Smith Hall 103E
Office Hours: MTW, 11:30-1:00, and by appointment. No scheduled office hours on September 29 and December 6-7.
206-616-8408 (direct office phone, no answering machine)
206-543-5790 (msg. History Dept. office)
mailbox: History Dept., Smith Hall 315 [Please note: not Slavic Dept. office]
Office hours: MWF, 9:00-10:20; TTh, 1:30-3:30, or by appointment.
206-543-6848 (msg., Slavic Dept. office)
mailbox: Slavic Department, Smith Hall M253
M-Th., 10:30-11:20, Raitt 121
F., Section AA (with Schuckman), 10:30-11:20, Balmer 314
F., Section AB (Honors; with Waugh), 10:30-11:20, Smith 107
Note: The class meets for a lecture in Raitt 121, Friday, October 1, instead of meeting in sections that day.
Note: The course is being offered conjointly with HSTAM/SISRE 443. Both classes attend the same M-Th. lectures; 443 has a separate discussion section Friday at 11:30. Students enrolled for both courses are expected to attend the respective Friday sections for both classes.
The password information for parts of the course material that are password controlled will be given out in class.
Note that many of the readings are also among the assignments for HSTAM/SISRE 443, where, on the course website, you will find additional links to items that may be of interest. The password access for controlled materials is the same.
This is a survey of the culture of the East Slavs (principally in Russia and Ukraine--what we term Rus) from approximately the 9th century to approximately the end of the 17th. The emphasis will be on written (not oral) literature, visual arts and religion. While naturally the focus must be on what the East Slavs themselves produced, an essential part of the subject is foreign influences and borrowings and the ways in which they were adapted and changed. Of primary importance are the influences coming from Byzantium, from which Rus adopted Orthodox Christianity in the 10th century. We will examine regional variations in the culture of early Rus, the Rus response to Mongol Rule, the impact on culture of political consolidation around Moscow beginning in the 15th century, and the responses to "Westernization" in the 15th-17th centuries.
Since the principal instructor (Waugh) is by training a historian, the emphasis in the presentation of the material will be on historical evolution and context of literature and other aspects of culture. We will pay less attention to issues such as stylistics, poetics, etc., which, in any event can be difficult to appreciate where it is necessary to read literary texts in translation. No prior knowledge of the history is expected, but it is essential that students attend all lectures, since to a considerable degree they will provide the contextual framework and continuity for understanding the course readings. There is no textbook as such which adequately surveys the literature and culture of the whole period.
If for some reason you should decide you cannot continue in the course this quarter but may elect to take it another year, be aware of the fact that the medieval and early modern emphasis of Russian 321 likely will disappear in the future. Although the Slavic Department intends to keep in place its Russian 321-321 sequence as a requirement for majors, it is very likely that the chronological divisions between the courses and thus the individual course content will change. This autumn is likely the last time that HSTAM/SISRE 443 will be offered at the University of Washington; in general "Early Russia" can be expected to disappear from the curriculum.
1. A map quiz, to be given in class October 13 at the beginning of the period.
2. Four short (max. 2 pp.) paper assigments, due at quiz sections on Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Nov. 5, and Nov. 12.
3. Three longer (4-5 pp.) papers one focussing around your reading of the Igor' Tale, one focussing on the Domostroi, and the third Avvakum's "Life." These are due October 22, Nov. 19 and Dec. 3 respectively.
4. A take-home mid-term essay (due at sections Oct. 29).
5. A take-home final exam essay (due on Monday, Dec. 13, by 5 PM).
Note: You may not simply opt not to do a written assignment and still be eligible to receive a grade of other than 0.0 for the course. That is, we will not award course credit for less than the required written work, irrespective of any mathematics involved as to how much any given assignment counts.
Late work will be accepted but penalized (for graded essays, generally this will mean 0.5 per day). The final exam must be handed in on time. The only exceptions are for a documented medical excuse; in such an event, the instructors should be informed ahead of the due time regarding the circumstances.
