Fall 2019 courses in Russian Studies
RUSS 101: Elementary Russian I
Nancy Tittler, Marina Zalesski
Russian is a living language! We will concentrate primarily on oral communication, as well as listening reading and writing skills. By semester’s end, students should be able to converse on a number of everyday topics, including getting acquainted, daily activities, education, family, clothing. In addition to learning to talk about their own lives, students will gain an understanding of these areas of contemporary Russian life. Grammar elements to be mastered include the first three noun + adjective cases, past-and present-tense verbs and an introduction to verbs of motion. Class meetings will be devoted to intensive oral practice. Background grammar and vocabulary material, as well as listening exercises will be prepared at home, so that you may raise questions and reinforce in class what you have learned from your reading. Offered in the Fall only. For students with no prior knowledge of Russian.
RUSS 110: Russian Culture and Civilization
We will examine the myths, traditions and events that have shaped the Russians’ view
of themselves as a people, as well as the image of Russia on the world stage, from
earliest beginnings to the present day. Three weekly lecture-discussions will incorporate
literature, film, visual arts, music and other cultural artifacts. Students will be
encouraged to express and reexamine their own notions of culture and national identity
in general, and of Russia and the Russians in particular. By semester’s end, students
should be able to demonstrate understanding of Russians’ cultural reactions to the
political and social events that have shaped their history, from pre-Chrisrtian Slavdom
through Klevan and Muscovite civilizations, the Imperial, Soviet and post-Soviet eras,
as well as the increasing segmentation of their social structure through the centuries.
Course counts as H
RUSS 111: Russian for Russian Speakers I
This course provides reading and writing skills for students who speak Russian but lack, or have minimal, literacy. Focuses on achieving grammatical accuracy in writing and speaking, while introducing students to the basics of Russian grammar: declensions, conjugations, sentence structure and spelling rules. The course places special emphasis on reestablishing students' cultural connection to Russia.
RUSS 203: Intermediate Russian I
Continues from elementary Russian II and focuses on continued vocabulary acquisition, improved oral proficiency and greater grammatical accuracy. Aspects of Russian culture (film, stories, music) are incorporated, and students work on improving their ability to communicate in a broad range of situations. Emphasis divided among writing, speaking, listening and reading. Four hours per week. Grades are based on class participation and presentations, quizzes, examinations and written assignments. Prerequisites: RUSS 102 or three years of high school Russian. Not for native speakers of Russian.
RUSS 321: 19th Century Russian Literature in Translation
Through close reading and detailed textual analysis, students will become familiar
with the development of Russian narrative prose in the nineteenth century, beginning
with the question, “Why the nineteenth century?” and its reflection of universal as
well as particularly Russian themes. In discussion and writing, students will display
an understanding of basic literary terms, as presented in class and posted on Bb.
Course counts as C, H
RUSS 325: Demons, Fools, and Madmen
This course investigates demons, fools and madmen throughout Russian culture, from folklore to film, including such particularly Russian manifestations as the "holy fool" and "petty demon," against a background of folkloric, theological, existential and political considerations. We will probe questions including the boundary between insanity and imagination, the evolving criteria for madness and insanity as a reflection of the passions, ambitions and malaise of "normal" society.
Course counts as H, W