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Week 8: Literacy and Literature

  • How important is literacy for nation building?

  • What are the functions of reading clubs`
  • What is a 'national literature'?

Essential Reading

Hosking, Geoffrey, Russia. People and Empire, pp. 286-311 [= ‘Literature as Nation-Builder’].

Subtelny, Orest, Ukraine. A History (Toronto/Buffalo/London, 4th ed., 2000), pp. 221-242 [= Chapter 22: ‘The Growth of National Consciousness’]

Davies, Norman, Heart of Europe: The Past in Poland's Present (Oxford, 2001), pp. 138-244, especially pp. 153-207 and 229-244 [Chapter 5: The Legacy of Spiritual Mastery: Poland during the Partitions, 1795-1918]

Recommended Reading

Eile, Stanislaw, Literature and Nationalism in Partitioned Poland, 1795-1918 (Houndmills, 2000) [especially Chapter 2: ‘Messianism and the National Cause’, pp. 46-67].

Sandler, Stephanie, Commemorating Pushkin: Russia’s Myth of a National Poet (Stanford, 2004), pp. 85-135.

Further Reading

Davies, Norman, God’s Playground. A History of Poland, Vol. 2: 1795 to the Present, (New York, 2005) [1983], pp. 3-59 [= Chapter 1: ‘NARÓD: The Growth of the Modern Nation (1772-1945)’]. many copies of the books are in the library and in the learning grid (University House)- The first 50 pages are on google books.

Figes, Orlando, Natasha’s Dance. A Cultural History of Russia (London, 2002).

Mickiewicz, Adam, Pan Tadeusz (New York, 1992).

Pushkin, Alexander, Boris Godunov (Whitefish, 2004), Internet version:

Shevchenko, Taras, Selected Works (London, 1982), Internet version:

Sienkiewicz, Henryk, The Knights of the Cross, or Krzyzacy. Internet version: