Spring Break 2017 (April 7 – 16)

Join professors Carol Davis and James Martin to learn about St. Petersburg, one of the world’s greatest cities known as the center of Russia’s cultural expression, through its rich literature, music, and history. The arts have always served as symbols of the culture and as forums for the conscience of its people.

Learn about the father of Russian Literature, Alexander Pushkin, who lived and died in St. Petersburg, where there are statues of him all over the city and where schools are named after him. Visit the locations where his poetry, plays, and stories took place.

See the story “The Overcoat” come to life in the scene where the ghost of Nikolai Gogol’s protagonist haunts Nevskii Prospekt, St. Pete’s major thoroughfare. We’ll read this story, walk along Nevskii and the canals that intersect it to understand why this story is integral to how Russia views itself as a country.

Visit the building where the hero of Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment killed the old woman in the Sadovaya neighborhood. The scene is so vivid to readers that tourists knock on the apartment door as if the character had been a real person. And visit the prison where the author Dostoevsky himself was imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress.

St. Petersburg (Leningrad) was the setting of 20th-century Russian history — from Lenin’s return to Russia at Finland Station, Tsar Nicholas’ abdication, through WWII and the Blockade of Leningrad. All of these historical events are explored through literature. Tour the house of the great Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, who chronicled the triumphs and defeats in St. Petersburg.