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Mary Neuburger, Director BUR 452, 2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3607

Fall 2008

REE 325 • Slavs in Western Imagination: from the Enlightenment to Post-modernism

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
45657 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM

Course Description

On June 2, 2006, a person referred to in the press as "an unknown Russian patriot," paid $750,000 for 26 letters written by the French philosopher Voltaire to the Russian empress Catherine the Great. Beginning with this most unlikely pair of pen-pals, this course will examine representations of Eastern, Western, and Southern Slavs in Western Europe and North America. We will read literary masterpieces, political essays, travelogues, and even watch a Hollywood blockbuster, as we consider the following questions: What is the origin of and what are the associations with the name Slav? How about the Balkans and balkanization?

Grading Policy

Attendance and participation 10% Discussion questions submission (rotation) 10% In-class presentation 15% Two shorter critical papers (4-6 pages) 20% each Longer research paper (8-10 pages) 25%


Voltaire: Candide (1759) Christian F├╝rchtegott Gellert: Life of the Swedish Countess von G*** (1746) Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "Considerations on the Government of Poland" (1772) George Eliot: Middlemarch (1872) William Gladstone: Montenegro with Tennyson's Tsernagora (1877) Theodor Fontane: Effi Briest (1894) Thomas Mann: Death in Venice (1912) Rebecca West: Black Lamb, Gray Falcon (selections) (1940) Thomas Pynchon: The Crying of Lot 49 (1966) Film: Air Force One (1997) OR Miracle (2004) The History Channel: The Romanovs (with Mark Steinberg and Peter Kurth)


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