SAS Core Courses:
Need to take a placement test? Click here.
First Year Russian
MTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 105
T3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 205
MTh2 9:50-11:10am, Hardenbergh Hall B3
W2 9:50-11:10am, Frelinghuysen Hall A6
MTTh5 3:20-4:40pm, Business Rockefeller Road 5113 (Livingston Campus)
Open only to student with NO prior knowledge of Russian. Students with prior knowledge must take a placement test.
Students will learn the fundamentals of the language with exercises in speaking, reading, and writing. It is highly recommended that students taking 101 also enroll in First Year Russian Language Lab.
First Year Russian Language Lab
T2 9:50-11:10am, Language Lab 119
This 1-credit course supplements work in the regular 860:101 or 860:107 course. It utilizes the audiovisual and digital capabilities of the Language Lab on College Avenue. Work on pronunciation, intonation, and comprehension. It is highly recommended that all students in 101 and 107 take this course.
Russian for Russian Speakers
MTTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 220
A placement test is required to take this course.
This course is for students WITH prior knowledge of Russian from home, but who have difficulty reading and writing, and have never studied grammar formally. Such students will not be given credit for 860:101.
Students will improve their knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, and idiomatic usage as well as their reading and writing skills. A student must take a placement test in order to take this course. It is highly recommended that students taking 107 also enroll in First Year Russian Language Lab.
Second Year Russian
MTTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 207
Prerequisite: 01:860:102. Not for students who have taken 860:107.
It is highly recommended that students taking 201 also enroll in Second Year Russian Language Lab.
Second Year Russian Language Lab
M6 4:30-5:50pm, Language Lab 119
This 1-credit course supplements work in the regular 860:201 course. It utilizes the audiovisual and digital capabilities of the Language Lab on College Avenue. Work on pronunciation, intonation, and comprehension. It is highly recommended that all 860:201 students take this course.
Second Year Russian for Russian Speakers
MTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 221
T3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 101
Prerequisite: 860:107 or placement. Not for students who have taken 860:102.
Third Year Russian
TTh6 4:30-5:50pm, Murray Hall 114
Prerequisite: 860:202 or 860:205 or 860:208 or placement.
Advanced course with emphasis on morphology, difficult points of grammar. Theory and extensive drill work.
America through Russian Eyes: Advanced Russian
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 220
Prerequisite: 860:302 or 860:306 or placement, or permission of the instructor. May be taken out of sequence with 860:402.
This course fulfills a literature course requirement for the Russian Language minor.
Hate or admiration? Jealousy or contempt? Friend or foe? What has America meant for the Russians in the course of the last century? Using literature, essay, film, videos, articles, and internet sources, this course will survey a wide spectrum of Russian attitudes toward America from the perspective of tourists, exiles, immigrants, and those who never saw it with their own eyes. From the spunky young communists of the 1920s-1930s who disdained America's capitalist system and bourgeois values, to political exiles who relished American freedoms in equal measures as they were nostalgic about Russia, to a recent flaring of animosities in the context of U.S. sanctions against Russia, caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the course will explore how our own culture has been seen from the vantage point of another, but also ask how Russians defined their own culture as they commented on America. Taught primarily in Russian, this course will foster advanced language skills of conversational fluency, listening comprehension, writing and composition, expanded vocabulary, recognition of stylistic registers, and advanced syntax. Students will be engaged in developing creative projects and multi-media presentations.
In English. No prerequisites.
This course fulfills a requirement for the Russian major and the minor in Russian Literature.
Russia's twentieth-century was punctuated by revolutions that brought radical transformations in culture, politics, and society to this vast country (and beyond). A tsarist autocracy became a communist, totalitarian state, whose eventual disintegration left behind a fragile, capitalist democracy. In this course we study how Russian literature reflects the ways in which individual experiences and identities were shaped by dramatic (and often catastrophic) experiences such as revolution, collectivization, industrialization, war, terror, and the prison camp system. We focus on the artistic movements that surround the October Revolution of 1917, and the subsequent literature that was suppressed, muted, or twisted by Stalinist policies. We also read works from the "thaw" period (after Stalin's death), the perestroika era (1985-1991), and the early post-Communist years. We study masterful novels (by Bulgakov, Nabokov, Zamyatin, Pelevin, and Petrushevskaya), poems (by Blok, Mayakovsky, and Akhmatova), short stories, and film. We place these works in the context of Russian (Soviet) culture and history. Fulfills SAS core goal AHp.
