Slavic Languages

Departmental Office: 708 Hamilton; 212-854-3941
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/slavic/

Director of Undergraduate Studies:
Prof. Jessica Merrill, 715 Hamilton Hall; 212-854-3941; jem2159@columbia.edu

Russian Language Program Director:
Prof. Alla Smyslova, 708 Hamilton; 212-854-8155; as2157@columbia.edu

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures is devoted to the study of the cultures, literatures, and languages of Russia and other Slavic peoples and lands. We approach our study and teaching of these cultures with an eye to their specificity and attention to their interaction with other cultures, in history and in the contemporary global context. We focus not only on the rich literary tradition, but also on the film, theater, politics, art, music, media, religious thought, critical theory, and intellectual history of Russians and other Slavs. Our approach is interdisciplinary.

Students who take our courses have different interests. Many of our courses are taught in English with readings in English and have no prerequisites. As a consequence, our majors and concentrators are joined by students from other literature departments, by students of history and political science who have a particular interest in the Slavic region, and by others who are drawn to the subject matter for a variety of intellectual and practical reasons.

We provide instruction in Russian at all levels (beginning through very advanced), with a special course for heritage speakers. To improve the proficiency of Russian learners and speakers, we offer a number of literature and culture courses in which texts are read in the original and discussion is conducted in Russian. We offer three levels of other Slavic languages: Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Czech, Polish, and Ukrainian (with additional courses in culture in English). All language courses in the Slavic Department develop the four basic language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and cultural understanding.

Our department prides itself on the intellectual vitality of its program and on the sense of community among students and faculty. As they explore Russian and Slavic languages, literatures, and cultures, students develop not only their specific knowledge and cultural understanding, but also the capacity for critical thought, skills in analyzing literary and other texts, and the ability to express their ideas orally and in writing. Our graduates have used their knowledge and skills in different ways: graduate school, Fulbright and other fellowships, journalism, publishing, law school, NGO work, public health, government work, and politics. Our faculty is proud of its students and graduates.

Majors and Concentrations

Guided by the director of undergraduate studies and other faculty members, students majoring in Slavic create a program that suits their intellectual interests and academic goals. They choose from three tracks: Russian Language and Culture (for those with a strong interest in mastering the language), Russian Literature and Culture (for those who want to focus on literary and cultural studies), and Slavic Studies (a flexible regional studies major for those interested in one or more Slavic cultures). In each major, students may count related courses in other departments among their electives.

In addition to its majors, the department offers five concentrations. Three are analogous to the major tracks (Russian Language and Culture, Russian Literature and Culture, and Slavic Studies). There is also a concentration in Russian Literature that does not require language study and another concentration in Slavic Cultures that allows students to focus on a Slavic language and culture other than Russian.

Motivated seniors are encouraged but not required to write a senior thesis. Those who write a thesis enroll in the Senior Seminar in the fall term and work individually with a thesis adviser. Students have written on a wide range of topics in literature, culture, media, and politics.

Slavic Culture at Columbia Outside of the Classroom

All interested students are welcome to take part in departmental activities, such as conversation hours, Slavic student organizations, the department's various film series (Russian, East Central European, Central Asian, and Ukrainian), and the country's first undergraduate journal of Eastern European and Eurasian Culture, The Birch. The Slavic Department has close ties to the Harriman Institute and the East Central European Center, which sponsor lectures, symposia, performances, and conferences.

Study and Research Abroad

The department encourages its students to enrich their cultural knowledge and develop their language skills by spending a semester or summer studying in Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, or the countries of the former Yugoslavia. The department helps students find the program that suits their needs and interests. Undergraduates may apply to the Harriman Institute for modest scholarships for research during winter/spring breaks or the summer.

Professors

  • Valentina Izmirlieva 
    Liza Knapp
  • Cathy Popkin
  • Irina Reyfman (Chair)
  •  

Assistant Professors   

Adam Leeds
Jessica Merrill

Visiting Assistant Professors

  • Holly Myers (Barnard)

Senior Lecturers

  • Alla Smyslova

Lecturers

  • Aleksandar Boskovic
  • Christopher Caes
  • Christopher Harwood
  • Nataliya Kun
    Yuri Shevchuk

On Leave

  • Cathy Popkin (Fall 2018, Spring 2019)
  •  
  •  

Guidelines for all Slavic Majors and Concentrators

Senior Thesis

A senior thesis is not required for any Slavic major. Students who wish to undertake a thesis project should confer with the director of undergraduate studies during the registration period in April of their junior year and register to take RUSS UN3595 Senior Seminar in the fall term of their senior year. Students can opt to expand the thesis into a two-semester project register for RUSS UN3998 Supervised Individual Research, with their thesis adviser, in the spring term of their senior year. Senior Seminar may satisfy one elective requirement; the optional second semester of thesis work adds one course to the 15 required for the major.

Grading

Courses in which a grade of D has been received do not count toward major or concentration requirements.


Major in Russian Language and Culture

This major is intended for students who aim to attain maximal proficiency in the Russian language. Intensive language training is complemented by an array of elective courses in Russian culture that allow students to achieve critical understanding of contemporary Russian society and of Russian-speaking communities around the world. Since this major emphasizes language acquisition, it is not appropriate for native Russian speakers.

The program of study consists of 15 courses, distributed as follows:

Eight semesters of coursework in Russian language (from first- through fourth-year Russian) or the equivalent
Select two of the following surveys; at least one of these should be a Russian literature survey (RUSS UN3220 or RUSS UN3221):
RUSS UN3220Literature and Empire: The Reign of the Novel in Russia (19th Century) [In English]
RUSS UN3221Literature & Revolution [In English]
RUSS UN3223Magical Mystery Tour: The Legacy of Old Rus'
SLCL UN3001Slavic Cultures
RUSS GU4006Russian Religious Thought, Praxis, and Literature
CLRS GU4022Russia and Asia: Orientalism, Eurasianism, Internationalism
RUSS GU4107Russian Literature and Culture in the New Millennium
Five additional courses in Russian culture, history, literature, art, film, music, or in linguistics, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. At least one of the selected courses should be taught in Russian

Major in Russian Literature and Culture

The goal of this major is to make students conversant with a variety of Russian literary, historical and theoretical texts in the original, and to facilitate a critical understanding of Russian literature, culture, and society. It is addressed to students who would like to complement serious literary studies with intensive language training, and is especially suitable for those who intend to pursue an academic career in the Slavic field.

The program of study consists of 15 courses, distributed as follows:

Six semesters of coursework in Russian language (from first- through third-year Russian) or the equivalent.
Select three of the following surveys; two of which must be in Russian literature (RUSS UN3220 and RUSS UN3221)
RUSS UN3220Literature and Empire: The Reign of the Novel in Russia (19th Century) [In English]
RUSS UN3221Literature & Revolution [In English]
RUSS UN3223Magical Mystery Tour: The Legacy of Old Rus'
SLCL UN3001Slavic Cultures
RUSS GU4006Russian Religious Thought, Praxis, and Literature
CLRS GU4022Russia and Asia: Orientalism, Eurasianism, Internationalism
RUSS GU4107Russian Literature and Culture in the New Millennium
Six additional courses in Russian literature, culture, history, film, art, music, or in advanced Russian language, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. At least one course should be taught in Russian

Students considering graduate study in Russian literature are strongly advised to complete four years of language training.


Major in Slavic Studies

This flexible major provides opportunities for interdisciplinary studies within the Slavic field. Students are encouraged to choose one target language (Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Czech, Polish, Russian, or Ukrainian), though there are possibilities for studying a second Slavic language as well. Generally, the major has one disciplinary focus in history, political science, economics, religion, anthropology, sociology, art, film, or music. In addition, this program allows students to focus on a particular Slavic (non-Russian) literature and culture or to do comparative studies of several Slavic literatures, including Russian. Students should plan their program with the director of undergraduate studies as early as possible, since course availability varies from year to year.

