Russian_course_group_of_students_resized-banner.jpg
02moscow-city-CA.jpg
04SPbStudentsPetergof.jpg
03SuzdalCA.jpg
Arpi_teaching_22-23-resized_banner.jpg
05SPbWhiteNightsSunset-MM.jpg
06SPb-Students-at-Raskolnikov-house-Dostoevsky.jpg
09NovgorodKremlin-EVB.jpg
previous arrow
next arrow
PlayPause

Russian and East European Languages and Literatures

Fall 2023

  • 01:787:101 Elementary Polish I

    Agnieszka Makles

    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.

  • 01:787:201 Intermediate Polish I

    Agnieszka Makles

    Prerequisite: 787:102 or placement.

    Intermediate Polish I 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

  • 01:860:101 Elementary Russian I

    Only open 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 students also take Elementary Russian Conversation I.

     

    In Summer 2023, our section of Elementary Russian I will meet in the asynchronous remote format, which means that the class does not have regularly scheduled meeting times. Instead, you will complete activities and assignments by the indicated due dates, and attach periodic synchronous (live) class sessions. In addition, you will have flexible opportunities to meet with the instructor and classmates via Zoom.

     

    In Fall 2023, we will offer three sections of Elementary Russian I:

    01:860:101:90 will meet in the asynchronous remote format, which means that the class does not have regularly scheduled meeting times. Instead, you will complete activities and assignments by the indicated due dates, and attend periodic synchronous (live) class sessions. In addition, you will have flexible opportunities to meet with the instructor and classmates via Zoom.

    01:860:101:01 and 01:860:101:02 will meet in the hybrid format, which means that two class sessions each week will meet in person, and additional work will be completed asynchronously online.

     

  • 01:860:103 Elementary Russian Conversation I

    This 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-language print media and audio-visual materials, such as film clips and cartoons. Only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 101.

  • 01:860:201 Intermediate Russian I

    Professor Cori Anderson

    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 the life, culture, history, geography, and traditions of the Russian-speaking world 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 Intermediate Russian Conversation I.

     

  • 01:860:203 Intermediate Russian Conversation I

    This 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.

  • 01:860:207 Elementary Russian for Russian Speakers

    Svetlana Bogomolny

    Prerequisite: Placement.Credit not given for both this course and 860:201.

    Elementary 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 the culture, literature and history of the Russian-speaking world through authentic target-language texts, websites and media (including films and music) and other supplementary materials.

  • 01:860:260 Introduction to 20th Century Russian Literature

    Professor Emily Van Buskirk

    In English. No prerequisites. 

    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 in 1991 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 surrounded 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 in (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.  This course fulfills the Core curriculum goal AH p.  All readings and discussion in English.

     

  • 01:860:301 Advanced Russian I

    Svetlana Bogomolny

    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 life in the Russian-speaking world, such as education, employment, leisure and youth culture, through authentic target-language texts, websites, media (including films and music) and other materials. It is highly recommended that all 860:301 also take Advanced Russian Conversation I.

  • 01:860:303 Advanced Russian Conversation I

    Advanced Russian Conversation is a one-hour course to supplement Russian 301, providing additional work on conversational skills, pronunciation and intonation, and grammatical control in spoken contemporary standard Russian. This course is only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 301. This course also provides students with extra opportunities to engage with authentic Russian materials, such as print media and films. 

  • 01:860:304 Advanced Russian Conversation I

    Advanced Russian Conversation is a one-hour course to supplement Russian 302, providing additional work on conversational skills, pronunciation and intonation, and grammatical control in spoken contemporary standard Russian. This course is only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 302. This course also provides students with extra opportunities to engage with authentic Russian materials, such as print media and films. 

  • 01:860:319 Special Topics: Ukraine, Russia, and the Current Crisis

    Sergei Erofeev

    crosslisted with Political Science 01:790:369:02

    This course explores the conflict in Ukraine in the context of Slavic history, geography, natural resources, and culture.  We will spend time exploring identity and nationality, as well as the politics of grievance, the struggle for independence, and the realities of cultural ownership.  The course explains what is happening in Ukraine and Russia, with ramifications for all of Europe. This course will be taught in English.

  • 01:860:320 Special Topics: Ukrainian Literature in Translation: Coming of Age

    Instructor: Serhii Tereshchenko

    No prerequisites. Taught in English.

    This course surveys contemporary Ukrainian literature and film in light of Independent Ukraine's social and political developments since 1991. We will look at how writers and filmmakers change their identities within historical contexts, in particular the change in self-presentation both before and after the upheavals of 1991, 2004, 2014, and 2022.  Rather than the traditional framework of Ukrainian–Russian relations, we focus on the connection between Ukrainian democratic movements (such as Ruch) with Polish ones (such as Solidarność). 

    For the duration of this class, we will be reading fiction that offers an introspective look at the process of maturing into an adult and letting go of routine behaviors in order to adapt to changing conditions. We’ll discuss such topics as adolescent sociality, literature from wartime, memoirs of identity dissociation, journeys to peculiar parts of Ukraine, hedonistic lifestyles, juvenile delinquency, and the pursuit of one's own political self-actualization. Authors we will read include Stanisław Lem, Olga Tokarczuk, Andrzej Stasiuk, Tanya Malyarchuk, Oksana Zabuzhko, Serhiy Zhadan, and others. No prerequisites. All texts are available in English translation. Fulfills Core Requirement WCr.

