Russian Identity in Literature

Subject 126-210 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Robert Lagerberg
Subject Overview:

In 2004, critic Anatolii Barzakh stated that nowhere does the problem of identity acquire such keenness as in contemporary Russia. However, the special commission appointed by President El'tsin in 1997 to develop a 'national idea' for Russia, to define its quintessential nature, or identity, came up empty-handed. This course examines Russian culture, society and thought of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, looking at answers provided to the question, 'what exactly is 'Russian idea'? From Pushkin's 'encyclopedia of Russian life, Evgenii Onegin, to Gogol's 'Russian troika' in Dead Souls, Dostoevskii's concept of Russianness in Notes from the Underground, to Bulgakov's Master and Margarita (the 'best novel of the 20th century'), to Ahkmatova's poems for a dying Russia, to the literature and film of glasnost'. And the work of contemporary novelists such as Viktor Pelevin, the course looks at concepts of comedy, identity, and politics. Russia's 'postmodern' quality of being an 'empty simulacrum' suggests a variety of adopted identities, to comic effect.

Assessment: A written class paper of 1000 words 25% (due during semester), an essay of 3000 words 75% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:'Eugene Onegin' (A Pushkin) Notes from the Underground? (F Dostoevsky) Master and Margarita (M Bulgakov) > (>) > (>)
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to study independently;

  • be able to apply theoretical knowledge for practical purposes;

  • be able to commit to memory large amounts of information;

  • be able to clearly structure and express complex intellectual arguments.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Diploma in Modern Languages (Russian)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Russian)

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