The program of study consists of 15 courses, distributed as follows:

Six semesters of coursework in one Slavic language (from first- through third-year Russian, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Czech, Polish, or Ukrainian) or the equivalent.
Two relevant courses in Russian, East/Central European or Eurasian history.
Two relevant literature or culture courses in Slavic, preferably related to the target language.
Five additional courses with Slavic content in history, political science, economics, literature, religion, anthropology, sociology, art, film, or music, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. Two of these electives may be language courses for students who opt to include a second Slavic language in their program.

Altogether students should complete four courses in a single discipline, including, if appropriate, the required history or literature/culture courses.


Concentration in Russian Language and Culture

This program is intended for students who aim to attain proficiency in the Russian language. Intensive language training is complemented by an array of elective courses in Russian culture that allow students to achieve critical understanding of contemporary Russian society and of Russian-speaking communities around the world. Since this concentration emphasizes language acquisition, it is not appropriate for native Russian speakers.

The program of study consists of 10 courses, distributed as follows:

Six semesters of coursework in Russian language (from first- through third-year Russian) or the equivalent.
Select one of the following surveys:
SLCL UN3001Slavic Cultures
RUSS UN3220Literature and Empire: The Reign of the Novel in Russia (19th Century) [In English]
RUSS UN3221Literature & Revolution [In English]
RUSS UN3223Magical Mystery Tour: The Legacy of Old Rus'
CLRS GU4022Russia and Asia: Orientalism, Eurasianism, Internationalism
Three additional courses in Russian culture, history, literature, art, film, music, or in linguistics, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies; at least one of the selected courses should be taught in Russian.
RUSS GU4107Russian Literature and Culture in the New Millennium

Concentration in Slavic (Non-Russian) Language and Culture

This program is intended for students who aim to attain proficiency in a Slavic language other than Russian. Intensive language training is complemented by an array of elective courses in Slavic cultures that allow students to achieve critical understanding of the communities that are shaped by the Slavic language of their choice. Since this concentration emphasizes language acquisition, it is not appropriate for native speakers of the target language.

The program of study consists of 10 courses, distributed as follows:

Six semesters of coursework in one Slavic language (from first- through third-year Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Czech, Polish, or Ukrainian) or the equivalent.
Four additional courses in Slavic literature, culture or history, or in linguistics, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies; at least two should be directly related to the target language of study.

Concentration in Russian Literature and Culture

The goal of this concentration is to make students conversant with a variety of Russian literary texts and cultural artifacts that facilitate a critical understanding of Russian culture. It is addressed to students who would like to combine language training with study of the Russian literary tradition.

The program of study consists of 10 courses, distributed as follows:

Four semesters of coursework in Russian language (first- and second-year Russian) or the equivalent.
Select two of the following surveys; one of which must be a literature survey (RUSS UN3220 or RUSS UN3221)
RUSS UN3220Literature and Empire: The Reign of the Novel in Russia (19th Century) [In English]
RUSS UN3221Literature & Revolution [In English]
RUSS UN3223Magical Mystery Tour: The Legacy of Old Rus'
RUSS GU4006Russian Religious Thought, Praxis, and Literature
SLCL UN3001Slavic Cultures
CLRS GU4022Russia and Asia: Orientalism, Eurasianism, Internationalism
RUSS GU4107Russian Literature and Culture in the New Millennium
Four additional courses in Russian literature, culture, and history, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies.

Concentration in Slavic Studies

This flexible concentration provides opportunities for interdisciplinary studies within the Slavic field. Students are encouraged to choose one target language (Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Czech, Polish, Russian, or Ukrainian), and one disciplinary focus in history, political science, economics, religion, anthropology, sociology, art, film, or music. In addition, this program allows students to focus on a particular Slavic (non-Russian) literature and culture, or to do comparative studies of several Slavic literatures, including Russian.

The program of study consists of 10 courses, distributed as follows:

Four semesters of coursework in one Slavic language (first- and second-year Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Czech, Polish, Russian, or Ukrainian) or the equivalent.
One relevant courses in Russian, East/Central European or Eurasian history.
One relevant literature or culture course in Slavic, preferably related to the target language.
Four additional courses with Slavic content in history, political science, economics, literature, religion, anthropology, sociology, art, film, or music, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies

Altogether students should complete three courses in a single discipline, including, if appropriate, the required history or literature/culture courses.


Concentration in Russian Literature

This concentration is addressed to serious literature students who would like to pursue Russian literature but have no training in Russian. It allows students to explore the Russian literary tradition, while perfecting their critical skills and their techniques of close reading in a variety of challenging courses in translation.

The program of study consists of 8 courses, with no language requirements, distributed as follows:

Select two of the following Russian literature surveys (in translation):
RUSS UN3220Literature and Empire: The Reign of the Novel in Russia (19th Century) [In English]
RUSS UN3221Literature & Revolution [In English]
Six additional courses, focused primarily on Russian literature, culture, and history, though courses in other Slavic literatures are also acceptable if approved by the director of undergraduate studies.

Relevant literature courses from other departments may count toward the concentration only if approved by the director of undergraduate studies.

Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian Language and Literature

BCRS UN1101 Elementary Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I. 4 points.

Essentials of the spoken and written language. Prepares students to read texts of moderate difficulty by the end of the first year.

Fall 2018: BCRS UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
BCRS 1101 001/67439 M W F 10:10am - 11:25am
352c International Affairs Bldg
Alexey Pekov 4 4/12

BCRS UN1102 Elementary Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II. 4 points.

Essentials of the spoken and written language. Prepares students to read texts of moderate difficulty by the end of the first year.

Spring 2019: BCRS UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
BCRS 1102 001/62589 M W F 10:10am - 11:25am
352c International Affairs Bldg
Alexey Pekov 4 3/12

BCRS UN2101 Intermediate Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I. 3 points.

Prerequisites: BCRS UN1102 or the equivalent.

Readings in Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian literature in the original, with emphasis depending upon the needs of individual students.

Fall 2018: BCRS UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
BCRS 2101 001/27807 F 11:40am - 12:55pm
254 International Affairs Bldg
Aleksandar Boskovic 3 3/12
BCRS 2101 001/27807 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
255 International Affairs Bldg
Aleksandar Boskovic 3 3/12

BCRS UN2102 Intermediate Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: BCRS UN1102 or the equivalent.

Readings in Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian literature in the original, with emphasis depending upon the needs of individual students. This course number has been changed to BCRS 2102

Spring 2019: BCRS UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
BCRS 2102 001/13225 M W F 11:40am - 12:55pm
255 International Affairs Bldg
Aleksandar Boskovic 3 2/12

BCRS GU4002 (Dis)integration in Frames: Race, Ethnicity and gender Issues in Yugoslav and Post Yugoslav Cinemas. 3 points.

This course investigates the complex relationship between aesthetics and ideology in Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav cinema. Specifically, it examines the variety of ways in which race, ethnicity, gender inequality, and national identity are approached, constructed, promoted, or contested and critically dissected in film texts from the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and its successor states (Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, FYR Macedonia). The course has four thematic units and is organized chronologically.

BCRS GU4331 Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I. 3 points.

Prerequisites: BCRS UN2102

Further develops skills in speaking, reading, and writing, using essays, short stories, films, and fragments of larger works. Reinforces basic grammar and introduces more complete structures.

Fall 2018: BCRS GU4331
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
BCRS 4331 001/24463 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
255 International Affairs Bldg
Aleksandar Boskovic 3 7/12

BCRS GU4332 Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: BCRS UN2102

Further develops skills in speaking, reading, and writing, using essays, short stories, films, and fragments of larger works. Reinforces basic grammar and introduces more complete structures.

Spring 2019: BCRS GU4332
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
BCRS 4332 001/71229 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
255 International Affairs Bldg
Aleksandar Boskovic 3 4/12

Comparative Literature - Czech

CLCZ GU4020 Czech Culture Before Czechoslovakia. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

Prerequisites: sophomore standing or the instructor's permission.

An interpretive cultural history of the Czechs from earliest times to the founding of the first Czechoslovak republic in 1918. Emphasis on the origins, decline, and resurgence of Czech national identity as reflected in the visual arts, architecture, music, historiography, and especially the literature of the Czechs.

