Curriculum Overview 

The Russian program is designed to provide students with linguistic and intellectual tools for a deep understanding of the country’s literature, language and culture. It offers minors in language and literature in Russian studies and courses for liberal arts education, thus serving students with specializations in many academic areas.

Minors in the Department of Russian have studied abroad in the following programs in recent years: University of Arizona programs in Moscow and St. Petersburg; Middlebury College programs in Moscow and Yaroslavl; School of Russian and Asian Studies; Smolny-Bard program in St. Petersburg, as well as different programs tailored to combine Russian minor with the student’s major field of study (such as O’Neill Theater Program in Moscow, or Math University in Moscow). See the International Programs section of the Catalog for further information.

The department offers two minor programs.

A minor in Russian Language and Literature consists of six courses: RUS 101, 102, 201 and 202; and two other courses chosen from among RUS 214, 217, 301 and 302. Interested students should contact the chair of the program.

A minor in Russian Studies consists of six courses: RUS 102, 201, 202; one course from RUS 214 or RUS 217; one course from and HIS 225 or HIS 226; and one topics seminar on Russian culture from the RUS 270 – 279 series. Both courses in Russian literature and both in Russian history are strongly suggested for broadening the minors’ perspective on Russian culture. Appropriate substitutions may be approved by the program chair. 

Courses Taught in English

A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.

COURSES TAUGHT IN ENGLISH

All readings, lectures and discussions in these courses are in English (except for those who wish to read in Russian). There are no prerequisites.

214. The Russian Novel from Pushkin to Tolstoy. (H)

Study of the emergence of a national literary tradition in 19th-century Russia as it was fashioned by writers and their reading publics. Emphasis on the Russian reaction to traditional Western European forms of narrative and the special status of the Russian writer as a social “moral barometer.” Readings will include works by Karamzin, Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. All readings will be in translation, with special assignments for those able to read in Russian.                                                                                                                                                                                           Staff

216. Business in Today's Russia: Culture, Society, and Capitalism. (H)

This course will focus on the chaotic rise of capitalist business practices in the 1990s and the consequences of Russia’s ensuing prosperity in the Putin era. We will come to understand the place of business in Russian political and social life as well as its popular perception in the media and art. Topics to be covered include privatization; Soviet legacies; Russia’s natural resources; oligarchs and organized crime; pro and anti-Western sentiment; everyday life in Russia under Yeltsin and Putin. Same as BOS 216.                                                                                                                                                      Stone

217. Russia: 20th Century in Print and Film. (H)

The 20th century was a time of unprecedented upheavals and profound changes in Russian society, politics and culture. Russia and its successor state, the Soviet Union, suffered revolutions, wars, bloody civil strife, collectivization and purges. During those unstable and dangerous times and despite official suppression, Russian writers, artists and filmmakers produced outstanding works. In this course we will study the 20th-century Russian experience through its literature and other art forms. All readings will be in English, with special assignments for those able to read in Russian.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Staff

Courses Taught in Russian 

101. Elementary Russian I.

For students with no knowledge of Russian. Introduction to the contemporary Russian language. The course presents the fundamentals of Russian grammar and syntax with equal emphasis on speaking, writing, reading, aural comprehension, and cultural awareness. Audio and video exercises, simple readings, short compositions, conversational drills. Offered every Fall.                                                 Bond

102. Elementary Russian II.

Continuation of Russian 101. Three 80-minute meetings per week, plus an additional conversation hour conducted by a native speaker. Prerequisite: Russian 101 or placement. Offered every Spring.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Staff

201. Intermediate Russian I. (LS)

Vocabulary building, continued development of speaking and listening skills and active command of Russian grammar. Readings from authentic fiction and poetry. Short composition assignments. Three 80-minute meetings per week, plus an additional conversation hour conducted by a native speaker. Prerequisite: Russian 102 or placement. Offered every Fall.                                                     Stone

202. Intermediate Russian II. (H) (LS)

Continuation of Russian 201. Increased mastery of Russian grammatical structures through reading and discussion of authentic literary and cultural texts. Continued emphasis on speaking, reading and writing Russian. Three 80-minute meetings per week, plus an additional conversation hour conducted by a native speaker. Prerequisite: Russian 201 or placement. Offered every Spring.      Staff

301. Readings in Russian Literature I. (H)

The primary purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to read Russian literature in the original while improving their active command of the written and spoken language. Readings have been selected from among the acknowledged masterworks of Russian literature. Prerequisite: Russian 202 or placement. Offered every Fall.                                                                       Staff

302. Readings in Russian Literature II. (H)

This course continues Russian Literature I (301) and provides students with an opportunity to read Russian literature in the original while improving their active command of the written and spoken language. Readings have been selected from among the acknowledged masterworks of Russian literature. Prerequisite: Russian 301 or placement. Offered every Spring.                                             Stone

390. Independent Study.
490. Independent Study.

Topics Courses Expected to be Offered in 2015-2016 

  • Russian Cinema.
  • Russian Popular Culture.