Students should be sure to read the linked web page on academic conduct (including a discussion of plagiarism) the departmental policy statement concerning code requirements regarding academic conduct and appeal. Plagiarized work is considered not to constitute fulfillment of an assignment. Should the instructors determine that plagiarism has taken place, on the first offence the work may be rewitten for credit (but with a grade penalty for lateness); on a second offence, a grade for the course will be witheld and the documentation concerning the plagiarism will be turned over to the appropriate University Discipline Committee for further action. If that committee agrees that plagiarism has taken place, a penalty is imposed and the information becomes part of your permanent student record.
Click for a summary calendar of important dates.
See the linked table and explanation for the grading system used in this course. Be aware that, although grades are converted into the standard decimal system, a performance level of 60% on a 100% scale is required to receive a minimal passing grade of 0.7.
The various assignments will be weighted as follows:
Participation (including attendance, participation in discussion, the 4 short discussion-section papers, and the map quiz) 25% Three longer essays 35% Midterm essay 15% Final exam 25%
The following two books have been ordered as required reading:
Serge Zenkovsky, Medieval Russia's Epics Chronicle and Tales, rev. ed. (Meridian Books, 1992; ISBN: 0452010861). An anthology of literary and historical texts. Carolyn Johnston Pouncy, tr., The Domostroi (Cornell UP, 1995; ISBN: 0801496896). An important Muscovite manual of household organization and personal conduct.
Also ordered, but only as recommended reading for those who feel they need a rather detailed (albeit plodding) overview of the history of much of the period we cover (the emphasis is very much on political history):
Janet Martin, Medieval Russia 980-1584 (Cambridge UP, 1995; ISBN: 0521368324).Unfortunately there is no textbook treatment of our subect which is readily available and appropriate to assign for this course.
The following book has not been ordered (two chapters are among assigned readings), but you may wish to acquire it (copies are available via Amazon.com):
Linda J. Ivanits, Russian Folk Belief(M.E.Sharpe, 1992; ISBN: 0873328892). Be aware that this is really an exploration of folk belief in relatively modern times, as the author explains at the beginning. The book contains several chapters discussing various aspects of belief and then illustrates them with narrative texts.
The best quick historical overview of the whole period we will be covering (this one would be worth skimming at least) is the first three chapters of Gregory Freeze, ed., Russia: A History (Oxford UP PB). An older textbook which can still be useful for the period covered by this course and is readily available in various editions is Nicholas Riasanovsky, A History of Russia. If you are interested in Russia beyond our course, you may wish to obtain the book, which can be done readily via, e.g., Amazon.
The remaining readings for the course will be available in electronic form, either by links to databases provided by the library or in the form of course reserve under password control for this course. Note that the readings available through library databases generally have access restricted to those with an UW affiliation; to access that material probably requires that you use a UW ID and account, not one you may have on a service such as AOL. Probably some of the electronic texts on the course website--ones relevant to later weeks in the course--will not be available until after the first week of classes. Links will be added in the syllabus as the texts have been processed.
Be aware that many of the readings, especially in the early part of the course, are not specific just to the one week. In some cases you are being asked to read essays that anticipate later material in the course and may provide you with an analytical framework for ananlyzing subsequent specific assignments. Often the specific historical context or emphasis of one or another source will be introduced in one week but will be discussed more fully later on. So you will be reading ahead at times and also will need to go back and re-read or review material assigned in earlier weeks. Note as well that the distribution of assignments is somewhat uneven, with certain weeks substantially more demainding than others. Take advantage of the "lighter" periods to read ahead.
Note: Students in the Honors section (H), as specified below, will be asked to do as required reading some of the readings otherwise indicated as "Recommended."
Week I (Sept. 29-Oct. 1). Introduction to course; geography; peoples.
Note:Class meets in Rait 121 (our regular lecture room) for a lecture on Oct.1--we will not have sections that day.
2. Texts from Primary Chronicle relating to paganism and traditional belief.
3. Recommended: Ibn Fadlan on Rus funeral ceremony on Volga.
4. Texts from Primary Chronicle on origins of Rus and founding of Kiev (Zenkovsky, 48-51; a somewhat different version for origins is on website).
