Russia and Eurasia: Empires and Enduring Legacies
Fall, Winter, Spring, 2010-2011


Patricia Krafcik (coordinator), Sem. II, A 2110 (867-6491);
Robert Smurr, Sem. II, C 3112 (867-5056 );
Elena Sonina, Sem. II, B2124 (561-5010);

Classes will be held at the following locations and times:

Tuesday: Lecture/Film                    9:00-11:00 Sem II B1105     
Seminar/Focus Groups   2:00-4:00 Sem II D2107, D2109

Russian language: Beginning
sec A 12:00-200   Sem II, D2109

sec B 5:30-7:30    Sem II, D2109

Russian language: Intermediate
7:30-9:30  Sem II, D2109
Wednesday Film/Discussion               9:30-1:00 Sem II C1105
Thursday Rob's Workshop              9:00-1:00 Sem II C3107

Russian language: Beginning
sec B 5:30-7:30    Sem II D2109

Russian language: Intermediate
7:30-9:30    Sem II, D2109
Friday: Lecture/Film                    9:00-11:00 Sem II B1105     
Seminar/Focus Groups   2:00-4:00 Sem II D2107, 2109
Russian language: Beginning
S ec A 12:00-2:00 Sem II D2109

Workshops: These 4-credit workshops will be taught by Rob Smurr and are open to students who desire to earn 16 credits and who are not registered in Russian language or to students who are not in the 12-credit program, but wish to take only the workshop. In winter term we will study nine distinct wars in which the former Soviet Union and the former Russian Empire were involved. Themes for the spring workshops will likely revolve around the following subjects: the Cold War; environmental issues in the former Soviet Union; revolutionaries and their goals, etc. See main schedule above for workshop time and place.

Beginning Russian Language II: We encourage but do not require students to study the Russian language. Students who choose to enroll exclusively in the Russian language component of this course should register for 4 credits only. Those who desire to register for the main course but not the language should register for 12 credits. All other students (i.e., those who wish to participate in the main program and its language component or the main program and the additional workshop) should register for 16 credits. See main schedule above for language class times and places. Only students who have completed one quarter of college Russian or the equivalent may enter the language sections in winter term.

Russian Language CDs :

When going to this URL you will be prompted to enter a username and password.

To access the files you will need to:

  1. Be registered in either the program Russia or the 4 credit Russian language course.
  2. Enter your Evergreen logon and password at the prompt.

Instructions for figuring our your login and password are located at

Program Description:

This 12-credit program offers an interdisciplinary approach to Russian history, literature, culture, geography, and film. Students who wish to earn 16 credits for this program may also choose to enroll in a separate 4-credit course to study the Russian language (see below), or a 4-credit historical workshop (also see below). Students outside the 12-credit program may register for the 4-credit language segments and the 4-credit historical workshop separately. Our extraordinary journey will take us across all of the vast territories that once comprised the Russian and Soviet empires – territories that today make up more than fifteen independent states.  In lectures, seminars, and film analyses, we will travel from the cobblestone streets of medieval Baltic cities in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to the windswept grasslands of Mongolia; from the frigid Arctic Ocean to the sweltering marketplaces of Central Asia; from the soaring peaks of the Caucasus Mountains to the arid deserts of Uzbekistan.  Our focus is the development of the Russians and the Russian nation through history, but we shall also examine the diverse groups that had cultural, political, social, economic, and religious contact with the Russians – the Vikings, Mongols, Tatars, and Turkic peoples, among others.  By its very nature, any study of Russia and Eurasia must be multicultural.

We began the fall term by investigating Slavic, Scandinavian, Turkic, and Mongol contributions to early Russian and Eurasian societies.  We explored approximately one thousand years of fascinating historical development, from the earliest foundations of East Slavic society in the 9th century up to Russia’s early 19th century extraordinary transcendence into a colossal empire.  World famous historical and literary figures, including Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great, Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, and several other figures added particular color to our studies.

