Spring 2014

Modern Russian Poetry in Translation: Text, Image, Sound

Listed in: Russian, as RUSS-314

Formerly listed as: RUSS-37

Moodle site: Course (Guest Accessible)


Catherine A. Ciepiela (Section 01)


Poetry remains a vital area of creativity in contemporary Russia, extending the achievements of twentieth-century greats like Marina Tsvetaeva, Osip Mandelshtam, Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak and Joseph Brodsky.  We will study the efforts of Russian poets over the past one hundred years to invigorate and enrich their poetic languages as they have engaged with other modes of creativity – film, visual art, performance, photography – and changing historical circumstances.  A central question we will ask:  To what extent are these shifts of form prompted by the search for a social self?  By new exposure to international poetry?  Alongside the poets’ verse, we will read their critical and autobiographical prose, view their work in other media (Tarkovsky’s film “The Mirror,” performances of Pasternak’s translation of “Hamlet”), and consider their portraiture and mythologies.  All readings will be in English translation, and the dynamics of translation will be an ongoing topic of discussion.  Assignments will include creative projects and in-class student presentations.  Special assignments will be given to students able to read Russian. 

Spring semester.  Co-taught by Professor Ciepiela and Professor Barskova (Hampshire College).

Cost: 85.00 ?


Artistic practice, Foreign culture taught in English, Writing attentive


2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014