Art and Power
Cross-listed with Art History 01:082:357:01 and Comparative Literature 01:195:316:01
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Zimmerli Art Museum Greenwall Classroom
In English. No prerequisites.
Russian art of the Soviet era affords a unique vantage point from which to explore the intersection of art and politics, the changing dymanics of Soviet power, and artists' responses to—and reactions against—the notion of art as an instrument of political propaganda. Art and Power addresses the interplay between changing cultural policy and the shifts in the styles, imagery, and content of Russian/Soviet art during this period. The course covers a broad spectrum of artistic media, including painting, sculpture, posters, children's book design, architecture, mass festivals, theater, and film. Other topics include the cult of personality, art-world debates on realism versus abstraction, and developments like Lenin's Plan for Monumental Propaganda. The course also explores the movement known as "unofficial art" or "nonconformist art," which encompassed a wide range of forms of artistic expression of the mid-1950s–1980s that developed in opposition to Socialist Realism, the official style of Soviet art from the mid-1930s on. Students will be expected to explore the Riabov Collection of Russian art at the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union; some classes may be taught in the galleries of the Zimmerli Art Museum.
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:357:01 and English 01:358:363:02
TTh4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 202
In English. No prerequisites.
In this course, we will explore the works of Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), one of the most accomplished twentieth-century writers in not one, but two languages—English and Russian. Following a brief foray into Nabokov's short stories and his renowned autobiography Speak, Memory, we will explore him in chronological order, focusing on the major novels of his Russian-language Berlin period and his English-language American one. Throughout, we will consider some of the defining themes of his writing: exile and nostalgia; love, sexuality, and perversion; the often adversarial relationship between writer and reader; and aesthetic freedom pursued in the face of tyranny—political, moral, and otherwise. Special attention will be dedicated to the formal features of Nabokov's work, especially his penchants for unreliable narration, cunning wordplay, and interpretative riddles, prepared for his most assiduous readers. Finally, we will consider the many ways that one can read Nabokov: a creator fo post-modern literary puzzles, a curator of Russia's literary legacy, a chronicler of mid-century America's vulgar banalities, and a curious amalgamator of multiple national cultures who simultaneously enriches and trascends them. All readings and discussions in English.
In English. No prerequisites.
This course is a semester-long study of one big Russian novel — Leo Tolstoy's masterpiece War and Peace (1865-1869), about Napoleon's failed 1812 campaign against Russia. War and Peace is a sweeping panorama of nineteenth-century Russian society, a novel of profound philosophical questions, and an unforgettable gallery of artfully drawn characters. Reading the novel closely, we will pose the following questions: How does a novel intended to send a pacifist message become a patriotic war epic? In what ways is it a national and an imperial novel? What myths does it destroy and construct? What is the relation of story to history? What forces drive history, as it unfolds in the present? To what extent do individuals control their own lives and, if they're emperors and generals, the lives of nations? Finally, a question that is never too broad for Tolstoy: how does one live a meaningful live as a private person and as a member of a society? We will explore these and other dimensions of this capacious and intricate novel while refining our tools of literary analysis and situating the novel in its historical context. Secondary materials will include Tolstoy's letters, contemporary reviews, maps, historical sources, political theory, and literary criticism. Fulfills SAS core goal WCd.
First Year Polish
M5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 119
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 116
Open to students with NO prior knowledge of Polish. Students with prior knowledge must take a placement test.
Basic grammar, simple dialogues, and vocabulary building. Some elements of Polish culture and tradition.
Second Year Polish
M6 4:30-5:50pm, Scott Hall 115
TTh6 4:30-5:50pm, Murray Hall 208
Prerequisite: 787:102 or placement.
More complex grammar. An incorporation of some topics in Polish history and literature. Short pieces of text to be translated from English to Polish.
Vladimir Nemukhin (Russian, b. 1925)
Poker on the Beach, 1966
Oil and playing cards on linen Overall: 90.4 x 110 cm (35 9/16 x 43 5/16 in.)
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union
Photo by Jack Abraham