This is an introductory language course that emphasizes language proficiency in all four skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing. After the first year, students will be able to discuss most everyday topics; they will learn essentials of Russian grammar and vocabulary. The course also will introduce students to facts about Russian life, culture, history and geography. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Students enrolled in this course will automatically be added to RUSS 112Y for the spring semester. Offered every fall.
The second half of Intensive Introductory Russian places greater emphasis on authentic target-language input (poems, songs, film clips) and student-to-student communication. Students will do groupwork and make formal and informal presentations for their peers while continuing their study of new vocabulary and grammar. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Prerequisite: RUSS 111Y or equivalent. Offered every spring.
In this course, students continue their study of the language, concentrating on the development of oral communication and writing skills. Work for the course will involve regular study of new vocabulary, extensive reading and writing. We will review important aspects of grammar, focusing on communication in a variety of contexts. Students will be introduced to more facts about Russian culture. They will read excerpts from Russian literature. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Students enrolled in this course will automatically be added to RUSS 214Y for the spring semester. Prerequisite: RUSS 111Y–112Y or equivalent. Offered every fall.
The second half of the yearlong course emphasizes reading authentic cultural materials in Russian and student-to-student communication in various formats. Students will work in groups on analytical and creative writing assignments, give presentations, and lead discussions in Russian, developing their oral communication and writing skills. Students will perfect their listening comprehension skills through watching masterpieces of Russian animation and completing assignments and quizzes based on them. They will regularly study new vocabulary and important aspects of grammar, focusing on communication in a variety of contexts. Students will be introduced to more facts about Russian culture, and read excerpts from the nineteenth-century Russian literature. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Prerequisite: RUSS 213Y or equivalent.
The central aim of this course is to introduce students to classic works in prose and poetry of 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature, and to develop their ability to discuss and analyze various genres and individual styles. Lectures and discussions will focus on works by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov. While our emphasis will be on close readings and analysis of individual texts, we will pay special attention to the development of realist aesthetics and to the special role played by literature in Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet society. Though centered on the novel, this course examines various genres and their boundaries: short story, drama and film. This course is taught in English. No prerequisite. Generally offered every three years.
This course introduces students to 20th-century Russian literature. Lectures and discussions will focus on works by Chekhov, Zamyatin, Gorky, Nabokov, Bunin, Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn among others. While our emphasis will be on close readings and analysis of individual texts, we will pay special attention to the artistic conflict resulting from the imposition by the Soviet government of socialist realism. This course examines various genres and their boundaries: novel, drama and short story. This course is taught in English. No prerequisite. Generally offered every other year.
In this course we will meet characters who are overcome with passion, obsession or addiction. We will analyze the dichotomies of rational and irrational, healthy and sick, selfish and selfless in Russian literature and film. In Russian culture irrational behavior at times appears as a form of Occidentalism, a rebellion against the rationality of the West with its perceived lack of spirituality and attachment to comfort. At other times, embracing intoxication and folly reveals the fascination of Russian intellectuals with the Western tradition of Renaissance Humanism. Grades will be based on participation in class discussions, posted questions to our online forum before each class, an analytical term paper and a creative writing project. This course is taught in English. No prerequisite. Offered every three years.
How was it possible that the last Soviet generation did not foresee the collapse of its country, and yet when it happened was not surprised by it? Did the workers of the last two decades before perestroika trade social security for political compliance? What role did nationalism and the process of decolonization play in the country's disintegration? Did the Cold War rivalry precipitate its fall? How successful was someone who came of age during perestroika in embracing market relations? While examining the answers to these questions as provided by anthropologists, political scientists and historians, we will also search for insights from Soviet and Post-Soviet literature and film. The grades will be based on participation in class discussions, questions posted by students on the online forum before each class, two presentations of scholarly articles, an analytical term paper and a creative group project. This course is taught in English. No prerequisite.
This course provides an overview of the most significant trends and periods in the development of Russian cinema and introduces students to main cinematic genres and styles. It will concentrate on three major aspects of cinema as an essential part of Russian culture: (1) cinema as art: major directors and productions; (2) myths of the nation: politics and history in Russian cinema; and (3) self and other: gender, race and ethnicity. New trends in Russian culture also will be considered. The course is taught in English. No prerequisite. Generally offered every other year.
This course provides advanced students of Russian the opportunity to continue their study of the language, concentrating on the development of four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. To strengthen their writing, students will be required to write several essays during the course of the semester. Work for the course will involve regular study of new vocabulary, reading a variety of texts, and writing essays. This course can be repeated for credit up to 1.0 unit with permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: RUSS 213Y–214Y or permission of instructor. Offered every year.
This course is designed to provide advanced students the opportunity to refine and increase their ability to write, read and speak Russian. Students will review grammatical structures and work on developing written and oral proficiency. Readings and class discussions will center on cultural and literary material, Russian print media and occasional films. A strong emphasis will be placed on a comprehensive grammar review, with special attention to typical topics of difficulty. This course can be repeated for credit up to 1.0 unit with permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: RUSS 213Y-214Y. Offered every year.
Tolstoy and Dostoevsky may be Russian literature's best-known ambassadors to the West, but at its heart, Russian literature is a tradition of poetry, not prose. Because this poetry has fared poorly in translation, its rich heritage has remained all but off-limits to the rest of the world. This course will introduce students to Russian lyric poetry by showing its historical development from the late 18th to the 20th century, encompassing both Golden and Silver Ages. We will pay particularly close attention to Pushkin, whose genius is notoriously underappreciated outside Russia. We will weave our way through poetic movements including Symbolism, Acmeism and Futurism, but we will also look beyond these convenient categories in our assessment of the figures who towered above them: Block, Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Mayakovsky, Pasternak and Tsvetaeva. Our day-to-day focus will be on reading, translating, understanding and appreciating Russian poetry. All poetry readings will be in Russian. Prerequisite: RUSS 213Y–214Y or permission of instructor.
This course offers an opportunity to study on an individual basis an area of special interest — literary, cultural or linguistic — under the regular supervision of a faculty member. It is offered primarily to candidates for honors, to majors and, under special circumstances, to potential majors and minors. Individual study is intended to supplement, not to take the place of, regular courses in the curriculum of each language program. Staff limitations restrict this offering to a very few students. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the MLL department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with them, write up a one-page proposal for the IS which must be approved by the department chair before the individual study can go forward. The proposal should specify the schedule of reading and/or writing assignments and the schedule of meeting periods. The amount of work in an IS should approximate that required on average in regular courses of corresponding levels. It is suggested that students begin their planning of an IS well in advance, so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the registrar's deadline. Typically, an IS will earn the student 0.25 or 0.50 units of credit. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet with the instructor one hour per week. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the registrar’s deadline.