Anna Aydinyan is teaching courses in Russian language, literature and film at Kenyon College. Prior to coming to Kenyon, Anna Aydinyan taught a diverse range of courses on Russian literature and culture, such as "Fantasy and Realism in Russian Literature and Film," "Russia and the East," "Madness and Madmen in Russian Literature and Culture," Dostoevsky and others, as well as Russian language courses on all levels at Trinity College and the University of Pennsylvania.

She is currently working on a monograph, "The Aftermath of the Russian-Persian War of 1826-1828 in Russian and Iranian Literature and Film" that examines nineteenth- and twentieth-century evaluations of Russia’s imperial expansion in the framework of comparative colonialisms and participating in a scholarly collaboration "Winning and Losing the Great Game: Literature, Art, and Diplomacy between Russia and Iran." Her other scholarly interests include Russian film. After finishing her manuscript she is planning to work on an article "Andrei Tarkovsky and Acmeism," in which she views Tarkovsky’s filmmaking techniques and philosophy as a continuation of the traditions of the Silver Age, particularly the Acmeist movement.

Areas of Expertise

19th– and 20th–century Russian literature; Russian and Soviet film; Russia and Iran.

Education

2012 — Doctor of Philosophy from Yale University

2005 — Master of Arts from University of Michigan

1999 — Bachelor of Arts from Yerevan State Linguistic Univ

Courses Recently Taught

The second half of Intensive Introductory Russian places greater emphasis on authentic target-language input (poems, songs, film clips) and student-to-student communication. Students will do groupwork and make formal and informal presentations for their peers while continuing their study of new vocabulary and grammar. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Prerequisite: RUSS 111Y or equivalent. Offered every spring.

In this course, students continue their study of the language, concentrating on the development of oral communication and writing skills. Work for the course will involve regular study of new vocabulary, extensive reading and writing. We will review important aspects of grammar, focusing on communication in a variety of contexts. Students will be introduced to more facts about Russian culture. They will read excerpts from Russian literature. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Students enrolled in this course will automatically be added to RUSS 214Y for the spring semester. Prerequisite: RUSS 111Y–112Y or equivalent. Offered every fall.

The second half of the yearlong course emphasizes reading authentic cultural materials in Russian and student-to-student communication in various formats. Students will work in groups on analytical and creative writing assignments, give presentations, and lead discussions in Russian, developing their oral communication and writing skills. Students will perfect their listening comprehension skills through watching masterpieces of Russian animation and completing assignments and quizzes based on them. They will regularly study new vocabulary and important aspects of grammar, focusing on communication in a variety of contexts. Students will be introduced to more facts about Russian culture, and read excerpts from the nineteenth-century Russian literature. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Prerequisite: RUSS 213Y or equivalent.

This course introduces students to 20th-century Russian literature. Lectures and discussions will focus on works by Chekhov, Zamyatin, Gorky, Nabokov, Bunin, Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn among others. While our emphasis will be on close readings and analysis of individual texts, we will pay special attention to the artistic conflict resulting from the imposition by the Soviet government of socialist realism. This course examines various genres and their boundaries: novel, drama and short story. This course is taught in English. No prerequisite. Generally offered every other year.

In this course we will meet characters who are overcome with passion, obsession or addiction. We will analyze the dichotomies of rational and irrational, healthy and sick, selfish and selfless in Russian literature and film. In Russian culture irrational behavior at times appears as a form of Occidentalism, a rebellion against the rationality of the West with its perceived lack of spirituality and attachment to comfort. At other times, embracing intoxication and folly reveals the fascination of Russian intellectuals with the Western tradition of Renaissance Humanism. Grades will be based on participation in class discussions, posted questions to our online forum before each class, an analytical term paper and a creative writing project. This course is taught in English. Offered every three years.

How was it possible that the last Soviet generation did not foresee the collapse of its country, and yet when it happened was not surprised by it? Did the workers of the last two decades before perestroika trade social security for political compliance? What role did nationalism and the process of decolonization play in the country's disintegration? Did the Cold War rivalry precipitate its fall? How successful was someone who came of age during perestroika in embracing market relations? While examining the answers to these questions as provided by anthropologists, political scientists and historians, we will also search for insights from Soviet and Post-Soviet literature and film. The grades will be based on participation in class discussions, questions posted by students on the online forum before each class, two presentations of scholarly articles, an analytical term paper and a creative group project. This course is taught in English. No prerequisite.

This course provides an overview of the most significant trends and periods in the development of Russian cinema and introduces students to main cinematic genres and styles. It will concentrate on three major aspects of cinema as an essential part of Russian culture: (1) cinema as art: major directors and productions; (2) myths of the nation: politics and history in Russian cinema; and (3) self and other: gender, race and ethnicity. New trends in Russian culture also will be considered. The course is taught in English. No prerequisite. Generally offered every other year.

This course provides advanced students of Russian the opportunity to continue their study of the language, concentrating on the development of four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. To strengthen their writing, students will be required to write several essays during the course of the semester. Work for the course will involve regular study of new vocabulary, reading a variety of texts, and writing essays. This course can be repeated for credit up to 1.0 unit with permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: RUSS 213Y–214Y or permission of instructor. Offered every year.

This course is designed to provide advanced students the opportunity to refine and increase their ability to write, read and speak Russian. Students will review grammatical structures and work on developing written and oral proficiency. Readings and class discussions will center on cultural and literary material, Russian print media and occasional films. A strong emphasis will be placed on a comprehensive grammar review, with special attention to typical topics of difficulty. This course can be repeated for credit up to 1.0 Kenyon unit. In such a case, permission of the instructor is required. Prerequisite: RUSS 213Y-214Y. Offered every year.

This course provides an overview of the most significant trends and periods in the development of Russian cinema and introduces students to main cinematic genres and styles. It will concentrate on three major aspects of cinema as an essential part of Russian culture: (1) cinema as art: major directors and productions; (2) myths of the nation: politics and history in Russian cinema; and (3) self and the other: gender, race, ethnicity. New trends in Russian culture also will be considered. The course will be taught in English. No prerequisite. Normally offered every other year.