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

Undergraduate Course: Transnational Russian Culture (ELCR08010)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course remaps Russian culture as a global phenomenon. It problematises the metropolitan notion of Russian culture by examining cultural production, by Russian authors in the Russian language or in other languages, in the contexts of the empire, outward migration, globalization, and linguistic and cross-cultural penetration. We will focus on three historical periods and study: the Russian Empire of the 18-19th centuries, the Russian émigré culture which emerged following the Bolshevik Revolution, and the post-Soviet transnational cultural production.
Course description Traditionally, Russian culture was understood as geographically bound, produced in Russia in the Russian language. Taking a non-metropolitan perspective, one that takes account of the periods of strong cultural contacts (the Russian imperial past, the major waves of outward political migration in the 20th century and the current era of globalisation and mobility) allows us to explore the Russian and/or Russian-speaking cultural production in its geographical fluidity and intercultural connections. In the current period, locations of Russian cultural production are manifold, springing up all over the globe and producing new forms of circulation among dispersed audiences and markets. Indeed, transnational Russian culture has been extremely rich, having produced four Nobel prize winners for literature out of the six Russian speaking writers awarded the prize overall.

The course will address the notions of cultural transnationalism, globalisation and trans-linguistic and inter-cultural dialogue, focusing on several case studies of the Russian cultural periphery. The course will move from the Francophonie in the 18-19th century Russian aristocratic culture and the writing on the Imperial edge to Russian émigré writing of the Soviet period and the post-Soviet global expansion of Russian culture. Using Russian cultural production as core material for discussion, the course will address the following questions: What are the centre and the periphery of culture? What are the relations, differences and similarities between national, transnational and exterritorial cultures? Where is culture properly located? What is a hyphenated and hybrid culture? What are the institutions and organisations of diasporic cultural production and exchange? The material of the course will include linguistic culture, selected works of literature and feature and documentary films.

The course is taught in English and English translations of primary material are used although Russian Studies students are encouraged to read in Russian.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs students will be requires to purchase the texts in Russian or English translations
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Construct a clear and coherent argument that will demonstrate an understanding of key concepts of the course.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of texts, films and other cultural production, and the historical conditions under which Russian transnational culture developed since the 18th century.
  3. Appraise literary texts and films in the transnational context, using appropriate critical approaches, scholarship, theoretical underpinnings, and terminology.
  4. Use the appropriate theory when conducting the analysis of primary material.
  5. Produce comparative analysis of various cultural productions across the geographical spaces and historical periods.
Reading List
Byford, Andy, Conner Doak and Stephen Hutchings (eds) (2020) Transnational Russian Studies, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
Glaser, Amelia (2012) Jews and Ukrainians in Russia¿s Literary Borderlands: From
the Shtetl Fair to the St. Petersburg Bookshop, Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

Offord, Derek, Lara Ryazanova-Clarke, Vladislav Rjeoutski and Gesine Argent (eds) (2015). French and Russian in Imperial Russia, in 2 vols. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Platt, Kevin (ed) (2019) Global Russian Cultures, Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.
Slobin, Greta (2013) Russians Abroad: Literary and Cultural Politics of Diaspora (1919-1939), Boston: Academic Studies Press.
Strukov, Vlad and Sarah Hudspith (eds) (2019) Russian Culture in the Age of Globalization, London: Routledge.
Turoma, Sanna (2010) Brodsky Abroad: Empire, Tourism, Nostalgia, Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.
Trubikhina, Julia (2015) ¿¿Cinemizing¿ as Translation: Nabokov¿s Screenplay of Lolita and Stanley Kubrick¿s and Adrian Lyne¿s Cinematic Versions¿, in The Translator¿s Doubts: Vladimir Nabokov and the Ambiguity of Translation, Boston: Academic Studies Press, 142-205.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills During this course, students will further develop graduate attributes and personal and professional skills in the following areas:
Research and enquiry: analytical thinking; critical thinking; knowledge integration and application; handling complexity and ambiguity.
Personal and intellectual autonomy: self-awareness and reflection; independent learning and development; creative and inventive thinking.
Personal effectiveness: planning, organising and time management; assertiveness and confidence; flexibility.
Communication: interpersonal skills; verbal and written communication.

Course organiserProf Lara Ryazanova-Clarke
Tel: (0131 6)50 3668
Course secretaryMr Craig Adams
Tel: (0131 6)50 3646
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