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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Russian Studies

Undergraduate Course: The Great Russian Novel (ELCR10002)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course facilitates a critical engagement with the Russian novel of the 19th century. In 19th century Russia, the novel, both as an art form and an expression of the human condition reached as extraordinary level of development within a very short space of time. Whilst the remarkable works of fiction produced in this period form a unique picture of a society in a period of rapid change and flux, they are much more than this - they belong rightly to world literature and they have long been regarded as amongst the finest in their genre as well as pushing further the boundaries of the genre.

Following the brief 'Golden Age' of Pushkin and his gifted contemporaries, such remarkable writers as Gogol, Goncharov, Turgenev, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy had established themselves as important writers and thinkers. They are widely known in Russia and abroad. The course will study selected works by some of these authors while paying particular attention to how in the absence of recognizable civil institutions in Russia, the novel and its associated body of literary polemics became the focal point for a debate about the whole range of human experience. Emphasis will be given to the role of the writer, the novels' reflection on development of Russian society and the place of Russia in the world.
Course description The course will study several important Russian 19th-c. novels in order to analyse their main themes, ideas and characters in relation to historical, socio-political and cultural contexts in which they were written. The course will examine the relevance of established approaches to these novels produced in Russia and in the west. Through a close textual study of key texts, this option aims to foster an understanding of the ways Russian writers engaged with contemporary society and culture and how they contributed to the construction of national and personal identities that revolved around the binary opposition "Russia and Europe" .
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVS should be enrolled on ELCR09002. In order to be eligible to take 4th Year Options, Visiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s)
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Final essay (submitted in week 12): 2,000 words=60 %;

Presentations in the end of the course (week 11): PP presentation and in class oral presentation =20%.

Discussion board/participation - 20% (a minimum participation: 4 entries=8%).

Annotated bibliography (300 words) - 0% (formative assessment: submitted by week 10)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the development and defining characteristics of the nineteenth-century Russian novel.
  2. Articulate and provide examples of major Russian and European literary trends and contexts during the nineteenth century.
  3. Analyse the nineteenth-century Russian novel's contribution to the formation of national identities and canons.
  4. Apply literary theory and a comparative approach to Russian nineteenth-century novels.
Reading List
Pushkin Eugene Onegin
Gogol Dead Souls
Goncharov Oblomov
Tolstoy War and Peace
Tolstoy Anna Karenina
Dostoevsky Devils

Malcolm Jones and Robin Feuer Miller, eds. The Cambridge Companion to the Classic Russian Novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). (Available online via DiscoverEd.)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsDELC Great Russian Novel
Course organiserDr Alexandra Smith
Tel: (0131 6)51 1381
Course secretaryMrs Anne Budo
Tel: (0131 6)50 4161
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