About WLIT 1250 A

Topics such as Russian author(s) (e.g. Dostoevsky, Tolstoy), genre (e.g. the Russian novel), literary school (e.g. Russian Formalism), or period (19th or 20th century literature). May be repeated for credit with different content. Topics vary by offering; periodic offering at intervals that may exceed four years.


Open to degree and PACE students; Colocated with WLIT 2250; Total combined enrollment = 40

Section Description

East, West, or something else entirely? This question has stood at the center of Russia’s search for a national identity since its 9th-century origins, finding its most famous and original expressions in the 19th-c artistic tradition. This course will survey Russian and Russophone literature from Pushkin through Chekhov, introducing students to some of the masterpieces of Russia’s so-called “Golden Age,” an era of intense national self-scrutiny, self-aggrandizement, and self-censure. We will read a selection of literary works representing the most famous literary expressions of the Russian Empire’s encounters with the West (including works from Pushkin, Gogol, and Dostoevsky) and the East (featuring Lermontov, Tolstoy, and Chekhov), as well as a selection of counternarratives from the “margins” of Empire (including voices from Poland, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia).

Section Expectation

Primary emphasis will be on short prose fiction (short stories and novellas), although some poetry will also be included. The course will acquaint students with the dominant literary movements of the era (Romanticism, Realism, and early Modernism) as well as the individual literary styles and techniques of each author. Works will be considered within their cultural context—historical, social, ideological and intellectual—providing students with a better understanding of the thought, cultures, and literatures of the Russian Empire. All readings and discussions will be in English, but students are welcome to undertake some of the reading (on their own or with me) in Russian.


Evaluation: Grades will be determined according to the following rough formula (subject to revision before the start of the academic year): Attendance and Active Engagement (~30%), Choice Boards (~20%), Formal Writing Assignments (~35%), Other Projects (~15%)

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop
Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw


There are no courses that meet this criteria.