5. Ivanits, ch. 1.
6. Recommended (H--required): Jakobson on Slavic Mythology.
7. Chronology of early history.
8. At least skim for now: Lenhoff, "Protogenres" (JSTOR). This is to encourage you to start thinking about problems with the application of standard models of literary analysis to materials we will be covering in course. You likely will want to return to this article in connection with later assignments.
10. Recommended: At least skim some in the introductory chapters of an appropriate Russian history textbook such as Martin, Chs. 1-4. Keep her book in mind as you proceed in course if you feel you need a reference for political and socio-economic history.
Week II (Oct. 4-8). The culture of the early Slavs; Kievan politics, society and economy.
1. Levin on dvoeverie. This is important to help you conceptualize how one might best discuss the often syncretic results of conversion of non-Christians to Christianity. Note that her key examples are from material very late in the period we cover in the course.
1. Primary Chronicle account of conversion.
2. Web page on conversion.
3. Primary Chronicle on Iaroslav the Wise (Zenkovsky, 71-73).
4. Recommended: Lunt on the Chronicle entry of 1037 about Iaroslav (JSTOR).
5. Primary Chronicle on founding of Crypt Monastery and St. Theodosius (Zenkovsky, 105-112).
6. Franklin on Literacy (JSTOR). You need to start thinking about issues of what it means to have formal literacy and the degree to which we have evidence about it from the Kievan period.
7. Recommended: Worth on Language.
8. Read more closely Lenhoff's article on "Protogenres," recommended for last week.
9. Make a first stab at reading Florovsky, "Problem of Old Russian Culture," with commentary by Andreyev and Billington and Florovsky's response. (JSTOR) Pay attention primarily to the lead article here by Florovsky, which you will want to re-read in preparation for writing your mid-term essay in Week V. This discussion is very stimulating, although many of the authors' statements are in need of revision. Florovsky's main point is not always clear, although he provides a good sense of the ways in which previous writers have interpreted or misinterpreted the "Old Russian" cultural experience. One needs to keep in mind that his particular concerns about "intellectual silence" reflect to some extent his expertise as a historian of Russian theology. Points he makes need to be re-considered in the light of Levin's arguments and especially those by Veder (see below in Week V). Levin also presents significant alternatives to some of Andreyev's assertions. One important point that crops up in the discussion is the idea that the Mongols cut Russia off from the West, which simply is not true, as you will learn in due course.
Is the Primary Chronicle "history" or "literature" or some combination of both? Obviously you will need to suggest some definitions in order to answer this. For your "evidence," be sure to consider the issue of how the text treats "fact" and "truth" in, for example, its treatment of traditional (pre-Christian) religion in the territory of Rus and the story of the "origins" of Rus. Can we reconstruct those pre-Christian beliefs and practices from the Chronicle? Is such a question relevant if we are reading the Chronicle as literature, not history? If we are reading it primarily as literature, what can or should we learn from it?
Week III (Oct.11-15). The Conversion; the Byzantine legacy in religion and art.
1. Review materials on The Conversion from last week. 2. Recommended (H--required): Iaroslav's Church Statute.
3. Lilienfield on Monasticism.
4. Recommended (H--required): Tales from the Kievan Paterik (Zenkovsky, 134-152).
5. Fedotov on Kirik.
6. Ivanits, ch. 2 (also, review her Ch. 1).
7. Art web pages: Byzantine architecture, Christian Iconography, Art of Kievan Rus, Cathedral of Sancta Sophia, Christian Imagery in the cathedral.
8. Recommended: Should you wish to gain some insight into ways of analyzing architecture, take a look at Lawrence Butler's discussion of Sancta Sophia in Constantinople. The best way to use this is if you have the Flash plug-in, which lets you listen to the audio as the various images change on the screen.