CLCZ GU4030 Postwar Czech Literature [in English]. 3 points.

A survey of postwar Czech fiction and drama. Knowledge of Czech not necessary. Parallel reading lists available in translation and in the original.

Spring 2019: CLCZ GU4030
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLCZ 4030 001/63867 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
709 Hamilton Hall
Christopher Harwood 3 4/18

CLCZ GU4038 Prague Spring of '68 in Film and Literature [In English]. 3 points.

The course explores the unique period in Czech film and literature during the 1960s that emerged as a reaction to the imposed socialist realism. The new generation of writers (Kundera, Skvorecky, Havel, Hrabal) in turn had an influence on young emerging film makers, all of whom were part of the Czech new wave.

Fall 2018: CLCZ GU4038
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLCZ 4038 001/65869 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
407 Hamilton Hall
Christopher Harwood 3 4/18

Comparative Literature - Polish

CLPL GU4042 Bestsellers of Polish Literature. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

A study of the 20th-century Polish novel during its most invigorated, innovative inter-war period. A close study of the major works of Kuncewiczowa, Choromanski, Wittlin, Unilowski, Kurek, Iwaszkiewicz, Gombrowicz, and Schulz. The development of the Polish novel will be examined against the background of new trends in European literature, with emphasis on the usage of various narrative devices. Reading knowledge of Polish desirable but not required. Parallel reading lists are available in the original and in translation.

CLPL GU4040 Mickiewicz. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

The Polish literary scene that in this particular period stretched from Moscow, Petersburg, and Odessa, to Vilna, Paris, Rome. The concept of exile, so central to Polish literature of the 19th-century and world literature of the 20th will be introduced and discussed. The course will offer the opportunity to see the new Romantic trend initially evolving from classicism, which it vigorously opposed and conquered. We will examine how the particular literary form - sonnet, ballad, epic poem and the romantic drama developed on the turf of the Polish language. Also we will see how such significant themes as madness, Romantic suicide, Romantic irony, and elements of Islam and Judaism manifested themselves in the masterpieces of Polish poetry. The perception of Polish Romanticism in other, especially Slavic, literatures will be discussed and a comparative approach encouraged.Most of the texts to be discussed were translated into the major European languages. Mickiewicz was enthusiastically translated into Russian by the major Russian poets of all times; students of Russian may read his works in its entirety in that language. The class will engage in a thorough analysis of the indicated texts; the students' contribution to the course based on general knowledge of the period, of genres, and/or other related phenomena is expected.

CLPL GU4300 The Polish Novel After 1989. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

This seminar is designed to offer an overview of Post-1989 Polish prose. The literary output of what is now called post-dependent literature demonstrates how political transformations influenced social and intellectual movements and transformed the narrative genre itself. The aesthetic and formal developments in Polish prose will be explored as a manifestation of a complex phenomenon bringing the reassessment of national myths, and cultural aspirations. Works by Dorota Maslowska, Andrzej Stasiuk, Pawel Huelle, Olga Tokarczuk, Magdalena Tulli and others will be read and discussed. Knowledge of Polish not required.

CLPL GU4301 Survey of Polish Literature and Culture. 3 points.

This course introduces and explores key works, traditions, and tendencies in Polish literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the present. Focusing in particular on the monuments of Polish literature, the course embeds them in historical context and places them in dialog with important ideas and trends in both Polish and European culture of their time.  The aim is to engender and establish an understanding of Poland’s position on the literary and cultural map of Europe.  In addition to literature, works of history, political science, film, and the performing arts will be drawn on for course lecture and discussion. No prerequisites. Readings in English.

Fall 2018: CLPL GU4301
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLPL 4301 001/63099 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
511 Hamilton Hall
Christopher Caes 3 6/25

Comparative Literature - Slavic

CLSL UN3304 How To Read Violence: The Literature of Power, Force and Brutality from 20th Century Russia and America. 3 points.

This course seeks to understand how authors and filmmakers in the 20th century communicate the experience of violence to their audiences. We will discuss how fragmentation, montage, language breakdown and other techniques not only depict violence, but reflect that violence in artistic forms. We will also ask what representing violence does to the artistic work. Can the attempt to convey violence become an act of violence in itself? We will consider texts from Vladimir Mayakovsky, John Dos Passos, Andrei Platonov, Vasiliy Grossman, Allen Ginsberg, Anna Akhmatova, Richard Wright, Cormac McCarthy, Vladimir Sorokin, as well as films from Sergei Eisenstein, Alexei Balabanov and Quentin Tarantino. Full course description and syllabus available at readingviolence.weebly.com.

CLSL GU4003 Central European Drama in the Twentieth Century. 3 points.

Focus will be on the often deceptive modernity of modern Central and East European theater and its reflection of the forces that shaped modern European society. It will be argued that the abstract, experimental drama of the twentieth-century avant-garde tradition seems less vital at the century's end than the mixed forms of Central and East European dramatists.

CLSL GU4004 Introduction to Twentieth-Century Central European Fiction. 3 points.

This course introduces students to works of literature that offer a unique perspective on the tempestuous twentieth century, if only because these works for the most part were written in "minor" languages (Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Serbian), in countries long considered part of the European backwaters, whose people were not makers but victims of history. Yet the authors of many of these works are today ranked among the masters of modern literature. Often hailing from highly stratified , conservative societies, many Eastern and Central European writers became daring literary innovators and experimenters. To the present day, writers from this "other" Europe try to escape history, official cultures, politics, and end up redefining them for their readers. We will be dealing with a disparate body of literature, varied both in form and content. But we will try to pinpoint subtle similarities, in tone and sensibility, and focus, too, on the more apparent preoccupation with certain themes that may be called characteristically Central European.

CLSL GU4008 Slavic Avant-Garde Surfaces. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

This lecture course will provide a punctual survey of the major trends and figures in the interwar visual culture and avant-garde poetry of the Soviet Russia and East Central Europe (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia), including the opulent field of their intersection. Topics include various interfaces of visual culture and graphic arts, such as public spaces, walls, propaganda trains, windows, postcards, posters, books, and screens. The course will address the innovative use of typography and photography, typophoto and photomontage, as well as the short written and hybrid genres such as manifesto, cinepoetry, photo essay, and photo frescoes. We will discuss poets and artists such as Mayakovsky, Lissitsky, Rodchenko, Klutsis, Vertov, Teige, Nezval, Sutnar, Štirsky, Szczuka, Stern, Themersons, Kassák, Kertész, Moholy-Nagy, Goll, Micić, VuÄo, Matić. Each session will include a lecture followed by discussion.

CLSL GU4075 Soviet and Post-Soviet, Colonial and Post Colonial Film. 3 points.

The course will discuss how filmmaking has been used as an instrument of power and imperial domination in the Soviet Union as well as on post-Soviet space since 1991. A body of selected films by Soviet and post-Soviet directors which exemplify the function of filmmaking as a tool of appropriation of the colonized, their cultural and political subordination by the Soviet center will be examined in terms of postcolonial theories. The course will focus both on Russian cinema and often overlooked work of Ukrainian, Georgian, Belarusian, Armenian, etc. national film schools and how they participated in the communist project of fostering a «new historic community of the Soviet people» as well as resisted it by generating, in hidden and, since 1991, overt and increasingly assertive ways their own counter-narratives. Close attention will be paid to the new Russian film as it re-invents itself within the post-Soviet imperial momentum projected on the former Soviet colonies.

Fall 2018: CLSL GU4075
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLSL 4075 001/15741 T 6:10pm - 10:00pm
613 Hamilton Hall
Yuri Shevchuk 3 8/23

CLSS GU4101 Balkan as a Metaphor. 3 points.

