Course requirements for M.A. and Ph. D. students:

Graduate students typically enroll in three graduate-level courses per semester. One of those courses is occasionally an Independent Study, a course at the University of Pennsylvania, or a course in another department at Bryn Mawr. During the course of their studies, students in the Ph.D. program are expected to take Russian 510, 530, 531, 570, and 699; and Psychology 500 or the equivalent. Students in the M.A. program typically take the courses offered during the academic year in which they join the program.

Current Course Information:

In the academic year 2007-08, the following courses are being offered: Russian 547, Qualitative Methods in SLA; Russian 570, The Acquisition of Russian as a Second Language; Russian 699, Seminar in Scholarly Research and Writing; Russian 510, Old Church Slavonic and Old Russian; Russian 542, Russian Culture Today; and Psychology 500; Statistical Methods.

310/510. Old Church Slavonic and Old Russian

This advanced undergraduate/graduate seminar introduces students to the language and literary activities of Kyivan Rus (11th-14th century). Students will gain a reading knowledge of Old Church Slavonic and Old Russian sufficient for close reading and anaylsis of such seminal texts as the earliest translations of the Gospels, the Primary Chronicle, Ilarion’s Sermon on Law and Grace, the legend of Boris and Gleb, and others. The political and cultural background of the period will be addressed. Graduate students will be expected to complete additional assignments. Conducted in Russian and English. (Davidson)

330/530. The Structure of Modern Russian I: Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology

This seminar introduces advanced undergraduates and graduate students to the linguistic structure of contemporary standard Russian. Topics to be discussed include theoretical and practical issues in the description of Russian phonology, phonetics and intonation; verbal and nominal morphology; and accentuation. Graduate students will be expected to complete additional assignments. Conducted primarily in Russian. Followed by Russian 331/531. (staff)

331/531. The Structure of Modern Russian II: Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics

This seminar is the second half of a two-part seminar sequence focusing on the structure of modern Russian from the point of view of English base-language adult foreign language acquisition. The purpose of the seminar is to familiarize participants with the formal and practical description of Russian and to provide tools for the further analysis of the language in learning or teaching Russian as a foreign language, the analysis of literary texts, and the contrastive study of language systems. The course takes note of changing norms within contemporary standard Russian and is of use to advanced students of the language who seek to systematize and broaden their own mastery of Russian, especially in the areas of aspectual semantics, pragmatics, and inter-cultural pragmatics. Lectures and discussions are conducted in Russian and English, depending on the topic of discussion and the interests and the proficiencies of course participants. (staff)

342/542. 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. Discussions in both Russian and English. Prerequisites: Russian 102 or the equivalent. (Harte)

343/543. Russian Avant-Garde Culture: 1890-1935

This seminar focuses on the radical, “avant-garde” transformations that occurred in Russia culture at the beginning of the twentieth century. Particular emphasis will be placed on how the interaction of artists in a variety of artistic media resulted in one of Russian culture’s most innovative periods. Seminar discussion will cover the painting, poetry, prose, music, ballet, and film produced in Russia between 1890 and 1932. Topics include Russia’s reevaluation of its cultural heritage through neo-primitive art, the Russian avant-garde’s mystical, Eastern underpinnings, the primacy of music for avant-garde artists, and the emergence of abstract, dynamic art. (Harte)

347/547. Qualitative Methods in Second Language Acquisition

This seminar introduces students to qualitative research design and its application in the study of second language acquisition. Considering ethnography as a research paradigm, discussions will critique existing second language acquisition research that is conducted using qualitative methods. This class will also give students an opportunity to apply their theoretical understanding of qualitative methods to the design of their own research project. Prerequisites: Russian 101-102 or above. (staff)

335/535. Intercultural Pragmatics in SLA

Intercultural Pragmatics in SLA examines language use in cross-cultural contexts and the acquisition of conversational Russian. Students will compare the linguistic structure of speech acts in Russian and English, such as requests, commands, apologies, complaints, and threats, and will explore communication and social relationships between learners of Russian and native speakers. Other topics include the pragmatics of gender, body language, and etiquette in Russian. Prerequisites: Russian 101-102 or equivalent is required. (Bain)

360/560. Identity and Second Language Acquisition

This seminar introduces students to the concept of linguistic identity in its relation to other identity facets (i.e. gender, ethnicity, class, and culture) and explores ways in which acquisition of a second language affects self-conception and self-representation. Employing critical discourse analysis students will discuss how second language learners construct their identities through socialization into new speech communities. (Shardakova)

365/565. 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. No previous study of cinema required, although Russian 201 or the equivalent is required. (Harte)

370/570. The Acquisition of Russian as a Second Language

This seminar introduces advanced undergraduate and graduate students to current theoretical and practical issues of Russian second language acquisition. Topics to be discussed include formal and informal learning, measurement of competencies, standards and assessment issues, and cultural aspects of second-language acquisition. Graduate students will be expected to complete additional assignments. Conducted primarily in Russian. (Davidson)

375/575. Language Policy Issues and the Russophone World

This seminar provides a brief general introduction to the study of language policy and language planning in the countries of the world with special emphasis on the Russophone world, the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union. The course begins with a survey of current theoretical approaches to bilingualism and language shift (degrees of bilingualism and multilingualism, types of bilingualism, diglossia; concepts and causes of language shift; the role of mother tongue, second language, and foreign language in this process). The seminar then turns to Soviet language and nationality policy with analysis of published census data from the Soviet period through 1989. The final focus of the seminar will fall on the current "language situation" and policy challenges for the renewal of functioning native languages and cultures and maintenance of essential second language competencies, lingua franca both within the Russian Federation and in the "Near Abroad." (Davidson)

374/574. The Acquisition and Teaching of Russian Language Skills

This seminar explores theories of the cognitive processes underlying the modalities of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in a foreign language. Classes on teaching methods give students an opportunity to apply these theories to the design of lesson plans which would help foreign language students learn and consistently use these skills. This class also addresses other aspects of learning in a formal environment, including classroom testing, assessment, individual learner differences, and learning strategies. (Staff)

699. Seminar in Scholarly Research and Writing

This seminar is intended to enhance graduate students’ abilities to meet the demands of professional scholarship. Students pursue this goal by engaging in four types of activities: 1) exploring in class discussions the theoretical and practical issues pertaining to the conduct of scholarly research raised in Barzun and Graff’s The Modern Researcher; 2) writing weekly commentaries that assess the strengths and weaknesses of published articles drawn from professional journals that treat some topic within the realm of Russian studies; 3) conducting a semester-long research project of their own design and reporting on its results in a professional conference format; and 4) attending weekly individual writing conferences to hone their skills in presenting scholarly ideas with clarity and coherence. (Allen)