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Russian and East European Languages and Literatures

Fall 2024

  • 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.

     

  • 01:860:111 / 01:860:211 Russian Conversation I: Novice to Intermediate

  • 01:860:160 How to Read a Russian Novel

    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.  This course is taught in English and has no prerequisites. No knowledge of Russian is required.

  • 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.

     

  • 01:860:207 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.

  • 01:860:259 Introduction to 19th Century Literature

    Professor Emily Van Buskirk

    In English. No prerequisites.  

    Throughout the 19th century, literature and literary criticism lay right at the heart of the Russian Empire's attempt to forge a modern national, cultural, and political identity. Leading writers were preoccupied with a pressing set of "accursed questions," many of which still remain vital for Russia today:  Are we Western or are we not? What does it mean to be, and not to be, "Russian"? What is freedom and what is progress? What is science and where is God? This course surveys some of the high points of 19th-century Russian-language realism: novels, stories, and plays by Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Turgenev, Chernyshevsky, N. and S. Khvoshchinskaya, Leskov, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and others. We will use these works both as a window into a crucial period of Russia's cultural history, and an entrypoint into the enduring artistic and philosophical problem of what it means to represent reality. 

    All readings in English. Satisfies Core Requirement AHp. 

  • 01:860:289 War and Peace

    Professor Chloë Kitzinger

    In English. No prerequisites. 

    In this course, we have the rare chance to spend a semester reading just one book: Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace (1865–69). War and Peace tells the story of Russia’s military struggles with Napoleon between 1805 and 1812, but it is also a story about many other things: friendship, love, violence, and death; parents and children, imperialism, nationalism, and strategy, and the search for one’s place in the world. As we read the novel, we will pause to explore in depth some of the big questions it raises: the atrocities of war; how history gets written; the uses of art and literature; and the problems of causality, moral responsibility, free will, and time. We will discuss the place of War and Peace in Tolstoy’s life and career, the book’s afterlife in film and stage adaptations, and the complications of reading it in a new era of Russian expansionism and war. Through all these topics, the course combines immersion in the world of War and Peace with an investigation of how and where the novel leads beyond its covers.

    Fulfills SAS Core goal WCd.

  • 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.

  • 01:860:311 / 01:860:411 Advanced Russian Grammar Review I

  • 01:860:315 Reading Russian Literature in Russian

    Professor Emily Van Buskirk

    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 learn 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. 

  • 01:860:401 America Through Russian Eyes

    Svetlana Bogomolny

    Prerequisite: 01:860:302, or 01:860:306, or placement. May be taken out of sequence with 860:402, 860:403, 860:404, or 860:407.

    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.

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