COMP 244
Race and (post)Colonialism in Eurasia Fall 2017
Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed GBST 214 / COMP 244 / RUSS 215
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course explores representations of non-Slavic peoples of Eurasia in Russian art and thought from the 19th century to the present. In the process of its historical expansion across Eurasia, the Russian Empire subsumed under its political, military, economic and linguistic domains a variety of non-Slavic ethnic groups across the Caucasus and Central Asia. Their non-Slavic appearance, languages, and religious and cultural practices–broadly taken as markers of “race”–gave rise to oriental and exotic images in Russian prose fiction and visual art of the 19th century. In the 20th century, however, Soviet generations of indigenous minorities could not only claim the Russian language and cultural heritage as part of their hybrid linguistic and cultural identities, but also actively contribute to the evolving body of the Russian cultural canon, from novels to cinema, while developing their own national traditions. The new (self)representations of Russia’s frontier minorities, former imperial “others” and new Soviet “brothers and sisters,” within the Russian cultural sphere combined and problematized the notions of imperial subjugation and peripheral agency, colonialism and modernization. In the post-Soviet period, destabilization of the political boundaries of the Russian state is paralleled by new images of non-Russian “others” who appear (threateningly) close to the Russian “heartland” as never before. At the same time, the lasting influence of the Russian language and culture continues to impact the cultural developments in the former Soviet republics across Eurasia, raising questions of identity, power, and heritage.This course fulfills the EDI requirement by studying how Russian and other Eurasian cultures have interacted and responded to each in history and how such interaction continues to influence their contemporary cultural development.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 10
Class#: 1986
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation and essays
Extra Info: not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Russian majors; Comparative Literature majors; Global Studies concentrators
Distributions: Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under RUSS or COMP; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under GBST
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST 214 Division II COMP 244 Division I RUSS 215 Division I

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