SAS Core Courses
- Intermediate Russian II 01:860:202:01
- Intermediate Russian for Russian Speakers 01:860:208:01
- Love and Death in the Russian Short Story 01:860:322:01
- Intermediate Polish II 01:787:202:01
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Elementary Russian II - Hybrid section
MTh3, 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 116
Prerequisite: 860:101 or placement.
This course/section of Elementary Russian is a "hybrid" of traditional and online learning. Students will meet face-to-face for two 80-minute classes per week, and will complete online assignments twice per week. This is a four-credit course, meaning that you are expected to engage with the materials for 6-8 hours outside of class (roughly one hour per day), including your online assignments, written homework, and other study. By working outside of class on aspects of how Russian works, we will have more time in class to focus on using Russian to communicate, implementing what is practiced online. Online assignments will include reading dialogues and grammar explanations, and completing exercises to test reading and listening comprehension, vocabulary and grammar, and speaking. Some material will be presented for the first time online, but there will always be time for review and questions in the face-to-face sessions. There will also be written homework, typically due at each face-to-face class session. Elementary Russian is an intensive introductory course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students with no prior experience in the language. 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-language texts, websites, various media, and other supplementary materials.
Elementary Russian II
MTTh6, 4:30pm-5:50pm, M Murray Hall 211, TTh Scott Hall 219
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 language. 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-language texts, websites, various media, and other supplementary materials.
First Year Russian Language Lab
W5 2:50-4:10pm, AB East Wing 3200
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. Work on pronunciation, intonation, and comprehension. It is highly recommended that all students in 102 take this course.
Intermediate Russian II
MTTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 202
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
M6 4:30-5:50pm, AB West Wing 4050
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. Work on pronunciation, intonation, and comprehension. It is highly recommended that all 860:202 students take this course.
Intermediate Russian for Russian Speakers
MTTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, AB West Wing 2150
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.
Advanced Russian II
TTh6 4:30pm-5:50pm, Scott Hall 216
Prerequisite: 860:301 or placement.
This is an advanced course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students who have completed the equivalent of four semesters of college-level Russian, or have placed into the course by exam. The course strengthens grammatical control and develops proficiency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing. Students will learn to summarize, develop narration, and create connected paragraphys in speech and writing. They will also study complex grammatical structures, such as participles and gerunds, and syntactic constructions, such as subordination. They will broaden their vocabulary through the study of word-formation. This course covers many elements of modern Russian life, such as education, employment, leisure and youth culture, through authentic target-language texts, websites, media (including films and music) and other materials.
Russian Media and Film
TTh5 2:50pm-4:10pm, Frelinghuysen Hall A4
Prerequisites: 860:301, 860:306, or placement. May be taken out of sequence with 860:401, 860:403, or 860:404.
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.
Special Topics: Russian and Soviet Science Fiction
TTh6 4:30pm-5:50pm, Scott Hall 205
In English. No prerequisites.
What does it mean to build utopia? What new worlds and creatures — and what new ways of being human — could our encounters with alien spaces reveal? How will new technologies transform moral, social, and political norms in everyday life on Earth, and how will they change our ideas about who and what we are? Since its first origins, the genre now known as science fiction has been driven by such questions. In Russia and the Soviet Union, it evolved alongside a massive real-world experiment in creating utopia and the new human being, in the wake of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. This course explores the great 19th-21st-century tradition of Russian and Soviet science fiction in literature and film —from pre-revolutionary visionaries, to early Soviet zealots and skeptics, to Space-Age masters, and up through the post-Soviet aftermath of the present day. Writers and directors whose work we will discuss include Fyodor Dostoevsky, Evgeny Zamiatin, Mikhail Bulgakov, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Stanislaw Lem, among others. Tracing the particular story these works tell about the potentials, promises, and dangers of the scientific imagination, we will also step outside the Slavic tradition to reflect on literary and historical crossing-points with selected English-language contemporaries: George Orwell and Octavia Butler, Star Trek and Black Mirror. Throughout the course, class discussions and analytical essay assignments will help you delve into these texts and the foundational questions they raise. No prerequisites; all readings and discussions in English.
Love and Death in the Russian Short Story
MW4 1:10pm-2:30pm, Hardenbergh Hall A3
In English. No prerequisites.
A brilliant counterpart to the expansive Russian novel, the Russian short story has long been praised by connoisseurs and practitioners of the genre. In this course we read both the classics and the hidden gems of the Russian short-story tradition from the 19th century to today. We will focus on the most universal themes of story-writing: love and death. We will also pose the following questions: What is distinctive about the short story form? How do stories "talk to" other stories in a tradition? What narrative twists and complications do authors use to keep readers hooked and spellbound? Since the readings cover most major Russian writers and movements, the course will appeal to those who wish to get an overview of modern Russian literature. All readings and discussion in English. Fulfills SAS core goals AH o, p; WC d.
Course Requirements:1) Midterm quiz: 10% 4) Comparison essay (7-8 pages): 30%
2) Blog posts: 10% 5) Final exam: 30%
3) Short essay (4 pages): 20%
Russian and Soviet Cinema
Crosslisted with Comparative Literature 01:195:397:01
MW5 2:50pm-4:10pm, Hardenbergh Hall A3
In English. No prerequisites.
How can truth be captured on screen, and whom will the state allow to see and hear it? Is cinema high art or mass propaganda? How can film make sense of bloody historical traumas, or of the workaday hardships of “developed socialism” and its demise? These questions will guide our survey of Soviet and Russian cinema between 1920s-2000s. We will examine both avant-garde and mass culture cinema. We will study the works of luminaries like Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky, as well as impactful films by directors from across Russia and the Soviet Republics. We will see how these films reflect or refract history– both the history of USSR/Russia, as well as the history of world cinema in the 20th century. The course will serve as an introduction to both cinema studies and Russian studies.
Dostoevsky and The Brothers Karamazov
TTh4 1:10pm-2:30pm, Scott Hall 202
In English. No prerequisites.
The Brothers Karamazov (1879-80), Fyodor Dostoevsky's final novel, is a classic of world literature. It also helped crystallize an influential set of ideas about Russia in particular: its spiritual, cultural, national, and political identity; its place in the wider world. It is both a family novel and a murder mystery, a legal thriller and a philosophical treatise, a contribution to a national myth and a sweeping vision of the experience and dimensions of human being itself. This course is devoted to an attentive reading of The Brothers Karamazov, and an exploration of the hard questions it asks and (sometimes) attempts to answer. We will place The Brothers Karamazov in the context of Dostoevsky’s career as a whole, reading selections from his earlier short fiction and journalism. We will also consider some the texts that shaped Dostoevsky’s moral and aesthetic universe as represented in The Brothers Karamazov, including the Book of Job, excerpts from saints’ Lives, and selections from works of Friedrich Schiller, Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, and others. Finally, we will discuss echoes of The Brothers Karamazov into the 20th and 21st centuries: responses from philosophers, theologians, and theorists of the novel; stage and film adaptations; and Dostoevsky’s continuing presence in discourse about the idea of Russia. Occasional secondary literature and literary theory recommended or assigned. All readings and discussion in English; no previous knowledge of Russian literature required. Satisfies the Russian Major requirement of a 400-level course.
Elementary Polish II
MTTh4 1:10-2:30pm, AB East Wing 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.
Intermediate Polish II
MTTh5 2:50-4:10pm, AB East Wing 2200
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.