Russian

Students may complete a major or minor in Russian.

Faculty

  • Elizabeth Allen, Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature
  • Dan Davidson, Professor of Russian on the Myra T. Cooley Lectureship in Russian and Director of the Russian Language Institute (on leave semester II)
  • Timothy Harte, Chair and Associate Professor of Russian
  • Marina Rojavin, Lecturer
  • Jesse Stavis, Instructor
  • Irina Walsh, Lecturer in Russian

The Russian major is a multidisciplinary program designed to provide students with a broad understanding of Russian culture and the Russophone world. The major places a strong emphasis on the development of functional proficiency in the Russian language. Language study is combined with a specific area of concentration to be selected from the fields of Russian literature, history, economics, language/linguistics, or area studies.

College Foreign Language Requirement

The College’s foreign language requirement may be satisfied by completing RUSS 001 and 002 with an average grade of at least 2.0 or with a grade of 2.0 or better in RUSS 002.

Major Requirements

A total of 10 courses is required to complete the major: two in Russian language at the 200 level or above; four in the area of concentration, two at the 200 level and two at the 300 level or above (for the concentration in area studies, the four courses must be in four different fields); three in Russian fields outside the area of concentration; and either RUSS 398, Senior Essay, or RUSS 399, Senior Conference.

Russian majors have the option of fulfilling the College’s writing requirement through Writing Attentive (WA) courses either through upper-level Russian language courses, where the focus is on writing in Russian, or through 200-level courses on Russian literature (in translation), culture or film, where the focus is on writing in English. Majors also have the option of completing one WA course in Russian and one WA course in English.

Majors are encouraged to pursue advanced language study in Russia in summer, semester, or year-long academic programs. Majors may also take advantage of intensive immersion language courses offered during the summer by the Bryn Mawr Russian Language Institute. As part of the requirement for RUSS 398/399, all Russian majors take senior comprehensive examinations that cover the area of concentration and Russian language competence.

Honors

All Russian majors are considered for departmental honors at the end of their senior year. The awarding of honors is based on a student’s overall academic record and all work done in the major.

Minor Requirements

Students wishing to minor in Russian must complete six units at the 100 level or above, two of which must be in the Russian language.

COURSES

RUSS B001 Elementary Russian Intensive

Study of basic grammar and syntax. Fundamental skills in speaking, reading, writing, and oral comprehension are developed. Eight hours a week including conversation sections and language laboratory work.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.5
Instructor(s): Davidson,D., Stavis,J.
(Fall 2016)

RUSS B002 Elementary Russian Intensive

Study of basic grammar and syntax. Fundamental skills in speaking, reading, writing, and oral comprehension are developed. Eight hours a week including conversation sections and language laboratory work.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.5
Instructor(s): Davidson,D., Stavis,J.
(Spring 2017)

RUSS B101 Intermediate Russian

Continuing development of fundamental skills with emphasis on vocabulary expansion in speaking and writing. Readings in Russian classics and contemporary works. Five hours a week
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Stavis,J.
(Fall 2016)

RUSS B102 Intermediate Russian

Continuing development of fundamental skills with emphasis on vocabulary expansion in speaking and writing. Readings in Russian classics and contemporary works. Five hours a week.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Stavis,J.
(Spring 2017)

RUSS B201 Advanced Russian

Intensive practice in speaking and writing skills using a variety of modern texts and contemporary films and television. Emphasis on self-expression and a deeper understanding of grammar and syntax. Five hours a week.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Walsh,I.
(Fall 2016)

RUSS B202 Advanced Russian

Intensive practice in speaking and writing skills using a variety of modern texts and contemporary films and television. Emphasis on self-expression and a deeper understanding of grammar and syntax. Five hours a week.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Walsh,I.
(Spring 2017)

RUSS B215 Russian Avant-Garde Art, Literature and Film

This course focuses on Russian avant-garde painting, literature and cinema at the start of the 20th century. Moving from Imperial Russian art to Stalinist aesthetics, we explore the rise of non-objective painting (Malevich, Kandinsky, etc.), ground-breaking literature (Bely, Mayakovsky), and revolutionary cinema (Vertov, Eisenstein). No knowledge of Russian required.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B217 The Cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky

This course will probe the cinematic oeuvre of the great Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who produced some of the most compelling, significant film work of the 20th century. Looking at not only Tarkovsky’s films but also those films that influenced his work, we will explore the aesthetics, philosophy, and ideological pressure underlying Tarkovsky’s unique brand of cinema.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B221 The Serious Play of Pushkin and Gogol

This course explores major contributions to the modern Russian literary tradition by its two founding fathers, Aleksander Pushkin and Nikolai Gogol. Comparing short stories, plays, novels, and letters written by these pioneering artists, the course addresses Pushkin’s and Gogol’s shared concerns about human freedom, individual will, social injustice, and artistic autonomy, which each author expressed through his own distinctive filter of humor and playfulness. No knowledge of Russian is required.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B223 Russian and East European Folklore

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to major issues in Russian and East European folklore including epic tales, fairy tales, calendar and life-cycle rituals, and folk beliefs. The course also presents different theoretical approaches to the interpretation of folk texts as well as emphasizes the influence of folklore on literature, music, and art. No knowledge of Russian is required.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B235 The Social Dynamics of Russian

An examination of the social factors that influence the language of Russian conversational speech, including contemporary Russian media (films, television, and the Internet). Basic social strategies that structure a conversation are studied, as well as the implications of gender and education on the form and style of discourse. Prerequisite: RUSS B201, RUSS 102 also required if taken concurrently with RUSS 201.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Davidson,D., Walsh,I.
(Fall 2016)

RUSS B238 Topics: The History of Cinema 1895 to 1945

This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Harte,T.

