World Literature

WLIT 018A ~ Witches, Goblins and Ghosts: The Fantastic and Supernatural in 19th-20th-Century Russian Literature
CRN: 92774

Nineteenth-century Russian literature has been described as being bedeviled by problems of "good and evil." Alexander Pushkin and Nikolai Gogol in the nineteenth century and Mikhail Bulgakov in the twentieth address the issue of "good" and "evil" in our lives. This course examines the various manifestations of the grotesque and supernatural in Gogol's and Bulgakov's moral universe, ranging from witches, goblins, and ghosts as well as magical spells and incantations in the former to Bulgakov's more existential evil as defined in Russian by the term "poshlust". Ranging from the Gothic horrors of Gogol's Dikanka Tales to the satanic grotesquery of Stalin's Moscow, this course covers a broad range of the fantastic and absurd in Russian literature. It has no prerequisites, nor does it presuppose a knowledge of Russian literature or history. It is highly recommended to anyone interested in learning more about the "Russian soul."

Requirements Satisfied: one Literature course
Meets: Tuesday, Thursday 10:00am-11:15am
Contact: 802-656-1471,

Kevin McKenna: Professor of German and Russian, teaches Russian language, literature, and culture at UVM. His research interests include Catherine the Great, Russian satire, and political cartoons. He has lived and worked in the Soviet Union and, now, Russia for over 35 years, having previously served as a foreign service officer in Moscow and Leningrad. Currently he is working on a book about Alexander Solzhenitsyn's use of Russian proverbs in his novels and publicistic writing. He also lectures for the Smithsonian Institution in Russia on topics of Russian culture, literature, history, and politics.

WLIT 095A ~ The Spanish Civil War in Literature and Film
CRN: 93811

What does the continuing popularity of books like Orwell's Homage to Catalonia and films like Pan's Labyrinth, paintings like Picasso's Guernica and Robert Capa's still-powerful battle photography, suggest about the Spanish Civil War, and about the hopes and fears it has come to represent? What does our continuing fascination with the war reveal about our own era, and about our efforts to find meaning in history? How do new historical revelations, such as a deeper understanding of U.S. participation in the war, affect how we think about this conflict? We will explore these questions by considering how the Spanish Civil War has been re-imagined and interpreted throughout the decades, ranging from testimonials by those who witnessed the war and its devastation firsthand to contemporary popular cinema. Through our explorations we will work to understand how and why the lessons of this long-ago conflict continue to resonate so strongly even today.

Requirements Satisfied: Literature
Meets: Tuesday, Thursday 1:00pm-2:15pm
Contact: 802-656-1977,

Gayle Nunley: Associate Professor of Romance Languages, teaches and writes on Spanish literature, comparative literary and cultural studies, and film. In her research, she is especially interested in how real-world places and events have been re-imagined in the arts. Her next project explores cultural representation and imperialism at the time of the Spanish-American War. Other interests include running, hiking, snowshoeing, studying languages, and travel.