Russian nesting dolls

Russian Studies

Courses

Lower Division Courses

Native speakers of Russian will not receive credit for taking lower division courses in Russian except with advance approval from the department.

All lower division courses in Russian are taught in Russian unless otherwise stated.

No credit will be given for lower division courses taken after successfully completing any upper division Russian course taught in Russian. No credit will be given for Russian 100A, 100B, 200A, 200B, 301 taken out of sequence.

A beginning level course with emphasis on pronunciation, basic conversation, and elementary Russian grammar.

In this course we learn how to read and write in Russian, how to communicate in Russian in everyday situations. We listen to Russian popular music and watch Russian films. We learn about cultures of Russia and Russian speaking countries. Besides the textbook we use Russian TV, Internet sites, newspapers, video-clips, and films.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully completed the Russian 100A and Russian 100B are able:

  • to speak, read, understand, and write elementary Russian.
  • to use Russian to introduce themselves and talk about their university life, daily schedule, housing, and food preferences.
  • to describe common objects, their likes and dislikes, as well as their leisure activities, such as sports.
  • to demonstrate intercultural competence.

Continuation of Russian 100A.  The study of grammatical usage, developing reading and speaking abilities.

In this course we learn how to read and write in Russian, how to communicate in Russian in everyday situations. We listen to Russian popular music and watch Russian films. We learn about cultures of Russia and Russian speaking countries. Besides the textbook we use Russian TV, Internet sites, newspapers, video-clips, and films.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully completed the Russian 100A and Russian 100B are able:

  • to speak, read, understand, and write elementary Russian.
  • to use Russian to introduce themselves and talk about their university life, daily schedule, housing, and food preferences.
  • to describe common objects, their likes and dislikes, as well as their leisure activities, such as sports.
  • to demonstrate intercultural competence.

The course introduces a wide selection of fairy tales, folk epics, and legends. The course examines cultural influence of Slavic folklore in literature, music, painting, and film. Taught in English.

In this course we learn about the major forms of Slavic folklore--myths, legends, and fairy tales. We explore different approaches the study of folklore and the theoretical approaches used in their study. We discuss folklore and write about tales and legends in a historic and multicultural framework. The course is conducted in English and assumes no previous knowledge of Russian language, literature or history. All the readings are in English.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course are able:

  • to demonstrate understanding sustainability of folk traditions, customs, and folk art.
  • to demonstrate understanding how folklore shapes national, regional, and ethnic identities.
  • to demonstrate understanding   the continuing cultural influence of fairy tales and folk beliefs in arts, politics, and society.
  • to apply folk tales analysis to literature and film.

Prerequisite: Russian 100B. Conversation skills through active participation in discussions, debates, and oral presentations.

An intermediate level course. Practice in spoken language, reading and writing. Systematic grammar review. Materials focus on contemporary Russian culture.

In this course students develop their analytic speaking abilities enabling students to feel more comfortable in a Russian language. While reading and translation are important, the main emphasis of these reading classes will be placed on the interpretation of texts, as well as on the communicative use of the new vocabulary.  Besides the textbook we use Russian TV, Internet sites, newspapers, video-clips, and films.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully completed the Russian 200A and Russian 200B are able:

to speak in a variety of uncomplicated social situations that are needed for survival in the target culture. They will be able to talk about their family life, leisure, personal preferences, university life, as well as give and understand directions. Students will also be able to ask and respond to questions about practical needs, such as shopping, food, and accommodation.

to demonstrate Russian-language writing, reading, and comprehension skills in the range of Intermediate-Low to Intermediate-Mid levels in accordance with the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. They exhibit increasing comprehension of spoken and written discourses. Students are able to write questions and descriptions, discussing the events that occurred in the past, and their plans for the future.  

to demonstrate intercultural competence and understand many aspects of Russian society and culture.

Continuation of Russian 200A. Intensive practice in reading, writing, and speaking. Course materials include Russian media, films, audiotapes.

