Russian CoursesMasterkova 06658


Polish Courses

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Read more about majoring or minoring in Russian.

860 - Russian

Language Courses

First Year Russian
James McGavran
MTTh3 - 11:30 - 12:50pm - MTh Scott Hall 105, T Scott Hall 205

James McGavran
MWTh2 - 9:50 - 11:10am - MTh Hardenbergh Hall B3, W Frelinghuysen Hall A6

This course is intended for students with no prior experience in Russian. Students will learn the fundamentals of the language with exercises in  speaking, reading, and writing.

First Year Russian Language Lab
James McGavran
T2 9:50 - 11:10am - Language Lab 119

This 1 credit course supplements work in the regular 860:101 or 107 course. It utilizes the audiovisual and digital capabilities of the newly renovated Language Lab on College Avenue. Work on pronunciation, intonation, and comprehension. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT ALL STUDENTS TAKE THIS COURSE.

Russian for Russian Speakers
Natalia Medvedeva
MTTh3 - 11:30 - 12:50pm - Scott Hall 220

This course is for students who HAVE a knowledge of Russian from home but who have difficulty reading and writing, and have never studied grammar formally. Heritage speakers will not be given creidt 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. Please contact the department if you have any questions.

Second Year Russian
Svetlana McCoy-Rusanova
MTTh5 - 2:50 - 4:10pm - Scott Hall 207

For students who have taken 860:101. Not for students who have taken 107/Russian for Russian Speakers. This section is for students who have no prior knowledge of Russian from home.

Second Year Russian for Russian Speakers
Svetlana McCoy-Rusanova
MTTh3 - 11:30 - 12:50pm - MTh Scott Hall 221, Th Scott Hall 101

For students who have completed 860:108 or placed into this course. This course is not for students who have taken 860:102. This section is intended for students who have some prior knowledge of RUssian at home.

Structure of Russian
Svetlana McCoy-Rusanova
MTh2 - 9:50 - 11:10am - Scott Hall 215

Advanced course with emphasis on morphology, difficult points of grammar. Theory and extensive drill work. Prerequisite: 01:860:202, 205, or permission of instructor. 01:860:351 required of majors.

Advanced Russian
Professor Emily Van Buskirk
TTh6 - 4:30 - 5:50pm - 195 College Avenue, Room 204

Reading and discussion of various oral and written styles. Phraseology. Communicative skills. Prerequisite: 01:860:302, 305, or permission of instructor.


Literature Courses

Reading Russian Literature in Russian
Professor Emily Van Buskirk
MW6 - 4:30 - 5:50pm - Bishop House 211

This course introduces students to critical issues involved in reading literary texts in Russian. Students will acquire tools to analyze and interpret both prose and poetry in Russian. We aim for a refined understanding of grammar and syntax, of the rules and traditions of Russian versification, how various stylistic registers affect meaning, and how grammar is also a way to convey meaning. We will approach this understanding through reading some of the most important and distinctive Russian writers of the 19th and 20th centuries.  Students will get a sense of the poetics and stylistics of various literary movements in poetry and prose.  Most broadly, this course will be useful to all students who wish to improve their reading, interpretive, language, and analytical skills. The course is required of all majors, and counts as a literature course for minors in Russian Language and Literature and Russian Language.  Prerequisite: 860:202, 108  or permission of the instructor.  All readings in Russian.  Discussions and written assignments in English.

Special Topics in Russian Literature: Art and Power: Russian Art, Theater, and Film of the Soviet Era, 1917-1991
cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:316:01, and Art History 01:082:291:01
Alla Rosenfeld
TTh5 - 2:50 - 4:10pm - Zimmerli Museum, Greenwall Classroom

Russian art of the Soviet era affords a unique vantage point from which to explore the intersection of art and politics, the changing dynamics of Soviet power, and artists’ responses to—and reactions against—the notion of art as an instrument of political propaganda. Art and Power will address the interplay between changing cultural policy and the shifts in the styles, imagery, and content of Russian/Soviet art during this period. The course will touch on a broad spectrum of artistic media, including painting, sculpture, posters, children’s book design, architecture, mass festivals, theater, and film. It will consider issues such as the cult of personality, art-world debates on realism versus abstraction, and developments like Lenin’s Plan for Monumental Propaganda. The course will also address 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.  All readings and discussions in English.

