Barbara J Henry
Examines the artistic forms, varieties, and themes of the Russian folktale, its roots in pre-Christian Slavic religion, connections with myth and legend, adaptation for Soviet and modern Russian literature, film, and music.
What is folk literature and folklore and what is their relation to modern culture and experience? What connection do fairytales and myths have to evolving ideas of Russian culture and nationality? What is the relationship between traditional folklore, modern “urban legends” and literature? This class will explore these ideas through an examination of the Russian folktale, its roots in ancient, pre-Christian Slavic religion, its connections with myth and legend, and its transformation in modern Russian literature. In addition to Russian fairytales, we will be reading works of Russian literature (Gogol’, Pelevin et al.) that make use of folkloric themes and motifs, and we will look at the study of folklore as a discipline.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Be prepared to participate actively in class discussion, give brief presentations on topics of reading. There may be quizzes as needed.
Class assignments and grading
short presentations, take-home final, essays of student's choosing
participation, presentation, final, possibly some quizzes