Have we truly entered a new Cold War with Russia? How and why have relations with the West deteriorated so quickly in recent years? And who counts as the "West" anyway? How far and deep do the political and cultural fissures run and what can they tell us about Russian society and our own? In this course we'll get to the bottom of things by exploring everything from Peter the Great's unprecedented westernization of Russia to Cold War propaganda, the Space Race, the famous Slavophiles & Westernizer debates, waves of emigration and exile that began with the Bolshevik Revolution, depictions of Russians in Hollywood, and recent efforts to define a post-Soviet identity in Putin's Russia. No knowledge of Russian language or culture required or expected.
All readings and discussion in English.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies the Liberal Studies requirement.