Russian Studies (RUSS)

Studying Russian, the fifth most widely spoken language in the world, becomes especially important at the present time when Russia is becoming an essential partner in global politics, economy, and issues of the environment. By developing students’ language skills and expanding their knowledge of Russian culture and society, the Russian Studies program strives to make students active participants in the multicultural, global community. Since Russian is one of the less-frequently taught languages, a major in Russian can become a unique and decisive factor in students’ future careers in law, business, journalism, international affairs, and public and government services. The faculty of the Russian Studies program believes that even with a mastery of Russian grammar, real communication is still impossible unless students become familiar with Russian culture and society and the life experiences of Russians. For that reason the Russian Studies program offers courses in literature, culture, film, and Russian society (both in Russian and English).

All Russian language courses beyond RUSS 104 Intermediate Russian II include assignments that are designed to develop students’ writing and speaking skills. The “content” Russian language courses at the 200 and 300 level and courses on Russian culture and literature taught in English also help students to enhance their critical thinking and information literacy.

Major in Russian Studies

The major in Russian Studies consists of eight courses:

Four language courses beyond RUSS 1034
300-level seminar language course1
Three Russian literature/culture courses taught in English3

RUSS 204 Russian Conversation is encouraged as a complement to upper-level language courses, but neither RUSS 204 Russian Conversation nor RUSS 209 Russian Complementary Reading count towards the major requirement of five language courses beyond RUSS 103 Intermediate Russian I. A 300-level Russian language seminar completed during the senior year will fulfill the College Core Curriculum Culminating Experience requirement. This requirement also can be fulfilled by an Honors Thesis in Russian.

The Russian Studies program offers four levels of Russian language study, striving to bring students to the intermediate high/advanced low level according to the ACTFL scale. This means that after graduation students are able to function effectively in Russian. Students majoring in Russian are strongly urged to deepen their knowledge of the language and country by studying in an approved summer or semester program in Russia.

Minors Offered

The program offers two different minors: a minor in Russian language requires five Russian language courses; and a minor in Russian area studies requires five courses in the program, two of which may be Russian language courses. For both minors at least one of the five courses, taught in either Russian or English, must have a strong literature/culture component. Courses which fulfill this requirement are:

RUSS 125Topics in Russian Culture1
RUSS 150Russian History on Film1
RUSS 222Russian Through Theater1
RUSS 225Russian Cinema: From Revolution to Repentance1
RUSS 230Russian Song: Poetry, Politics, Pop1
RUSS 250Crimes and Punishments: 19th-century Russian Literature1
RUSS 252Russian Through Literature1
RUSS 255Politics of Writing: 20th-century Russian Literature1
RUSS 301Nineteenth-century Russian Culture and Civilization1
RUSS 302Twentieth-century Russian Culture and Civilization1
RUSS 311Readings in Russian Literature1
RUSS 312Readings in Russian Poetry1
RUSS 325Dostoevsky and Tolstoy: Literary Philosophy1
RUSS 330Nabokov and His Worlds1
RUSS 340Russian Through Film and Theater1
RUSS 393Honors in Russian1

Courses

RUSS 101. Elementary Russian I. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:4,Other:1
Fundamentals of speaking, reading, writing, and comprehending Russian, and an introduction to Russian culture.

RUSS 101A. Intensive Elementary Russian. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:4,Other:1
Intensive elementary Russian in speaking, reading, writing, and comprehending Russian. Fundamentals of first-year Russian covered in one semester.

RUSS 102. Elementary Russian II. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:4,Other:1
Fundamentals of speaking, reading, writing, and comprehending Russian, and an introduction to Russian culture. Prerequisite: RUSS 101 or equivalent is prerequisite for RUSS 102.

RUSS 103. Intermediate Russian I. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:2
Continued focus on all language skills combined with the study of cultural texts. Prerequisite: RUSS 101A or RUSS 102 or equivalent for RUSS 103; RUSS 103 is the prerequisite for RUSS 104.

RUSS 104. Intermediate Russian II. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:4,Other:1
Advanced points of grammar and review of grammar. Training in all language skills combined with the study of cultural texts. Prerequisite: RUSS 102 or equivalent for RUSS 103; RUSS 103 is the prerequisite for RUSS 104.

RUSS 125. Topics in Russian Culture. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
An examination of everyday life in Russia, as a mirror of historical, ideological, sociological, and economic forces. In English.

RUSS 150. Russian History on Film. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:2
Course examines differences between the actual and cinematic histories as they are reflected in Russian and American cinemas. In English.