This seminar for graduate and advanced undergraduate students has two main objectives. First, it is to critically assess competing and conflicting conceptions of the Balkans, Balkanism, and Balkanization. Second, it engages with border studies, a vast and thriving field that makes sense of widely different and constantly changing definitions of the border. The course’s case studies focus on the region of the former Yugoslavia across the disciplines currently recognized as the humanities and social sciences. We will examine what those disciplinary borders do to the different types of borders we have chosen to analyze. We will discuss the concepts of copy and imitation in relation to Balkan arts and politics in the contemporary globalized world. We will explore documentary film and performance art representations of how refugees, migrant minorities, and borderline populations counter marginalizations and trauma.

Spring 2019: CLSS GU4101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLSS 4101 001/11547 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Aleksandar Boskovic 3 9/12

CLSL GU4995 Central European Jewish Literature: Assimilation and Its Discontents. 3 points.

Examines prose and poetry by writers generally less accessible to the American student written in the major Central European languages: German, Hungarian, Czech, and Polish. The problematics of assimilation, the search for identity, political commitment and disillusionment are major themes, along with the defining experience of the century: the Holocaust; but because these writers are often more removed from their Jewishness, their perspective on these events and issues may be different. The influence of Franz Kafka on Central European writers, the post-Communist Jewish revival, defining the Jewish voice in an otherwise disparate body of works.

Comparative Literature - Russian

CLRS UN3309 Fact and Fiction: The Document in Russian and American Literature. 3 points.

“Truth is stranger than fiction,” wrote Mark Twain in 1897. It is an axiom more relevant today than ever before, as more and more writers draw on “true events” for their literary works. Svetlana Alexievich, 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, goes so far as to insist that “there are no borders between fact and fabrication, one flows into the other” in contemporary literature. In this course we read works from Russian and American literature that dance along this line between fact and fiction. Sometimes called “creative non-fiction,” “literary journalism,” or “documentary prose,” these works (Sergei Tretiakov, Viktor Shklovsky, Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, John McPhee, Artem Borovik, and others) blur the boundaries between documentary evidence and literary art. No prerequisites.

CLRS GU4011 Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the English Novel [in English]. 3 points.

A close reading of works by Dostoevsky (Netochka Nezvanova; The Idiot; "A Gentle Creature") and Tolstoy (Childhood, Boyhood, Youth; "Family Happiness"; Anna Karenina; "The Kreutzer Sonata") in conjunction with related English novels (Bronte's Jane Eyre, Eliot's Middlemarch, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway). No knowledge of Russian is required.

Fall 2018: CLRS GU4011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLRS 4011 001/10671 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
702 Hamilton Hall
Liza Knapp 3 34/65

CLRS GU4017 Chekhov [English]. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

A close reading of Chekhov's best work in the genres on which he left an indelible mark (the short story and the drama) on the subjects that left an indelible imprint on him (medical science, the human body, identity, topography, the nature of news, the problem of knowledge, the access to pain, the necessity of dying, the structure of time, the self and the world, the part and the whole) via the modes of inquiry (diagnosis and deposition, expedition and exegesis, library and laboratory, microscopy and materialism, intimacy and invasion) and forms of documentation (the itinerary, the map, the calendar, the photograph, the icon, the Gospel, the Koan, the lie, the love letter, the case history, the obituary, the pseudonym, the script) that marked his era (and ours). No knowledge of Russian required.

CLRS GU4022 Russia and Asia: Orientalism, Eurasianism, Internationalism. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course explores the formation of Russian national and imperial identity through ideologies of geography, focusing on a series of historical engagements with the concept of "Asia." How has the Mongol conquest shaped a sense of Russian identity as something destinct from Europe? How has Russian culture participated in Orientalist portrayals of conquered Asian lands, while simultaneously being Orientalized by Europe and, indeed, Orientalizing itself? How do concepts of Eurasianism and socialist internationalism, both arising in the ealry 20th century, seek to redraw the geography of Russia's relations with East and West? We will explore these questions through a range of materials, including: literary texts by Russian and non-Russian writers (Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy, Solovyov, Bely, Blok, Pilnyak, Khlebnikov, Planotov, Xiao Hong, Kurban Said, Aitimatov, Iskander, Bordsky); films (Eisenstein, Tarkovsky, Kalatozov, Paradjanov, Mikhalkov); music and dance (the Ballets Russes); visual art (Vereshchagin, Roerich); and theoretical and secondary readings by Chaadaev, Said, Bassin, Trubetskoy, Leontievm, Lenin, and others.

CLRS GU4036 Nabokov and Global Culture. 3 points.

In 1955, an American writer of Russian descent published in Paris a thin book that forever shaped English language, American culture, and the international literary scene.  That book, of course, was Vladimir Nabokov'sLolita.


We will speak of exile, memory and nostalgia, of hybrid cultural identities and cosmopolitan elites, of language, translation and multilingualism.  All readings will be in English.

CLRS GU4037 The Russian American Experience. 3 points.

In recent decades, Russian immigrant identity has changed. Immigrants and children of immigrants are much more involved with their home country. Fiction by Russian-speaking writers shows and also establishes relationship to geographies of their birth, usually Soviet successor nations such as Russia. The focus of this class is an analysis of works by Russian-speaking writers, filmmakers, and artists who create and also trace deepening forms of dialogue between the former Soviet Republics and North America.

Fall 2018: CLRS GU4037
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLRS 4037 001/63249 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
303 Hamilton Hall
Anna Katsnelson 3 2/25

CLRS GU4038 Dostoevsky in the 1870s: Demons, Diary of a Writer, Adolescent, and Dickens.. 3 points.

A study of Dostoevsky and Dickens as two writers whose engagement in the here and now was vital to their work and to their practice of the novel.  Readings from Dostoevsky cluster in the 1870s and include two novels, Demons (1872) and The Adolescent (1876), and selections from his Diary of a Writer.  Readings from Dickens span his career and include, in addition to David Copperfield (1850), sketches and later essays.

CLRS GU4040 The Future is Red (White and Blue): Modernity and Social Justice in U.S. and U.S.S.R.. 4 points.

In the 1920s, the Soviet Union and the U.S. emerged as growing world powers, offering each other two compelling, if often opposed, versions of modernity. At the same time, each country saw its intercontinental rival as an attractive, but dangerous “other”: a counterexample of the road not taken, and a foil for its own ideology and identity. From the 1920s to the heat of the Cold War, Some of the USSR’s most prominent public figures came to the U.S. and several American intellectuals, progressive activists, and officials traveled to the Soviet experiment. This course examines the cultural images of the American and Soviet “other” in the texts that resulted from these exchanges. We will read works about America from Sergei Esenin, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ilya Il'f and Evgeny Petrov, and poems, essays, and novels about Russia by Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Louise Bryant, W.E.B. Du Bois, John Steinbeck, and others. Each of these texts attempts to grapple with what it means to be modern—both technologically advanced and socially liberated—in different national contexts and under different proclaimed ideologies. 

Czech Language and Literature

CZCH UN1101 Elementary Czech I. 4 points.

Essentials of the spoken and written language. Prepare students to read texts of moderate difficulty by the end of the first year.

Fall 2018: CZCH UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CZCH 1101 001/76125 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
352b International Affairs Bldg
Christopher Harwood 4 5/12
CZCH 1101 001/76125 F 9:00am - 10:15am
352b International Affairs Bldg
Christopher Harwood 4 5/12

CZCH UN1102 Elementary Czech II. 4 points.

Essentials of the spoken and written language. Prepare students to read texts of moderate difficulty by the end of the first year.

Spring 2019: CZCH UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CZCH 1102 001/23039 T Th F 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Christopher Harwood 4 2/12

CZCH UN2101 Intermediate Czech I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: CZCH UN1102 or the equivalent

Rapid review of grammar. Readings in contemporary fiction and nonfiction, depending upon the interests of individual students.

Fall 2018: CZCH UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CZCH 2101 001/12312 T Th F 11:40am - 12:55pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Christopher Harwood 4 1/12

CZCH UN2102 Intermediate Czech II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: CZCH UN1102 or the equivalent.

Rapid review of grammar. Readings in contemporary fiction and nonfiction, depending upon the interests of individual students.

