Rus 325: Dostoevsky
Instructor: Andrew M. Drozd
Office: 213 B. B. Comer
Location: B. B. Comer 244
Time: 2:00-3:15 TR
Office Hours: 1-2 MT
To Purchase: F. M. Dostoevsky: Poor Folk, Crime and Punishment, The Devils, The Idiot, The Adolescent, The Brothers Karamazov, Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Uncle's Dream and Other Stories.
On Gorgas Reserve: J. Edie, Russian Philosophy Vol. 2; W. J. Leatherbarrow and D. C. Offord, A Documentary History of Russian Thought (L&O); Carl Proffer, From Karamzin to Bunin.
This course will cover the life and major works of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Writing proficiency is required for a passing grade in this course. All materials are read in English translation. No knowledge of Russian is required for this course. Three (3) credit hours.
This course will include substantial in-class and out-of-class writing that encourages the development of critical thinking and requires students to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate knowledge.
COURSE PHILOSOPHY and GOALS: The reading for this course is focused almost exclusively on Dostoevsky’s works. While general histories of Russian literature and critical studies certainly have their value, they are best appreciated once the student has read the basic material. As a result none are assigned so that the student may read a larger number of primary texts. The requisite biographical and cultural background will be provided in the lectures. As a result of this course the student will:
- Become familiar with Dostoevsky's intellectual evolution
- Become familiar with the major themes of Dostoevsky's fiction
- Become aware of Dostoevsky’s often intense dialogue with his predecessors and his contemporaries
- Develop an understanding of Russian culture
- Develop an understanding of Russian society of the nineteenth century
- Develop some familiarity with the course of Russian history
- In addition, the student will analyze and discuss literary works in a manner that consists of more than mere plot summary.
Two exams and a comprehensive final exam. The written exams will consist of questions that require the student to analyze various aspects of the assigned readings. If you have a conflict with a test date, I will allow you to take the exam at a different time, provided that you inform me beforehand. Make-ups will be allowed only in very rare circumstances.
There will also be seven (7) essays of 3-4 pages each due on the materials read for the course. The essays are not to be research papers but neither are they to be mere plot summaries. Rather the student is to analyze some aspect of Dostoevsky’s work. Several possible themes for each essay will be provided by the instructor although students are free to come up with their own. Students are to keep in mind that these essays are to be specimens of formal writing and thus should use a higher literary style when writing them. A student who does not write with the skill normally required of an upper division student in the discipline will not be given a passing grade, no matter how well the student performs on other course requirements. Late essays will be accepted but will be penalized with a loss of at least ten points. Please note that the first essay is due during the third week of the course (see schedule below for due dates).
Testing Schedule (Subject to change):
Exam #1: Thursday, October 5
Exam #2: Tuesday, November 21
Comprehensive Final Exam: Thursday, Dec. 14, 8:00-10:30AM
Everything is graded on the 100-point scale. The final course grade will be based on your performance on the two exams, each worth 20% of your final grade, attendance which is worth 15%, the essays which are worth 20% and the final exam which is worth 25%. All course grades are given on a +/- basis. For an explanation of the policy, see the Undergraduate Catalog.
It is expected that all students will pay attention and participate in class. Therefore, no electronic devices are to be used in class unless an assignment specifically calls for it or unless it has been approved by ODS (see below). Recreational use of electronic devices in class is a distraction for everyone else and all cellphones, laptops, tablets, etc. are to be turned off when class starts. Persistent violations will result in a reduction of the student’s class attendance grade. In instances regarding a family or medical emergency, an exception will be granted, if you inform the instructor in advance.
Attendance is required, will be recorded and will be a significant component of your grade.
Academic misconduct policy:
All students in attendance at the University of Alabama are expected to be honorable and to observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars. The University expects from its students a higher standard of conduct than the minimum required to avoid discipline. Academic misconduct includes all acts of dishonesty in any academically related matter and any knowing or intentional help or attempt to help, or conspiracy to help, another student.
The Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Policy will be followed in the event of academic misconduct.
If you are registered with the Office of Disability Services, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss any course accommodations that may be necessary. If you have a disability, but have not contacted the Office of Disability Services, please call 348-4285 or visit 133-B Martha Parham Hall East to register for services. Students who may need course adaptations because of a disability are welcome to make an appointment to see me during office hours. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services, 133-B Martha Parham Hall East, before receiving academic adjustments.
The UA emergency information site: http://prepare.ua.edu/. In the event of an emergency, the instructor will give information on the course via Blackboard Learn.