Spring 2017: Silent Film: From U.S. to Soviet Russia & Beyond. This course will explore cinema from its earliest, most primitive beginnings up to the end of the silent era. While the course will focus on a variety of historical and theoretical aspects of cinema, the primary aim is to look at films analytically. Emphasis will be on the various artistic methods that went into the direction and production of a variety of celebrated silent films from Russia, Germany, the U.S. and elsewhere. These films will be considered in many contexts: artistic, historical, social, and even philosophical, so that students can develop a deeper understanding of silent cinema’s rapid evolution.

RUSS B254 Russian Culture and Civilization

A history of Russian culture—its ideas, its value and belief systems—from the origins to the present that integrates the examination of works of literature, art, and music.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B258 Soviet and Eastern European Cinema of the 1960s

This course examines 1960s Soviet and Eastern European “New Wave” cinema, which won worldwide acclaim through its treatment of war, gender, and aesthetics. Films from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Yugoslavia will be viewed and analyzed, accompanied by readings on film history and theory. All films shown with subtitles; no knowledge of Russian or previous study of film required.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B271 Chekhov: His Short Stories and Plays in Translation

A study of the themes, structure and style of Chekhov’s major short stories and plays. The course will also explore the significance of Chekhov’s prose and drama in the English-speaking world, where this masterful Russian writer is the most staged playwright after Shakespeare. All readings and lectures in English.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Harte,T.
(Fall 2016)

RUSS B277 Nabokov in Translation

A study of Vladimir Nabokov’s writings in various genres, focusing on his fiction and autobiographical works. The continuity between Nabokov’s Russian and English works is considered in the context of the Russian and Western literary traditions. All readings and lectures in English.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B321 The Serious Play of Pushkin and Gogol

This course explores major contributions to the modern Russian literary tradition by its two founding fathers, Aleksander Pushkin and Nikolai Gogol. Comparing short stories, plays, novels, and letters written by these pioneering artists, the course addresses Pushkin’s and Gogol’s shared concerns about human freedom, individual will, social injustice, and artistic autonomy, which each author expressed through his own distinctive filter of humor and playfulness. The course is taught jointly with Russian 221; students enrolled in 321 will meet with the instructor for an additional hour to study texts in the original Russian.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B365 Russian and Soviet Film Culture

This seminar explores the cultural and theoretical trends that have shaped Russian and Soviet cinema from the silent era to the present day. The focus will be on Russia’s films and film theory, with discussion of the aesthetic, ideological, and historical issues underscoring Russia’s cinematic culture. Taught in Russian. No previous study of cinema required, although RUSS 201 or the equivalent is required.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Rojavin,M.
(Fall 2016)

RUSS B375 Language and Identity Politics of Language in Europe and Eurasia

A brief general introduction to the study of language policy and planning with special emphasis on the Russophone world, the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. Surveys current theoretical approaches to bilingualism and language shift. Analyzes Soviet language and nationality policy using published census data for the Soviet period through 1989. Focus on the current “language situation” and policy challenges for the renewal of functioning native languages and cultures and maintenance of essential language competencies, lingua franca, both within the Russian Federation and in the “Near Abroad.”
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B380 Seminar in Russian Studies

An examination of a focused topic in Russian literature such as a particular author, genre, theme, or decade. Introduces students to close reading and detailed critical analysis of Russian literature in the original language. Readings in Russian. Some discussions and lectures in Russian. Prerequisites: RUSS 102 and one 200-level Russian literature course.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Davidson,D., Walsh,I.
(Spring 2017)

RUSS B390 Russian for Pre-Professionals I

This capstone to the overall language course sequence is designed to develop linguistic and cultural proficiency in Russian to the advanced level or higher, preparing students to carry out academic study or research in Russian in a professional field. Suggested Preparation: study abroad in Russia for at least one summer, preferably one semester; and/or certified proficiency levels of ‘advanced-low’ or ‘advanced-mid’ in two skills, one of which must be oral proficiency.
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Rojavin,M.
(Fall 2016)

RUSS B391 Russian for Pre-Professionals II

Second part of year long capstone language sequence designed to develop linguistic and cultural proficiency to the “advanced level,” preparing students to carry out advanced academic study or research in Russian in a professional field. Prerequisite: RUSS 390 or equivalent.
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Rojavin,M.
(Spring 2017)

RUSS B398 Senior Essay

Independent research project designed and conducted under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. May be undertaken in either fall or spring semester of senior year.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Harte,T., Walsh,I.
(Spring 2017)

RUSS B403 Supervised Work

Units: 1.0
(Fall 2016, Spring 2017)

FREN B213 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities

An examination in English of leading theories of interpretation from Classical Tradition to Modern and Post-Modern Time. This is a topics course. Course content varies. Prerequisites: FREN 102 or 105.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Sanquer,M.

Fall 2016: Critic Approaches to the World. This course will be taught in English and focus on works of French feminist, postcolonial and post-structuralist theory. While our primary critical texts will draw from a particular linguistic tradition (namely French), and more or less distinctly circumscribed fields, we will also look at the broader transcultural and translinguistic influences that brought these “schools” into being and, most importantly, what fields of thinking they have subsequently inspired across language traditions.

ITAL B213 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities

An examination in English of leading theories of interpretation from Classical Tradition to Modern and Post-Modern Time. This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B701 Supervised Work

Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Davidson,D.
(Fall 2016)