In this course students develop their analytic speaking abilities enabling students to feel more comfortable in a Russian language. While reading and translation are important, the main emphasis of these reading classes will be placed on the interpretation of texts, as well as on the communicative use of the new vocabulary.  Besides the textbook we use Russian TV, Internet sites, newspapers, video-clips, and films.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully completed the Russian 200A and Russian 200B are able:

to speak in a variety of uncomplicated social situations that are needed for survival in the target culture. They will be able to talk about their family life, leisure, personal preferences, university life, as well as give and understand directions. Students will also be able to ask and respond to questions about practical needs, such as shopping, food, and accommodation.

to demonstrate Russian-language writing, reading, and comprehension skills in the range of Intermediate-Low to Intermediate-Mid levels in accordance with the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. They exhibit increasing comprehension of spoken and written discourses. Students are able to write questions and descriptions, discussing the events that occurred in the past, and their plans for the future.  

to demonstrate intercultural competence and understand many aspects of Russian society and culture.

New media’s impact on social, cultural, and political development of Russian society. Russian art, values and ideologies, state power, nationalism, and democracy.

The course examines the various “new media” that exist in the Russian context and focuses on the Russian exchange with the West through the lens of world’s technological development. The course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of how Russian culture has shaped contemporary digital technology, and how it has been affected by it. Since the course considers technological change in continuum, it traces Russian ties with the Western civilization throughout the course of history. The course provides students with research methodologies and approaches related to the Russian Studies and digital media across the disciplines in humanities and social sciences, including cultural studies, history, political science, as well as digital media and film studies.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course are able:

  • to critically evaluate various Russian art forms from the perspective of their impact on contemporary digital culture.
  • to recognize the implications of digital media trends in the Russian context: how they affect identity and virtual communities formation, contemporary culture, political thought and praxis.
  • to make informed judgments about the transformation of cultural forms associated with the rise of new media and its consumption in  post-Soviet Russia.
  • to identify and interpret political and social processes in post-Soviet space relevant to the technological revolution, including the increasing digitalization of social exchange.

Prerequisite: Russian 190. Expands active vocabulary and refines communication skills. Russian is practiced in discussions, dialogues, paired activities, and whole-class activities

 

Upper Division Courses (Intended for Undergraduates)

All upper division courses in Russian are taught in Russian unless otherwise stated

Advanced grammar and stylistics, intensive writing practice based on reading selected from contemporary materials.

The course deals with advanced aspects of Russian grammar and style. We build upon the fundamentals of spoken and written Russian laid in the lower-division courses and focus on two important skills in language acquisition: grammatical accuracy and eloquence in writing. We expand upon the active skills of speaking, writing, listening, and reading.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course are able:

  • to demonstrate understanding of major grammatical issues that tend to cause difficulties for non-native and heritage speakers.
  • to integrate the knowledge of grammar into the writing and speaking.
  • to move up in the Russian language proficiency level in reading, writing, and speaking.

Commercial and political Russian with emphasis on international relations and international business.

This course introduces students to the language typically used in business settings in Russian speaking countries. Students learn and practice the Russian language used in business-related context. Students practice writing resumes, letters of application and business correspondence and are introduced to the business culture of Russia and Russian speaking countries. The language practice will compromise all four skills, .i.e. listening, reading, speaking and writing. The students will be given plenty of opportunity to expand their vocabulary and practice grammar for further accuracy and fluency.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course are able:

  • to write different kinds of business and social documents in Russian.
  • to use cultural idioms associated with conducting business.
  • to demonstrate the ability to compare business practices in Russia and in the US.
  • to demonstrate cross-cultural awareness enabling them to function in professional and social Russian settings.

19th century Russian prose fiction with particular consideration of the works by Pushkin, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. Taught in English with readings in English.

