Russian Department

Studying Russian at Wesleyan

russia

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

Lindsay Ceballos, Fulbright Scholar; Slavic Languages and Literatures, Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University

Emily Wang, Fulbright Scholar; Slavic Languages and Literatures Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University

Elizabeth Trammell Plantan, Government Ph.D. program, Cornell, environmental and energy politics in Russia, China, and the Arctic

Lyuba Azbel, Fulbright fellow in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan

Katlin Martin, Fulbright Scholar; Senior Associate, Human Rights Watch

Elissa Sperling, Fulbright Scholar; Master of Information Studies program, School of Information Studies, McGill University, Montreal, QC

Stephanie Gomory, Public Relations Manager and Social Media Director at Alissa Neil PR

Joshua Walker, Russian teacher, Buckingham, Brown and Nichols, Cambridge

Victoria Belyavsky Pinsky, tax counsel, Morgan Stanley

Sean Foley, teacher, Northfield Mount Hermon

Chris Wade, teacher, Northfield Mount Hermon

Brianna van Kan, Yale Law School, Greater New York area Legal Services

Bonnie Loshbaugh, author, environmentalist

Vera Krimnus, Director, Strategy at “Teach for America”

David Montero, Investigative journalist, foreign correspondent, producer of documentaries. 2014-2015 Fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program, Graduate School of Journalism,UC Berkeley.

Juliya Arbisman, Solicitor, Amsterdam & Partners

Sasha Rudensky, Prof of Art, Wesleyan University

Jessica Sharzer, Co-executive producer and writer, “American Horror Story”

Matvei Yankelevich, co-founder, Ugly Duckling Presse

Lauren McCarthy, Prof of Political Science, UMass, Amherst

Andrew Meier, Journalist and professor, the New School

Danielle Lussier, Prof and Chair, Russian, Central and Eastern European Studies, Grinnell College

Melissa Tedone, Library & Archives Conservator, Iowa State University

Ted Plafker, Correspondent, Beijing Bureau of The Economist

Amy Randall, Prof of History, Santa Clara University

Ilya Vinkovetsky, Prof of History, Simon Fraser University

Monica White, Prof of Russian and Slavonic Studies, University of Nottingham, UK

Julia Chadaga, Prof of Russian Studies, Macalester College

Elizabeth M. Papazian, Prof of Russian, University of Maryland

Alexandra Lewis-Reisen, Senior Staff Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law, NY Legal Assistance Group

Greg White, Moscow bureau chief, The Wall Street Journal

Douglas Herbert, International Affairs Editor, France 24, Paris

James Longley, Filmmaker, Macarthur Fellow, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Katherine Lahti, Prof of Russian, Trinity College

Tierney Sutton, Singer, The Tierney Sutton Band, Grammy nominee

Nancy Herzog, National Endowment for Democracy

David Abramson, Analyst, State Department

Valerie Borchardt, Literary agent, Georges Borchardt, Inc.

Anthony Richter, Soros Foundation, NYC

Lisa Finder, Librarian, Hunter College

Steedman Hinckley, Senior Analyst, CIA

Steve Young, Department of State, Foreign Service

Lindsay Ceballos, Slavic Languages and Literatures Ph.D. program, Princeton

Emily Wang, Slavic Languages and Literatures Ph.D. program, Princeton

Lyuba Azbel, Fulbright fellow in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan

Katlin Martin, Senior Associate, Human Rights Watch

Joshua Walker, Russian teacher, Buckingham, Brown and Nichols, Cambridge

Juliya Arbisman, Solicitor, Amsterdam & Partners

Jessica Sharzer, Co-executive producer and writer, “American Horror Story”

Lauren McCarthy, Political Science, UMass, Amherst

Danielle Lussier, Chair, Russian, Central and Eastern European Studies, Grinnell College

Amy Randall, History, Santa Clara University

Ilya Vinkovetsky, History, Simon Fraser University

Monica White, Russian and Slavonic Studies, University of Nottingham, UK

Julia Chadaga, Russian Studies, Macalester College

Elizabeth M. Papazian, Russian, University of Maryland

Alexandra Lewis-Reisen, Senior Staff Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law, NY, Legal Assistance Group

Douglas Herbert, International Affairs Editor, France 24, Paris

Tierney Sutton, Singer

David Abramson, Analyst, State Department

Anthony Richter, Soros Foundation, NYC

Lisa Finder, Librarian, Hunter College

Stedman Hinckley, Senior Analyst, CIA

Nancy Herzog, National Endowment for Democracy

Steve Young, Department of State, foreign service

 

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.