Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module RUSS3421: Literature and Society in the Age of Pushkin

Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Russian)

RUSS3421: Literature and Society in the Age of Pushkin

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap 15 Location Durham
Tied to

Prerequisites

  • Russian Language 2A (RUSS 2191) OR Russian Language 2B (RUSS 2012) OR an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Corequisites

  • Modern Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: Russian Language 4 (RUSS3031). Others: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • To explore and analyse the interplay of literature and society in late 18th- and early 19th-century Russia.
  • To further familiarise students with key texts and documents of that period (including art).
  • To give students an insight into social and cultural history, specifically social and cultural institutions, production and reception of literature, but also family life, history of emotions, and material culture.
  • Students will develop competence in reading and analysis of literary and theoretical discourse and also, to some extent, in the analysis of visual imagery.
  • Students will be familiarised with interdisciplinary approaches to studies of literature and cultural history.

Content

  • The module will explore 18th- and early 19th-century Russian literature in relation to Alexander Pushkin’s work. It will specifically look at ‘narrative models’ of society, examining some of these works as representations of the emerging genre of the novel. The works will be contextualized within 18th- and early 19th-century cultural and social history and literature. Typical texts will include works written by Fonvizin, Krylov, Derzhavin, Bogdanovich, Karamzin, Zhukovsky, Viazemskii, Baratynskii, Batyushkov, Pushkin and others.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module, students will:
  • develop an advanced understanding of key texts and documents of the period.
  • gain advanced knowledge of broader theoretical and cultural debates surrounding the nature of literature and literary language.
  • gain understanding of complex historical, social and cultural developments that took place during this period of Russian history.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module, students will have enhanced:
  • their ability to analyse aesthetic texts in their cultural, political and social contexts;
  • their ability to discuss aesthetic texts orally and in writing;
  • their reading skills in Russian;
  • their independent research skills, developed through two research-led essays.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of this module, students will have:
  • developed an enhanced range of fluency and expression in English.
  • enhanced their ability to formulate arguments coherently and present them in written and oral form.
  • developed further their ability to pursue a guided programme of self-directed study, leading to the production of extended pieces of written work.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be taught intensively either in Term I or in Term II on a 'short-fat 'basis.
  • The lectures will give the students contextual information about cultural texts, a grounding in theoretical, socio-historical and cultural approaches, and guided textual analysis. Students will be required to attend all lectures and do weekly reading for the lectures.
  • Seminars will enable students to develop their skills in guided and independent research work on the topics, presentation and discussion of ideas. Students will be asked to prepare weekly reading and seminar questions and encouraged to participate actively in discussions.
  • The module will be assessed by one summative extended essay (to encourage independent research and learning, and to enable students to engage in critical analysis of texts and topics within wider cultural debates and contexts).
  • Each student is expected to submit a detailed essay plan as piece of formative assignment, on which feedback will be provided in a separate one-on-one consultation.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 2 hours 20
Seminars 10 Weekly 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 5,000 words 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Each student is expected to submit a detailed essay plan as piece of formative assignment, on which feedback will be provided in a separate one-on-one consultation.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University