In this course we read and discuss works by a number of major Russian authors of the 19th century, including Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. We examine the historical and cultural context of each writer’s work as well as the texts themselves. We analyze the special role that Russian writers and poets historically played in Russian society and history. The course is conducted in English and assumes no previous knowledge of Russian language, literature or history. All the readings are in English.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course are able:

  • to characterize the literary and related movements of  Russian 19th century literature.
  • to identify important authors, works, people, dates, events, and places of the period.
  • to analyze literary texts, noting style, period, composition, and context of each work.
  • to write a research paper using primary and secondary sources.

20th century Russian literature including works by Zamiatin, Bulgakov, Pasternak, Akhmatova, Solzhenitsyn. Taught in English with readings in English.

 

In this course we read and discuss the works of major Russian 20th century writers: Bulgakov, Pasternak, Akhmatova, and Solzhenitsyn. We explore Soviet and post-Soviet Russian literature. We discuss the role of literature in contemporary Russian society. We look into the contribution of women writers in post-Soviet literature and culture. The course is conducted in English and assumes no previous knowledge of Russian language, literature, or history.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will be able:

  • to characterize the literary and related movements of  Russian 20th century literature.
  • to identify important authors, works, people, dates, events, and places of the period.
  • to analyze literary texts, noting style, period, composition, and context of each work.
  • to write a research paper using primary and secondary sources.

Explores the cinematic traditions of Russia, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and former Yugoslavia/Balkans. Artistic, literary, and social aspects of the films after 1950.

Taught in English. Films with English subtitles.

Through the study of films from the 1970s to post-Soviet times, we study the major concerns of East Europeans as they were addressed through cinema. We explore the interrelationships among the cinematic traditions of Russia, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and former Yugoslavia/Balkans.  In this course we explore film as a major medium of cultural and political expression. We focus on several cultural/historical/social/political themes.

Taught in English.  Films with English subtitles.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course are able:

  • to analyze films from cultural, literary and aesthetic perspectives.
  • to compare films based on thematic and aesthetic criteria.
  • to contextualize films in terms of particular auteurships, recent film history and contemporary social and political issues.
  • demonstrate knowledge of previous research by referring to it in a film analysis.

Introduces students to Russian media sources. Practice in speaking, reading, listening and writing with the emphasis on everyday cultural topics.

It is an intensive language and culture course based on exploring the various new media that exist in the Russian context. Emphasizing the divide between “old” and “new” media, we study the compute media: the nexus of digital technologies -- the network – and the use of software in art. The first part of our course is dedicated to browsing and examination of the Russian web. We look into the structure and function of social networking, explore the Russian blogosphere, history of Russian online literature, as well as language culture in the digital age. In the second part of the course, we deal with computers’ impact on various art forms. We explore the basic concepts that emerged on the intersection of computing and aesthetics, such as database culture or interactivity, using the examples of cinema, animation and video games.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will be able:

  • to discuss contemporary Russian digital culture and interpret texts, images, as well as video materials in interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational (oral and written) modes.
  • to understand and reproduce vocabulary and expressions related to contemporary Russian media.
  • to understand and discuss the connection between old and new media in Russian culture, as well as to analyze how the aesthetics of Russian Avant-Garde influenced contemporary world digital culture.  
  • to discuss and compare various segments of contemporary Russian digital media, including social networking, blogosphere, crowd-sourced media products, and structured/database journalism.

The course offers a bilingual approach to the study of Russian culture. The course focuses on the relation between art and politics, art and national identity, art of post-communism and postmodernism.

In this course we explore cultural patterns that shaped and molded modern Russian’s thinking, attitudes and behavior. We examine cultural myths and “icons’ that constellate the Russians’ view of themselves and their country. We learn about both the formation of the culture and recent cultural changes.

Readings in Russian and in English. Films with English subtitles.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course are able:

  • to interpret and analyze Russian literary works, works of visual art, films, as well as cultural/historical social ideas in which Russian culture is set.
  • to make connections between historic and contemporary issues in Russian culture.
  • to demonstrate knowledge and understanding the relationship between of Russian high and low cultures.

