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.

All of the courses listed on this page count towards Notre Dame’s Globally Engaged Citizens Program. For more information, visit the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures website

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.

Spring 2023 courses taught in Russian

RU 10001 – Introduction to Russian (Sabina Iusupova)

This one-credit class is designed to prepare students for an easy transition into our Beginning Russian I course, which is offered in the fall. By the end of the semester, students will 1) use the Cyrillic alphabet with confidence, 2) understand the fundamentals of Russian phonetics and grammar, and 3) be able to speak and write briefly about their personal and university biographies. The course will be scheduled to accommodate student schedules. 1 credit.

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. Open to students who are concurrently enrolled in RU 20102, or with permission of instructor. 1 credit.

RU 42103 – 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. Open to students who are concurrently enrolled in RU 40101, or with permission of instructor. 1 credit.

RU 43610 – Contemporary Russian Culture (Emily Wang)

In this course, we will develop speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills by studying late and post-Soviet culture from an interdisciplinary range of perspectives: film, literary texts, historical writings and lectures from contemporary Russian academics, and newspaper articles. It should prepare students for advanced work in Russian in the area of their choosing. A regular number of class sessions will be devoted to either recent news articles or materials related to students' personal interests. 3 credits. Counts for WKLC and WKAL.

Spring 2023 courses taught in English

RU 20355 – Rasputin to Putin (Semion Lyandres)

This lecture course examines some of the most important events, ideas, and personalities that shaped late Imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet periods 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 the 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 fourteen years of the twentieth-first century. The course is designed for history majors as well as for students in other disciplines with or without background in modern Russian and East European history. 3 credits. 

RU 30357 - Shadow of the Empire in Cinema (Tetyana Shlikhar)

Over the last two decades of Putin’s presidency, Russia’s geopolitical strength and imperial ambition were placed at the center of Russia’s political line. Military incursions in the neighboring countries have expanded Russia’s territorial claims and reasserted its aspirations to former Soviet spheres of influence. While Russian identity continued to be imperial after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Ukrainians set off on a journey of building their national identity. The course considers how post-Soviet cinema revives tropes and aesthetic tendencies of the earlier periods, such as stark depictions of the self and Other, spiritual superiority and monumentalism, as well as updates them for a contemporary context. The class explores the Putin-era Russian cinema and Ukrainian national cinema of the last two decades in the light of the common past that these two countries share and how the past is reshaped for the present. No previous knowledge of Russian is required, the course is taught fully in English. 3 credits. Counts for WKAL.

RU 33201 – Dostoevsky (Thomas Marullo)

“Dostoevsky: Crime, Punishment, and Redemption (in English)” is an intensive, in-depth survey of the major long and short fiction of one of the world's greatest and most provocative writers. Topics to be discussed include: the evolution of the Dostoevskian hero and heroine within the context of the writer's fiction, as well as within the social and literary polemics of the age; the content and method of both "urban" and "psychological" realism; the interplay of "patriarchal,” "matriarchal," and "messianic" voices; the dynamics of Russian soul and soil; the conflict between city and country, "old" and "new," Russia and the West; the influence of the "saint's tale," the "family chronicle," the "detective story," and the genres of journalism and drama on Dostoevsky's writing; and, the writer's political, theological, and epistemological visions, in particular, his distrust of cults, social utopias, and man-gods; his insights into aberrant human behavior (co-dependency, sadomasochism, and sexual perversion); and his endorsement of Pauline mysticism. 3 credits. Counts for WKAL and LIT.