ENGL 371
The Brothers Karamazov
Last Offered Fall 2023
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed RUSS 331 / COMP 331
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

Widely hailed as one of the greatest novels ever written, Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov contains a series of enigmas, not the least of which is precisely who murdered the Karamazov father. In addition to exploring the shared guilt of all four of the brothers Karamazov in the crime of patricide, Dostoevsky poses the most probing questions of his day: Are families tied together merely by blood or by deeper spiritual bonds? Is religious faith possible in an age of reason, science, and technology? Can man’s earthly laws ever carry out divine justice? Is humanity prepared to bear the burden of responsibility that comes with freedom? This tutorial will spend an entire semester exploring Dostoevsky’s masterwork, and we will read a variety of secondary sources alongside The Brothers Karamazov, including history, philosophy, and literary theory. Our goal will be to understand Dostoevsky’s answers to these so-called “accursed questions” through the unique artistic form of The Brothers Karamazov.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1873
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: completion of weekly reading and writing assignments, as well as active engagement during tutorial sessions
Prerequisites: at least one 200-level literature class
Enrollment Preferences: students majoring or considering a major in Russian, Comparative Literature, or English
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
RUSS 331 Division I COMP 331 Division I ENGL 371 Division I
WS Notes: Students will write six 6-page papers in the course of the semester and received detailed feedback on their writing and argumentation for each paper, which they will be expected to incorporate into subsequent papers.
Attributes: JLST Interdepartmental Electives

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