RUST 300 surveys roughly a century of Russian cultural production – we will be reading novels, plays, poetry, philosophical texts, and watching a number of films – starting in the late 19th century and finishing with some recently translated stories from the 1990’s. We will analyze the ways in which our texts and films represent gender, sexual identity, and sexual relationships. By taking a historical perspective, we will be able to see how these representations change, and the kinds of additional layers of significance they take on in different historical and political contexts. Turn-of-the-century love triangles, for example, resolve themselves very differently from the love triangle we will encounter in the 1927 Bed and Sofa, since this film must already take into account Stalin’s prescriptions for Soviet womanhood.
This course is designed for undergraduate students of all levels, who have an interest in history and/or Women’s and Sexuality Studies, and would like to expand their knowledge of the subject to the Russian context. No previous knowledge of Russian literature and/or feminist and gender criticism is necessary.
This course is offered at least every other year. Next: Fall 2020.