cod. 1009773

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - Second semester
Maria Candida GHIDINI
Academic discipline
Slavistica (L-LIN/21)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Integrated course unit module: RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

Learning objectives

Reading and analysis of texts as an introduction to the tragic history of the twentieth century Russian.

This approach to Russian poetry of the period will offer the students a basic knowledge and understanding in the field of the Russian literary culture in the XX century.
During the course, the student learns to
- understand the early XXth century Russian literary scene and, through the prism of the studied poetry, to grasp the historical, political, cultural and artistic panorama where it has taken that specific form;
- approach to literary texts in the original language, highlighting the formal characteristics and linking them with all the vivid polemics of the Stalinism;
find independently additional information on the topics discussed bibliography using both print and digital material;
make informed and motivated judgments based on a careful decoding of the text:
- refine the method of slow reading by applying it freely to other texts, exposing their interpretations in the light of the critical literature on the subject.


Russian B2

Course unit content

The 'formovka' of the Soviet reader and the resistance of poetry.
Poets and power (Anna Achmatova, Osip Mande'štam and Boris Pasternak) in the Stalin years.
After a brief overview of the poetic movements of the early 20th century and of the cultural policies of the Soviet government, the course will focus on the relationship of the three great poets to power and the complex relationship between poet and reader in a totalitarian state. A literary system strongly shaped by censorship forced authors and readers to implement particular communication strategies.
On the one hand, therefore, propaganda and the educational system work on the formation of the new Soviet man, on the other hand, poetic systems inherited from the boiling Silver Age and symbolism use allusiveness and poetic polysemy to cultivate their own readers and to overcome censorship.

Full programme

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These are some texts for an initial acquaintance with the issues covered in the course; the extended bibliography will be proposed to the students in the first lesson, with particular regard to their interests and language level.

One of these books:
1) S. Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s;
2) E. Dobrenko, “Late Stalinism. The Aesthetics of Politics”, Yale Univ. Press, Yale-London 2020;
3) G.P. Piretto, Quando c'era l'URSS. Settant'anni di storia culturale sovietica, Ed. Cortina, Milano 2020.
4) Dobrenko-Balina (ed. by) The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Russian Literature, Cambrid. University Press, Cambridge 2001.

One of these versions:
1) E. Dobrenko, The making of State Reader, Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford 1997.
2) Е. Добренко, Формовка советского читателя, Академический проект, Спб 1997.

Н.Я. Мандельштам, Воспоминания

Teaching methods

Class lessons with audiovisual material and oral discussion. Workshops on the period.
During the lectures the professor will introduce the main elements of the historical and cultural context, the author's profile, using both the bibliography of the course and additional visual or textual materials, that will be available on the platform elly.
The course will be held in presence.
However, for non-attending students or those enrolling during the year, there will be provided:
- Video recordings of lectures, available for the duration of the academic year (via the TEAMS course channel, however, streaming is not available);
- Dedicated online receptions, also in groups, during the lecture period (Online Group Meetings).
Other useful video-material will be available on the Elly platform for all the students.
Suggestions for individual path of study and analysis will be provided, to stimulate a more original and independent approach to the subject.

Assessment methods and criteria

Assessment method and criteria

Oral examination and elective papers.
In alternative, in agreement with the professor, students may choose to present and discuss a small project outlining and elaborating on the course content.
The oral examination will check
- Knowledge of texts, authors, their ideological context and formal issues of the literary period in question;
- Adequate ability to study independently, to re-elaborate personally the material learned during the course, to propose individual insights that go beyond the topics covered in the course, to solve problems decoding complex texts, and make independent judgments.
In order to verify the achievement of such knowledge and skills, oral questions are designed to assess the knowledge, the ability of independent and original reworking of such knowledge, and the ability to apply knowledge through the analysis of the text and to extend it through connections, comparisons and contrasts.
The examination won't be considerated sufficient when the student can't demontrate a minimum understanding of the course material and the necessary ability to work autonomously with the course's content. Sufficient evaluation (18-23/30) is determined by the demonstration by the student to have learned the basic and minimum contents of the course, a sufficient level of self-preparation, ability to solve problems related to information retrieval and decoding of texts, as well as the formulation of independent judgment. Scores between 24 and -27 are assigned to the student who produces evidence of a level more than sufficient (24-25/30) or good (26-27/30) evaluation indicators listed above. Higher scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are awarded in presence of a very good to excellent evaluation.

Other information

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