SAS Core Courses
- Intermediate Russian II 01:860:202:01
- Intermediate Russian for Russian Speakers 01:860:208:01
- Intermediate Polish II 01:787:202:01
- Russia's Wars on Page & Screen 01:860:349:01
- Ukrainian Literature in Translation: Literature and Identity in Contemporary Ukraine 01:967:259:01
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Elementary Russian II
MTTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 116
MT6 4:30-5:50pm, Scott Hall 205
Th6 4:30-5:50pm, Scott Hall 120
Prerequisite: 860:101 or placement.
Elementary Russian is an intensive introductory course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students with no prior experience in the langauge. It develops proficiency in all four skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing, as well as the basics of Russian grammar. It also introduces students to Russian life, culture, history, geography, and traditions through authentic target-langauge texts, websites, various media, and other supplementary materials.
First Year Russian Language Lab
W5 2:50-4:10pm, Language Lab 119
Elementary Russian Language Lab Intermediate Russian Language Lab is a one-hour course to supplement Russian 102, which utilizes the audiovisual and digital capabilities of the Language Lab on College Avenue. Students will practice pronunciation and intonation, as well as listening and reading comprehension, grammatical control and basic conversational skills in spoken contemporary standard Russian. This course is only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 102. This course also introduces students to navigating Russian-language websites, reading Russian print media, and understanding spoken Russian through authentic audio-video materials such as film and television clips and cartoons. This 1-credit course supplements work in the regular 860:102 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 102 take this course.
Prerequisite: 01:860:201 or placement. Not for students who have taken 860:107.
Intermediate Russian is an intensive intermediate course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students who have completed Russian 201 or placed into the course by exam. This course is not for students who have completed Russian 207 or those who speak Russian at home with their family. The course develops proficiency in all four skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. It includes a review and expansion of Russian grammar and vocabulary. It deepens students' understanding of Russian life, culture, history, geography, and traditions through authentic target-language texts, websites, media (including films and music) and other supplementary materials. It is highly recommended that students taking 202 also enroll in Second Year Russian Language Lab. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.
Second Year Russian Language Lab
M2 9:50-11:10am, Language Lab 119
Intermediate Russian Language Lab is a one-hour course to supplement Russian 202, which utilizes the audiovisual and digital capabilities of the Language Lab on College Avenue. Students will continue work on pronunciation and intonation, as well as listening and reading comprehension, conversational skills and grammatical control in spoken contemporary standard Russian. This course is only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 202. This course also introduces students to navigating Russian-language websites, reading Russian print media, and understanding spoken Russian through authentic audio-video materials such as television clips and cartoons. This 1-credit course supplements work in the regular 860:202 or 860:208 courses. 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 860:202 and 860:208 students take this course.
Prerequisite: 860:207 or placement. Not for students who have taken 860:102.
Intermediate Russian for Russian Speakers is designed for students who learned Russian at home or from family members, and have had some formal study, including Russian 207. This course focuses on improving grammatical control, and expanding active vocabulary for discussing abstract topics. Students will improve their reading skills, through literary and non-literary texts of increasing length and difficulty, and their writing skills, working towards the goal of creating cohesive and organized paragraph-length texts. Students will also increase their knowledge of Russian history, culture, geography and traditions through authentic materials, such as texts, films, music and other supplementary materials. It is highly recommended that students taking 208 also enroll in Second Year Russian Language Lab. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.
Russian Media and Film
MW5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 204
Prerequisite: 860:302, 860:401 or placement. May be taken out of sequence with 860:401.
This course fulfills a literature course requirement for the Russian Language minor.
Taught primarily in Russian, the course fosters advanced language skills of conversational fluency, listening comprehension, writing and composition, expanded vocabulary, recognition of stylistic registers, and advanced syntax. These skills are practiced while engaging with current events in mass media, and Russian culture as depicted in film. Prerequisite: 01:860:302, 01:860:306, 01:860:401 or placement.
How To Read A Russian Novel (7 Weeks: March 21 - May 1)
TF3 11:30-12:50pm, Hardenbergh Hall A2
This course takes a slow journey through one famous Russian novel. It guides students in the basics of reading a literary text from a culture different than our own, providing the rudimentary cultural and historical context. Some of the questions we will tackle are: how to keep track of many characters whose names have multiple versions? What exactly is a religious “icon,” and why do people carry them around? What was unique about daily life in the Soviet Union? How do Russian attitudes towards money, family, faith, and art differ from our own? Our novel this semester will be Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita (1940) – a fantastic account of 1930s Russia under Stalin. Its primary characters include an imprisoned novelist, his witch-like lover, a talking cat who wields a gun, and Satan himself. The novel blends magical elements with Soviet history, philosophy, and slapstick comedy, making it an enjoyable and accessible entry point into Russian culture.
Conmen, Gamblers, and Radicals: The Russian 19th Century
MW4 1:10-2:30pm, Hardenbergh Hall A3
In English. No prerequisites.