Special Topics in Russian Literature: After the Hammer and Sickle: Russian Culture Since the Fall of the Soviet Union
cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:356:01
James McGavran
MW5 - 2:50 - 4:10pm - Murray Hall 213

This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to today’s Russia through a close study of its history and culture since the fall of the Soviet Union. Considering recent literature, journalism, film, and popular music, we will examine how the creators of Russian culture have processed and reimagined the unique cultural heritage of their country’s imperial past and the Soviet experiment, claiming their place in the broad continuum of Russian arts and letters. Topics will include Russia’s lightning transition to a market economy and the culture shock it brought about, the rise of Vladimir Putin and of a new political system, the wars in Chechnya, and slowly shifting attitudes toward traditionally marginalized social groups.  In terms of literary and cultural development, we will investigate postmodernism in the context of Russian fiction and film, the prolific contributions of contemporary authors and auteurs to the genres of dystopia and sci-fi fantasy, and the melding of performance art with rock music in the work of bands like Auktyon. We will see how Russian artists’ justified anxieties about the present and future of their country lead them surprisingly often to revisit the words, images, and themes of its past, in which they find unexpected resonance and relevance. We will read fiction and journalism by Victor Pelevin, Tatyana Tolstaya, Vladimir Sorokin, and Masha Gessen, among others, and we will watch films by Alexander Sokurov, Pavel Lungin, and Kirill Serebrennikov. Taught in English. No prerequisites and no knowledge of Russian required.

cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:311:01
Emma Lieber
MTh2 - 9:50 - 11:10am - Murray Hall 211

This course examines the writings of Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), one of the most celebrated, challenging, and compelling of Russian authors whose works are remarkable for their emotional intensity, psychological acuity, and spiritual urgency. We will focus on his fictions' preoccupations with the questions of free will and determinism; sin, criminality, and salvation; justice, both human and divine; sexuality and passion, and the possibilities for neighborly love.  We will attempt to penetrate the complexity of each individual text as well as studying the evolution of Dostoevsky's work as a whole and its place in the Russian and world literary tradition. Readings include Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Double, and others. All readings and discussions in English.

cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:357:01 and English 01:350:393:02
Emma Lieber
MTh3 - 11:30 - 12:50pm - Scott Hall 104

This course examines the writing of Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), an author whose works belong equally to the Russian and the American literary canons.  As a Russian émigré writer, a polyglot, a translator, a specialist on such wide-ranging topics as butterflies and chess, Nabokov is remarkable for the breadth of his interests and abilities, and this intellectual reach is evident in his texts.  We will first read Speak Memory, Nabokov's autobiographical work, as both a document of his life and an entry point into his fictions.  We will then examine Nabokov's early Russian novels and short stories, composed during his exile in Berlin, and then turn to his later English-language works, composed during his American period.  Throughout, we will trace Nabokov's abiding concerns with metaphysics and aesthetics, ethics and politics, memory, nostalgia, and exile.  In particular, we will interrogate the author's "literary homelessness": his identity as an émigré writer, located outside of any national tradition or perhaps in two at once. We will also consider the peculiar design of his novels as textual puzzles, with "clues" planted for readers and characters alike. All readings and discussions in English.




787 - Polish

First Year Polish
Wanda Mandecki
MTTh4 - 1:10 - 2:30pm - Scott Hall 207

For students who have never studied Polish. Basic grammar, simple dialogues, and vocabulary building. Some elements of Polish culture and tradition. 

Lydia Masterkova (Russian, 1929-2008)
Composition, 1969
Oil on canvas 89.5 x 69.5 cm (35 1/4 x 27 3/8 in.)
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union
D06658, Photo by Peter Jacobs