Courses

Students Participating In A Russian Music Cultural Event

Whether you are just beginning the study of Russian, seeking to improve your proficiency in the language, or want to delve into Russian culture in English, we offer a full slate of courses to help you meet your goal every semester. Studying Russian and the Russians will open up a new way of looking at the world, introduce you to a fascinating culture, and prepare you for interesting job opportunities in government, academia, and the private sector. In our program, you will have multiple courses with both individual faculty members and other students, which will allow you to become part of a close intellectual community.

Courses offered every fall semester

RU 10101 – Beginning Russian I

Develops students’ skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing while also fostering an appreciation for Russian culture. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of basic structures, vocabulary, and sound systems. Students will be encouraged to use their language skills to communicate and interact in a variety of situations and contexts. 4 credits; meets 3 days a week.

RU 20101 – Intermediate Russian I

This is the first half of a 2-semester review of Russian grammar designed to facilitate a near-native proficiency with the form and function of Russian nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Exceptional forms are stressed, and reading selections on contemporary Russian life and excerpts from literature are employed to improve comprehension and build conversational and writing skills. Open to students who have completed RU 10102 or have placed into the course via online placement exam. 3 credits.

RU 40101 – Advanced Russian I

The first half of a year-long course designed to significantly improve students’ comprehension and self-expression skills in Russian, serving as a preparation for Russian literature courses in the original. The course will include an intensive review of Russian grammar; Russian stylistics, syntax, and grammar at the advanced level; reading and analysis of a wide range of 19th-century Russian literary texts; writing essays in Russian; and extensive work on vocabulary building and advanced conversation skills. Open to students who have completed RU 20102. 3 credits.

Courses offered every spring semester

RU 10102 – Beginning Russian II

Continuation of Beginning Russian I. Develops students’ skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing while also fostering an appreciation for Russian culture. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of basic structures, vocabulary, and sound systems. Students will be encouraged to use their language skills to communicate and interact in a variety of situations and contexts. Open to students who have completed RU 10101 or have placed into the course via online placement exam. 4 credits; meets 3 days a week. 

RU 20102 – Intermediate Russian II

This is the second half of a 2-semester review of Russian grammar designed to facilitate a near-native proficiency with the form and function of Russian nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Exceptional forms are stressed, and reading selections on contemporary Russian life and excerpts from literature are employed to improve comprehension and build conversational and writing skills. Open to students who have completed RU 20201 or have placed into the course via online placement exam. 3 credits.

RU 40102 – Advanced Russian II

This is the second half of a year-long course designed to significantly improve students’ comprehension and self-expression skills in Russian, serving as a preparation for Russian literature courses in the original. The course will include an intensive review of Russian grammar; Russian stylistics, syntax, and grammar at the advanced level; reading and analysis of a wide range of 20th-century Russian literary texts (including fiction, poetry, interviews, songs, and newspaper materials); writing essays in Russian; and extensive work on vocabulary building and advanced conversation skills. Open to students who have completed RU 40102. 3 credits.

Fall 2021 courses taught in Russian

RU 22103 – Intermediate Russian Tutorial (Sabina Iusupova)

Students work with a native speaker in small groups of 2 or 3 to activate and intensively practice the material covered in Intermediate Russian II. Although this course focuses on all modes of language learning — speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural proficiency — particular emphasis is given to improving students’ speaking abilities. 1 credit. Open to students who are concurrently enrolled in RU 20102, or with permission of instructor.

RU 42101 – Advanced Russian Tutorial (Sabina Iusupova)

Students work with a native speaker in small groups to activate and intensively practice the material covered in Advanced Russian I. Although this course focuses on all modes of language learning (speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural proficiency), particular emphasis is given to improving students’ speaking abilities. 1 credit. Open to students who are concurrently enrolled in RU 40101, or with permission of instructor.

RU 43102 – Twentieth-Century Russian Literature Survey (David Gasperetti)

This course surveys the generic richness, stylistic innovation, and political intrusion into literature that defined Russian literary culture in the first six decades of the twentieth century. It introduces such movements/periods as Symbolism, Acmeism, Futurism, the “fellow travelers,” socialist realism, and the “thaw.” Readings, discussions, and written assignments are in Russian and English. 3 credits. Open to students who have completed RU 40102, or with permission of instructor. Counts for WKLI, WKLC.

Fall 2021 courses taught in English

RU 30113 / RU 10113 – Russia in Revolution (Thomas Marullo)

What happens when a country abandons a 300-year way of life, enters into repeated revolution and war, seeks heaven-on-earth, but achieves inferno and hell? Even more contradictory, perhaps, what happens when, at the same time, this country so revamps literature, film, painting, and dance that it leads the arts in Europe in the beginning of the 20th century? Russia in Revolution (1890-1925) is an interdisciplinary, multimedia course on Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Topics to be considered are the dynamics of revolution and war; the form and function of utopia and dystopia; the nature of imprisonment, liberation and exile; and the nostalgia for Imperial Russia and the dismay of the new Soviet state. A crucial component will be the tie of literature to film, painting, and dance in the critique of fin de siecle modernity and its implications for humankind. 3 credits. Counts for WKLI.

RU 30355 – From Rasputin to Putin (Semion Lyandres)

This lecture course examines some of the most important events, ideas, and personalities that shaped the late Imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet period of Russian history during the last one hundred years: from the outbreak of the First World War and the Revolutions of 1905 and 1917 through the Great Terror of the 1930s, the experience of the Second World War and the emergence of the Soviet Empire, late Stalinism and post-Stalinist developed or mature socialism, the collapse of communist rule and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, as well as Russia’s uneasy transition “out of Totalitarianism” and into Putin’s authoritarianism during the first 14 years of the 21st century. The course is designed for history majors as well as for students in other disciplines with or without a background in modern Russian and East European history. 3 credits. Counts for WKHI.

RU 30475 – Medieval & Early Modern Russia (Alexander Martin)

This course will examine the history of Russia from its medieval origins until the age of Catherine the Great in the 18th century. We will begin with the genesis of Orthodox Slavic civilization in medieval Kievan Rus and that state’s destruction in the Mongol invasion. Then we will study the rise of the tsardom of Muscovy and the fateful developments that nearly doomed it in the 16th-17th centuries: the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the Time of Troubles, the imposition of serfdom, the schism of the Orthodox Church, and widespread popular revolts. Lastly, we will see how Peter the Great and his 18th-century successors attempted to stabilize the social order, Westernize the upper classes, and make Russia a great European power. 3 credits. Counts for WKHI.

RU 40003 – Tour Across Russia (Sabina Iusupova)

This course surveys modern Russian traditions and culture and is open to students without any prior background in Russian. 1 credit.