HIST045 - Portraits of Old Russia: Myth, Icon, Chronicle

Description: 
This course covers 8 centuries of Russia’s cultural, political, and social history, from its origins through the 18th century, a period which laid the foundation for the Russian Empire. Each weeklong unit is organized around a set of texts (visual, literary, historical, cinematic) which examine key historical and legendary figures as they represent chapters in Russia’s history. Personages under examination include, among others, the Baptizer of Rus, Prince Vladimir; the nation-builder, Prince Alexander Nevsky; the first Russian Tsar, Ivan the Terrible; the first Emperor and “Westernizer,” Peter the Great; the renowned icon painter Andrei Rublev; the epic hero Ilya Muromets; and the founder of Muscovite monasticism, St. Sergius of Radonezh. Three modern-day nation-states – Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus – share and dispute the cultural heritage of Old Rus, and their political relationships even today revolve around interpretations of the past. This constructed past has a continuing influence in modern Russia and is keenly referenced, sometimes manipulatively, in contemporary social and political discourse. (Recently, for example, President Putin has justified the annexation of Crimea to Russia by referring to it as the holy site of Prince Vladimir’s baptism, from which Russian Christianity ostensibly originates.) The study of pre-modern cultural and political history explains many aspects of modern Russian society, as well as certain political aspirations of its leaders.
Instructors: 
VERKHOLANTSEV, JULIA
Day and Time: 
MW 0200PM-0330PM
Room: 

WILLIAMS HALL 202

Activity: 
LEC
Cross Listings: 
    Registration Notes: 
    CROSS CULTURAL ANALYSIS; HISTORY & TRADITION SECTOR