31041 - Russian Literature 1

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will acquire basic knowledge of Russian history and Russian literature from the 10th century to mid 19th century. The course will introduce students to the main strategies of analysis of texts of different types and periods.

Course contents

The course consists of three parts.

The first part will give an outline of the history of Russia from the origins to the early nineteenth century, along with the basic notions of literary history of the entire period and the analysis of some of the most relevant texts.

In the second part texts taken from the reading list will be read and analised. 

The third part will deal with the development of the genre "Novel" in Russia from the late eighteenth century to the first half of the 19th century, together with the analysis of some of the most relevant texts: Puškin's Evgenij Onegin, The captain's daughter; Belkin's stories; Lermontov's A Hero of our Time; Gogol' Dead Souls, Saint Petersburg stories, etc.

 

 

Readings/Bibliography

The texts marked with an asterisk are highly recommended (you can choose one textbook on Russian history among the ones listed below). Native speakers of Russian are required to read the literary works in Russian. In the list there are some textbooks in Russian. Native speakers of Russian can take their examination in Russian, if they wish. Erasmus students can study on English textbooks listed below and can read available English translations of the literary works. They can also ask the professor for further bibliography in English or Russian.

The list of the literary works translated into Italian is not complete. The professor will give more references during the course.

Each part of the course listed below MUST be prepared:

A) Social and Political History (choose one history textbook)

*N.V. Riasanovsky, Storia della Russia, dalle origini ai nostri giorni, Milano, Bompiani, 1989 (other paperback editions available).

R. Bartlett, Storia della Russia, Mondadori storia, 2007 (also in e-book)

*P. Bushkovitch, Breve storia della Russia. Dalle origini a Putin, Torino, Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi (Mappe), 2013. (you can use the original English edition)

M. Garzaniti, Gli slavi.Storia, culture e lingue dalle origini ai nostri giorni, Roma, Carocci, 2013, in particular  chapters 1, 2, 3, 9, 10 (paragraphs 1, 4, 5, 7),11, 12, 13 (paragraphs 2, 4) (this book is particularly useful for the ancient part of Russian history and literature).

B) Literary History Coursebooks

*R. Picchio, La letteratura russa antica, Firenze, Sansoni-Accademia, 1968 (and other editions).

*R. Picchio, M. Colucci (eds), Storia della civiltà  letteraria russa, Torino, Utet, 1997, 2 voll. (chapters related to the periods and works included in the course)

V. Terras (ed.), Handbook to Russian Literature, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1985. (This is a very useful reference book for a quick revision of the contents studied)

V. Terras, A History of Russian Literature, New Haven, Yale, 1991.

Ch. A. Moser (ed.), The Cambridge History of Russian Literature, Cambridge, Cambridge UP, 1989-1992.

D.S. Lichacev (ed.), Istorija russkoj literatury X-XVII vekov, Moskva, Prosvescenie, 1980. [It. transl., Storia della letteratura russa dei secoli X-XVII, Genova, EDEST, 1989.][for Russian-speaking learners]

Istorija russkoj literatury v četerech tomach, voll. 1-2, Leingrad, Nauka, 1981. (chapters related to the topics included in the program) [for Russian-speaking learners]

A. Giambelluca Kossova, All'alba della cultura Russa. La Rus kieviana (862-1240), Roma, Edizioni Studium, 1996.(This book and the following one is a very agreeable reading on Old Russian literature)

A. Giambelluca Kossova, Da Mosca all'Impero degli zar, Roma, Edizioni Studium, 2001

Laura Satta Boschian, L'illuminismo e la steppa. Settecento russo, (second edition with poetic anthology), Roma, Studium, 1994. (This book is very agreeable and entertaining)

Satta Boschian, L'Ottocento russo, Roma, Studium, 1994.

C) Some Old Russian and eighteenth-nineteenth century works. This list is not complete and may be integrated during the course (it is listed roughly in cronological order). This is a list of ITALIAN translations of the works that will be dealt with during the course. Native Russian speakers can download many texsts fron the internet, e.g. from the site http://feb-web.ru/

Please, see the list in the Italian section of the programme: parts B) "Letture istituzionali" and D)

Teaching methods

Lectures, showing audio-visual materials, surfing the internet for relevant sites, analysis of literary texts. Students will be encouraged to work together and report on topics suggested by the professor.

Assessment methods

The test consists in an oral interview which has the aim of evaluating the students' knowledge of the contents of the programme and their critical and methodological abilities in discussing the topics and texts presented during the course. The student must demonstrate appropriate knowledge of  the contents and the bibliography of the course programme.

Those students who are able to demonstrate a wide and systematic understanding of the issues covered during the lessons, are able to use these critically and who master the field-specific language of the discipline will be given a mark of excellence.
Those students who demonstrate a mnemonic knowledge of the subject with a more superficial analytical ability and ability to synthesize, a correct command of the language but not always appropriate, will be given a 'fair' mark.
A superficial knowledge and understanding of the material, a scarce analytical and expressive ability that is not always appropriate will be rewarded with a pass mark or just above a pass mark.
Students who demonstrate gaps in their knowledge of the subject matter, inappropriate language use, lack of familiarity with the literature in the programme bibliography will not be given a pass mark.

NB. Native speakers of Russian are required to read the literary works in Russian. In the list there are some textbooks in Russian, literary works and commentaries are also available on the site  http://feb-web.ru/ . Native speakers of Russian can take their examination in Russian, if they wish. Erasmus students can study on English textbooks listed below and can read available English translations of the literary works. Special arrangements are to be made at least a month BEFORE the exam.

To sum up: Students should be able to answer questions about:

1. The general outline of Russian political and social history from the nineth century to the beginning of the nineteenth

2. The general outline of the literary history of the same period, with reference to the main literary works

3. The readings from the list "Letture istituzionali".

4. The texts and authors presented in the monographic part of the course.

 It is also recommended that students read introductions and essays related to the works they read. All the handouts and materials left at students' disposal form part of the examination programme. A list of possible questions will be available online among the teaching materials. This list is to be considered as a help for the student in his/her preparation work and does not oblige the Professor to ask only the questions listed in it.

Teaching tools

Lectures, showing audio-visual materials, surfing the internet for relevant sites, analysis of literary texts. The handouts and other materials that students can download from "Materiali didattici"or can find in the library are integral part of the course programme. Obviously, students are required to study the books / or their parts, in the 'Bibliography / list of readings'.

Office hours

See the website of Gabriella Elina Imposti