CZCH GU4333 Readings in Czech Literature, I. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).

Prerequisites: two years of college Czech or the equivalent.

A close study in the original of representative works of Czech literature. Discussion and writing assignments in Czech aimed at developing advanced language proficiency.

Fall 2018: CZCH GU4333
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CZCH 4333 001/11742 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
616 Hamilton Hall
Christopher Harwood 3 1/12

CZCH GU4334 Readings in Czech Literature, II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: two years of college Czech or the equivalent.

A close study in the original of representative works of Czech literature. Discussion and writing assignments in Czech aimed at developing advanced language proficiency.

Spring 2019: CZCH GU4334
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CZCH 4334 001/17247 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Christopher Harwood 3 1/12

Polish Language and Literature

POLI UN1101 Elementary Polish I. 4 points.

Essentials of the spoken and written language. Prepares students to read texts of moderate difficulty by the end of the first year.

Fall 2018: POLI UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLI 1101 001/73902 T Th F 1:10pm - 2:25pm
406 Hamilton Hall
Eliza Rose 4 7/12

POLI UN1102 Elementary Polish II. 4 points.

Essentials of the spoken and written language. Prepares students to read texts of moderate difficulty by the end of the first year.

Spring 2019: POLI UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLI 1102 001/15569 T Th F 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Christopher Caes 4 1/12

POLI UN2101 Intermediate Polish I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLI UN1102 or the equivalent.

Rapid review of grammar; readings in contemporary nonfiction or fiction, depending on the interests of individual students.

Fall 2018: POLI UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLI 2101 001/69142 T Th F 10:10am - 11:25am
406 Hamilton Hall
Christopher Caes 4 9/12

POLI UN2102 Intermediate Polish II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLI UN1102 or the equivalent.

Rapid review of grammar; readings in contemporary nonfiction or fiction, depending on the interests of individual students.

Spring 2019: POLI UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLI 2102 001/60533 T Th F 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Christopher Caes 4 6/12

POLI GU4101 Advanced Polish I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: two years of college Polish or the instructor's permission.

Extensive readings from 19th- and 20th-century texts in the original. Both fiction and nonfiction, with emphasis depending on the interests and needs of individual students.

Fall 2018: POLI GU4101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLI 4101 001/73191 T Th F 11:40am - 12:55pm
406 Hamilton Hall
Christopher Caes 4 5/12

POLI GU4102 Advanced Polish II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: two years of college Polish or the instructor's permission.

Extensive readings from 19th- and 20th-century texts in the original. Both fiction and nonfiction, with emphasis depending on the interests and needs of individual students.

Spring 2019: POLI GU4102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLI 4102 001/28118 T Th F 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Christopher Caes 4 1/12

Romanian Language and Literature

RMAN GU4002 Romanian Culture, Identity and Complexes. 3 points.

This course addresses the main problems that contribute to the making of Romanian identity, as fragmented or as controversial as it may seem to those who study it. The aim is to become familiar with the deepest patterns of Romanian identity, as we encounter it today, either in history, political studies, fieldwork in sociology or, simply, when we interact with Romanians. By using readings and presentations produced by Romanian specialists, we aim to be able to see the culture with an "insider's eye", as much as we can. This perspective will enable us to develop mechanisms of understanding the Romanian culture and mentality independently, at a more profound level and to reason upon them.

Fall 2018: RMAN GU4002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RMAN 4002 001/81773 M W 11:40am - 12:35pm
Room TBA
Mona Momescu 3 0/15

RMAN GU4003 Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Elements of Romanian Culture. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Reading knowledge of Romanian and French

...The Byzantine as "post-Romantic", as "eclectic", "Oriental", in its version of localized, picturesque, intra-European Orientalism appears less explored and probably less considered of importance when trying to understand the intricacies of a culture and, by expanding it, of culture in general.  Our explorations of Byzantine/Byzantinism will help us develop a subtler understanding of the mechanisms of the cultural equation West/Orient and of the cultural hierarchies....

Russian Language

RUSS UN1101 First-year Russian I. 5 points.

Grammar, reading, composition, and conversation.

Fall 2018: RUSS UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 1101 001/67214 M T W Th 8:50am - 9:55am
709 Hamilton Hall
Elaine Wilson 5 13/12
RUSS 1101 002/71679 M T W Th 10:10am - 11:15am
709 Hamilton Hall
Milica Ilicic 5 11/12
RUSS 1101 003/68745 M T W Th 1:10pm - 2:15pm
709 Hamilton Hall
Tomi Haxhi 5 10/12
RUSS 1101 004/65125 M T W Th 6:10pm - 7:15pm
709 Hamilton Hall
Stephen Bruce 5 11/12

RUSS UN1102 First-year Russian II. 5 points.

Grammar, reading, composition, and conversation.

Spring 2019: RUSS UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 1102 001/20190 M T W Th 8:50am - 9:55am
709 Hamilton Hall
Elaine Wilson 5 11/12
RUSS 1102 002/26862 M T W Th 10:10am - 11:15am
709 Hamilton Hall
Milica Ilicic 5 10/12
RUSS 1102 003/24562 M T W Th 1:10pm - 2:15pm
Room TBA
Tomi Haxhi 5 12/12
RUSS 1102 004/71990 M T W Th 6:10pm - 7:15pm
709 Hamilton Hall
Stephen Bruce 5 9/12

RUSS UN2101 Second-Year Russian I . 5 points.

Prerequisites: RUSS UN1102 or the equivalent.

Drill practice in small groups. Reading, composition, and grammar review."Off-sequence" 

Fall 2018: RUSS UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 2101 001/28116 M T W Th 8:50am - 9:55am
707 Hamilton Hall
Ben Hooyman 5 11/12
RUSS 2101 002/63675 M T W Th 11:40am - 12:45pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Benjamin Lussier 5 5/12
RUSS 2101 003/16652 M T W Th 1:10pm - 2:15pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Vera Senina 5 7/12

RUSS UN2102 Second-year Russian II. 5 points.

Prerequisites: RUSS UN2101 or the equivalent.

Drill practice in small groups. Reading, composition, and grammar review.

Spring 2019: RUSS UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 2102 001/22531 M T W Th 8:50am - 9:55am
Room TBA
Ben Hooyman 5 7/12
RUSS 2102 002/10641 M T W Th 11:40am - 12:45pm
Room TBA
Benjamin Lussier 5 3/12
RUSS 2102 003/21711 M T W Th 1:10pm - 2:15pm
Room TBA
Vera Senina 5 9/12

RUSS UN3101 Third-year Russian I. 4 points.

Limited enrollment.

Prerequisites: RUSS UN2102 or the equivalent, and the instructor's permission.

Recommended for students who wish to improve their active command of Russian. Emphasis on conversation and composition. Reading and discussion of selected texts and videotapes. Lectures. Papers and oral reports required. Conducted entirely in Russian.

Fall 2018: RUSS UN3101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 3101 001/23543 M W F 10:10am - 11:25am
707 Hamilton Hall
Alla Smyslova 4 11/12
RUSS 3101 002/12010 M W F 1:10pm - 2:25pm
718 Hamilton Hall
Nataliya Kun 4 6/12

RUSS UN3102 Third-Year Russian II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: RUSS UN2102 or the equivalent and the instructor's permission.

Enrollment limited. Recommended for students who wish to improve their active command of Russian. Emphasis on conversation and composition. Reading and discussion of selected texts and videotapes. Lectures. Papers and oral reports required. Conducted entirely in Russian.

Spring 2019: RUSS UN3102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 3102 001/75423 M W F 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Alla Smyslova 4 6/12
RUSS 3102 002/64636 M W F 1:10pm - 2:25pm
709 Hamilton Hall
Nataliya Kun 4 4/12

RUSS UN3105 Real World Russian. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

Prerequisites: (RUSS UN2102) (department placement test)

This content-based course has three focal points: 1) communicative skills 1) idiomatic language; 3) cross-cultural awareness.

