RUSS 086. Nature and Industry in Russian Literature and Culture
(Cross-listed as LITR 086R )
From pre-Christian religion and folklore based in forest, steppe and tundra and the enduring role of peasant culture to today's Neo-Pagans, Russian culture has been closely bound to nature, developing sustainable agricultural practices, honoring "Moist Mother Earth" and (even sophisticated city dwellers) heading out to gather berries and mushrooms. But the Soviet era pursued science-fictional plans to redesign whole landscapes, make rivers flow backwards and even revolutionize plant genetics (Trofim Lysenko). In practice, such projects led to a shrinking Aral Sea, massive pollution of industrial and agricultural sites, and the worst nuclear disaster in human history (Chernobyl) - at great human cost. Writers have both supported industrial transformation and resisted industrialization. This course will trace the evolution of these elements of Russian culture, focusing on expressions of ideology in literature. No knowledge of Russian is necessary, but students with the language may do some reading in the original.
Eligible for ENVS
Fall 2018. Forrester.
Catalog chapter: Modern Languages and Literatures: Russian
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/russian
Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses
Check the Fall 2018 Schedule of Courses