Follow the Ruble: Money in Russian Literature and Culture
Reading Russian literature through the lens of economics. Money as a driving plot principle in fiction from the 1600s to the present day. The profit motive underlying Russian artistic depictions of criminality. Gamblers, rogues, smugglers, thieves, tycoons, oligarchs, and 'New Russian' entrepreneurs as protagonists. Swindling and black marketeering as the underside of an economic system that condemns capitalism and the 'middleman.' Financial dealings as a battlefield between Russian and Western cultural values. Students are encouraged to do course projects applying economic analytical models to literary texts and films.