9. Recommended: Should you wish an overview of the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, one of the great political, economic and cultural centers of the European world and the source of Russia's Christianity, look at the web page "Istanbul/Constantinople, Part I"
While a closer study of examples from Kievan literature still lies ahead, you already have a substantial amount of information about the initial experience of Kievan Rus in its interaction with Byzantine culture. Assume for the sake of our discussion here that sometime in the second half of the 12th century independent commissions were established in Kiev and in Constantinople to assess the success of the Conversion of Rus and report the results to the respective political and religious leaders. The commissions were not only looking for evidence of what had or had not been accomplished but also were trying to analyze what seems to have worked and what might have been done better. Do you imagine that the two commissions would reach the same conclusions, or might not the perspective from Constantinople have looked different from that in Kiev? Would either commission, sitting in its major city necessarily have had enough information to write a good report? Be prepared to defend your observations with specific examples.
Week IV (Oct. 18-22). Kievan literature; the art of the princely courts; the Igor Tale.
1. Metropolitan Ilarion's sermon on Law and Grace (Zenkovsky, 85-90; or web version).
2. The Life of St. Theodosius (Zenkovsky, 116-134).
3. Descent of the Virgin into Hell (Zenkovsky, 153-160).
4. Konrad on apocrypha.
5. Recommended: Boris and Gleb (Zenkovsky, pp. 101-105; web version).
6. Web pages on Art of the Princely Court and Vladimir-Suzdal.
7. Monomakh's testament (Zenkovsky, pp. 92-100, or, for text without the introduction, web version).
8. Recommended: Fedotov on Monomakh's testament.
9. The Igor Tale, including introduction and commentary, Haney/Dahl ed. Commentary has been somewhat awkwardly linked to the individual stanzas and can best be consulted by clicking on the stanza numbers as you are reading along.
10. Recommended for comparison and contrast with Igor Tale: The Zadonshchina (Zenkovsky, 211-223), for comparison/contrast with Igor Tale. Note: this text is substantially later than the presumed date of the Igor Tale, but it is instructive to examine here precisely because of the way it uses and changes some of the material in Igor.
What were the cultural values of the late 12th century princely courts? Is there any reason to think they differed significantly from cultural values in other segments of society? Among other things here you might wish to consider whether evidence in art and in the Igor Tale provides any new insights into the issue of popular religion about which you have read earlier.
Week V (Oct. 25-29). Regional centers: Novgorod; the end of Kiev and the coming of the Mongols.
1. Novgorod web pages; Novgorod's material culture
2. Read carefully Florovsky, "Problem of Old Russian Culture," with commentary by Andreyev and Billington and Florovsky's response. (JSTOR) Pay attention primarily to the lead article here by Florovsky. This discussion is very stimulating, although many of the authors' statements are in need of revision. Florovsky's main point is not always clear, although he provides a good sense of the ways in which previous writers have interpreted or misinterpreted the "Old Russian" cultural experience. One needs to keep in mind that his particular concerns about "intellectual silence" reflect to some extent his expertise as a historian of Russian theology. Remember, points he makes need to be re-considered in the light of Levin's arguments and especially those by Veder (see below). Levin also presents significant alternatives to some of Andreyev's assertions. One important point that crops up in the discussion is the idea that the Mongols cut Russia off from the West, which simply is not true.
3. Thomson, "Slavonic Translations". Thomson summarizes here his conclusions presented in an earlier article (in the process responding to Veder (below)), and then extends his investigation down through the seventeenth century. The details for that part of his argument have been omitted in this selection. This article will be worthwhile to re-read when we move into a consideration of Muscovite culture.
4. Veder, "Intellectual Silence Reconsidered". A response to Florovsky et al. and to Thomson. This article is important for raising basic questions concerning whether Slavic bookmen and their readers did not, perhaps, have a distinctive understanding of the function of the written text. Veder makes what some see as a defect of the early Rus compilations into a virtue. It is easy to read around his (for the general reader) somewhat abstruse examples for his main points.
5. Should you have time, start some of readings on the Mongols listed for next week.
Week VI (Nov. 1-Nov. 5). Mongol rule, the rise of Moscow, and Rus relations with Byzantium in the 13th-early 15th centuries.
