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.
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
In this course, students continue their study of the language, concentrating on the development of oral communication and writing skills. Work for the course involves regular study of new vocabulary, extensive reading and writing. We review important aspects of grammar, focusing on communication in a variety of contexts. Students are introduced to more facts about Russian culture and read excerpts from Russian literature. This course includes required practice sessions with a teaching assistant, which are scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Students enrolled in this course are automatically 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 work in groups on analytical and creative writing assignments, give presentations and lead discussions in Russian, developing their oral communication and writing skills. Students perfect their listening comprehension skills through watching masterpieces of Russian animation and completing assignments and quizzes based on them. They regularly study new vocabulary and important aspects of grammar, focusing on communication in a variety of contexts. Students are introduced to more facts about Russian culture, and read excerpts from the 19th-century Russian literature. This course includes required practice sessions with a teaching assistant, which are scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Prerequisite: RUSS 213Y or equivalent.
The central aim of this course is to introduce students to classic works in prose and poetry of 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature, and to develop their ability to discuss and analyze various genres and individual styles. Lectures and discussions focus on works by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov. While our emphasis is on close readings and analysis of individual texts, we pay special attention to the development of realist aesthetics and to the special role played by literature in Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet society. Though centered on the novel, this course examines various genres and their boundaries: short story, drama and film. This course is taught in English. No prerequisite. Generally offered every three years.
In this course, we meet characters who are overcome with passion, obsession or addiction. We 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 are 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. No prerequisite. 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 also search for insights from Soviet and post-Soviet literature and film. Grades are 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 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 write several essays during the course of the semester. Work for the course involves 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 equivalent. 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 review grammatical structures and work on developing written and oral proficiency. Readings and class discussions center on cultural and literary material, Russian print media and occasional films. A strong emphasis is 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 unit with permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: RUSS 213Y-214Y. Offered every year.