Doomed love and fatal passion. Deathbed revelations. Robberies gone wrong. Gossip and scandal. Fights between frenemies. These aren't just the kind of stories we see in films or on social media – these are the foundational plots of Russia's captivating, provocative nineteenth-century fiction. In this course, we will examine how famous Russian authors imbued representations of everyday life and human nature with surprising psychological, spiritual, and philosophical depth. We will explore Romantic poetry and Realist fiction, including Fyodor Dostoevsky's groundbreaking Crime and Punishment, and works by Lev Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov, among many other writers. At all times, we will play close attention to our works' historical and cultural contexts, considering nineteenth-century Russian views on politics, gender and sexuality, freedom, faith, the absurdity and beauty of existence, and, above all, the nature of the human soul. All texts and readings in English; no previous knowledge of Russian literature required. Fulfills SAS core goal AHp.
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 216
In English. No prerequisites.
Leo Tolstoy– the great aristocrat of Russian literature – was an anarchist, a vegetarian, a pacifist, a schismatic who founded his own brand of Christianity, and a constant nuisance to authorities. In the course of his long and turbulent literary career, he confronted key questions of modernity that remain urgent to this day. What should guide us in navigating the stormy whirl of modern life: science, humanism, or religion? How to live a moral life in a culture that encourages self-interest and self-gratification? What links homes and homelands, domestic and imperial relations? What are the physical, social, political, and ethical dimensions of sexuality? Finally – a question that was never too broad for Tolstoy – what is the meaning of life and how does death tend to put this question in focus? Readings include Tolstoy’s major novel Anna Karenina and his short fiction. Fulfills SAS Core goals AH o, p, and WCd.
All readings and discussiong in English. No prerequisites.
In this course we study the Russian experience of war through short stories, poetry, diaries, memoirs, and film from the nineteenth century Napoleonic Wars to the current conflict in Ukraine. Narrative and war go together for, as historian Drew Faust has noted, “Only a story of purpose and legitimation can transform random violence into what human convention has designated as war.” Russian authors and filmmakers have used storytelling both to create and to question the meaning of war and its official versions and heroes. A special focus of the course will be the Second World War, in which the Soviet Union triumphed while suffering unspeakable losses (roughly 26 million deaths), and which continues to occupy the public consciousness today through commemoration in personal and state rituals. The topic of war will serve as a window onto Russian and Soviet culture as well as literary politics. Fulfills Core Req. goals WCr and WCd.
TTh4 1:10-2:30pm, AB-2250
In English. No prerequisites.
Fyodor Dostoevsky's final, towering work, The Brothers Karamazov, is rightly considered to be an all-time classic of world literature. A family novel set in late nineteenth-century provincial Russia, it also manages to be a murder mystery, a legal thriller, a treatise on politics and religion, and the story of a young man's harrowing spiritual journey. We will read the novel closely over the course of the semester, examining the complexities of Dostoevsky's narration, his characters' psychologies, and his tangled plots. To illuminate the novel’s connections to Russian history and culture, we will also sample from scholarship on The Brothers Karamazov, some of the texts (the Bible, Pushkin, Tolstoy) that shaped Dostoevsky’s moral universe, and Dostoevsky's own journalism. In short, we will read one of the world's greatest, most influential works of fiction with all of the attention and nuance that it deserves. All readings and discussion in English; no previous knowledge of Russian literature required. (Satisfies the Major requirement of a 400-level course).
Elementary Polish II
MTTh4 1:10-2:30pm, AB-2200
Prerequisite: 787:101 or placement.
Elementary Polish is an introductory course intended for students with no or minimal prior experience in the language. Students will learn the Polish sound and spelling system. They will develop proficiency in listening, reading, speaking, and writing. The basic of grammar and core vocabulary are introduced. In addition, the course provides an introduction to Polish culture, including geography, history, literature and practices through authentic texts, maps, websites and other supplementary materials.
Prerequisite: 787:201 or placement.
Intermediate Polish is intended for students who have completed Elementary Polish or have placed into the course. Students will continue to develop proficiency in four skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Orthography drills reinforce the sound and spelling system. This course will broaden students’ grammatical understanding and vocabulary. Students will read an authentic literary text, view a Polish film, and discuss current events in Poland, which will deepen students' knowledge of Polish history and culture. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.
Ukrainian Literature in Translation: Literature and Identity in Contemporary Ukraine
MW6 4:30-5:50pm, AB-3200
In English. No prerequisites.
The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, preceded by a wave of public protests and civil unrest during the Euromaidan Revolution of 2014, highlighted for Ukrainians the question of their identity as never before. This course examines how the dilemmas of Ukrainian identity became formulated in the literature of the first two decades of Ukraine’s independence. We will pay special attention to social and cultural shifts that followed the fall of the Soviet empire. We will also ask how various identities—national, linguistic, ethnic, territorial, religious—are reflected in literary works of some of the most representative authors in post-independence Ukraine and how these identities interact in society at large. Fulfills Core Req. goal AHp.