SAS Core Courses:
Love and Death in the Russian Short Story, 01:860:322
Stories of Russian Life: Memory, Invention, Experience, 01:860:348:01
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Considering a major or minor in Russian?
860 - Russian
Elementary Russian I
MTTh2 9:50-11:10am, AB 3100
MTTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, AB 3100
MTTh6 4:30-5:50pm, Scott Hall 115
Open only to students with NO prior knowledge of Russian. Students with prior knowledge must take a placement test.
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. It is highly recommended that all 860:101 also take First Year Russian Language Lab.
First Year Russian Language Lab
W5 2:50-4:10pm, Language Lab 119
Using the audiovisual and digital capabilities of the Language Lab on College Avenue, the course helps students improve their pronunciation, intonation, listening, and conversation skills in standard Russian. Students will learn to use a Russian keyboard and to navigate Russian language websites. Other materials include authentic Russian print media and audio-visual materials, such as film clips and cartoons. Only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 101.
Intermediate Russian I
MTTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 220
Prerequisite: 01:860:102 or placement. Not for students who have taken 01:860:107.
Intermediate Russian is an intensive intermediate course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students who have completed Russian 102 or placed into the course by exam. This course is not for students who have completed Russian 107 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 all 860:201 students also take Second Year Russian Language Lab.
Second Year Russian Language Lab
M6 4:30-5:50pm, Language Lab 119
Using the audiovisual and digital capabilties of the Language Lab on College Avenue, the course continues helping students improve pronunciation, intonation, listening, and conversation skills in standard Russian. Students will master use of a Russian keyboard and to navigate Russian language websites. Other materials include authentic Russian print media and audio-visual materials, such as television clips and cartoons. Only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 201 or 207.
Elementary Russian for Russian Speakers
MTTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 207
Prerequisite: Placement. Credit not given for both this course and 860:201.
Second Year Russian for Russian Speakers is intended for students who learned to speak Russian in the home or from family members, with little or no formal study or experience with reading or writing Russian. Students will master reading and writing in the Russian alphabet, solidify their knowledge of Russian grammar, including case endings and verbal forms, and increase their vocabulary. This course also introduces students to Russian culture, literature and history through authentic target-language texts, websites and media (including films and music) and other supplementary materials.
Advanced Russian I
TTh6 4:30-5:50pm, Murray Hall 114
Prerequisite: 860:202, 860:208, 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 paragraphs in speech and writing. The 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.
America through Russian Eyes
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 220
Prerequisite: 860:302, 860:306, or placement. May be taken out of sequence with 860:402.
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 exploring the topic of Russian attitudes to America in the course of the last century.
How To Read A Russian Novel (7 Weeks: November 1-December 13)
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 103
TTh7 7:15-8:35pm, Ruth Adams Building 104 (Cook/Douglass Campus)
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 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.
Reading Russian Literature in Russian
Emily Van Buskirk
TTh4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 202
Prerequisite: 860:202 or 860:207.
This course is required of all Russian majors and counts as a literature course for minors in Russian Language & Literature and in Russian Language.
This course introduces students to critical issues involved in reading literary texts in the original Russian. We aim for a refined understanding of how meaning is conveyed by grammar, syntax, stylistic register, and the techniques of Russian versification. We leran about the development and traditions of Russian poetry and prose while encountering some of the most distinctive Russian writers of the 19th and 20th centuries (Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Mayakovsky, Pasternak, Mandelstam, Bulgakov, Brodsky, and others). The course is useful to all students who wish to improve their reading, language, interpretive, and analytical skills. It is required of all majors and counts as a literature course for minors in Russian Language and Literature and in Russian Language. All readings in Russian. Discussions and written assignments in English.
Special Topics in Russian Studies: Experiments in Art and Life: Russian Modernism
MW4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 207
In English. No prerequisites.
The end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th was a particularly vibrant period in European culture. In the face of political and cultural stagnation, artists and thinkers set out to reassess prevailing values of art and life. Their radical experiments with religion, politics, and sexuality exploded social, moral, and artistic traditions, provoking many burning questions: Can sin and sensuality lead to spiritual regeneration? Can an artwork engage all of the human senses simultaneously? Should art exist for its own sake, or should it seek to transform life itself? What, above all, does it mean to be modern? Course materials include prose, poetry, philosophy, drama, cinema, painting, and music by Russian modernists and their Western European contemporaries. All readings and discussions in English.
Love and Death in the Russian Short Story
MW5 2:50-4:10pm, Murray Hall 213
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.
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%
Required books (no ebooks please), available at the Rutgers Bookstore.
Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida (Penguin). ISBN: 9780140448467
Ivan Turgenev. First Love and Other Stories, tr. Richard Freeborn (Oxford World Classics). ISBN: 9780199540402
Anton Chekhov. Stories of Anton Chekhov (Modern Library). ISBN: 9780553381009
Nikolai Gogol. The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol (Vintage). ISBN: 9780375706158
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. How did artists respond to the changing dynamics of Soviet power? How did they react to the demand to make art into an instrument of political propaganda? 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," from the mid-1950s to 1980s, that developed in opposition to Socialist Realism, the official style of Soviet art. Students will be expected to explore the Riabov Collection of Russian Art at the Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art at the Zimmerli Art Museum. All readings and discussions in English.
Stories of Russian Life
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:348:01
Emily Van Buskirk
T6 4:30-5:50pm, Murray Hall 212
Th6 4:30-5:50pm, Murray Hall 210
In English. No prerequisites.
In this course we read stories that reflect experiences of Russian life, ranging from a happy childhood on an aristocratic estate to the suffering of a Soviet labor camp. When writing about their lives in autobiographies, memoirs, essays, or diaries, how do writers construct a self in the process of producing a text? How do they fashion a text that reflcts the self? How do they select which experiences to represent or to omit? Where are the boundaries between fact and fiction? In readings that include a medieval monk's life and memoirs of the camps, as well as autobiographical creations by some of Russia's best novelists (Tolstoy, Nabokov) and poets (Mandelstam, Mayakovsky, Brodsky), we study the relationship between the individual and community, between personal life and dramatic historical events; between memory and invention; we explore the themes of childhood, first love, emigration, and confinement. All readings and discussions in English. Fulfills SAS core goals AH o, p; WC d.
787 - Polish Courses
Elementary Polish I
MTTh4 1:10-2:30pm, AB 2150
Open to students with NO prior knowledge of Polish. Students with prior knowledge must take a placement test.
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 I
MTTh5 2:50-4:10pm, AB 2250
Prerequisite: 787:102 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.
967 - Ukrainian Courses
MTh2 9:50-11:10am, Murray Hall 210
T2 9:50-11:10am, Scott Hall 104
This is an intensive introductory course in spoken and written standard Ukrainian, intended for students with minimal or no prior experience with the language. It is designed to develop proficiency in all four language skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing, as well as to facilitate the acquisition of core vocabulary and the basics of Ukrainian grammar. For heritage learners special attention will be paid to mastering reading and writing in the Ukrainian alphabet. Students will also learn about Ukrainian life and culture through various supplementary materials, including authentic target-language texts, websites, and various media.
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