RUSS 201. Advanced Russian I. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Advanced topics of Russian grammar; review of intermediate grammar. Advanced reading, composition, and conversation. In Russian. Prerequisite: RUSS 104 or equivalent.

RUSS 204. Russian Conversation. .5 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:2
Concentrated development of speaking skill. Conducted entirely in Russian by a native speaker. Intended for students enrolled in 200- and 300-level courses. This course cannot be taken more than twice.

RUSS 205. Russian for Business. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
Designed for proficiency in business communication skills. Studies the grammar and lexicology of commercial offers, orders, contracts, complaints, shipping, and delivery. In Russian.

RUSS 209. Russian Complementary Reading. .5 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:1
Russian sources read in conjunction with English language courses. Independent course of study established by instructor and student. Prerequisite: the equivalent of four semesters of Russian. This course cannot be taken more than twice.

RUSS 215. Global Manager in Russia and Eurasia. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:Varies
The course is designed to prepare students in practical ways for their work in the global business environment and Russia in particular. In English.

RUSS 222. Russian Through Theater. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Advanced study of Russian language, particularly phonetics and intonation patterns through reading, discussing, and performing plays. In Russian.

RUSS 225. Russian Cinema: From Revolution to Repentance. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Traces through viewing and detailed analysis of films the development of Russian cinematography; from the innovations of directors like Eisenstein, Pudovkin, to the poetic-metaphorical aesthetics of Tarkovsky and Abuladze. In English.

RUSS 230. Russian Song: Poetry, Politics, Pop. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
The role of song in Russian culture. Genres studied include art song, guitar poetry, contemporary pop and folk rock. In Russian.

RUSS 250. Crimes and Punishments: 19th-century Russian Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Survey of major works of 19th-century Russian literature by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov and their influence on Western European literary canon. In English.

RUSS 252. Russian Through Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
A study of Russian through literary works by contemporary Russian writers. In Russian.

RUSS 255. Politics of Writing: 20th-century Russian Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Discussion of major trends and key literary figures in Russian literature from 1917 Revolution to the post-Soviet Russia. Examines the questions of political dissent and literature vs. state. In English.

RUSS 280. Topics in the Slavic Languages. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
Study of a Slavic language other than Russian. Languages may include Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, and Serbo-Croatian. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

RUSS 295. Topics in Russian Studies. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Readings and discussion of special interest relevant to Russian studies. Topics selected by students in consultation with the instructor. In Russian.

RUSS 301. Nineteenth-century Russian Culture and Civilization. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Fall Semester; Lecture hours:3
Cultural and ideological developments from Kievan Russia to 19th-century Russia: art and artistic trends in the context of historical events and everyday life. Extensive use of slides and video materials. For advanced students of Russian. In Russian.

RUSS 302. Twentieth-century Russian Culture and Civilization. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
Cultural developments from Chekhov to the present--the arts of the Silver Age, Socialist, realism, and post-Stalinism in the context of socio-political changes in 20th-century Russia. In Russian. Extensive use of slides and video materials. For advanced students.

RUSS 311. Readings in Russian Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
An advanced study of the Russian language through close reading and discussion of short works by major Russian writers. In Russian. Not open to students who have taken RUSS 252.

RUSS 312. Readings in Russian Poetry. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An advanced study of Russian through close reading and discussion of Russian poetry. In Russian. Prerequisite: RUSS 201, RUSS 222, or RUSS 252. Not open to students who have taken RUSS 230.

RUSS 325. Dostoevsky and Tolstoy: Literary Philosophy. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
An introduction to the major philosophical ideas of the great Russian writers Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy. In English. Crosslisted as HUMN 325.

RUSS 330. Nabokov and His Worlds. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Major works of one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. Nabokov's Russian and American periods examined in the context of both literary traditions. In English.

RUSS 340. Russian Through Film and Theater. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An advanced study of Russian through watching and analyzing films and taped theatrical productions. In Russian.

RUSS 350. Advanced Topics in Russian. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Readings and discussion of special topics at an advanced level. Topics selected by instructor in consultation with students. Prerequisite: successful completion of 200-level course or equivalent.

RUSS 390. Independent Study. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
Advanced independent research under the supervision of an instructor. Subject to be selected by student in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

RUSS 393. Honors in Russian. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Independent study for RUSS 393 Honors in Russian. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Faculty

Professor: Slava I. Yastremski

Associate Professor: Ludmila S. Lavine (Director)

Visiting Assistant Professor: Nicholas Kupensky