2022-2023 Undergraduate Bulletin

Russian (RUSS)

 

RUSS 1001 Elementary Russian (4 Credits)

Basic grammar, syntax and vocabulary; emphasis on oral skills; introduction to Russian culture. First quarter of three quarter sequence.

RUSS 1002 Elementary Russian (4 Credits)

Basic grammar, syntax and vocabulary; emphasis on oral skills; introduction to Russian culture. Second quarter of three quarter sequence. Prerequisite: RUSS 1001 or permission of instructor.

RUSS 1003 Elementary Russian (4 Credits)

Basic grammar, syntax and vocabulary; emphasis on oral skills; introduction to Russian culture. Third quarter of three quarter sequence. Prerequisite: RUSS 1002 or permission of instructor.

RUSS 1416 Introduction to Russian Culture: The Wondrous and the Supernatural (4 Credits)

How do we explain the enchanting and mysterious world of Russian Culture? How have Russians imagined their world and themselves? To answer these questions, we will examine the various manifestations of the wondrous and the supernatural in Russian art. We will begin by reading Russian fairy tales to learn about the people’s folk beliefs and their Eastern Orthodox faith. We will then trace the Russian fantastic tradition by studying the works of nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers who wrestled to explain the marvelous and the demonic myths at the foundation of Russian culture. We will focus our attention on Russia’s cultural capitals St. Petersburg and Moscow and discuss how supernatural themes reflected social and historical realities. Authors may include Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Bely, and Bulgakov. No knowledge of Russian is necessary; all class discussions, readings, and writing are in English. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.

RUSS 1613 Introduction to Russian Culture and Civilization (4 Credits)

This course surveys Russia's cultural past and present—from the beginnings of the Russian state over a thousand years ago through the Soviet Union and, after its disintegration in 1991, to the Russian Federation. The course surveys the various attitudes of Russian thinkers and authors towards the question of national identity and national destiny. Examples of Russian high culture (literature, art, music, ballet, film) and Russian religious faith (Orthodoxy) are discussed alongisde daily life and folkloric beliefs. By working across disciplines, students will discover the fascinating cultural interconnectedness of Russian politics, art, faith, and national identity. Knowledge of Russian language and history is not required. The course format consists of lectures, slides, video and audio presentations, as well as whole-class and small-group discussions. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.

RUSS 1860 The Russian Short Story (4 Credits)

This course will introduce students to Russian literature through some of its shorter “masterpieces” of fiction. Students will explore the lives and ideas of some of Russia’s greatest writers, the literary movements of which they were a part, and the broader cultural and historical periods in which they wrote. Students will read and analyze works from the end of the 18th century to the Post-Soviet era, including stories by Pushkin, Gogol, Chekhov, and others. All course materials in English translation. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement. No prerequisites.

RUSS 1922 The Soviet Experiment in Literature and Film (4 Credits)

Architects of the Soviet experiment claimed to create a radically new type of society and person, superior to all that came before. What were the defining features and founding myths of the Soviet identity, as propagandized by the government? How did this imagined identity clash with realities of life in the USSR? What cultural figures opposed the official discourse, and what artistic modes of resistance did they develop? To explore these questions, we read fiction and poetry by authors central to defining and contesting the Soviet experiment, including Maiakovski, Gladkov, Ginzburg, Pelevin, Dovlatov, and Petrushevskaya, and watch ground-breaking films by Vertov, Tarkovsky, Daneliya and others. All materials are in English. No prior knowledge of Russian literature or culture is required. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.

RUSS 2001 Second Stage Russian (4 Credits)

Review of grammar, development of all language and cultural skills. Prerequisite: RUSS 1003 or equivalent. First quarter of two quarter sequence.

RUSS 2002 Second Stage Russian II (4 Credits)

Review of grammar, development of all language and cultural skills. Prerequisite: RUSS 2001 or equivalent. Second quarter of two quarter sequence.

RUSS 2110 Russian in a Cultural Context (4 Credits)

Continued development of Russian language and cultural skills with focus on all aspects of Russian culture, particularly Russian literature. Prerequisite: RUSS 2002 or equivalent.

RUSS 2111 Linguistic Politeness and Intercultural Communication (4 Credits)

In this course, students will explore how American and Russian speakers perceive politeness, and how sociocultural values underlying both cultures affect the speakers’ communicative styles, their performance and perception of speech acts, and expression of emotions. Although this course focuses on Russian, other cultures will also be analyzed, such as German and Polish, and those of students’ heritage. This course will help students to improve their communicative competence and deepen their understanding of some European cultures. The course will be conducted in English. Highly recommended for students planning on studying in Russia, Germany, or Poland. The course format consists of lectures, presentations, as well as class and group discussions. Students who major in Russian may get credit by providing coursework in Russian. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.

RUSS 2116 Russian 19th-Century Novel: Society, Identity, and the Rise of Prose Fiction (4 Credits)

This course introduces students to classical Russian novels by world-famous authors, including Pushkin, Lermontov, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. Students develop an ability to interpret each work with a dual focus on text and context. Students deepen their appreciation of literary texts as works of art through learning to read closely and focusing on literary devices such as the narrator's voice, plot, structure, and figurative language. Students also learn to relate novels to their historical and cultural context, the better to understand how Russian writers responded to their country's intractable problems that included a crisis of cultural identity, the injustices of serfdom, and debates about women's place in society. All readings in English translation. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement. No prerequisites.

