Food is much more than something to put in your mouth for nourishment; it is a cultural object of over-arching significance. This course examines food in Russian literature, cinema, art and memoir. Relying on the critical writings of Food Studies scholars such as Michael Pollan and others, we will consider food in the Russian context, from the Middle Ages to the post-Soviet era, delving into such matters as table manners; excess; holidays; vegetarianism; communal dining; Soviet home economics; and hunger throughout Russian history. We will pay special attention to the particular artistic challenge of representing food in the literary and visual arts, and how Russians have responded. The reading list includes Nikolai Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, Mikhail Bulgakov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Vladimir Sorokin and Lyudmilla Petrushevskaya.
Introduces important trends and movements in Russian literary and cultural history. Offered in English.