The course is designed to help students further develop all of their language skills with particular focus on communicative and information processing skills, as well as natural student collaboration in the target language. The materials and assignments that will be used in class allow to explore a broad range of social, cultural, and behavioral contexts and familiarize students with idiomatic language, popular phrases and internet memes, developments of the colloquial language, and the use of slang in everyday life.

On each class students will be offered a variety of content-based activities and assignments, including, information gap filling, role-play and creative skits, internet search, making presentations, and problem-solving discussions. Listening comprehension assignments will help students expand their active and passive vocabulary and develop confidence using natural syntactic models and idiomatic structures.

Students will be exposed to cultural texts of different registers, which will help them enhance their stylistic competence. Students will learn appropriate ways to handle linguo-social situations, routines, and challenges similar to those they come across when traveling to Russia. They will explore various speech acts of daily communication, such as agreement/disagreement, getting and giving help, asking for a favor, expressing emotions, and so forth. Part of class time will be devoted to nonverbal communication, the language of gestures, emotional phonetics and intonation.

Spring 2019: RUSS UN3105
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 3105 001/11496 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
709 Hamilton Hall
Nataliya Kun 3 7/15

RUSS UN3430 Russian for Heritage Speakers I. 3 points.

Prerequisites: RUSS V3430 or the instructor's permission.

This course is designed to help students who speak Russian at home, but have no or limited reading and writing skills to develop literary skills in Russian. THIS COURSE, TAKEN WITH RUSS V3431, MEET A TWO YEAR FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT. Conducted in Russian.

Fall 2018: RUSS UN3430
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 3430 001/69641 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Alla Smyslova 3 17/15

RUSS UN3431 Russian for Heritage Speakers II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: RUSS V3430 or the instructor's permission.

This course is designed to help students who speak Russian at home, but have no or limited reading and writing skills to develop literary skills in Russian. THIS COURSE, TAKEN WITH RUSS V3430, MEET A TWO YEAR FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT. Conducted in Russian.

Spring 2019: RUSS UN3431
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 3431 001/63648 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Alla Smyslova 3 15/15

RUSS GU4333 Fourth-year Russian I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: RUSS UN3101 and RUSS UN3102 Third-Year Russian I and II, or placement test.

Systematic study of problems in Russian syntax; written exercises, translations into Russian, and compositions. Conducted entirely in Russian.

RUSS GU4334 Fourth-year Russian II. 4 points.

Prerequisites: three years of college Russian and the instructor's permission.

Discussion of different styles and levels of language, including word usage and idiomatic expression; written exercises, analysis of texts, and compositions. Conducted entirely in Russian.

RUSS GU4350 Moving to Advanced-Plus: Language, Culture, Society in Russian Today. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Six semesters of college Russian and the instructor’s permission.

The course is designed to provide advanced and highly-motivated undergraduate and graduate students of various majors with an opportunity to develop professional vocabulary and discourse devices that will help them to discuss their professional fields in Russian with fluency and accuracy. The course targets all four language competencies: speaking, listening, reading and writing, as well as cultural understanding. Conducted in Russian.

Fall 2018: RUSS GU4350
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 4350 001/13450 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
709 Hamilton Hall
Nataliya Kun 3 12/15

RUSS GU4351 Moving to Advanced-Plus: Language, Culture, Society in Russian Today. 3 points.

Prerequisites: eight semesters of college Russian and the instructor’s permission.

The course is designed to provide advanced and highly-motivated undergraduate and graduate students of various majors with an opportunity to develop professional vocabulary and discourse devices that will help them to discuss their professional fields in Russian with fluency and accuracy. The course targets all four language competencies: speaking, listening, reading and writing, as well as cultural understanding. Conducted in Russian.

RUSS GU4434 Practical Stylistics [in Russian]. 3 points.

Prerequisites: RUSS W4334 or the equivalent or the instructor's permission.

Prerequisite: four years of college Russian or instructor's permission. The course will focus on theoretical matters of language and style and on the practical aspect of improving students' writing skills. Theoretical aspects of Russian style and specific Russian stylistic conventions will be combined with the analysis of student papers and translation assignments, as well as exercises focusing on reviewing certain specific difficulties in mastering written Russian.

RUSS GU4910 Literary Translation. 4 points.

Prerequisites: four years of college Russian or the equivalent.

Workshop in literary translation from Russian into English focusing on the practical problems of the craft. Each student submits a translation of a literary text for group study and criticism. The aim is to produce translations of publishable quality.

Fall 2018: RUSS GU4910
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 4910 001/76368 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
709 Hamilton Hall
Ronald Meyer 4 6/12

Russian Literature (In English)

RUSS UN3220 Literature and Empire: The Reign of the Novel in Russia (19th Century) [In English]. 3 points.

Explores the aesthetic and formal developments in Russian prose, especially the rise of the monumental 19th-century novel, as one manifestation of a complex array of national and cultural aspirations, humanistic and imperialist ones alike. Works by Pushkin, Lermonotov, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. Knowledge of Russian not required.

RUSS UN3221 Literature & Revolution [In English]. 3 points.

The revolutionary period (1905-1938) in Russia was not only one of extreme social upheaval but also of exceptional creativity. Established ideas about individuality and collectivity, about how to depict reality, about language, gender, authority, and violence, were all thrown open to radical questioning. Out of this chaos came ideas about literature and film (just for example) which have shaped Western thought on these subjects to this day. In this course we will study a variety of media and genres (poetry, manifestos, film, painting, photomontage, the novel, theoretical essays) in an effort to gain a deep understanding of this complex and fascinating period in Russian cultural history.

Spring 2019: RUSS UN3221
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 3221 001/66583 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Jessica Merrill 3 18/40

RUSS UN3222 Tolstoy and Dostoevsky [In English]. 3 points.

Two epic novels, Tolstoy's War and Peace and Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, will be read along with selected shorter works. Other works by Tolstoy include his early Sebastopol Sketches, which changed the way war is represented in literature; Confession, which describes his spiritual crisis; the late stories "Kreutzer Sonata" and "Hadji Murad"; and essays on capital punishment and a visit to a slaughterhouse. Other works by Dostoevsky include his fictionalized account of life in Siberian prison camp, The House of the Dead; Notes from the Underground, his philosophical novella on free will, determinism, and love; "A Gentle Creature," a short story on the same themes; and selected essays from Diary of a Writer. The focus will be on close reading of the texts. Our aim will be to develop strategies  for appreciating the structure and form, the powerful ideas, the engaging storylines, and the human interest in the writings of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. No knowledge of Russian is required.

Spring 2019: RUSS UN3222
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 3222 001/77182 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Liza Knapp 3 69/80

RUSS UN3223 Magical Mystery Tour: The Legacy of Old Rus'. 3 points.

Winston Churchill famously defined Russia as "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." This course aims at demystifying Russia by focusing on the core of its "otherness" in the eyes of the West: its religious culture. We will explore an array of texts, practices and pragmatic sites of Russian religious life across such traditional divides as medieval and modern, popular and elite, orthodox and heretical. Icons, liturgical rituals, illuminated manuscripts, magic amulets, religious sects, feasting and fasting, traveling practices from pilgrimages to tourism, politcial myths and literary mystification, decadent projects of life-creation, and fervent anticipation of the End are all part of the tour that is as illuminating as it is fun. No knowledge of Russian required.

RUSS GU4006 Russian Religious Thought, Praxis, and Literature. 3 points.

This course examines the interaction of religious thought, praxis, and literature in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As the Russian Empire sought to define it place in the world, many Russian writers and thinkers turned to religious experience as a source of meaning. A varied body of work emerged as they responded to the tradition of Russian Orthodoxy. The goals of this course are to acquaint students with key texts of Russian religious thought and to give students the knowledge and tools required for critical inquiry into the religious dimension of Russian literature and culture.

RUSS GU4013 Late Tolstoy (Beyond Anna Karenina): Thinker, Writer, Activist, Pacifist, Humanitarian, and Mortal. 4 points.

