Major

(11 courses)

Core Curriculum Courses:
100, Russia and the West
Four courses in the Russian language (above 201) [previously116], including at least one 300-level course;
Any two Russian literature or culture courses taught in English and covering, when combined, both nineteenth and twentieth century Russian literature and/or culture.

At least 4 elective courses will be chosen from the following list:
Up to two additional upper level Russian language courses;
One additional literature or culture course taught in English;
Up to two Russian or East European History courses,
One Political Science course with Russian content;
One Religion or Philosophy course with Russian content.

Minor

Five courses total, including RUSS 100, "Russia and the West" and three courses in the Russian language numbered 202 and above.

NOTE: Russian heritage speakers and students who begin the study of Russian language after the third semester may be eligible to substitute courses for the language courses above 202. They may do so by making a formal request to the department which includes a rationale for the proposed substitution.

Suggested curricular flow through the major

The Russian major was designed with the hope and expectation that all of our students would spend a year abroad. As a result, we developed the curriculum so that a student who did spend a year abroad could complete all the requirements for the major, as long as she or he followed a few guidelines.

The guidelines are written for the entering student who knows he or she wants to major in Russian. Rather than specify the courses that you “must” have in a given semester, the following are general guidelines regarding courses that we suggest you take during each year. You should think of these guidelines as giving you a fast track into the major – this provides maximum flexibility in your junior and senior year.

First Year
RUSS 101 (fall semester) RUSS 102 (previously RUSS 104) (spring semester)
RUSS 100, Russia and the Western (spring semester)

Sophomore Year
RUSS 201 (previously RUSS 116) (fall semester)
RUSS 202 (spring semester)
Russian literature or culture course in English (200-level course)
RUSS electives, for example, a Russian history course

Junior Year
The majority of Russian majors study in Moscow during their Junior Year; In  Moscow you will take 4-9 courses (refer to the Courses section in the Academic Bulletin: Russian)

If you do not go abroad, take:
RUSS 231 (fall semester)
RUSS 232 (spring semester)
Russian literature or culture course in English (200-level course)
Russian elective, for example, a Russian history course

Senior Year
300-level RUSS course (fall semester)
300-level RUSS course (spring semester)
Finish your requirements for Russian literature/culture and your electives

For information regarding the suggested guidelines, please feel free to contact a Russian faculty member. Consult your advisor regarding writing an honors thesis in Russian.

Independent study and independent research

Independent study projects are an option open to motivated students who wish to pursue a topic in Russian or Slavic literatures and cultures not offered as part of the regular curriculum. Interested students must be willing to initiate their own study project and meet with their director on a weekly basis. All faculty members are willing to assist. Most projects are taken for half or full course credit. Qualified seniors may wish to write an Honors Thesis.

Honors

A student who wishes to be considered for honors in the major must have an overall grade point average of 3.33 or higher. Each candidate for honors must write a thesis of exceptional merit; the thesis should be in Russian and approximately 25 pages in length. The Honors Thesis will usually be developed from work written during the senior year in a course numbered 300 or above, and it should be supervised by a member of the faculty. An oral examination will be conducted by members of the Russian department on those papers judged to be of honors quality.

Opportunities for off-campus study

Junior Year All students majoring or minoring in Russian are encouraged to spend one or two semesters in Russia during the junior year. The Dickinson program in Moscow is based at Language Link and is affiliated with the Russian State University for the Humanities. The program offers a wide range of courses in Russian language and culture.

Summer Immersion Program The Russian Department offers a five-week student immersion program in Moscow or Moscow/St. Petersburg. See the course description for RUSS 215, Moscow Summer Immersion Program.

Co-curricular activities/programs

The college has an active Russian Club and a special Russian Meal Table, held weekly for students who want to speak or listen to Russian in an informal setting. Russian films and cultural events are featured regularly. The Russian Department is a member of Dobro Slovo, the National Slavic Honor Society. Students are nominated for membership on the basis of their academic standing.

