Dostoevsky: Navigating Through the Underground
Cross-listed as COMP305 / RUSS305
In this course, students will acquaint themselves with Dostoevsky’s oeuvre–from his early masterpieces to his artistic testament, The Brothers Karamazov. The key concept through which we will approach Dostoevsky’s various writings will be the underground–a powerful metaphor of spiritual decay, angst, resentment, and rebellion against the whole of creation shared by many Dostoevsky characters, from the anonymous protagonist of Notes from Underground, to Raskolnikov (Crime and Punishment), to all the brothers Karamazov. Inheriting Dostoevsky’s own existential doubts, his major characters strive to find an exit from their various “undergrounds,” some with and some without success. What are the philosophical, psychological, and artistic foundations of the underground? How does one end up there in Dostoevsky’s view? And what is the way out? These are just a few of the questions to be answered as we explore the primary genius of Russian literature. All readings are in English.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and participation in discussion, one 1-page writing assignment, two research papers, digital project, final project (paper)
Enrollment Preference: RUSS and COMP majors
Distributions: Division I;