2020-21 Pomona College Catalog 
    
    May 27, 2022  
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RUST114 PO - Crimes and Punishments: Prison Literature in Russia and America

When Offered: One-time only; spring 2021.
Instructor(s): R. Jensen
Credit: 1

This course explores cultural representations of policing, surveillance, and imprisonment in (pre-revolutionary and Soviet) Russia and America. These two countries have distinct and yet profoundly interlinked histories, and both have been marked by mass forced-labor projects and extensive prison systems. What might we gain by looking at the Soviet Gulag and American mass incarceration side-by-side? We will explore topics such as the ethics and aesthetics of writing about prison, the relationship between captivity and creativity, the uses of documentary and fictional forms, the sociology of prison subcultures, and practices of resistance. We will examine how the experience of imprisonment is shaped by categories like race, nationality, gender, and class. Readings may include works by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Vera Figner, Vladimir Nabokov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Varlam Shalamov, Maria Alyokhina, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 1; Speaking Intensive



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