Spring 2018 courses in Russian Studies
RUSS 102: Elementary Russian II
Nancy Tittler, Marina Zalesski
Continuation of RUSS 101. Communicative activities involving everyday conversation.
RUSS 204: Intermediate Russian II
Students finish learning the basic elements of Russian grammar, expand their command of vocabulary and begin to read more extensive selections of Russian prose. Emphasizes conversation in practical, everyday situations. Aspects of Russian culture (film, music) incorporated through class sessions and student presentations.
RUSS 210/COLI 280U/ENG 200E: Introduction to Russian Literature
Introduction to the most important Russian texts from the beginnings of Russian literature
to the present. Students apply the tools of literary analysis to representative novels,
short stories and drama within the context of Russian cultural history. The class
is conducted in English.
Class counts as H, W
RUSS 212: Russian for Russian Speakers II
This is an intermediate Russian language course, designed for heritage students who have successfully completed the beginning course "Russian for Russian Speakers I" (RUSS 111) or for English-speaking students who have completed at least four semesters of Russian. The course concentrates on the reinforcement of skills obtained at the beginning level. Students will be challenged to read, write and speak on a variety of cultural topics introduced through an array of Russian materials: films, TV programs, podcasts, articles, news and blogs. This course aims to expand students' understanding of current events, to broaden their cultural knowledge, and develop a sense of pride in their linguistic and cultural heritage. High emphasis on grammatical accuracy and culture of speech will help students to gain confidence in using Russian at a more sophisticated level, and, perhaps, in some professional settings.
RUSS 306: Advanced Reading and Composition II
Continuation of RUSS 305 with similar emphasis on reading, writing and retelling skills. Additional focus on understanding Russian news media, including newspapers and broadcasts.
RUSS 341/COLI 331I/ENG 300O: 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation
Representative works by some of the major Russian prose writers of the 20th century
to the present, including Zamiatin, Mayakovsky, Zoshchenko, Babel, Bulgakov, Nabokov,
Solzhenitsyn, Tolstaya, Petrushevskaya and others. Through critical readings and films,
students consider these works in the context of Russian (including Soviet) cultural
history and their reception abroad. Students who read Russian are encouraged to read
the original Russian texts. All classes are conducted in English.
Gen Ed: C, H
RUSS 471/ENG 450A/HIST 481K: Activism in Russia
Political and social upheaval has been a hallmark of Russian culture for centuries.
On virtually every stage in the development of civil society in Russia, the intelligentsia
class has played a starring role (sometimes hero, sometimes villain). This course
provides an introduction to the history and cultural production of the Russian and
Soviet intelligentsia class, which is then used as a prism for understanding contemporary
activism in Russia. The intelligentsia have produced a variety of visual, verbal,
and performative texts that are deeply shaped by author, audience, and the context
in which they were constructed. These same texts continue to resonate in contemporary
Russian discourse about how to create a just and fair society. Russia's intelligentsia
class has repeatedly expressed ambivalence about their role in promoting civil liberties
and justice in the political atmospheres of oppression that characterize Russia's
past and, according to some, its present. Primary historical documents, like Turgenev's
1860 essay about two frustrated activists, "Hamlet and Don Quixote," provide historical
background for discussing the injustices Russia's contemporary activists work to overcome
and the various (and at times contradictory) strategies they employ.