Cities & Civilizations

Jul 2003

This course was SO much fun. It was co-taught by Professor Nepomnyashchiy and Professor Mark von Hagen, both of whom have lots of firsthand knowledge of Russia, so that there were always a bunch of personal anecdotes in between the textbook facts. (Professor Nepomnyashchiy was in Moscow on the day of the coup.) The course itself is supposed to be an intro to Eurasian studies. It combines history and literature and ends up feeling like a whirlwind tour through the former Soviet Union's most famous cities. So, for example, you study about the history of St. Petersburg, and then you read Pushkin; you study the history of Moscow and read Bulgakov. During every lecture, there would be various pictures projected on the wall, so you can sort of get the "feel" of the city. It's definitely a must-take for anyone interested in Russia and the former Soviet Union. I took it the very first semester it was offered, Spring 2003, and, from what I heard, they are planning to make it even better. If you like to read (or write) historical literature, don't miss this. Note: There is a weekly required recitation section with your TA.