RUS 493
"African-American Literary Ties to
Russian Intellectual Thought"
URL: syllabus.htm

Module #2 Introduction

1) Black Immigrants/ Black Visitors to Russia
2) Russia and the Slavery Question
 
Module #2 Activities
Study Questions: 
1. How would you describe DuBoisí work? Is it a novel? 
2. Who is DuBois trying to reach as his audience? 
3. Dostoevsky divides his Notes from Underground into two segments. How would you describe the difference between the first section and the second? What is the purpose of this division? Does the second illustrate the first? 
4. Turgenevís Sketches from an Album is a collection of short stories. Do you think that the author intended their use as social commentary? 
Reading: 
W.E.B. DuBois. Souls of Black Folk
Reading Self-checks: 
1. How does DuBois describe the position of blacks in the US? 
2. What does DuBois mean when he says that blacks have two souls? How is this portrayed in the work?
Reading: 
F. Dostoevsky.  Notes from the Underground
Reading Self-checks: 
1. What kind of person is the Underground Man? 
2. Why does Dostoevsky divide the book into two distinct segments? 
3. Does the Underground Man also have two selves?
Reading: 
Ivan Turgenev. "Singers" from A Hunter's Sketches
Reading Self-checks: 
1. What kind of person/group of people does Turgenev portray in this chapter?
W.E.B. Dubois (1868-1963)  Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)  Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883) 
Writing assignment: Choose one. 
1. Compare Dostoevsky's Underground Man with DuBois' premise that blacks have two souls 
2. Compare the portrayal of serfs in "The Singers" with DuBois' chapter on "Sorrow Songs".
Discussion forum: 
1. The three readings from this module are very different types of writing. Try to establish a common ground among the three works. 
2. Compare how these authors depict the concept of duality in their works.