Courses

The following courses are offered in Moscow:

215 Moscow Summer Immersion Program
A four-week course in contemporary Russian language and culture offered at the Mendeleev University in Moscow. Students will speak only Russian during this four-week period, and participate in intensive language classes, special lectures and field trips arranged with Russian university instructors.
Prerequisite: 201 or equivalent and permission of the department.
Attributes: INST Russia/USSR/Post-Soviet

 

250 Russian in Everyday Use I
This is an intensive language laboratory on location in Moscow. Designed to improve students' comprehension and command of spoken Russian, this course initiates the students in everyday verbal and cultural communication prevalent in Russia. A variety of topics, including students' first-hand experience with contemporary Russian culture, will be used to improve comprehension oral skills. A workshop on phonetics is an important component of this course.
This course carries .5 or 1.0 dependent upon topic. Prerequisite: 202.

 

251 Russian in Everyday Use II
This is an intensive language laboratory on location in Moscow. Designed to improve students' comprehension and command of spoken Russian, this course initiates the students in everyday verbal and cultural communication prevalent in Russia. A variety of topics, including students' first-hand experience with contemporary Russian culture, will be used to improve comprehension oral skills. A workshop on phonetics is an important component of this course.
This course carries .5 or 1.0 dependent upon topic. Prerequisite: 202.

 

255 Grammar in Context I
These courses are designed to further develop the students' language skills through practice in lexical expansion, idiomatic expression and syntactical patterns. Grammar work in cultural context is a significant component of these courses.
Prerequisite: 202.


256 Grammar in Context II
These courses are designed to further develop the students' language skills through practice in lexical expansion, idiomatic expression and syntactical patterns. Grammar work in cultural context is a significant component of these courses.
Prerequisite: 202.

 

265 Topics in Russian Studies
This advanced language course will help students develop the linguistic tools necessary for critical analysis in a particular area of Russian Studies: mass media, history, politics, literature, or film. Based on their academic focus, students will choose a topic from a list of offerings. Oral and written presentations, as well as class discussions in Russian, are important components of this course.
The course may be taught entirely in Russian or in Russian and English. This course carries .5 or 1.0 credit dependent upon topic. Prerequisite: 202.

 

271 Key Texts and Concepts in Russian Culture
This multi-media survey course introduces students to masterpieces of Russian architecture, painting, theater, and cinematography. It is designed to enhance students' knowledge of the artistic and spiritual aspects of Russian culture, as well as to provide insights into traditions, lifestyle, and the psychology of Russian people. Visits to art museums and theater performances are required.
Taught in English or Russian, or a mix of both.

 

273 Russia Today
The course presents an overview of major cultural, political, and economic developments in Russia in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. There is an emphasis on the cultural, religious, literary, philosophical, and political factors important to understanding contemporary Russian reality and post-Soviet space.
The course may be taught entirely in Russian or in English with Russian readings and discussion sections, depending on the year and topic.


280 Intensive Research and Writing Seminar
Dickinson-in-Moscow participants carry out a research project in conjunction with a course on Russian culture, literature, history, or politics taught at RUSH in Russian, for Russian students. Students will audit the course and then choose a topic for their research, appropriate to the focus of the course, and have it approved by the professor. Students will regularly meet with the professor, who will serve as the project's advisor, as they work on a research paper in Russian. The project and the course is overseen by the Resident Director of the Dickinson-in-Moscow program. Prerequisites: 250, 255, 265

Russian Courses

100 Russia and the West
An introductory and multi-disciplinary survey intended to explore the relationship between Russian culture and Western civilization. In the process, students will be exposed to aspects of Russia's history, literature, religion, philosophical traditions, music and art, politics, and economics. Suitable for those interested in a one semester introduction to Russia, and required for those who choose a major or minor in Russian.
Attributes: Comparative Civilizations, INST Russia/USSR/Post-Soviet

101 Elementary Russian
An intensive study of the fundamentals of Russian grammar, with an emphasis on the development of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding skills. Short stories and songs will supplement the text.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year

102 Elementary Russian
An intensive study of the fundamentals of Russian grammar, with an emphasis on the development of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding skills. Short stories and songs will supplement the text.
Prerequisite: 101 or the equivalent

201 Intermediate Russian
Advanced grammar review incorporating controlled reading and composition. Emphasis on speaking competence continued through oral reports and conversational topics.
Prerequisite: 102 or the equivalent. This course fulfills the language graduation requirement.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year

202 Intermediate Russian II
Emphasis on the development of reading, speaking, and writing skills. Reading of simple texts to acquaint the student with a variety of styles of the Russian language, concentration on some of the more difficult problems in the Russian grammar, translation, written composition, vocabulary building, and intonation.
Prerequisite: 201 or equivalent.

