Program Details

St. Petersburg is one of the world’s great and most intriguing cities. Established in 1703 to be Russia’s “window on Europe,” this enlightenment experiment, an architectural synthesis of Rome, Venice and Amsterdam, became the “cradle of three revolutions”
Location:
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Summer

Program Overview

Program Description:
This super-saturated city will require an intense commitment from student and instructor: we will meet six days a week, with twelve hours a week of class time and at least fifteen hours a week of various excursions (guided walks, museums, concerts, palaces). We will read from Russian classics and contemporaries, explore the city deeply, and experience several guest lectures. It is recommended, though not required, that students have at completed at least one year of Russian language study before participating in this program.

St. Petersburg is one of the world’s great and most intriguing cities. Established in 1703 to be Russia’s “window on Europe,” this enlightenment experiment, an architectural synthesis of Rome, Venice and Amsterdam, became the “cradle of three revolutions” (1825, 1905, 1917), the epicenter of Russian literature, and the site of one of the most terrible torments in urban history: a one-thousand day siege by Nazi forces that killed more than a million people and brought to the surface the very best and worst in human nature.

St. Petersburg is the site and source of many crucial works by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Mandelshtam, Akhmatova, and Blok (to name only those from whose works we will read, in English translation). We will also read some contemporary Russian poetry in translation to prepare for two meetings with contemporary poets. We will also have a lecture on Russian art and one on the contemporary political situation by local scholars. Students will be required to read specific course-related material, including a cultural history of Petersburg (by Simon Volkov). A 12-15 page paper, with faculty supervision, will be written after the return from the trip.
Setting Description:
Cultural Activities: Four operas (if they are in repertory, we will see Tchaikovsky's "Queen of Spades" & "Eugene Onegin" and Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov" & "Khovanshchina") at the Mariinsky Theatre. Four literary museums: Dostoevsky, Blok, the Museum of the Avant-Garde, and the Zoshcehnko Museum. Four palace sites outside of the center city: Peterhof, Tsarskoe Selo, Gatchina, and Pavlovsk. Five museum visits: twice to the Hermitage and twice to the Russian Museum, and also to the Museum of Contemporary Russian Art (called Errarta). This is a minimum. We will also visit several important grave sites, churches, the Menschikov Palace, and the Islands (a vast recreational-park site in the north of the city).
Cost:
Program costs will be posted on the program site in December.

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