Literature from Medieval Rus' and Early Modern Russia (SLAVIC 379)
This course traces the history of Russian literature before the eighteenth century. It is divided into two sections. The first section examines literature from Kyivan Rus' (up to the thirteenth century), the medieval conglomerate to which Belarus, Russia and Ukraine all trace their cultural heritage. The second section examines old Russian literature specifically, from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries. We pay close attention to the development of literary genres, moral/religious and aesthetic features and their relationship, and the beginnings of Russian belles lettres. Our approach to the texts will be two-fold. On the one hand, we will spend some time situating the sources within their historical contexts. On the other hand, we will explore the interpretive possibilities of premodern literature using formal analysis and critical theory. Knowledge of an East Slavic language is required.