Russian Department

About the Majors

Russian Language and Literature

Department/Program Description

The major in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies (REES) is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of contemporary Russian culture and society, its history, its political and economic institutions, and its place in the world. Students are strongly encouraged to spend a semester or a summer in Russia. At the end of their studies students should have achieved an advanced level of fluency in the language and should be able to work with Russian sources to conduct original research in their chosen area of specialization. They should be able to read or watch Russian media and understand the historical and cultural references that frame Russians' understanding of their world. Students should also have a basic familiarity with the historical, cultural, social, and political developments of the other post-Soviet states beyond Russia and have the opportunity to explore these countries in more detail if they so desire. The major prepares students for careers in research and cultural analysis, education, law, artistic production, diplomacy and public service, business, and communication.To be accepted into the program, students must have a minimum overall average of B in courses related to the major.

Student Learning Goals

The Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies (REES) major is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of contemporary Russian culture and society, its history, its political and economic institutions, and its place in the world. Students are strongly encouraged to spend a semester or a summer in Russia. At the end of their studies, students should have achieved an advanced level of fluency in the language and should be able to work with Russian sources to conduct original research in their chosen area of specialization. They should be able to read or watch Russian media and understand the historical and cultural references that frame Russians' understanding of the world. Students should also have a basic familiarity with the historical, cultural, social, and political developments of the other post-Soviet states beyond Russia and have the opportunity to explore these countries in more detail if they so desire. The major prepares students for careers in research and cultural analysis, education, law, artistic production, diplomacy and public service, business, and communication.

Major Requirements

There are two possible concentrations in the REES major.

  • Language, literature, and culture. Majors must complete three years of college-level Russian or the equivalent, as well as five more courses, three of which must be in literature or culture, one of which must be in either politics and economics or history and religion, and one of which must be either a course or a full-credit tutorial conducted in Russian. If a student places out of one or more semesters of language, he or she must take enough courses in REES to add up to a total of 11. For example, a student who places out of two semesters of first-year Russian would take four more semesters of language plus seven more courses.
  • Social sciences. Majors must complete two years of college-level Russian or the equivalent, as well as seven more courses chosen in consultation with an advisor. These courses must include at least one in the category of politics and economics, one in the category of history and religion, and one in the category of literature and culture. If a student places out of one or more semesters of language, he or she must take enough courses in REES to add up to a total of 11. For example, a student who places out of two semesters of first-year Russian would take two semesters of language plus nine more courses.

REES Courses

Politics and Economics

GOVT274 Russian Politics 1
History and Religion
HIST218 Imperial Russia, 1682-1917 1
HIST219 Russian and Soviet History, 1881 to the Present 1
RELI299 Imagining Communities: National Religions and Political Rituals 1
Literature and Culture in English
RUSS205 Murder and Adultery: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the 19th-Century Russian Novel 1
RUSS206 A Matter of Life and Death: Fiction in the Soviet Era 1
RUSS222 Dr. Jekyll vs. Dr. Frankenstein: Doubles in Literature 1
RUSS232 Life into Art: Joyce, Woolf, Nabokov 1
RUSS240 Reading Stories: Great Short Works from Tolstoy to Petrushevskaya 1
RUSS251 Dostoevsky 1
RUSS252 Tolstoy 1
RUSS255 Empire, Love, and War: 20th-Century Novels from Central and Eastern Europe 1
RUSS263 Nabokov and Cultural Synthesis 1
RUSS277 Gogol and His Legacy: Witches, Con Men, and Runaway Noses 1
THEA214 Theater of Anton Chekhov: Research, Analysis, and Performance 1
Literature in Russian
RUSS209 The Fantastic: Hoffmann and Gogol (Russian) 1
RUSS250 Pushkin 1
RUSS260 Dostoevsky's BRAT'IA KARAMAZOVY 1
Language
RUSS101
RUSS102
Elementary Russian I
and Elementary Russian II
3
RUSS201
RUSS202
Intermediate Russian I
and Intermediate Russian II
2
RUSS301
RUSS302
Third-Year Russian I
and Third-Year Russian II
2

Study Abroad

Majors are strongly encouraged to participate in either a summer or a semester program of study in Russia, for which academic credit will be given. Students may study in Eastern Europe or Central Asia as long as the program includes a language component. For a semester of study abroad on an approved program, four credits will count toward graduation, of which two will count toward the REES major. For a summer of study abroad on an approved program, two credits will count toward graduation, of which one will count toward the REES major.

Honors

To qualify to receive honors or high honors in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies (REES), a student must write a senior thesis that will be evaluated by a committee consisting of the tutor, a second reader from the REES faculty, and one additional reader either from REES or from the faculty at large. This committee makes the final decision on departmental honors. Only a two-semester senior thesis may be submitted for honors in REES.