Studying Russian at Wesleyan
All students are welcome in our courses on Russian Literature in translation. These courses, which have unlimited enrollment, provide an introduction to literary history and theory and are writing-intensive (all work is done in English). Consider a Russian literature-in-translation course as an alternative to an English course. We also offer First-Year Initiative courses (small discussion courses with lots of writing).
Start Russian in your first year and you can be ready to spend a semester in Russia the following semester on the Trinity program in Moscow or in your Junior year (by taking the intensive second-year Russian course, mid-May to mid-June). We also offer a year-long program through the American Collegiate Consortium.
Choose a major in Russian language and literature (a literary and cultural orientation) or Russian and East European Studies (an interdisciplinary major that combines literature, history, politics, and economics). Our majors have gone on to careers in academia, business, law, the foreign service, and with philanthropic organizations like the Soros Foundation.
Live (or hang out) at the Russian House, site of lectures, Russian co-op dinners, movies, art exhibits, cooking lessons with Yuz Aleshkovsky (an emigre writer who is a legend in the former Soviet Union).
Take advantage of our seminars conducted in Russian, often taught by distinguished visitors from Russia.
Russian is different because it is neither a Germanic nor a Romance, but a Slavic language and therefore has fewer immediately recognizable roots with English. But then, that is the adventure--entering a culture almost entirely new to you.
Some of our graduates
David Abramson, Analyst, State Department
Juliya Arbisman, Solicitor, Amsterdam & Partners
Lyuba Azbel, Fulbright fellow in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan
Victoria Belyavsky Pinsky, tax counsel, Morgan Stanley
Valerie Borchardt, Literary agent, Georges Borchardt, Inc.
Lindsay Ceballos, Fulbright Scholar; PhD candidate, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University
Julia Chadaga, Professor of Russian Studies, Macalester College
Lisa Finder, Librarian, Hunter College, NYC
Sean Foley, teacher, Northfield Mount Hermon
Stephanie Gomory, Public Relations Manager and Social Media Director at Alissa Neil PR
Kate Hardin, Senior director, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Head of Russian and Caspian Energy
Douglas Herbert, International Affairs Editor, France 24, Paris
Steedman Hinckley, Senior Analyst, USG
Luke Hornblower, Partner - Financial Jurist at Deschenaux, Hornblower & Partners, LLP International Financial Jurists, Geneva, Switzerland
Brianna van Kan, Yale Law School, Greater New York area Legal Services
Vera Krimnus, Director, Strategy at Teach for America
Katherine Lahti, Professor of Russian, Trinity College
James Longley, Filmmaker, MacArthur Fellow; Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Bonnie Loshbaugh, author, environmentalist
Alexandra Lewis-Reisen, Senior Staff Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law, NY Legal Assistance Group
Danielle Lussier, Professor and Chair, Russian, Central and Eastern European Studies, Grinnell College
Kaitlin Martin, Fulbright Scholar; Senior Associate, Human Rights Watch
Lauren McCarthy, Professor of Political Science, UMass, Amherst
Andrew Meier, Journalist and professor, the New School
Malika Mirkasymova, President, Friends of Brentwood Science Magnet Elementary
David Montero, Investigative journalist, foreign correspondent, producer of documentaries. 2014-2015 Fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley
Ted Plafker, Correspondent, Beijing Bureau of The Economist
Elizabeth Trammell Plantan, Ph.D. program in Government, Cornell
University, focus on environmental and energy politics in Russia, China, and the Arctic
Amy Randall, Professor of History, Santa Clara University
Anthony Richter, Soros Foundation, NYC
Geoff Rips, Director, Development Director at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid; Writer for “The Washington Spectator, “Winner of the Associated Writing Programs Prize for the Novel (2006) for The Truth (New Issues Press); Washington Monthly Award (July 1985) for coverage of the Texas Legislature, author, The Calculus of Falling Bodies
Sasha Rudensky, Professor of Art, Wesleyan University
Jessica Sharzer, Co-executive producer and writer, “American Horror Story”
Elissa Sperling, Fulbright Scholar; Master of Information Studies program, School of Information Studies, McGill University, Montreal, QC
Tierney Sutton, Singer, The Tierney Sutton Band, Grammy nominee
Melissa Tedone, Library & Archives Conservator, Iowa State University
Richard Thomas, Co-founder, Director of Development and IELTS Trainer, English Staff Language Academy, Vladivostok, Russia
Ilya Vinkovetsky, Professor of History, Simon Fraser University
Chris Wade, Teacher, Northfield Mount Hermon
Emily Wang, Fulbright Scholar; Slavic Languages and Literatures, Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University
Greg White, Moscow bureau chief, The Wall Street Journal
Monica White, Professor of Russian and Slavonic Studies, University of Nottingham, UK
Matvei Yankelevich, co-founder, Ugly Duckling Presse
Steve Young, Department of State, Foreign Service, ret.; visiting professor, Wesleyan University, Fall 2015
Graduates: please let us know what you’re doing so we can update and/or add you to this list.
If you're interested in finding out more about studying Russian at Wesleyan, contact the department office or speak to any of the professors in the department.