RUSS 2350 Russian Language through Film (4 Credits)

Film has played a significant role in the Soviet culture and continues to be an important cultural expression today. Many Soviet comedies also enriched conversational Russian with unforgettable formulaic expressions and sayings. In this course we will work with some of the most famous films produced in the USSR and contemporary Russia. Our goals will be close viewing to understand cultural symbolism of the images, the stylistics of different genres of speech, and the work of the camera and actors. This will allow you to further advance your Russian language skills by expanding your vocabulary and by incorporating more idiomatic expressions and the so-called “precedented” text in your speech. In the area of grammar and syntax, we will continue working on the Russian pronominal case system, verb conjugation, but also develop new skills, such as: composing complex sentences and using correct punctuation. This course is taught in Russian. By the end of quarter, all students are expected to acquire a proficiency level of “Intermediate Mid” or better in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Prerequisites: RUSS 2110 or instructor permission.

RUSS 2461 Russian Science Fiction (4 Credits)

This course studies the fascinating world of Russian science fiction in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Throughout the term, students will examine how Russian and Soviet writers and film-makers reimagined society, science, technology, and space. We will discuss Soviet futuristic utopias, interplanetary voyages, and post-apocalyptic visions. Students will further probe the figure of the alien as a dissident or cultural Other, as Soviet authors grappled with questions of cultural and ideological difference. We will examine how sci-fi writers glorify or critique Soviet society in their visions of space flight, technologically advanced societies, alien worlds, or post-nuclear disasters. Ultimately, we will reflect on the philosophical quandaries that Russian science fiction explores. Works include pre-revolutionary sci-fi texts by Bryusov and Kuprin; Soviet dystopias by Zamiatin and Bulgakov; sci-fi classics by the Strugatsky Brothers; Tarkovsky’s filmic masterpieces; and post-Soviet science fiction by Viktor Pelevin and Sergei Lukyanenko. All readings are in English translation. No prior knowledge of Russian is required. This course fulfills part of the Common Curriculum’s “Ways of Knowing:  Analytical Inquiry:  Society and Culture” requirement. In this class, students will 1) demonstrate the ability to create or interpret the texts, ideas, or artifacts of human culture; 2) identify and analyze the connections between the texts, ideas or cultural artifacts and the human experience and/or perception of the world.

RUSS 2917 Russian Revolution in Literature and History (4 Credits)

The course introduces students to the literature, history, and art of the Russian revolution of 1917. Students examine how Russian literature helped pave the way for the revolution and how literature and film helped Russians make sense of the radical transformation of their society. Students gain insight into the reciprocal relationship of art and politics, learning how literature shaped the revolutionary movement and how the revolution inspired new forms of artistic expression. All readings in English translation. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement. No prerequisites.

RUSS 3101 Advanced Conversation & Composition (4 Credits)

Continued improvement of Russian language skills in areas of style and syntax. First quarter of two quarter sequence. Prerequisite: RUSS 2110 or RUSS 2111 or equivalent.

RUSS 3200 Seminar: Russian Short Story (4 Credits)

Russia through the study of selected short stories. Prerequisite: RUSS 2110 or 2111 or equivalent.

RUSS 3232 Russian Avant-Garde (4 Credits)

This interdisciplinary course addresses various manifestations of Russian Modernism and the Russian avant-garde in art, literature, poetry, music, theatre, and film in the late 19th – early 20th century. Its objective is to provide an understanding of the time's rapid, drastic, and often conflicting cultural and artistic transformations by examining in depth major Russian Modernist works. Students will explore such artistic and literary movements as Symbolism, Cubo-Futurism, Neo-Primitivism, Suprematism, Rayonism, and Constructivism in the context of Russian late Imperial, revolutionary, and early Soviet social, political, and philosophical developments. We will pay special attention to the cultural dialogues between Russia and the West and investigate the aesthetic, erotic, and social utopias of Russian Modernism. The course examines philosophical essays, films, plays, poems, short stories, music, and art created during the period, beginning with the first modernist experimentation of the Silver Age (turn of the century) through the imposition of Socialist Realism in the 1930s.

RUSS 3300 Short Russian Prose (4 Credits)

An advanced conversation and composition course based on Russian prose. Prerequisite: RUSS 3101 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

RUSS 3650 Soviet and Post Soviet Cinema (4 Credits)

RUSS 3701 Topics in Russian Literature (4 Credits)

Selected topics, authors and movements in medieval, Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet literature. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: RUSS 3500 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

RUSS 3850 Working with Russian Media (4 Credits)

Multimedia course emphasizing new media in Russian culture and society. Prerequisite: RUSS 3101 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

RUSS 3991 Independent Study (1-5 Credits)

RUSS 3995 Independent Research (1-5 Credits)

RUSS 3998 Honors Thesis (1-4 Credits)

Back to Top