223 19th Century Russian Literature in Translation
An introduction to major literary movements and developments in 19th century Russian literature. Readings may include works by Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, as well as important theoretical and cultural texts from and about the period. No knowledge of Russian necessary.
Conducted in English. Offered every other year.
Attributes: Humanities, INST Russia/USSR/Post-Soviet

224 Twentieth-Century Russian Literature in Translation
An introduction to major literary movements and developments in 20th century Russian literature. Readings may include works by Mayakovsky, Bulgakov, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, Trifonov, and Pelevin. The course may also include important texts of 20th C. art and film. No knowledge of Russian necessary.
Conducted in English. Offered every other year.
Attributes: Humanities, INST Russia/USSR/Post-Soviet

230 Advanced Russian for Heritage Speakers
The course is designed for heritage learners who have had little or no formal training in their native language and who desire to improve their reading, writing, and formal communicative skills. Basic rules of orthography and advanced grammar will be reviewed. Texts will be drawn from contemporary Russian press, movie scripts, and fiction.
Prerequisite: placement by department. Offered every two years.

231 Russian for Discussion
Practice in the techniques and patterns of everyday conversation, especially as these reflect different cultural orientation. Reading and discussion of short works by well-known Russian authors.
Prerequisite: 202 or the equivalent.

232 Russian for Narration & Analys
Reading and discussion of literary works by representative authors from the pre- and post-Revolutionary periods.
Prerequisite: 202 or the equivalent.
Attributes: INST Russia/USSR/Post-Soviet

243 "The Most Important Art": Russian & Soviet Film
The course will examine contributions by Russian and Soviet directors to the development of film as an art form. Students will view classic films of the Russian canon, while also gaining a familiarity with current trends in filmmaking. We will also investigate the development of the Soviet-Russian film industry and the close links between film and politics in the history of Russo-Soviet cinema. No knowledge of Russian is required.
Conducted in English. Offered every other year.
Attributes: Arts, INST Russia/USSR/Post-Soviet

245 Tolstoy in the 21st Century
This course investigates the numerous ways in which Tolstoy, one of the most influential Russian writers and thinkers, transcends his time and through his works speaks to our concerns today. What makes life meaningful? What kind of love lasts? Why do certain attempts to modernize society fail while others succeed? It is worth reconsidering Tolstoy's ideas on these and other issues because he teaches us to see the world more wisely. Students will read and discuss Tolstoy's fiction, including War and Peace and Anna Karenina, as well as his essays on religious, philosophical, social and artistic issues. Students are encouraged to have read War and Peace before the semester begins.
Taught in English. Offered every two years.
Attributes: Humanities

248 Russian Culture and the Environment
Russia is the largest country in the world. It contains some of our largest supplies of natural resources, including the most voluminous freshwater lake and the most square miles of forest. Russia and the Soviet Union have also been home to devastating environmental catastrophes, such as the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It is thus fitting that the theme of the environment—both natural and man-made—have played a pivotal role in the Russian cultural imagination of the past two centuries. This course will look at how Russian and Soviet culture from the nineteenth century to the present engage with the theme of the environment over a variety of genres, including literature, film, journalism, and art. No knowledge of Russian is required.
Taught in English. Offered every three years.
Attributes: Humanities

253 Autocracy, Uprisings, and Daily Life in Medieval and Imperial Russia
An examination of the early formation of multi-ethnic clans into a large multinational empire. The course explores state formation, the role of women, church power, the arts, nationality conflict and figures such as Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and Catherine the Great.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, INST Russia/USSR/Post-Soviet, Social Sciences

254 Revolution, War, and Daily Life in Modern Russia
This course explores Russia's attempts to forge modernity since the late 19th century. Students will explore the rise of socialism and communism, centralization of nearly all aspects of life (arts, politics, economics, and even sexual relations), and opposition to the terror regime's attempts to remake life and the post-Soviet state's attempts to overcome Russia's past.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, INST Russia/USSR/Post-Soviet, Social Sciences