Russian and Central European Jewish Literature from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. The course explores how literature written in Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Lithuanian by writers of the Jewish origin reflects the problems of Jewish national identity. Taught in English.

In this course we explore how the 20th century literature written in Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Serbian and Lithuanian by writers of Jewish origin reflects the changing problem of Jewish identity. We make connections between the writings of Jewish writers of different national backgrounds and explore history as represented by Jewish authors. We discuss the tradition of Jewish prose writing/fiction in Russia and Central/Eastern Europe and make connections between Jewish literature in Russia and Eastern Europe and our own lives. The course is conducted in English and assumes no previous knowledge of Russian language, literature or history.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course are able:

  • to demonstrate knowledge relationship between art and Jewish identity.
  • to demonstrate knowledge of how the 20th century literature written in Russian, Polish, Czech, Serbian and Lithuanian by writers of Jewish origin reflects the changing problem of Jewish identity.
  • make connections between works of Jewish artists (writers, painters, filmmakers) of different national backgrounds.
  • make connections between Jewish art  in Russia and Eastern Europe and our own lives/issues.
 

Introduction to the linguistic structure of contemporary standard Russian.

In the first part of the course we study Russian lexicology and phraseology. We read and analyze Russian texts, do crossword puzzles, play linguistics games, work with Russian media. In the second part of the course we review advanced problems of stylistics and syntax of the Russian language. We read, analyze and discuss various Russian texts in the areas of literature, journalism, business, and science focusing on style and syntax. We learn the basics of stylistic analysis.  In this course we are actively engaged in working, and playing with the Russian language-- rhyming, learning and using idiomatic expressions, playing with tongue twisters.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course are able:

  • to converse in Russian on different stylistic levels appropriate to the context and rules of speech etiquette.
  • to vary writing style according to different tasks, contexts, and situations.
  • to understand the cultures of Russia.
  • to use proper research methodology (the ability to locate and to make productive use of secondary sources, to frame an argument by means of an effective structure).
Prerequisites: Upper division standing in major and consent of instructor. Practical work experience in a field related to Russian studies. Work done under joint direction of activity sponsor and instructor. Approved international internships may count towards international experience requirement for major.
Prerequisites: Fifteen upper division units in the major with an average of B (3.0) or better and consent of instructor. Proof of completion of prerequisites required: Copy of transcript. Individual study. Maximum credit six units.

 

Upper Division Courses (Also Acceptable for Advanced Degrees)

The course develops skills in translation from Russian to English (and English to Russian) of texts on a wide variety of subjects. Introduction to the theory of translation.

In this class we practice translation from Russian to English and English to Russian.  Each text/translation is analyzed and discussed in class. Exercises on translation are done in class and assigned as homework.  Each class includes discussion of homework, discussion of readings from the required texts on the theory and practice of translation, presentation and critique of work in progress.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course are able:

  • to demonstrate basic skills in translation from Russian to English (and English to Russian) of texts on a wide variety of subjects.
  • to demonstrate acquaintance with translation theory and the history of literary translation in Russia.
  • to demonstrate knowledge of basic  difference between translation traditions in Russian and American/English cultures.
  • to demonstrate ability to use Russian language materials (e. g. journals, newspaper, encyclopedia articles, the Internet) for research purposes.

The course explores themes in Russian literature of the 19th-20th centuries in social, political and cultural context of the times. May be repeated with new title and content. Maximum 6 units.

Prerequisite: Russian 305B (for literary topics). Proof of completion of prerequisite required: Copy of transcript. Topics in Russian language, literature, or linguistics. May be repeated with new content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Limit of nine units of any combination of 296, 496, 596 courses applicable to a bachelor’s degree. Credit for 596 and 696 applicable to a master’s degree with approval of the graduate adviser.

 

Important Links

Class Schedule | General Catalog | Academic Calendar | Blackboard