REE 325 • Terror in Russia
12:00 PM-1:00 PM
In the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire witnessed a dramatic rise of terrorism sponsored by leftist and anarchist political factions seeking to overthrow Russia's autocratic regime and transform its society and institutions. After a central role in the 1905 and 1917 Revolutions, political terror underwent further transformation in the early years of Soviet power, turning against Soviet citizens under the dictatorship of Stalin, and erupting on both sides of the ongoing conflict in Chechnya. Even in todays supposedly democratic Russia, political terror is tacitly accepted. In this course we will read literary works dealing with political terror and oppression by the likes of Dostoevsky, Bely, Babel, Akhmatova, and Solzhenitsyn; examine the writings of revolutionaries and anarchists themselves; consider the harrowing accounts of the victims of Stalinist repression, and discuss journalistic exposés of terrorism in Russia today.
1. Regular attendance and participation in class (10%) 2. Midterm (6-8 pages) and Final Paper (8-10 pages) (40%) 3. Several Short (2 pages) Response Papers over the course of the semester (40%) 4. In-Class presentation on Contemporary Russia/Chechnya (10%)
1. Turgenev, Fathers and Sons 2. Dostoevsky, The Demons 3. Pipes, The Degaev Affair: Terror and Treason in Tsarist Russia 4. Bely, Petersburg 5. Babel, Red Cavalry 6. Chukovskaya, Sofia Petrovna 7. Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich 8. Politkovskaya, Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy Course Packet: 1. Akhmatova, "Requiem" 2. Selections from Berlin, Russian Thinkers 3. Selections from Shalamov, Kolyma Tales 4. Selections from Grossman, Life and Fate 5. Selections from Figes, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalins Russia