The focus of the course is Tolstoy's work in the last 35 years of his life. On finishing War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Tolstoy swore off the kind of literature and decided to devote himself to what he believed would be more meaningful work. This work included confessions, letters, tracts, critiques, proclamations, invectives, exposes, meditations, and gospel, and as more fiction, some of which is overly didactic and some which is, like his earlier fiction, more covertly so. 

RUSS GU4107 Russian Literature and Culture in the New Millennium. 3 points.

Survey of Russian literature and culture from the late 1970s until today. Works by Petrushevskaya, Pelevin, Tolstaya, Sorokin, Ulitskaya, Akunin, Rubinshtein, Prigov, Vasilenko, and others. Literature, visual art, and film are examined in social and political context. Knowledge of Russian not required.

Fall 2018: RUSS GU4107
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 4107 001/01308 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
111 Milstein Center
Holly Myers 3 9/30

RUSS GU4453 Women and Resistance in Russia. 3 points.

Cultural and political history of women and resistance in Russia, from the Putin era to medieval saints. Explores forms and specificity of female resistance in Russia across history. Addresses questions of historical narrative in light of missing sources. Material includes: prose by Svetlana Alexievich, Lydia Chukovskaya, Lidiya Ginzburg, Alexandra Kollontai, Masha Gessen, Anna Politkovskaia, and Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova; poetry by Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva and Sophia Parnok; films by Kira Muratova; visual art by Natalia Goncharova and fellow “amazons” of the Russia Avant Garde, together with memoirs, saint’s lives, letters, diaries, and urban legend. Final project: curating a museum exhibit.


Prerequisites: Open to undergraduate and graduate students. No Russian required for the undergraduate students. Graduate students are expected to do the readings in Russian.

Spring 2019: RUSS GU4453
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 4453 001/29530 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Valentina Izmirlieva 3 13/40

RUSS GU4910 Literary Translation. 4 points.

Prerequisites: four years of college Russian or the equivalent.

Workshop in literary translation from Russian into English focusing on the practical problems of the craft. Each student submits a translation of a literary text for group study and criticism. The aim is to produce translations of publishable quality.

Fall 2018: RUSS GU4910
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 4910 001/76368 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
709 Hamilton Hall
Ronald Meyer 4 6/12

Russian Literature

RUSS UN3332 Vvedenie v russkuiu literaturu: Scary Stories. 3 points.

For non-native speakers of Russian.

Prerequisites: two years of college Russian or the instructor's permission.

The course is devoted to the reading, analysis, and discussion of a number of Russian prose fiction works from the eighteenth to twentieth century. Its purpose is to give students an opportunity to apply their language skills to literature. It will teach students to read Russian literary texts as well as to talk and write about them. Its goal is, thus, twofold: to improve the students' linguistic skills and to introduce them to Russian literature and literary history. A close study in the original of the "scary stories" in Russian literature from the late eighteenth century. Conducted in Russian.

Fall 2018: RUSS UN3332
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 3332 001/17453 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
501 Hamilton Hall
Irina Reyfman 3 6/18

RUSS UN3333 Vvedenie v russkuiu literaturu: Poor Liza, Poor Olga, Poor Me. 3 points.

For non-native speakers of Russian.Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

Prerequisites: two years of college Russian or the instructor's permission.

The course is devoted to the reading, analysis, and discussion of a number of Russian prose fiction works from the eighteenth to twentieth century. Its purpose is to give students an opportunity to apply their language skills to literature. It will teach students to read Russian literary texts as well as to talk and write about them. Its goal is, thus, twofold: to improve the students’ linguistic skills and to introduce them to Russian literature and literary history. In 2007-2008: A close study in the original of the “fallen woman” plot in Russian literature from the late eighteenth century. Conducted in Russian.

RUSS GU4332 Chteniia po russkoi literaturu: Gogol. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Three years of college Russian and the instructor's permission.

The course is devoted to reading shorter works by Nikolai Gogol. The syllabus includes a selection of stories from Evenings at a Farm near Dikanka and Mirgorod, “Nevsky Prospect,” “The Overcoat,” “Nose,” and “Petersburg Tales,” and The Inspector General.

Spring 2019: RUSS GU4332
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 4332 001/99781 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Irina Reyfman 3 15/18

RUSS GU4338 Chteniia po russkoi literature: Voina i mir. 3 points.

The course is devoted to reading and discussing of Tolstoy's masterpiece. Classes are conducted entirely in Russian.

RUSS GU4344 Chteniia po russkoi kul'ture: Advanced Russian Through History. 3 points.

Prerequisites: RUSS UN3101 and RUSS UN3102 Third-Year Russian I and II, or placement test.

A language course designed to meet the needs of those foreign learners of Russian as well as heritage speakers who want to develop further their reading, speaking, and writing skills and be introduced to the history of Russia.

Fall 2018: RUSS GU4344
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 4344 001/04772 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Ll018 Milstein Center
Vasily Lvov 3 9

RUSS GU4345 Chteniia po russkoi kul'ture: Advanced Russian Through History. 3 points.

Prerequisites: three years of Russian.

This is a language course designed to meet the needs of those foreign learners of Russian as well as heritage speakers who want to further develop their reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills and be introduced to the history of Russia.

Slavic Culture

SLCL UN3001 Slavic Cultures. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

The history of Slavic peoples - Russians, Czechs, Poles, Serbs, Croats, Ukrainians, Bulgarians - is rife with transformations, some voluntary, some imposed. Against the background of a schematic external history, this course examines how Slavic peoples have responded to and have represented these transformations in various modes: historical writing, hagiography, polemics, drama and fiction, folk poetry, music, visual art, and film. Activity ranges over lecture (for historical background) and discussion (of primary sources).

Fall 2018: SLCL UN3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SLCL 3001 001/77189 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
702 Hamilton Hall
Alan Timberlake 3 61/96

SLCL UN3100 Folklore Past and Present: From Slavic Vampires to Urban Legends. 3 points.

For the past two centuries, writers, composers, and artists have found inspiration in the stories, songs, and beliefs of their grandparents, their servants (or their slaves), and their neighbors. This class asks what “folklore” means and what purposes – political as well as artistic – it can serve. Our focus will be traditional, oral Slavic folk genres, but we will also look at contemporary American folklore. Folklore is characterized by repetition and variation; the oral texts we find in books have been extracted from their original context and framed as such. Collecting folklore from fellow students or in the communities around campus will allow you to experience how this happens firsthand. The course will cover a variety of genres of oral folklore -- riddles, spells, fairy tales, epics and folksongs. We will also examine the way that Slavic and Eastern European folklore has been readapted in “high” art genres such as literature and ballet. By the end of the semester, students will be able to recognize patterns and interpret meanings of traditional folkloric genres, and to acquire the tools and techniques necessary for collecting, documenting and interpreting contemporary folklore. Assignments will also allow students to improve skills of textual analysis and analytic, and creative writing. 

Fall 2018: SLCL UN3100
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SLCL 3100 001/71947 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
406 Hamilton Hall
Jessica Merrill 3 8/40

HNGR GU4028 Modern Hungarian Prose in Translation: Exposing Naked Reality. 3 points.

This course introduces students to representative examples of an essentially robust, reality-bound, socially aware literature. In modern Hungarian prose fiction, the tradition of nineteenth-century "anecdotal realism" remained strong and was further enlivened by various forms of naturalism. Even turn-of-the century and early twentieth-century modernist fiction is characterized by strong narrative focus, psychological realism, and an emphasis on social conditions and local color. During the tumultuous decades of the century, social, political, national issues preoccupied even aesthetics-conscious experimenters and ivory-tower dwellers. Among the topics discussed will be "populist" and "urban" literature in the interwar years, post-1945 reality in fiction, literary memoirs and reportage, as well as late-century minimalist and postmodern trends.

