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IDS 101: Existentialism in Literature: Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment: Using the Library

Personal Librarians

A personal Librarian is your "go-to" person in the library. First-year students are paired up with a librarian who will be your individual contact person within the library from day one. Find your Personal Librarian here.

What Librarians Can Do for You

You can set up an individual research consultation with a subject librarian for research help. Here are a few other things that we can do for you:

  • Show you the best places to begin your research.
     
  • Locate the information you need within our library or elsewhere.
     
  • Help you cite information correctly (e.g. APA style).
     
  • Judge the quality & reliability of information.
     
  • Teach you how to use information ethically (e.g. avoiding plagiarism).
     
  • Determine whether something is peer-reviewed.

Hours During the Academic Year

Library Hours


Mon-Thur    7:45 a.m. -- 2 a.m.
Friday         7:45 a.m. -- 9 p.m.
Saturday    11 a.m -- 6 p.m.
Sunday      10 a.m. -- 2 a.m.

Reference Hours


Mon-Wed  10 a.m. -- 5 p.m. /  6 p.m. -- 9 p.m.
Thursday   10 a.m. -- 5 p.m.
Friday        1 p.m. -- 4 p.m
Sat-Sun         (Closed)

Contact library@willamette.edu for a research consultation.
 

Archives Hours


Contact archives@willamette.edu for an appointment.

Appointments available:

Mon - Fri  9 a.m. -- 12 p.m. / 1 p.m. -- 4 p.m.

Note: The library is closed to the general public at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and holidays. The library remains open to students, faculty, and staff with current Willamette ID.

More calendar info...

Mark O. Hatfield Library Building

Library Home Page ( library.willamette.edu )

Reference Books

Below are key reference books that provide a general overview of a topic or help identify synonyms, related terms, or basic data. These sources often include references and lists of further readings.

Humanities and Fine Arts Librarian

Crime and Punishment Online Resources

Authoritative Reference Sources vs Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great resource for getting general info about something, but because anyone can contribute or change its content it is considered unreliable.  College faculty typically do not consider Wikipedia a credible information source. 

Instead, use the library's print or electronic encyclopedias, dictionaries, or other reference books to backup the basic information of your research paper. These resources have gone through an editorial process to check for accuracy. To the right and below are some resources that may be of use.

Feodor Dostoevsky

Course Description

What is the difference between being a person and being moss, a bit of garbage, or a cauliflower?  What a cauliflower is is fixed, let us suppose, by nature.  According to the existentialist, this is not true of the human being.  That is, what is true of us is, at least in part, a function of what we say or think about ourselves, how we live our lives.  We are, as it is sometimes said, self-interpreting animals; as such, freedom is fundamental to the kinds of beings we are.  Consequently, we bear a kind of responsibility for what is true of us that the cauliflower does not, and nothing can disburden us of that responsibility.  What, if anything, can have authority for me, in view of my radical freedom?  Can anything, and, if so, does nothing?  What can authority even mean in such circumstances?  What does obedience to such authority look like?  In what ways can authority and obedience be deformed?  Such questions are not unique to the philosophical movement known as existentialism, but it is characteristic of the latter that it so consistently leaves the asking and answering of them entirely to the individual, particularly concerned as it is with the various ways in which we tend to disown responsibility for asking and answering them ourselves.  Existentialist themes are the stuff of great modern literature as well as of European philosophy in the mid and late 20th century.  Our colloquium will focus on one seminal example: Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, in which a young and impoverished law student Raskolnikov commits an apparently senseless murder with the aim of determining whether morality is truly binding on him.  The bulk of the novel is spent trying to decipher Raskolnikov’s peculiar motivations and to understand the significance of his ostensible failure to “step over” morality.  In our Colloquium we will read and critically analyse Dostoevsky’s great novel through the lens of Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling and Nietzsche’s The Anti-Christ, with an eye to understanding his conceptions of good, evil, and human agency.