Foreign Culture

Foreign Culture courses are courses taught in English as part of various programs connected to the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. These programs include Asian Studies, Russian Studies, and Nordic Studies. For more information, please see each program's section of the catalog.

Foreign Culture Courses

FCUL 142 China in the World

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Intercultural

This course explores the importance of China in a rapidly globalized world from an intercultural perspective. Students are invited to examine how China interacts with the world, and vice versa, through a variety of issues. The course begins with an interdisciplinary project that offers students a gateway to explore the global presence of China. After a comparative study of origin myth and flood in China and the West, the course continues with an examination of cross-cultural education, during which students will complete an interview project. Both Chinese cuisine and the topic of "made in China" will be essential parts of this course, but students will also be able to explore topics of personal interest, such as Hollywood's representation of Chinese culture, international adoption or the Dalai Lama. With class discussion and student-led projects, this interdisciplinary course will provide a basic understanding of Chinese culture and tradition.

FCUL 241 Russian Culture Through Film

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Expression—Primary Texts, Historical, Intercultural

This course will cover 20th-century Russian/Soviet culture and history through the medium of film. We will begin with classics of early Soviet film (including Eisenstein, Vertov, Pudovkin) and then view and discuss classic films of the Stalinist era and World War II (1930's-50's). We will continue with classic films and comedies of the 60's and 70's (including Ryazanov, Gaidai, Tarkovsky). The later 1980's-90's (glasnost', perestroida, and the post-Soviet era) witnessed the emergence of films that revealed difficult social and historical themes (for example, Little Vera, Burnt by the Sun, Prisoner of the Caucasus, Brother I). The course will conclude with discussion of film and society in present-day Russia. Films are in Russian (with English subtitles). Readings and discussions are in English. Advanced Russian language students who have completed RUS 202 may elect to enroll in RUS 241 for supplementary assignments in Russian. Offered on a rotating basis.

FCUL 242 Chinese Cinema and Chinese Modernity

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Expression—Primary Texts, Intercultural

From the fall of the Clestial Empire to the rise of China's economy today, Chinese cinema has witnessed many social changes in the modern era. This course will focus on the interaction between Chinese cinema and the process of modernization. By examining how Chinese films dialogue with Hollywood, it will explore Chinese people's experiences of semi-colonial modernity, socialist modernity and postsocialist/global modernity. Students will watch select films made in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Along with reading and writing assignments, students will be required to do oral presentations. All films have English subtitles. All readings are in English. Students with Chinese language background may elect to enroll in CHIN 242 for additional assignments n Chinese.

FCUL 243 Time of Stalin - Literature and Memoirs

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Expression—Primary Texts, Historical, Intercultural

This course, through the medium of literature and memoirs, focuses on Russia/Soviet Union in the early years after the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) until Gorbachev's glasnost' and perestroika. Students will learn about the rise of Stalin, the time of terror and purges at the height of Stalin's regime (mid-1930's), WWII, the "Thaw" after Stalin's death in 1953, and the implications Stalinism has on present-day Russia. We will seek answers to the questions of how Stalin was allowed to rise to power, retain political control, and instigate policies that caused the deaths of approximately 20 million Soviet citizens - many of whom were Bolsheviks and loyal members of the Communist Party. Literary readings include memoirs, poetry, and novels. A significant part of the course concerns the role of women in the Bolshevik Revolution and their fate under Stalinism. This course fulfills requirements of international studies, women and gender studies, and Russian studies. The course is taught in English and readings are in English. Advanced Russian language students who have completed RUS 202 may elect to enroll in RUS 243 for supplementary assignments in Russian. Offered on a rotating basis. (Same as WGST 243)

FCUL 250 Topics in Nordic Literature

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Expression—Primary Texts

This course will offer reading and discussion of literature of various genres, authors and time periods of Norway and other Nordic countries. Topics will change annually and rotate. Students may enroll in the course multiple times for credit (and count towards the major/minor in Nordic Studies), provided that the topic is new. The course is taught in English and readings are in English. Students who have completed SCST 202 may elect to enroll in SCST 250 for extra assignments in Norwegian.

FCUL 251 Topics in Nordic Film

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Expression—Primary Texts

The course will offer viewing and discussion of films of various genres, directors and time periods of Norway and other Nordic countries. Topics will change annually and rotate. Students may enroll in the course multiple times for credit (and count towards the major/minor in Nordic Studies), provided that the topic is new. The course is taught in English, readings are in English, and films are subtitled in English. Students who have completed SCST 202 may elect to enroll in SCST 251 for extra assignments in Norwegian.

FCUL 341 Russian Life and Culture

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Expression, Historical, Intercultural

A study of the cultural, political, and social institutions that have shaped Russia from the time of Kievan Rus' to the present period. Key historical and philosophical themes will be discussed in reference to art, literature, architecture, music, and Russian Orthodoxy. The course is taught in English and readings are in English. Advanced Russian language students who have completed RUS 202 may elect to enroll in RUS 341 for supplementary assignments in Russian. Offered on a rotating basis.

FCUL 350 Topics in Russian/Soviet Literature

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: PAID 112 or transfer equivalent

This course will offer reading and discussion of literature of various genres, authors and time periods of Russia and the USSR. Topics will change annually and rotate. Students may enroll in the course multiple times for credit (and count towards the major/minor in Russian Studies), provided that the topic is new. The course is taught in English and readings and writing assignments are in English. Advanced Russian language students who have completed RUS 202 may elect to enroll in RUS 350 for supplementary assignments in Russian. Offered on a rotating basis.

FCUL 361 Henrik Ibsen

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Expression—Primary Texts
  • Prerequisites: PAID 112 or transfer equivalent

Norway's preeminent playwright, Henrik Ibsen, lived most of his life outside of his homeland, which he nevertheless observed with unmatched acuity. The course follows Ibsen's development as a dramatist while also exploring the cultural context of his time. The course includes recent film productions of selected plays and an opportunity to experience an Ibsen play as performed by the Commonweal Theater in Lanesboro, MN. All readings and discussions are in English. Students who have completed SCST 202 may elect to enroll in SCST 361 for additional coursework in Norwegian. Offered on a rotating basis.

FCUL 363 Norway's Nobel Prize-Winning Authors

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Expression—Primary Texts
  • Prerequisites: PAID 112 or transfer equivalent

Through the lives and literature of Nobel Prize-winning authors, Bjornstjerne Bjornson, Knut Hamsun, and Sigrid Undset, the history of Norway unfolds with its struggles and triumphs from the Middle Ages through Norway's World War II occupation by Hitler's forces. Reading selected works and viewing films based on them, as well as researching the authors' lives and times, students will gain an understanding of the highlights of Norway's history and literary production. All readings and discussion are in English. Advanced Norwegian language students may enroll in SCST 363 for additional coursework in Norwegian. Offered on a rotating basis.