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September 4 – Introduction to course, Prince Vladimir chooses Christianity, from the Primary Chronicle

September 6 – Ahmad ibn Fadlān on the Rus' (this book is optional for our course; text also on Moodle)


September 11 – “The Lay of Igor’s Campaign,” translated by Vladimir Nabokov

September 13 – Tales of battle, Zenkovsky pp. 193-207; opening scenes from Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky

         First paper, rough draft due


September 18 – “The Battle Beyond the Don;” Afanasii Nikitin’s “Journey Across Three Seas” (Zenkovsky, pp. 333-353);

September 20 – Lomonosov, “Ode on the Taking of Khotin'”; Pushkin, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”


September 25 – Pushkin, “Captive of the Caucasus;” “Eastern” poems

September 27 – Bestuzhev-Marlinskii, “Ammalat-Bek” (excerpts)

         First paper, final draft due


October 2 – Lermontov, “Bela” from Hero of Our Time; “Ashik-Kerib”

October 4 – Tolstoy, “A Prisoner in the Caucasus”


October 9 – Tolstoy, Hadji Murad

October 11 – Self-orientalizing poems; other poetic treatments of Muslim characters by Russian women

         Second paper, rough draft due


Fall Break!


October 23 - Yuri Tynyanov, The Death of the Vazir-Mukhar (excerpts): read to p. 70 (end of section 5), or to p. 341 of the novel.

October 25 – Tynyanov, Death of the the Vazir-Mukhtar, pp. 70-142


October 30 – Andrei Platonov, “Soul” – Introduction, pp. vii-xviii; pp. 1-146; Notes, pp. 319-322

         Second paper, final draft due

November 1 – Chingiz Aitmatov, “Jamila”


November 6 – Chingiz Aitmatov, The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years

November 8 – Aitmatov, The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years


November 13 – Fazil' Iskander, “Forbidden Fruit”

November 15 – Fazil' Iskander, Sandro of Chegem, "Foreword" and pp. 3-121


November 20 – Iskander, Sandro of Chegem, pp. 122-205

         Third paper, rough draft due



November 27 – Iskander, Sandro of Chegem, pp. 206-368

November 29 – Hamid Ismailov, The Railway


December 4 – Ismailov, The Railway

December 6 – Anna Politkovskaya, A Small Corner of Hell, (Introduction, pp. 1-25), pp. 26-71

         Third paper, final draft due


December 11 – Finish Politkovskaya; final discussion


Three-hour take-home final examination due at the end of exam period: 5 p.m. on December 21.