Arts, Sciences, and Engineering Modern Languages & Cultures - Russian Studies
Course Section Listing Course Course Title Term Credits Status
COURSE_SECTION-3-181862 RSST 235-1 Tolstoy's War & Peace Fall 2024 4.0 Open
Day Begin End Location Start Date End Date
TR 1230 PM 145 PM Meliora Room 218 08/26/2024 12/18/2024
Enrollment: Enrolled     
Co-Located: CLTR 259-1 (P), RSST 235-1, RUSS 235-1
Instructors: John Givens
Delivery Mode: In-Person
Description: When Russia invaded Ukraine, Oprah Winfrey removed Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace from her Book Club and Ukraine banished it from their school curriculum. But were they right to do so? A committed pacifist, Tolstoy did not write his novel to glorify war but rather to reveal its horrors and to combat false portrayals of it in history books and literature. This semester-long exploration of one of the most important novels in Western literature will slowly unpack this complex narrative to understand what Tolstoy wanted to say about war and about how we should strive to live. To help guide our reading, we will analyze two important early short works by Tolstoy on the themes of war and peace. We will also read excerpts from historical and biographical accounts. We will pay close attention to the novel's meditation on the relationship between fact and fiction in works of historical literature; its preoccupation with theories of history; its subversion of historical narratives; its various philosophical and moral propositions; and its unique contribution to the Russian idea of literature's role as a kind of textbook for how we should live. We will also view Russian, American and British attempts to film the novel, including Woody Allens 1975 parody, Love and Death. In English. First-year students welcome.
Offered: Fall Spring Summer