Fall 2016 Courses in
East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies
The Russian Empire
HIST13802, REES 13802
Empire is back in contemporary Russia. Old imperial insignia have replaced hammers and sickles on government buildings, the bodies of the last tsar and his family have been exhumed and venerated, and Putin's foreign policy stakes imperial claims on the nations on Russia's border. This course examines what the Russian empire was, how it worked, and the legacies that it left behind. Themes to be considered include the culture of the autocracy and the tradition of reform from above; imperial expansion and multiethnic society; the construction of class, ethnic, and estate identities; and the causes and consequences of the Old Regime's collapse. Mondays and Wednesdays are reserved for lectures, Fridays for discussion. Note(s): First-year students warmly welcomed; no prior Russian history, culture, or language assumed.
Introduction to the Social and Cultural Study of Music
This course provides an introduction to ethnomusicology and related disciplines with an emphasis on the methods and contemporary practice of social and cultural analysis. The course reviews a broad selection of writing on non-Western, popular, vernacular, and "world-music" genres from a historical and theoretical perspective, clarifying key analytical terms (i.e., "culture," "subculture," "style," "ritual," "globalization") and methods (i.e., ethnography, semiotics, psychoanalysis, Marxism). In the last part of the course, students learn and develop component skills of fieldwork documentation and ethnographic writing.
Returning the Gaze: The West and the Rest
REES 2/39023, CMLT 29023/39023, NEHC 29023/39023
Aware of being observed. And judged. Inferior... Abject… Angry... Proud…
This course provides insight into the existential predicament of internalized otherness. We investigate identity dynamics between the “West,” as the center of economic power and self-proclaimed normative humanity, and the “Rest,” as the poor, backward, volatile periphery. We investigate the relationship between self-representations produced by the “Rest” –most specifically Southeastern Europe and Russia-- and the imagined Western gaze. Inherent in the act of looking at oneself through the eyes of another is the privileging of that other’s standard. We will contemplate the responses to this existential position of identifying symbolically with a normative site outside of oneself -- self-consciousness, defiance, arrogance, self-exoticization -- and consider how these responses have been incorporated in the texture of the national, gender, and social identities in European and other peripheries. Readings from Edward Said, Maria Todorova, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Orhan Pamuk, Ivo Andrić, Nikos Kazantzakis, Aleko Konstantinov, Emir Kusturica, Milcho Manchevski
Strangers to Ourselves: Twentieth Century Émigré Literature and Film from Russia and South Eastern Europe
REES 39010/1; CMLT 26912/1
Tu/Th 1:30-2:50; Foster 408
“Being alienated from myself, as painful as that may be, provides me with that exquisite distance within which perverse pleasure begins, as well as the possibility of my imagining and thinking,” writes Julia Kristeva in Strangers to Ourselves, the book from which this course takes its title. The authors whose works we are going to examine often alternate between nostalgia and the exhilaration of being set free into the breathless possibilities of new lives. Leaving home does not simply mean movement in space. Separated from the sensory boundaries that defined their old selves, immigrants inhabit a warped, fragmentary, disjointed time. Immigrant writers struggle for breath – speech, language, voice, the very stuff of their craft resounds somewhere else. Join us as we explore the pain, the struggle, the failure and the triumph of emigration and exile. Vladimir Nabokov, Joseph Brodsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Nina Berberova, Julia Kristeva, Alexander Hemon, Dubravka Ugrešić, Norman Manea, Miroslav Penkov, Ilija Trojanow, Tea Obreht
Fall 2016 Language Courses
Elementary Modern Armenian-1
Tu/Th 12:00-1:20; W 12:30-1:20
This three-quarter sequence focuses on the acquisition of reading, speaking and basic writing skills in modern formal and spoken Armenian (one of the oldest Indo-European languages). The course utilizes the most advanced computer technology and audio-visual aids enabling the students to master a core vocabulary, the alphabet and the basic grammatical structures and to achieve a reasonable level of proficiency in the Armenian language. A language competency exam is offered at the end of spring quarter for those taking this course as college language requirement.
A considerable amount of historical-political and social-cultural issues about Armenia and Armenians are skillfully built into the course for students who have intention to conduct research in Armenian Studies or to pursue work in the Republic of Armenia.
Intermediate Modern Armenian
This three-quarter sequence enables the students to reach an Intermediate level of proficiency in the Armenian language. The course covers a rich vocabulary and complex grammatical structures in modern formal and colloquial Armenian. Reading assignments include a selection of original Armenian literature and excerpts from mass media. A considerable amount of historical-political and social-cultural issues about Armenia are skillfully built into the course for students who have intention to conduct research in Armenian Studies or to pursue work in Armenia.
In this three-quarter sequence introductory course in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) languages and cultures, students are encouraged to concentrate on the language of their interest and choice. The major objective is to build a solid foundation in the grammatical patterns of written and spoken BCS, while introducing both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. This is achieved through a communicative situation-based approach, textbook dialogues, reinforcement by the instructor, screenings of film shorts, TV announcements, documentaries, commercials, and the like. The course includes a sociolinguistic component, an essential part of understanding the similarities and differences between the languages. Once a week one-on-one drill/conversation session offers students opportunity to review and practice materials presented in class.