1. Chronology of Golden Horde History.
2. Tale of Destruction of Riazan. (Zenkovsky, pp. 198-207, or, lacking introduction, web version)
3. Recommended: Waugh, "The Pax Mongolica" and "Karakorum."
4. Recommended (H--required): Mercurius of Smolensk (Zenkovsky, pp. 208-211).
5. The Zadonshchina, Zenkovsky, pp. 211-223.
6. Miller, "Monumental Building" (JSTOR)
7. Web pages on Emergence of Moscow as a Cultural Center
You have already encountered in some of your readings the idea that the Mongol invasion created some kind of cultural break between Kievan Rus' and what follows. Do you see any evidence to support such a notion? In answering this, be sure to consider the theoretical question of what (if any) kind of break a warfare and foreign rule might produce in a culture, but also look at the evidence you have in hand from works of literature written after the Mongol invasion, information about architecture and painting, etc. To use such evidence well will require some comparison and contrast with what went before.
Week VII (Nov. 8-12; Nov. 11 is a holiday, no class). Moscow as a cultural center.
1. Recommended (H-required): Life of St. Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow. Peter was one of the important early Metropolitans who was canonized, presumably in part because of the critical role he provided in support of the Muscovite princes.
2. Life of St. Sergius (Zenkovsky, pp. 262-290; or, less introduction, web version). An excellent example of Russian hagiographic literature from the early fifteenth century. Sergius was a particularly important saint for the Muscovite ruling house and the founder of what became the largest of all the Russian monasteries.
3. Peter and Fevroniia (Zenkovsky, pp. 290-300).
4. Haney on Peter and Fevroniia.
5. Afanasii Nikitin (Zenkovsky, pp. 333-353).
6. Lenhoff on Nikitin.
7. Recommended: Trubetskoy on Nikitin. You can contrast his analysis with the rather forceful critique of it by Lenhoff. Even if she is right, you may learn something about structural analysis of a literary text from his approach.
8. To anticipate continuing discussion of Muscovite culture, web page on Art and Technology of the Renaissance in Muscovy.
What might Muscovites who read (or heard) the 15th-16th century texts assigned for this week conclude about the Christian ideal as represented by the heroes/heroine? Does it seem at all odd that Peter and Fevroniia would be canonized and that Afanasii Nikitin's account would be included by Metropolitan Macarius in his Great Menologion of all that was fit for a good Orthodox Christian to read?
Week VIII (Nov. 15-19). Muscovy and the Renaissance; the Domostroi.
1. Crummey, Reform under Ivan IV. For an overview of the "good" part of Ivan's reign..
2. Cherniavsky, "Ivan as Renaissance Prince" (JSTOR). Also for next week. Regarding Cherniavsky's article:3. Recommended: Ivan-Kurbskii correspondence (Zenkovsky, pp. 366-376, or web version). Probably written by neither and not until after Ivan was dead.
Is there any real value in the "superficial" impressions by foreign observers of Muscovy? In establishing a kind of "Renaissance mood"? Does his particular definition of "Renaissance" seem to highlight what is really important about the Renaissance? What would happen to his argument if, say, Ivan's "Correspondence" with Kurbskii and Peresvetov's "Works" were in fact compositions of some time later than Ivan's reign?
4. Rowland, Ivan as Carolingian Renaissance Prince. Consider carefully what we might best understand by "Renaissance" and whether, in making comparisons across cultures and histories, some comparisons might not seem more appropriate than others. Who is more convincing: Cherniavsky or Rowland?
5. Rowland, Third Rome (JSTOR); also some images on Blessed Host webpage.
6. Renaissance web page (Week VII, No. 9 above).
7. ThyrÍt, Tsaritsa's Womb (JSTOR)
8. Pouncy, Domostroi, entire. The most important thing here is to focus on the Muscovite text, not Pouncy's introduction, which is not always helpful for our understanding of the text itself. Also, note that there is substantial detail in the Domostroi which can judiciously be skimmed. Selecting appropriate details for evidence in your paper though is important.