HNGR GU4050 The Hungarian New Wave: Cinema in Kadarist Hungary [In English]. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

Hungarian cinema, like film-making in Czechoslovakia, underwent a renaissance in the 1960's, but the Hungarian new wave continued to flourish in the 70's and film remained one of the most important art forms well into the 80's. This course examines the cultural, social and political context of representative Hungarian films of the Kadarist period, with special emphasis on the work of such internationally known filmmakers as Miklos Jancso, Karoly Makk, Marta Meszaros, and Istvan Szabo. In addition to a close analysis of individual films, discussion topics will include the "newness"of the new wave in both form and content (innovations in film language, cinematic impressionism, allegorical-parabolic forms, auteurism, etc.), the influence of Italian, French, German and American cinema, the relationship between film and literature, the role of film in the cultures of Communist Eastern Europe, the state of contemporary Hungarian cinema. The viewing of the films will be augmented by readings on Hungarian cinema, as well as of relevant Hungarian literary works.

Slavic Literatures

SLLT GU4000 EURASIAN EXILES & LIT IN N.Y.. 3 points.

Eurasian Exiles and Literature in New York examines Eurasian exile literature in the United States and especially New York over the course of four emigration waves: so called Second Wave writers who fled the Russian Revolution (Vladimir Nabokov), the Third Wave exiles, who came after World War II (Joseph Brodsky and Sergei Dovlatov), the exile literature of the last Soviet generation who came as refugees in the late 1970s and early 1980s (Gary Shteyngart, Irina Reyn), and the perestroika and post-Soviet diaspora, who came to New York after 1991. All four waves drew upon a rich Russian cultural heritage and influences that they encountered abroad to create innovative work: new topoi and urban fiction as well as unique images of New York. All four have complicated and fascinating engagements with American society and the cultures of New York City, and also with the Russian and Eurasian émigré communities, vibrant worlds unto themselves. The initial waves drew mainly on East European themes and were still attached to Russia while the latter were increasingly concerned with non-Russian nationalities like Bukharan Jews, Georgians, and Tajiks. The course looks closely and critically at the meanings of “exile” and “Eurasia,” as well as the poetics of exilic and urban writing; it asks whether we can still speak of exiles and exile fiction in the postSoviet age of globalization, social media, and unprecedented migration.

Ukrainian Language and Literature 

UKRN UN1101 Elementary Ukrainian I. 3 points.

Designed for students with little or no knowledge of Ukrainian. Basic grammar structures are introduced and reinforced, with equal emphasis on developing oral and written communication skills. Specific attention to acquisition of high-frequency vocabulary and its optimal use in real-life settings.

Fall 2018: UKRN UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
UKRN 1101 001/21245 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
351a International Affairs Bldg
Yuri Shevchuk 3 5/12

UKRN UN1102 Elementary Ukrainian II. 3 points.

Designed for students with little or no knowledge of Ukrainian. Basic grammar structures are introduced and reinforced, with equal emphasis on developing oral and written communication skills. Specific attention to acquisition of high-frequency vocabulary and its optimal use in real-life settings.

Spring 2019: UKRN UN1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
UKRN 1102 001/22582 M W Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
351a International Affairs Bldg
Yuri Shevchuk 3 1/12

UKRN UN2101 Intermediate Ukrainian I. 3 points.

Prerequisites: UKRN UN1102 or the equivalent.

Reviews and reinforces the fundamentals of grammar and a core vocabulary from daily life. Principal emphasis is placed on further development of communicative skills (oral and written). Verbal aspect and verbs of motion receive special attention.

Fall 2018: UKRN UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
UKRN 2101 001/12663 Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Yuri Shevchuk 3 1/12
UKRN 2101 001/12663 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
352b International Affairs Bldg
Yuri Shevchuk 3 1/12

UKRN UN2102 Intermediate Ukrainian II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: UKRN UN1102 or the equivalent.

Reviews and reinforces the fundamentals of grammar and a core vocabulary from daily life. Principal emphasis is placed on further development of communicative skills (oral and written). Verbal aspect and verbs of motion receive special attention.

Spring 2019: UKRN UN2102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
UKRN 2102 001/76090 M T W Th 10:10am - 11:25am
351a International Affairs Bldg
Yuri Shevchuk 3 0/12

UKRN GU4001 Advanced Ukrainian I. 3 points.

Prerequisites: UKRN UN2102 or the equivalent.

The course is for students who wish to develop their mastery of Ukrainian. Further study of grammar includes patterns of word formation, participles, gerunds, declension of numerals, and a more in-depth study of difficult subjects, such as verbal aspect and verbs of motion. The material is drawn from classical and contemporary Ukrainian literature, press, electronic media, and film. Taught almost exclusively in Ukrainian.

Fall 2018: UKRN GU4001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
UKRN 4001 001/20330 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Yuri Shevchuk 3 0/12

UKRN GU4002 Advanced Ukrainian II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: UKRN UN2102 or the equivalent.

The course is for students who wish to develop their mastery of Ukrainian. Further study of grammar includes patterns of word formation, participles, gerunds, declension of numerals, and a more in-depth study of difficult subjects, such as verbal aspect and verbs of motion. The material is drawn from classical and contemporary Ukrainian literature, press, electronic media, and film. Taught almost exclusively in Ukrainian.

Spring 2019: UKRN GU4002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
UKRN 4002 001/26731 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
310 Knox Hall
Yuri Shevchuk 3 0/12

UKRN GU4033 Early Modernism in Ukrainian Literature. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

The course focuses on the rise of modernism in Ukrainian literature in the late 19th century and early 20th century, a period marked by a vigorous, often biting polemic between the populist Ukrainian literary establishment and young Ukrainian writers who were inspired by their European counterparts. Students will read prose, poetry, and drama written by Ivan Franko, the writers of the Moloda Musa, Olha Kobylianska, Lesia Ukrainka, and Volodymyr Vynnychenko among others. The course will trace the introduction of urban motifs and settings, as well as decadence, into Ukrainian literature and analyze the conflict that ensued among Ukrainian intellectuals as they forged the identity of the Ukrainian people. The course will be supplemented by audio and visual materials reflecting this period in Ukrainian culture. Entirely in English with a parallel reading list for those who read Ukrainian.

UKRN GU4037 The Aura of Soviet Ukrainian Modernism. 3 points.

This course studies the renaissance in Ukrainian culture of the 1920s - a period of revolution, experimentation, vibrant expression and polemics. Focusing on the most important developments in literature, as well as on the intellectual debates they inspired, the course will also examine the major achievements in Ukrainian theater, visual art and film as integral components of the cultural spirit that defined the era. Additionally, the course also looks at the subsequent implementation of the socialist realism and its impact on Ukrainian culture and on the cultural leaders of the renaissance. The course treats one of the most important periods of Ukrainian culture and examines it lasting impact on today's Ukraine. This period produced several world-renowned cultural figures, whose connections with the 1920s Ukraine have only recently begun to be discussed. The course will be complemented by film screenings, presentations of visual art and rare publications from this period. Entirely in English with a parallel reading list for those who read Ukrainian.

UKRN GU4054 Creating Identity in Contemporary Ukrainian Culture. 3 points.

This course presents and examines post-Soviet Ukrainian literature.  Students will learn about the significant achievements, names, events, scandals and polemics in contemporary Ukrainian literature and will see how they have contributed to Ukraine’s post-Soviet identity.  Students will examine how Ukrainian literature became an important site for experimentation with language, for providing feminist perspectives, for engaging previously-banned taboos and for deconstructing Soviet and Ukrainian national myths.  Among the writers to be focused on in the course are Serhiy Zhadan, Yuri Andrukhovych, Oksana Zabuzhko and Taras Prokhasko. Centered on the most important successes in literature, the course will also explore key developments in music and visual art of this period. Special focus will be given to how the 2013/2014 Euromaidan revolution and war are treated in today’s literature. By also studying Ukrainian literature with regards to its relationship with Ukraine’s changing political life, students will obtain a good understanding of the dynamics of today’s Ukraine and the development of Ukrainians as a nation in the 21st century. The course will be complemented by audio and video presentations. Entirely in English with a parallel reading list for those who read Ukrainian.

Spring 2019: UKRN GU4054
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
UKRN 4054 001/11482 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
709 Hamilton Hall
Mark Andryczyk 3 2/18