The Second-Year course in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages and cultures is a continuation of First-Year BCS, therefore assumes one year of formal study of the target language(s) or equivalent coursework elsewhere. The course is focused on spoken and written modern BCS, emphasizing communicative practice in authentic cultural contexts. The language(s) are introduced through a series of dialogues gathered from a variety of textbooks published in Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia, as well as newspaper articles, short biographies, poems, and song lyrics in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. A vast archive of audiovisual materials, representing both high and popular culture, constitute an integral part of every unit. Simultaneously, aural comprehension, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary are reinforced and further developed throughout the year. Once a week one-on-one drill/conversation session offers students opportunity to review and practice materials presented in class.
Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Fiction—Autumn 2016
BCSN, REES 21100/31103
Advanced BCS courses encompass both the 3rd and 4th years of language study, with the focus changed from language structure and grammar to issues in interdisciplinary content. The courses are not in sequence. Language through Fiction is designed to help students and instructors over one of the most difficult hurdles in language training—the transition from working through lessons in a textbook to reading unedited texts. Literature represents the greatest development of the expressive possibilities of a language and reveals the bounds within which language operates. The texts will immerse motivated language students in a complete language experience, as the passages and related exercises present the language’s structure on every page. Students will learn how to engage the natural, organic language of a literary text across a variety of styles and themes. The course assumes that students are familiar with basic grammar and vocabulary, as well as both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. It is particularly appealing to students who are interested in literature, history, and anthropology of the region.
First Year Czech
This course introduces the Czech language to those students would like to speak Czech or use the language for reading and research purposes. All four major communicative skills (i.e. readings, writing, listening, speaking) are stressed. Students will also learn about Czech culture through readings, films, and class activities. This three-quarter sequence prepares students for the Second Year Czech course and to study or travel abroad in the Czech Republic. Conversation practice is held weekly.
This sequence introduces students to Kazakh, a Turkic language spoken in Kazakhstan and neighboring countries. The course teaches the fundamentals of grammar and it enables students to read, write, and speak Kazakh. Students will be exposed to the history and culture of Kazakhstan through modern and 19th-century literature, as well as to current events through mass media. The second and third quarters of this sequence and the Intermediate Kazakh sequence (KAZK 20101-20102-20103) are offered based on interest.
Second-Year Kazakh. Prerequisite(s): First Year Kazakh at the University of Chicago, or equivalent coursework AND placement test with proficiency evaluation. Prerequisite(s): First Year Kazakh at the University of Chicago, or equivalent coursework AND placement test with proficiency evaluation.
MWF 10:30 – 11:20
This course teaches students to speak, read, and write in Polish, as well as familiarizes them with Polish culture. It employs the most up-to-date techniques of language teaching (e.g., communicative and accelerated learning, and learning based on students’ native language skills), as well as multileveled target-language exposure.
MWF 11:30 – 12:20
This course includes instruction in grammar, writing, and translation, as well as watching selected Polish movies. Selected readings are drawn from the course textbook, and students also read Polish short stories and press articles. In addition, the independent reading of students is emphasized and reinforced by class discussions. Work is adjusted to each student’s level of preparation.
POLI 20403/ 30403
MWF 12:30 – 1:20
The process of learning in all three quarters of Third-Year Polish is framed by three themes, which most succinctly but aptly characterize Polish life, culture, and history: in the Autumn Quarter—the noble democracy in the Commonwealth of Both Nations, in the Winter Quarter—the fight for independence, and in the Spring Quarter—the newly independent Poland. During the course of the year, students also improve their knowledge of advanced grammar and stylistics. All work in Polish.
First Year Russian
001 MWF (Drills TR) 9:30 - 10:20
002 MWF (Drills TR) 10:30 - 11:20
003 MWF (Drills TR) 3:30 - 4:20
This course introduces modern Russian to students who would like to speak Russian or to use the language for reading and research. All four major communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) are stressed. Students are also introduced to Russian culture through readings, videos, and class discussions. This year-long course prepares students for the College Language Competency Exam, for continued study of Russian in second-year courses, and for study or travel abroad in Russian-speaking countries. Conversation practice is held twice a week.
001 MWF (Drills TR) 10:30 - 11:20
002 MWF (Drills TR) 12:30 - 1:20
This course continues RUSS 10103-10203-10303; it includes review and amplification of grammar, practice in reading, elementary composition, and speaking and comprehension. Systematic study of word formation and other strategies are taught to help free students from excessive dependence on the dictionary and develop confidence in reading rather than translating. Readings are selected to help provide historical and cultural background. Conversation practice is held twice a week.
MWF (Drills TR) 11:30 - 12:20
This course, which is intended for third-year students of Russian, covers various aspects of Russian grammar in context and emphasizes the four communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) in a culturally authentic context. Excerpts from popular Soviet/Russian films and clips from Russian television news reports are shown and discussed in class. Classes conducted in Russian; some aspects of grammar explained in English. Drill practice is held twice a week. Prerequisite(s): RUSS 20300 (two years of Russian) or equivalent.
