nl en

Russian Short Stories and Novellas of the 19th and 20th Centuries (BA)


Admission requirements

Open to all BA-3 and MA students from the Faculty of the Humanities. Priority will be given to students of the BA Russische Studies and the MA Russian and Eurasian Studies, with ten spaces reserved for them. The maximum number of students is 25, based on a first come first served basis for students from the Faculty of Humanities beyond the BA Russische Studies and the MA Russian and Eurasian Studies. Students from other faculties may apply for an exemption to be admitted (contact the coordinator).


Together with the short story author Maxim Osipov we will be reading Russian stories of the 19th and 20th century. We will attempt to say about them, in the words of Leo Tolstoy, “simple things which make sense.” Every meaningful work of literature serves an ideal of beauty, but is also brings “tidings of joy,” however bitter or tragic its subject. The main purpose of our course is to learn to recognize the beauty of Russian prose and to understand how it relates to current affairs, and to each of us.

Course objectives

  • To familiarize ourselves with and critically reflect on some key texts of Russian literature;

  • to engage crticially with philosophical and theoretical notions and concepts of Russian culture;

  • to understand the disruptions and continuities in almost two hundred years of Russian literature

  • to become better readers


My Timetable.

Mode of Instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment Method

  • Presentation: 20%

  • Final paper: 70% (BA students: 2500 words; MA students; 4000 words)

  • Class performance: 10%


Students who fail their papers (5.0 or lower) will have to resubmit an improved version and this will count as the resit of the assignment. No resit is possible for the oral presentation. A fail grade can only be compensated by the total averge of the other grades.

Exam review

Not applicable.

Reading list

A reader (in digital format) containing texts in both Russian and English will be made available as soon as possible. The following authors, amongst other, are included in the course: Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Leskov, Lev Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Isaac Babel, Vladimir Nabokov, Andrei Platonov, Yurii Trifonov, Fazil Iskander and Liudmila Petrushevskaya.


Enrolment through My Studymap.


  • For questions please contact the coordinator of the course, Dr. O.F. Boele

  • For information on enrolment and admission contact the Onderwijsadministratie at Reuvensplaats