Russian Cultural Scripts

This course will focus on helping students to better understand Russian culture using the Russian lexicon as a tool. Special attention will be paid to Russian cultural scripts, i.e. representations of cultural norms widely held in Russian society and reflected in Russian language. We will discuss words that reflect and transmit Russian ways of thinking as a “naïve” set of assumptions about what is good and what is bad to do, and what one can or cannot do. Since the worldview encoded in these words is usually presented in non-assertive components of meaning (that is, connotations, presuppositions, etc.), the speakers of Russian tend to take it for granted. Moreover, most of these words are language-specific and defy translation; when translated directly or naïvely into other languages, they may cause cross-cultural miscommunication. Students will write short essays two to three times per week discussing various aspects of Russian culture as understood through its key words. Grades will be based on class participation and essays written throughout the course.
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RUSS 6618

All Sections in Summer 2015 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

Summer 2015 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

RUSS6618A-L15 Lecture (Shmelev)