2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Russia and Eurasia: Empires and Enduring Legacies

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Patricia Krafcik Russian language and literature, Elena Smith Russian language, Robert Smurr Russian history, environmental history

Fields of Study: cultural studies, history, language studies and literature

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10199 (12) Fr; 10200 (16) Fr; 10203 (12) So - Sr; 10204 (16) So - Sr; 10622 (1-16)  

Winter: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 20140 (12) Fr; 20141 (16) Fr; 20142 (12) So - Sr; 20143 (16) So - Sr  Conditions We will inform prospective students at the Academic Fair, December 1, 2010, of preparatory reading required to join the program in winter term.  

Spring: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 30155 (12) Fr; 30156 (16) Fr; 30157 (12) So - Sr; 30158 (16) So - Sr; 30507 (8)  Conditions We will inform prospective students at the Academic Fair, March 2, 2011, of preparatory reading required to join the program in spring term.  

Credits: 16(F); 16(W); 16(S)

Variable Credit Options: 12- or 16-credit options available.

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmenFreshmen - Senior

Offered During: Day


Join us to explore the diverse peoples, cultures and histories of the region that was once the Russian and Soviet empires. While we focus on the Russians, we will take a multicultural approach in our examination of other indigenous peoples who from ancient times have populated the vast expanses of Eurasian and Siberian steppe and forests.

In fall quarter we investigate Slavic, Scandinavian, Persian, Mongol and Turkic contributions to early Russian society and examine both the pre-Christian pagan animistic cultures and the rich Byzantine cultural legacy of Orthodox Christianity. Our journey takes us from the Kievan Rus', through the development of the Muscovite state, imperial expansion and westernization during the reigns of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, and on to the early 19th century with Russia's emergence as a major world power. Medieval epics and chronicles, diverse films, and readings enhance our study of this early history. Special geography workshops in both fall and winter terms help students identify the location of cities and landmarks throughout the Russian and Soviet empires, as well as understand the relationship between the various peoples of the empire and their environment.

Winter term concentrates on the literature from Russia's 19th-century Golden Age and its 20th-century Silver Age up to 1917, read against the backdrop of the history. Works by Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gorky, and others enable us to explore Russia's provocative social, religious and revolutionary ideologies. We examine the rise of the radical intelligentsia who rebelled against autocratic tsarist policies and the institution of serfdom, and whose activities led to the revolutions of the early 20th century.

Spring quarter continues where winter term left off, covering history and literature from the revolutionary year 1917 through the post-Soviet period. We investigate the legacy of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, including the horrific Stalin era with its purges, Gulag prison camps, brutal industrialization policies and devastating environmental practices, emphasizing how writers, artists and filmmakers interpreted, reflected and survived the Soviet regime. This will include an examination of the sacrifices that the Soviet people experienced at the hands of their own communist dictatorship, as well as under Nazi occupation during WWII. This term ends with a review of events resulting in the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the emergence of fifteen independent states.

Students write short papers in fall and winter and have the opportunity to explore in depth a topic of their choice for a final research paper and presentation in spring quarter.

Students are urged, but not required, to take the Beginning Russian Language segment within the full-time program. They may opt to include an extra workshop within the program, rather than language, which focuses on such topics as Russian environmental issues, the Cold War, folklore, nationalities questions, etc. Students intending to include either the language segment or the workshop should register for 16 credits. For the basic program without language or the workshop, students should register for 12 credits.

Maximum Enrollment: 55

Required Fees: Fall $90 for field trips to Maryhill Museum and to a Greek Orothodox Women's Monastery in Goldendale, WA, and to a Russian shipwreck in LaPush, WA; Winter $50 for supplies; Spring $150 for supplies and an overnight field trip.

May be offered again in: 2012-13

Preparatory for studies or careers in: cinema, writing, geography, and Russian history, literature, culture and language.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
March 30th, 2011 Spring fees updated; overnight field trip added.
February 10th, 2011 Spring fees updated.
November 18th, 2010 Description and $50 fee for winter quarter updated.
October 12th, 2010 Fees updated.
April 8th, 2010 Students interested in a Russian language course but not the Russia and Eurasia program only should refer to the Evening and Weekend Course catalog.