2017-18 Catalog

Russian

Students may complete a major or minor in Russian.

Faculty

Bella Grigoryan, Assistant Professor of Russian
Timothy Harte, Chair and Associate Professor of Russian on the Myra T. Cooley Lectureship in Russian
Marina Rojavin, Lecturer
Jesse Stavis, Visiting Assistant Professor
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): Harte,T.
(Fall 2017)

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): Stavis,J.
(Spring 2018)

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): Grigoryan,B.
(Fall 2017)

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): Grigoryan,B.
(Spring 2018)

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 2017)

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 2018)

RUSS B206 Dostoevsky in Translation
This course provides a dynamic and comprehensive survey of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s career. We will study the formal and thematic dimensions of his works in detail and contextualize his oeuvre in relation to such areas as Russian and European literary, intellectual, cultural, and political history; the relevant secular and religious philosophical traditions and currents; Dostoevsky’s own rather storied biography; his frequently polemical (but always robust) responses to West European cultural and intellectual trends; the reception of his works both in Russia and abroad, and their impact on foundational theoretical approaches to the study of literature broadly and the novel especially. Readings include Notes from Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and a number of celebrated short works. All readings in English translation.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Grigoryan,B.
(Fall 2017)

RUSS B209 Russia and the East: Siberia in Russian Culture
“We are Asians!,” famously declared the Russian poet Aleksandr Blok in 1918. Russian culture has long celebrated the nation’s close ties to the east as well as its ancient eastern heritage. From the time of Genghis Khan and the Mongolian yoke’s invasion of Kievan Rus’ in the 13th century to the present day and Vladimir Putin’s ongoing geopolitical pivot to the east, Russia has grappled with its eastern roots, its vast eastern expanse, and Sino-Russian relations. This course will explore a wide variety of cultural manifestations of Russia’s eastern orientation: Russian philosophy at the turn into the 20th century that emphasized Russia’s eastern, mystical focus; Russian symbolist poetry and prose that amplified Russia’s ties to the East; silent cinema of the 1920s that linked revolution to the East; non-fiction accounts of penal colonies and work camps scattered throughout Siberia (with particular emphasis on the work of Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, Shalamov); late Soviet fiction probing life in rural Siberia; and contemporary Russian fiction that revisits Russia’s eastern mysticism. Exploring Russia’s ties to the East from a variety of historical, artistic, and social perspectives, this course aims to explore Russian culture’s Eurasian essence.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

RUSS B214 Anna Karenina and the Tasks of Literature
This course takes Lev Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina as its centerpiece and most sustained point of interest. We will begin with a few of Tolstoy’s important early works (notably, his Childhood. Boyhood. Youth.), then read Anna Karenina slowly and in detail, identifying its chief formal and thematic characteristics and thinking about the novel’s aesthetics in relation to the ethical questions it raises. These questions traverse a broad range of topics from marital infidelity and legally recognized forms of kinship to a critique of Russian imperial geopolitics and military interventions from a standpoint that prefigures Tolstoy’s late-in-life radical pacifism. Next, we will read three novels (Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin) that, much as they predate Tolstoy’s masterpiece, help us bring the central preoccupations of Anna Karenina into sharper focus. We will conclude the course with Tolstoy’s late short works, a short story by Anton Chekhov, and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, which we will contemplate as a reply to and a potential re-writing of Anna Karenina, since the English modernist famously declared that she had “nearly every scene of Anna Karenina branded in [her.]” All readings in English.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Grigoryan,B.
(Spring 2018)

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 2017-2018)

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 2017-2018)

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 2017-2018)

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
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

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
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

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
Instructor(s): Walsh,I.
(Fall 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
Instructor(s): Harte,T.
(Fall 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
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

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
Instructor(s): Harte,T.
(Spring 2018)

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 2017-2018)

RUSS B342 Russian Culture Today
This seminar focuses on current cultural trends in Russia, with special emphasis on the interplay between various artistic media and post-Soviet Russia’s rapidly developing society. Students will be introduced to contemporary Russian literature, painting, television, film, and music while considering such topics as Russia’s ambiguous attitude toward the West, the rise of violence in Russian society, and Russia’s evaluation of the past. Prerequisite: RUSS 102 or the equivalent.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Walsh,I.
(Fall 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.
(Spring 2018)

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): Walsh,I.
(Spring 2018)

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 2017)

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 2018)

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
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

RUSS B403 Supervised Work
Units: 1.0
(Fall 2017)

FREN B213 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities
By bringing together the study of major theoretical currents of the 20th century and the practice of analyzing literary works in the light of theory, this course aims at providing students with skills to use literary theory in their own scholarship. The selection of theoretical readings reflects the history of theory (psychoanalysis, structuralism, narratology), as well as the currents most relevant to the contemporary academic field: Post-structuralism, Post-colonialism, Gender Studies, and Ecocriticism. They are paired with a diverse range of short stories (Poe, Kafka, Camus, Borges, Calvino, Morrison, Djebar, Ngozi Adichie) that we discuss along with our study of theoretical texts. The class will be conducted in English with an additional hour in French for students wishing to take it for French credit.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Sanquer,M.
(Fall 2017)

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 2017-2018)

RUSS B106 Intensive Survival Russian
This course will be an intensive “crash” course in Russian for those enrolled in the 360 who have no prior experience studying or speaking Russian (those in the 360 who have studied the Russian language in the past will be expected to take a concurrent Russian language course at the College). This course will entail 5 hrs./week of elementary language instruction in Russian, with special emphasis on speaking skills needed for the trip.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)
RUSS B701 Supervised Work
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)