This course investigates the themes of crime and psychology in nineteenth-century Russian literature. Serfdom’s abuses led every major Russian writer to address the implications of violence and crime in the rapidly reforming 19th century Russian Empire. At the same time, urbanization that resulted from peasant migration meant higher rates of crime and mental illness, driving institutions to develop psychology into a fully-fledged scientific discipline. In this course we will examine the relationship between crime, psychology, and literature by reading masterpieces of fiction including Pushkin’s “The Queen of Spades,” Gogol’s “Viu,” Vovchok’s, The Way Things Were, Turgenev’s A Huntsman’s Sketches, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata, and Chekhov’s “The Man in a Case,” among others. We will consider how crime is negotiated and represented in literature and psychology in efforts to transform social life in the Russian Empire. The course will be taught as a discussion-based seminar in English and appeals particularly to students studying criminology, psychology, neurology, literature, and sociology. The course fulfills the Mason Core Literature requirement. Email Dr. Mangold (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
July 20, 2021