257 Writing Workshop
This course introduces students to the conventions of essay writing in Russian. Students will consider their writing in cultural context, examining and practicing how elements like tone, argumentation, structure, tense, and punctuation differ in the Russian context. Revision will be an important component of this course.
Prerequisite: 202

260 Topics in Russian Studies
In-depth analysis and discussion of selected areas and problems in Russian literature or culture. Recent topics have included: Russian Theatre and Drama, Nobel Laureates in Russian Literature, Russian Short Prose, Salvation Through Beauty: the World of Dostoevsky, Russian and Soviet Film, East European Literature, Modernism in Italy and Russia.
Conducted in English. Offered every other year.

261 Moscow Proseminar I
This course treats the city of Moscow as a living laboratory for understanding and analyzing Russian language, literature, architecture, and culture in contemporary context. Students will develop their linguistic and analytical skills while attending musical and theatres performances, visiting cultural centers around the city, and analyzing the cityscapes of Moscow-based narratives in comparison with Moscow as we know it today.
Prerequisite: 202. This course carries .5 credits

262 Moscow Proseminar II
This course expands on and deepens students’ understanding of the city of Moscow as a cultural, social, and living text. Students will sharpen their linguistic and analytical skills while attending cultural performances, visiting cultural centers around the city, meeting with scholars and community organizers, and analyzing the cityscapes of Moscow-based narratives in comparison with Moscow as we know it today.
Prerequisite: 202. This course carries .5 credits.

270 Philosophy and Literature
Dostoevsky's characters lie, steal, scheme, and murder. What is it about Dostoevsky's depictions of their lying, cheating ways that makes his novels not just literary but philosophical? And what is it about philosophical works like Kierkegaard's and Nietzsche's that makes them literary? More generally, where do the overlapping realms of literature and philosophy begin and end? This course investigates the intersections of philosophy and literature across different schools of thought, paying special attention to the work of Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Plato, Tolstoy, Voltaire, and others. We will pair the treatment of philosophical issues in fiction with their treatment in more traditional philosophical genres, thereby raising and discussing the contentious question of whether philosophy can achieve things that literature cannot, and vice versa.
Offered every two years. This course is cross-listed as PHIL 270 and ENGL 329.
Attributes: Humanities, Humanities

272 Russian in the Disciplilne
While studying in Moscow, advanced students may take a course together with Russian students, in Russian, in their area of specialization. Students are required to attend all class sessions and participate in class discussions; students may petition the department to write a final paper/project in lieu of taking the final exam together with Russian students. The project will be overseen by the director of the Dickinson-in-Moscow program.
Prerequisite: 202.

333 Advanced Seminar in Russian Culture and Literature
Authentic Russian texts in different genres and disciplines present specific sets of challenges, including specialized vocabulary, narrative conventions, and idiosyncratic grammar. This course prepares students for reading, analyzing, and discussing challenging, authentic Russian texts in a variety of disciplines and genres, with an emphasis on close reading and cultural context. The course is taught in Russian and includes a variety of texts or focus on one literary text. May include courses taken in Russia.
Prerequisite: 231, 232 or equivalent.
Attributes: INST Russia/USSR/Post-Soviet

334 Workshop in Translation
This course focuses on specific techniques for translating various kinds of texts (business, journalistic, scholarly, epistolary, and literary) from Russian into English, and from English into Russian. Concentrating on the practical matter of reading and writing, the course will also include special grammatical topics which present particular difficulties in translation, discussion of theories of translation, and introduction to technological tools of translation. The goal of the course is to further students' language ability and provide them with useful linguistic skills.
Prerequisite: 231, 232 or equivalent. Offered every two years.

335 Popular Culture and New Media
This course will examine one or several elements and/or genres in Russian popular culture, including folk tales, detective novels, anecdotes, film, television, music, the Internet, and new media. Students will practice close reading and analysis of authentic texts through the study of analytic genres specific to these fields in Russia and the US.
Prerequisite: 231, 232 or equivalent.

360 Topics in Russian Language and Literature
A thorough investigation of a significant figure or major development in Russian literature, or an extensive examination of selected aspects of the Russian language, with emphasis on seminar reports and discussions. Conducted in Russian.
Prerequisite: Russian major or instructor's permission.