  • 01:860:331 Tolstoy

    In English. No prerequisites.

    What do I believe in? What is art? What, then, must we do? Each of these driving questions is also the title of a work by Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), author of the great novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. A novelist who denied the value of high art, an army officer who became a radical pacifist, a nobleman who strove to free himself of wealth and privilege, and a Christian who wrote his own version of the Gospels – throughout his long life, Tolstoy fought like few others to define and realize his evolving vision of the place and purpose of human life. This course invites you to respond actively to Tolstoy’s vision at a time of change, uncertainty, and upheaval in our contemporary world – when big questions about the nature of community, conservation, social justice and the good confront each one of us daily. 

    In the first half of the semester, we will read some of Tolstoy’s early fiction and his masterpiece Anna Karenina (1875-77). In the second half, we will explore his late short stories and globally influential essays on religion, vegetarianism, capital punishment, inequality, education, and non-violence (among other topics). As part of this exploration, you will be asked to participate in a community engagement project that meets your interests, and to reflect on that experience in direct conversation with Tolstoy’s works. In English. No prerequisites. Fulfills SAS Core goals AH o, p, and WCd.

  • 01:860:340 Nabokov

    Professor Pavel Khazanov

    In English. No prerequisites.

    cross-listed with Comparative Literature 01:195:397:01 and English 01:358:363:02

    Moralism and perversion. Games with truth. Meanspirited narrators, unreliable victims, titillated readers. And perhaps the most impressive trick– to become a famous author writing in two different languages, in two separate literary traditions. Our course will examine the works of the Russian and American writer Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), starting with his greatest, most scandalous success, the novel Lolita, and then working backwards and forwards, first to groundbreaking Russian short stories and novels like The Defense, and then to American creations, such as Pnin and Pale Fire, among others. Through this circular motion, we will try to make sense of the transnational, epochal forces that shaped this author and his works–such as aesthetic modernism and postmodernism, revolution and emigration, intellectual precarity and controversial mass-market notoriety. And in the midst of all of these forces, we will encounter again and again a central hero–the lyrical, unheroic and very often not entirely benign uprooted intellectual, a peculiar symbol of the twentieth century, its grand truths, and its catastrophic fictions. No prerequisites; all readings and discussions in English.

  • 01:860:348 Stories of Russian Life

    Professor Emily Van Buskirk

    crosslisted with Comparative Literature 01:195:348:01

    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 reflects 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 writings by some of Russia’s best known authors, 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. We compare Russian non-fictions to fictional stories, in order to better understand important methods of artistic construction and interpretation. All readings and discussions are in English. There are no prerequisites. Fulfills SAS core goal WCd.

  • 01:860:351 Structure of Russian

    Professor Cori Anderson

    Prerequisites:01:860:202, 01:860:208 or permission. Please contact the department for a special permission number to register.

     

    Course Description:

    This is an advanced course on the structure of the Russian language, with special attention to sound patterns (phonology) and word structure (morphology). The course is offered as an independent study, with weekly meetings with the instructor.

     

    Course Learning Goals:

    Students will learn to describe the sounds of Russian and produce transcriptions that reflect actual pronunciation. Students will gain a deeper understanding of patterns in the declension and conjugation systems, as well as how components of Russian words (stems, prefixes, suffixes) combine to form new words. Students may also improve pronunciation of Russian, and gain additional proficiency in Russian by increasing their passive vocabulary.

  • 01:860:407 Contemporary Russian Culture: The Thaw

    Professor Cori Anderson

    Prerequisite: 01:860:302, or 01:860:306, or placement. May be taken out of sequence with 860:401, 860:402, 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 exploring topics in Russian history and culture in the post-Stalin Soviet era. Prerequisite: 01:860:302, or 01:860:306, or placement.

    In Fall 2021, this course will meet in person.

  • 01:860:488 Dostoevsky and The Brothers Karamazov

    Professor Chloë Kitzinger

    In English. No prerequisites.

    The Brothers Karamazov (1879-80), Fyodor Dostoevsky's final novel, is a classic of world literature. It also crystallized a set of ideas about Russian identity that continue to shape the national discourse, including the propaganda surrounding Russia's brutal war of aggression in Ukraine. In this course, we will read The Brothers Karamazov with close attention to its narrative and thematic structure, exploring the hard philosophical, religious, and aesthetic questions the novel asks as well as the intractable political problems with which it presents us as readers now. We will place the novel in context by reading selections from Dostoevsky’s earlier fiction and journalism as well as selections from his lifelong “bookshelf," including the Book of Job, excerpts from saints’ lives, and works of Friedrich Schiller, Honoré de Balzac, Alexander Pushkin, and Nikolai Gogol. Finally, we will discuss echoes of The Brothers Karamazov into the 20th-21st centuries: dialogues with Dostoevsky from writers like Virginia Woolf, Sigmund Freud, Albert Camus, Ralph Ellison, Octavia Butler, and Ursula K. Le Guin, as well as contemporary responses to the novel in light of the ongoing war. All readings and discussion in English; no previous knowledge of Russian literature required. Satisfies learning goals for the Russian and Comparative Literature majors and minors and the Russian Major requirement of a 400-level course. 

Avenues of Interest

Latest News

Upcoming Events

No events