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May 2, 2020 / Irene2468

Announcing Teen Online Course for 2020-2021: 19th Century Russian Short Fiction

Pushkin “The Queen of Spades” by Ulyanov, 1908

Designed for teens who love literature and writing, this online course will introduce students to the amazing world of Russian fiction of the 19th century. We will read and discuss some of the most celebrated and overlooked short masterpieces by major Russian writers, including Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, and Turgenev in the first semester in the fall of 2020, and Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov in the second semester during winter and spring of 2021.

Our class will focus on close textual analysis of the material read at home, supplemented by biographical, historical, and critical information introduced at each online session. I will draw upon my Russian background to provide the students with a unique opportunity to appreciate some of the pleasures of the original Russian versions that are inevitably lost in any translation.

Prerequisites include the completion of honors-level high school English and History classes or AP English Composition. Students are expected to have experience writing essays. While I will encourage students to develop their ideas and style and to improve their skills in writing about literature, the course is intended neither to be an introduction to English composition nor to literary analysis.

The first semester will begin in September of 2020 and end in December. The second semester will begin in January of 2021 and end in April. Please click here for the complete course description, including the reading list, assignments, grading criteria, and tuition.

How to Apply for the Course

If you are interested in taking the class, please do the following:
1. Copy and paste the application below from “Student Application” through all of the “Statement of Intent” into the body of an email.
2. Complete all the questions, and type your name and the date in the Statement of Intent. Please include “Student Application for Teen Russian Literature Course” in the subject of your email.
3. Email the completed Student Application and Statement of Intent directly to me at jkdenne at aol dot com.
Note: All students under the age of 18 must include the name and signature of a parent or legal guardian on the application.

I will respond as soon as possible to all applications received by email. Registration begins on May 20, 2020.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Julia Denne




Student Name and Age:
Student Email:
Parent Name:
Parent Email:

Please cut and paste a 500-word (or less) sample of your recent academic writing, which represents you as a writer. You can include part of a longer work. Choose writing that you feel reflects your independent writing ability.


Please describe why you’re interested in taking this class. What do you hope to gain from it? What is your background as a reader or writer, and why do you think this course is a natural next step in your education? (One or two short paragraphs are fine!)

I have read the course description and understand what this course will require from me. I further pledge to participate fully in the course, keeping up with required assignments and deadlines. The work I submit will be solely my own composition. Plagiarism is grounds for dismissal from the course with a failing grade. Even though I am submitting this electronically, I understand that my signature is still binding.
Student Name: