Russian Department

About the Majors

Russian Language and Literature

Department/Program Description.

Beginning with the Class of 2015, the major in Russian is housed in the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REES) Program.

The major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies is designed to provide a broad background in the history, politics, society, and culture of the area. To be accepted into the program, students must have a minimum overall average of B in courses related to the major.

Admission to the Major.

There are two possible concentrations in the REES major.

Language, literature, and culture. Majors must complete three years of college-level Russian or the equivalent, as well as five more courses, three of which must be in literature or culture, one of which must be in either politics and economics or history and religion, and one of which must be either a course or a full-credit tutorial conducted in Russian. If a student places out of one or more semesters of language, he or she must take enough courses in REES to add up to a total of eleven. For example, a student who places out of two semesters of first-year Russian would take four more semesters of language plus seven more courses. 

Social sciences. Majors must complete two years of college-level Russian or the equivalent, as well as seven more courses, chosen in consultation with an advisor. These courses must include at least one in the category of politics and economics, one in the category of history and religion, and one in the category of literature and culture. If a student places out of one or more semesters of language, he or she must take enough courses in REES to add up to a total of eleven. For example, a student who places out of two semesters of first-year Russian would take two semesters of language plus nine more courses.    

Study Abroad.

Majors are strongly encouraged to participate in either a summer or a semester program of study in the former Soviet Union (FSU), for which academic credit will be given. Students may study in Eastern Europe as long as the program includes a language component. For a semester of study abroad on an approved program, four credits will count toward graduation, of which two will count toward the REES major. For a summer of study abroad on an approved program, two credits will count toward graduation, of which one will count toward the REES major.

Honors.

To qualify to receive honors or high honors in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, a student must write a senior thesis that will be evaluated by a committee consisting of the tutor, a second reader from the REES faculty, and one additional reader either from REES or from the faculty at large. This committee makes the final decision on departmental honors.  Only a two-semester senior thesis may be submitted for honors in REES.

Additional Information.

REES Courses

Politics and Economics

  • ECON265 Economies in Transition
  • GOVT274 Russian Politics

History and Religion

  • HIST156 Sophomore Seminar: East European Jewish Experience
  • HIST184 Sophomore Seminar: The Communist Experience in the 20th Century
  • HIST194 The End of the Cold War, 1979—1991
  • HIST218 Russian History to 1881
  • HIST219 Russian and Soviet History, 1881 to Present
  • RELI216 Secularism: An Inroduction
  • RELI299 National Religions and Political Rituals

Literature and Culture in English

  • RUSS205 Murder and Adultery: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the 19th-Century Russian Novel
  • RUSS206 A Matter of Life and Death: Fiction in the Soviet Era
  • RUSS222 Doubles in Literature
  • RUSS232 The Real McCoy: Constructing Identity
  • RUSS240 Reading Stories: Great Short Works from Tolstoy to Petrushevskaya
  • RUSS251 Dostoevsky
  • RUSS252 Tolstoy
  • RUSS255 Empire, Love, and War: 20th-Century Novels from Central and Eastern Europe
  • RUSS263 Nabokov and Cultural Synthesis
  • RUSS265 Kino: Russia at the Movies
  • RUSS277 Gogol and His Legacy: Witches, Con Men, and Runaway Noses
  • THEA214 Theater of Anton Chekhov: Research, Analysis, and Performance

Literature in Russian

  • RUSS209 The Poor Clerk: Origins of the Petersburg Tale
  • RUSS250 Pushkin
  • RUSS260 Dostoevsky’s Brat’ia Karamazovy

Language

  • RUSS101/102 Elementary Russian
  • RUSS201/202 Intermediate Russian
  • RUSS301/302 Third-Year Russian
  • RUSS303 Advanced Russian: Stylistics