Russia and Eurasia: Empires and Enduring Legacies
Fall, Winter, Spring, 2008-2009


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 9:00-11:00 Lecture Hall 2
Seminar 2:00-4:0 Pat – Sem 2, C3107
Rob – Sem 2, C3109
Thursday: Film/Lecture 9:30-1:00 Lecture Hall 3
Friday: Lecture 9:00-11:00 Sem II, D1105
Seminar 2:00-4:00 Pat – Sem II, E 3107;
Rob– Sem II, E 3109

Program Description:

This 12-credit program offers an interdisciplinary approach to Russian history, literature, culture, geography, and film. Students may also choose to enroll in a separate 4-credit course to study the Russian language or in a 4-credit workshop on the Cold War. Our extraordinary journey will continue to 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. We believe that, 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 18th century emergence as a colossal empire. Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and several other world historical figures added particular color to our studies.

In winter quarter we emphasized world-famous historical, literary, and artistic developments that shook the empire during 19th century. We explored timeless readings from Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and others. We also encountered some of the world’s most provocative social and revolutionary thinkers (Radishchev, Herzen, Marx, Lenin). Students also began 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 origins and consequences of the Bolshevik Revolution, the Stalin terror, WWII, and the unanticipated collapse of the Soviet Union. Readings from Lenin, Zamiatin, Bulgakov, Akhmatova, Solzhenitsyn, Rasputin, Aitmatov, Yevtushenko, Pelevin, and others will give us a window into the extraordinary turmoil and suffering that characterizes much of the Soviet Union’s history in that century.

Beginning Russian Language (III):

Krafcik and Sonina, 4 credits

This segment of our program (4 credits) is a continuation of Beginning Russian II from winter term. No new students will be admitted unless they have had two college quarters of Russian or the equivalent.

Section A – Krafcik: Tuesday & Friday, 12:00-2:00 Sem II,C 3107 (both)
Section B – Sonina: Tuesday & Thursday, 5:30-7:30 Sem II, C2109 (both)

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


The Cold War (4 credits) – (Smurr)
This workshop investigates the origins, development, and dissolution of the so-called ‘Cold War’ between the Former Soviet Union (FSU), the United States, and their allies during the second half of the 20th century. We will examine aspects of this ‘Cold War,’ or, more appropriately, this ‘Long Peace,’ from U.S. and Soviet perspectives, and strive to gain a greater understanding of the worldwide struggle for political, economic, military, and ideological supremacy.

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE: Wednesdays, 9:00-1:00 (See Workshop handout for more details.)


Program Structure:

Lectures: Students will normally have two faculty lectures per week, usually given by Pat, Rob, or special guests on a rotating basis. Lectures cover Russian history, literature, and culture.

Seminars: 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.

Language: One optional continuing 4-credit program.

Workshop: One optional quarter-long 4-credit workshop.



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.


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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