Ukrainian Studies

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

SLA 268. THE COSSACKS! Fall 2023


Class meets on Wednesdays from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM in Carr Hall 406.


Instructor:Maxim Tarnawsky121 St. Joseph St. Alumni Hall 403 416-978–8972  

Course Description Schedule Reading list

This course surveys the representation of the Cossacks in literary and visual works ranging across a wide variety of cultures and eras. Were the Cossacks Russian, Polish, Ukrainian or all of the above? Were they the agents of a repressive Russian government, the hirelings of Polish kings, the tormentors of East European Jews, the protectors of Europe from the Ottomans, or the liberators of the Ukrainian nation? Were they East European cowboys, legendary warriors, defenders of Orthodox Christianity, or a motley collection of drunken mercenaries? We will survey depictions of the Cossacks in visual works, in works of folklore, and in literary works by Russian, Polish, Jewish, and Ukrainian writers.

Graded course requirements
ItemDue datePercent of Final Grade
Assignment 1 Week five Oct 11 20%
Assignment 2 Week ten Nov 22 20%
Concluding Test Last Class Dec 6 20%
Final Paper, 5–6 pgs. After Last Class, Dec 6 by Dec 11, 2023 20%
Attendance, Participation, Quizzes required 20%

There will be two Assignments due on the dates listed above. Each assignment will be a short essay of 2 pages (no less than 600 words) on an assigned topic. Your writing will be judged on its clarity, focus, and insight. Topics for assignments are posted on line one week (but not sooner) before they are due.

The Concluding test will be held in class on the day of our last class meeting. It will cover material from the entire course. It will include a few factual questions, to make sure you have kept up with the readings, and a few analytical questions that will test your understanding of the material.

The Final Paper is due after the last class and no later than Monday, Dec 11, 2023 at midnight. Sample topics are posted, but you are free to suggest your own topic to the instructor. Don't write on your own topics without FIRST getting the instructor's approval. Papers should be 5–6 pages long, formatted with 1 inch margins, double spacing, and 12 point type.

Attendance in class is required. Participation in discussion improves your grade. You must read the asssigned texts BEFORE each class. Quizzes are to make sure you are keeping up with your reading. A portion of the participation grade is a subjective judgment of your participation in class.

Plagiarism is not an error or mistake, it's cheating. Don't do it. You will be VERY SERIOUSLY punished. Here's how to avoid it.

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Ukrainian Studies at the University of Toronto