9. Alberti, Della famiglia, excerpts, for an Italian household manual to compare/contrast with Domostroi.
10. Re-read Thomson (assigned earlier).
11. Recommended [H--required that you read at Keenan and one of the other two. Kaiser is required of everybody in class in Week X.]:
Keenan on "Two Cultures," an argument about the supposed sharp division between the religious and secular cultures in Muscovy; Waugh, Ivan's library. Is there sufficient evidence to conclude Ivan had a "Renaissance" library of the Classics? The point of this is not that you should remember details about which author said what, but rather that you think about the problems raised concerning methodology and the kind of questions historians should ask. Kaiser, "Quotidian Orthodoxy," for the role of Orthodoxy in the lives of ordinary believers.
What are the cultural values of Muscovy as evidenced in the Domostroi? Are they those of society as a whole or only some portion of it? Does the evidence of the Domostroi help us to determine whether Muscovy experienced anything like the Renaissance? Be sure to think carefully about the evidence in the text of the Domostroi itself and not be overly influenced by suggestions Pouncy makes in her introduction about authorship.
Week IX (Nov. 22-24; Thanksgiving Holiday, Nov. 25-26, no class). The consequences of unrestrained absolutism? Origins of Serfdom; the Time of Troubles.
1. Accounts about the Oprichnina.
2. Recommended: Palitsyn and Katyrev-Rostovskii (Zenkovsky, pp. 379-390): examples of literary polemics inspired by the events of the "Time of Troubles."
3. Read ahead in anticipation of next week's paper.
Week X (Nov. 29-Dec. 3). Order and disorder in the 17th century; the Schism and Avvakum.
Note that since Prof. Waugh has a conflict and cannot be present the class will meet with Ms. Schuckman as a single group (not in separate sections) on Friday, December 3 for lecture/discussion regarding the subject of your papers. Location of this meeting (whether our regular lecture room or a different room) will be confirmed well prior to the day.
1. Iuliiana Lazorevskaia (Zenkovsky, pp. 391-399, or web version in different translation).
2. Avvakum (Zenkovsky, 399-448).
3. Recommended: Zenkovsky on Schism. Although rather dated, useful for context and at least one interpretation of reasons for Schism.
4. Kaiser, "Quotidian Orthodoxy" or ThyrÍt, "Women and the Orthodox Faith."
5. Lenhoff on protogenres (see Week I).
6. Review Levin on dvoeverie (see Week II).
7. Recommended: Levin, "From Corpse to Cult"
8. Waugh on the construction of regional identity in Viatka, or, with some overlap, the more substantial Waugh, "Religion and Regional Identities"--concerning one of the phenomena of "popular" Orthodoxy.
Are there biographies and autobiographies in the literature of early Rus? Might we get a different answer depending on what period we examine? Why? To answer this question, you will need to consider just what constitutes biography and autobiography, and you will need to use on the one hand Iuliiana Lazorevskaia and Avvakum and on the other some of the earlier texts you have read. Should you conclude that Avvakum's "Life" is somehow substantially different from what came before, might we assume this is the result of changes in the seventeenth century that affected other aspects of Muscovite culture?
Week XI (Dec. 6-10; last day of classes is Dec. 10). Musical culture (Guest lectures by Dr. Claudia Jensen); the acceleration of "Westernization"; Muscovite culture in the era of Peter the Great.
Note: Prof. Waugh will be out of town December 3-7; so no office hours on the 6th and 7th.
1. Web pages on icons of Birth of Virgin Mary, on Tree of Muscovite State, and on Beginnings of Portraiture.
1. Savva Grudtsyn (Zenkovsky, pp. 452-474).
2. Frol Skobeev (Zenkovsky, pp. 474-486).
3. Love poems (Zenkovsky, pp. 514-517).
The essay question for the final exam will be handed out at sections on Friday, Dec. 3, and posted to the class website. The final discussion sections (Friday, Dec. 10) will be a review focussing on issues raised by the exam question.
The final exam papers will be due by no later than 5 PM, Monday, December 13. You may, of course, turn in your take-home early, if you wish