Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

Dystopia: history, poetics, pragmatics



Course Schedule:

March 27 – April 26, 2024 | Wed Fri 4:10 – 5:30 PM Berlin (UTC+2)

Professor: Dmitry Bykov
Semester: Spring 2024
Subject: LIT
Course Level: 200
Number of Bard Credits: 1
Course Title: Dystopia: history, poetics, pragmatics
Max Enrollment: 22
Schedule: 5 weeks (March 27 – April 26), Wednesday Friday 4:10 – 5:30 PM Berlin (UTC + 2)
Distribution Area: no
Cross-Listing(s): no
Language of Instruction: Russian
Course Description:
Beginning with the Revelation of John the Evangelist, the genre of literature about the final catastrophe in human history becomes a genre that guarantees reader attention (although the myth of the end of times is present in most world religions). Dystopia is not only a warning genre, since literature has little influence on reality; this is a discussion of upcoming dangers, a discussion about the future, a reason for creating a large-scale picture of the catastrophe awaiting humanity, and simply a way to attract the reader’s attention with an alarming forecast. In the 20th century, great satirical novels, thrillers and religious texts were written in the dystopian genre, which, with an absolutely individual author’s approach to the interpretation of the future, have common systemic features that have not yet been sufficiently covered in literature. We will study the morphology of dystopian novels, and at the end of the course we will write our own gloomy forecasts in the genre of satirical grotesque.

Guidelines for the Statement of Purpose:
Craft a reflective statement of purpose explaining your interest in the Smolny Beyond Borders online course. The file should be saved with your name and course title as the filename and uploaded accordingly. Your statement’s clarity and substance will significantly influence our selection. Convey your motivations and aspirations for this course succinctly but thoroughly. Kindly write your statement in the course’s Language of Instruction.

Application Portal Instructions:
1) Use the Latin alphabet for all entries on the portal, including your name. If the Language of Instruction is Russian, you may use Cyrillic only within the Statement of Purpose file, and the title of the file should still be in English.
2) Refrain from using email addresses associated with Russian or Belarusian educational institutions.
3) While completing the “Required Information” section, ensure you fill in the “Province” field for your address.
4) Provide an address outside Russia or Belarus in both the “Required Information” and “Geographic Location Confirmation” sections of the “Online Course Application”. This ensures we can send your transcript.
5) You must press the “Sign” button twice during the application.
6) If you hold a bachelor’s degree, select “4th+” in the “Academic Year (online)” section.
7) Applicants either unaffiliated or affiliated with educational institutions in Russia and Belarus should list ‘Smolny Beyond Borders’ as their educational institution.
8) In the student ID section, enter ‘SBB’.
9) Consider drafting your motivation letter ahead of time. Save it as a separate file with this format: LastName_FirstName_CourseTitle for a smoother application process.