit yours.
Week 16: Sunday 05/23/21 - Saturday 05/29/21 [show/hide]
Week 17: Sunday 05/30/21 - Saturday 06/05/21 [show/hide]
 
 
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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 slava.paperno@cornell.edu