RUSS 209
Siberia: Region Making and Imperial Imagination in Russia Fall 2024
Division I
Cross-listed ANTH 209

Class Details

Siberia is often framed as an essential part of Russia and a repository of all that is Russian. However, imaginations of Siberia also paint contradictory images of the region: as a heaven or a hell, a wasteland or a breadbasket, a place of freedom or a place of imprisonment, a Russian colony or as the Russian heartland. This course takes as its root that Siberia is not any one thing and not any one place. Rather, Siberia is an idea and set of representations that change over time. In this course, we will analyze and unpack this idea. The course asks: what is Siberia; how did Siberia become so integral to Russia and ideas of Russianness; who defines Siberia; what are the images of Siberia and for whom do they matter; and what do these imaginations of Siberia facilitate and obscure? To answer these questions, we will engage in an interdisciplinary study of Siberia incorporating ethnography, history, film, and literature. The primary goal of the course is to expose students to the various ways Siberia has been imagined, who it has been imagined and represented by, and how these imaginations and representations have lives of their own. In doing so, the course will help students view Russia through its peripheries rather than through Moscow and Saint Petersburg and will enable students to grapple with how “regions” are created.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 1862
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Regular GLOW posts and participation in classroom discussion, a midterm paper, and a hybrid reflective and analytic paper comparing imaginations of Siberia with place from their own life that has been highly imagined.
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Majors in Anthropology and Sociology and majors and certificate-seekers in Russian.
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
RUSS 209 Division I ANTH 209 Division II

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