In winter quarter we emphasize numerous astounding historical, literary, and artistic developments that shook the vast Russian Empire during 19th and early 20th centuries. We will explore timeless readings from Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gorky, and others.  We will also encounter some of the world’s most provocative social and revolutionary thinkers and practitioners (Herzen, Marx, Lenin), and conclude the term with the world-changing Bolshevik Coup (or Communist Revolution) in 1917. In addition to our intensive reading and three essays, students will begin formulating their spring research projects in the second half of the winter quarter.

Spring term takes us from the revolutionary turmoil of the early 20th century up to the present state of post-imperial flux that best characterizes the disparate territories of the Former Soviet Union.  We investigate the deep transformations in Russian imperial society that occurred as a direct result of 1917’s revolutions, including the Stalin terror, WWII, and the unanticipated collapse of the Soviet Union.  Readings from Akhmatova, Pasternak, Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn, Rasputin, Aitmatov, Yevtushenko, and others will give us a window into the extraordinary tumult and suffering that characterizes much of the Soviet Union’s history in that century.


Lectures, Seminars, Film Analysis & Discussion, Language or Special Workshop (both optional), and a pysanky workshop.


Lectures: Students will normally have two faculty lectures per week, usually given by Pat and Rob on a rotating basis. Lectures cover Russian history, literature, culture (music, art, etc.).

Seminars: One – two per week based on the particular week’s reading(s).

Films: One or two per week, depending on length and content. Students will preview and lead discussions on feature films.

Focus Groups: Usually one per week. Some FGs will focus on distinct geographic regions of the Former Soviet Union and their associated cultures/natural environments. A special focus group session will teach us the special creative process of Ukrainian pysanky (wax-resist egg decorating).

HOW TO REGISTER: Please simply register for 16 credits if you wish to take the main program and either Russian language or Rob’s Workshop (you will not be able to register for both).  If you wish to take neither, simply register for 12 credits.  We strongly encourage all students to study Russian language, but for those who choose not to, we highly recommend Rob’s Workshop.  Please contact Pat or Rob if you have any questions about these 4-credit options.

STUDENT PROGRAM FEES: $50 per student.  New students please see faculty. 

Students will be able to arrange for foreign study through TESC and its consortium partners.

University of Arizona Study Abroad Program:  TESC is a new consortium member of this fine study-abroad program, the main emphasis of which is study of the Russian language.  All of the previous TESC student participants in the UA program have been greatly pleased with their experience and newly-gained linguistic and cultural knowledge.  Students have several study options through UA – summer, semester, and year-long programs, as well as dormitory or homestay options.  Visit the following website and be sure to ask Pat or Rob if you’ve any further questions.


Campus Disability Policy:

If you have a health condition or disability that may require accommodations in order to effectively participate in this class, please do one or both of the following:

  • Contact the faculty after class
  • Contact Access Services in Library 1407-D; 867-6348, or Meredith Inocencio at

Information about a disability or health condition will be regarded as confidential.


Campus Smoking Policy:

Evergreen is a smoke free campus, excluding the several designated smoking areas. If you do smoke, make sure to educate yourself about the potentially fatal risks to yourself and others who inhale your smoke and consider quitting. If you can’t or choose not to quit, please use the designated areas only.



Please refrain from wearing "scented products" – for example, scented hairspray, aftershave, perfume, etc. -- to class. Many manufacturers now make unscented versions of these products. (Local food stores carry unscented personal products. You may have to look for them, but they are usually there.) Another common trigger of allergic reactions is the scent in many fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Many workplaces, colleges and other public institutions are going scent-free. Roughly 16% of U.S. residents say they have unpleasant reactions to at least one chemical in common use and some may have serious reactions.

For information on how to be scent-free, see the article at
For the full text of Evergreen’s air quality policy, please see


Classroom Personal Technology Policy:

In an attempt to keep distractions to a minimum, your faculty do not permit the use of the following items during any of the scheduled class meetings (lecture, seminar, film, or workshop) without their prior written approval:

  • laptop computers
  • music listening devices (i-pods, etc.)
  • email devices
  • cell phones

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