GEOG 250 C/S. Russian and Central Eurasian Geography
For the first time in all Russian history geography speaks for itself. After the disintegration of the Soviet Empire regions became exceedingly important in this highly centralized state. The current government is trying to reestablish control over the regions. Who will win in this geo-political game? Will Russia become a democratic state or it will pull back to the dictatorship? Will newly independent states like Ukraine , Belarus , and Kazakhstan gravitate to Russian economic and political domain or create new alliances with other bordering countries?
We will discuss it throughout the course. The class will be focused on changing space economy, environmental and population issues, national identity problems, political orientation in different regions of the post-Soviet space. This course has a lecture-discussion-project format. Students are expected to complete several map assignments, participate in class discussions, and to write a final paper on major topics.
This course is on WebCT. 4 credits.
HIST 390. Reading Colloquium: Stalin
The course will deal with the changing images of Stalin, from his radical youth in Georgia through the “Cult of Personality” in the 30's and 40's to the post-Soviet era. There will be a research paper, a good deal of reading, writing, and student discussion. Writing intensive. Prerequisite: HIST 202 or HIST 203 or permission of instructor. (Satisfies certification requirements.) 4 credits.
RUSS 111. Elementary Russian
Afraid of the Russian alphabet? Believe it or not, you already know almost half of it if you know Latin (our) alphabet and a little Greek from being a member of a sorority or a fraternity! After just five days you will be able to read many words that are borrowed from other languages! We use the computer to help us, too! Recent world economic events have convinced us that Russia is indeed an important player in the international economic arena. Don't be left behind! This course also will teach you how to speak and write Russian while learning the structure of the language. In addition, this course is accompanied by a video program where we follow the adventures of an American who lands in Russia as a roving photographer to learn about the people and the country.
RUSS 210/1W. Beginning Conversation & Composition
We're not really beginning conversation and composition if you took Russian at Wittenberg . You know we have already done this during Russian 111 and 112. Don't worry if you've forgotten your Russian over the summer. Second year courses review and refine what you have learned. This course allows you to do this while teaching you to maneuver through such important daily activities as transportation, shopping, and speaking on general themes. The course is supported by video and you will learn much about Russian culture. 4 credits.
WRITING INTENSIVE: Placement exam is given if you did not take Russian 112 here at Wittenberg .
RUSS 230. Conversation Through Film
This year's topic is Russian films by and about women. Keep up your conversational skills while learning about the lives of Russian women and films by women directors. Films are subtitled. Prerequisite: Russian 112 or by permission. 2 credits.
POLI 352 1W. Russian Foreign Policy
This course examines the development and factors involved in Russian foreign policy, with an emphasis on events since 1991. One of the major themes of the class will concern an understanding of the nature of the changes taking place in that policy under the Yeltsin and Putin administrations. The transition in foreign policy during the Gorbachev years (1985-91) will also be discussed. The class will consider defense policy, economic policy, and the imperatives of the processes of nation-building and state-building as elements of Russian foreign policy. The class will center about either the presentation and preparation of a lengthy term paper or three “mini” papers, written in response to specific issues. 4 credits. 2/05
PREREQUISITES: POLI 102 or 204 and Junior standing
SOCI 301 S 1W. Special Topics: Who are the Russians? The Russian Idea in History and Contemporary Affairs
The Russian Federation - or, simply, Russia - is a vast, multi-ethnic country, the largest of the fifteen states which were made out of parts of the Soviet Union after it broke up in 1991. Although Russia has a long and distinguished history of its own, its national identity has always been ambiguous to some degree, and this is certainly the case in the post-Soviet situation since 1991. The earliest Russian nation was founded by a people who made their first capital at Kiev , which is now the capital of Ukraine .
(In fact, the people of Russia and Ukraine [and in significant measure of Belarus , as well] share a common ancestry that is part of the story of the "Russian Idea".) Kiev was destroyed by Mongol conquerors in the thirteenth century and the capital moved northward, eventually settling in Moscow . In the eighteenth century, St. Petersburg was made the capital of the Romanov imperial state, but Moscow was restored as the capital by the Bolsheviks following the Revolution of 1917. The Bolsheviks subsequently created a supranational federation called the Soviet Union , which significantly impacted Russian national identity. In fact, the Soviet leaders made forceful efforts to reduce many of the historical national identities within the USSR and subordinate them to the Soviet Communist ideal.
The question of this course concerns how all of the disjunctions of national identity for Russians and other groups in the Russian Federation have been managed by the people who lived in the region of Russia and what impact these historical disjunctions might have on the formation of a national identity for the Russia of the twentieth-first century. How can this country recapture an old sense of self (which one would it choose?), or must it build a completely new one for the new millennium? In exploring this question, we will venture into philosophical, political, social and artistic aspects of history, and then consider the range of contemporary affairs that have an impact on the construction and sustenance of national identity. The richness of Russian culture is our basic object of study.
Course Format: Seminar. The course will include numerous readings, some to be presented to the class by students. Participation by students in class discussions will be important. Simultaneously, there will be some short papers working toward the enhancement of writing skills, and students will keep a portfolio of these papers to demonstrate patterns of improvement. Some peer review of these papers will be built into the course. In addition, each student will complete two book critiques and a term project on a subject selected in consultation with the instructor. Term projects will be presented to the class at the end of the semester. There will be two or three examinations on the core content of the course, and there may be an occasional quiz on the factual materials.
PREREQUISITES: One course in Sociology or Permission of Instructor.