Advanced Russian Through Media
MWF (Drills TR) 12:30 - 1:20
This is a three-quarter sequence designed for fourth- and fifth-year students of Russian. It is also suitable for native speakers of Russian. This sequence covers various aspects of advanced Russian stylistics and discourse grammar in context. This sequence emphasizes the four communicative skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing in a culturally authentic context. It builds transcultural competence by expanding students’ knowledge of the language, culture, history, and daily lives of the Russian-speaking people. Vocabulary building is strongly emphasized. We add to the existing skills and develop our abilities to analyze increasingly complex texts for their meaning: to identify various styles and registers of the Russian language and to provide their neutral equivalents in standard Russian. We also work on developing our abilities to paraphrase, narrate, describe, support opinions, hypothesize, discuss abstract topics, and handle linguistically unfamiliar situations (in spoken and written format). Classes conducted in Russian. Course-specific grammar issues are covered during drill sessions (weekly) and office hours (by appointment). Oral Proficiency Interviews are conducted in the beginning and the end of the course (Autumn and Spring Quarters). Prerequisite(s): Four years of Russian, or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
Elementary Turkish 1
This sequence features proficiency-based instruction emphasizing grammar in modern Turkish. This sequence consists of reading and listening comprehension, as well as grammar exercises and basic writing in Turkish. Modern stories and contemporary articles are read at the end of the courses. Note(s): The class meets for five hours a week
Advanced Turkish 1
TURK 30101; NELG 30101
The objectives of the course are to develop advanced language skills in Modern Turkish through reading, writing, listening, and speaking, with special emphasis on the proper usage of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions, and to continue the study of Turkish literature and texts begun in the second year. This course is conducted entirely in Turkish. The course is designed to bring the advanced student to a professional level of proficiency. Students are expected to produce advanced level writing in Turkish. Prerequisite(s): TURK 20103 or Consent.
Introduction to Old Turkic
An introductory sequence in the written language of the Orkhon Inscriptions, dating back to the fifth-to-eighth-century Kök Türk State of Central Eurasia, and of related inscriptions from the Yenisei River area, Mongolia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. The language of the inscriptions is considered to be the ancestor of the majority of Turkic languages spoken today and uses a distinctive alphabet sometimes known as the Old Turkic Runiform Alphabet. The sequence covers a brief historic overview, basic grammar, reading selections from the inscriptions in the original and in translation, and familiarization with the alphabet itself. An introductory sequence in the written language of the Orkhon Inscriptions, dating back to the fifth-to-eighth-century Kök Türk State of Central Eurasia, and of related inscriptions from the Yenisei River area, Mongolia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. The language of the inscriptions is considered to be the ancestor of the majority of Turkic languages spoken today and uses a distinctive alphabet sometimes known as the Old Turkic Runiform Alphabet. The sequence covers a brief historic overview, basic grammar, reading selections from the inscriptions in the original and in translation, and familiarization with the alphabet itself. Prerequisite(s): One year of a Turkic language or the equivalent, and/or consent of the instructor
This sequence enables students to reach an intermediate level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing modern literary Uzbek, the most widely spoken Turkic language after Turkish. Students learn both the recently implemented Latin script and the older Cyrillic script versions of the written language and view audio-video materials in Uzbek on a weekly basis. Note(s): This class meets five days a week.
In addition to our own CEERES-focused courses, there are other educational opportunities in the Chicago area for individuals interested in CEERES languages and cultures.
The following opportunities are open to any interested parties, with associated fees:
T. G. Masaryk Czech School
Adults - Czech as a foreign language
Monday 5:00 - 6:30 PM Jan Neruda Club (cultural and language class)
Monday 7:00 - 8:30 PM Beginners (language class)
Wednesday 7:00 - 8:30 PM Intermediates (language class)
The tuition is $100 per school year. You can download the registration form from this link, it is also attached to this email.
Children - Czech for fluent speakers
Wednesday 6:00 - 8:00 PM First Grade (age 6-7) - the time of the class might change, we will discuss the best option with the parents after we receive a registration form.
The tuition is $150 per school year. You can download the registration form from this link: https://czechschoolchicago.org/projects/classes-for-children/
Classes for other age range are unfortunately filled up. Please contact us if you would like to put your child on a waiting list so we could accommodate you next year!
The Newberry Library
Dostoevsky’s The Karamazov Brothers
Saturdays, September 17 - November 19
10 am - noon
Section A is full. Section B is open for registration.
We will examine Dostoevsky’s final novel, The Brothers Karamazov, in a new enjoyable translation by Ignat Avsey. The text will be read as a polyphony of voices, narratives, and themes: a gripping mystery, a family novel, a tangle of love triangles, a philosophical discourse, a political and spiritual quest, and a fairy tale. Readings will be supplemented by biographical, historical, and critical information, and by episodes from the Russian film adaptation provided by the seminar leader. Ten sessions.
Julia Kriventsova Denne studied literature at St. Petersburg University, Russia, and teaches Russian literature in the Chicago area.