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Russian and Eurasian Studies

Applicable for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Russian and Eurasian Studies Website

Advisors; Professors KOLARIK, SHOWALTER, SCHEINER; Associate Professors GOULD, PAVLENKO

Russian and Eurasian Studies (RES) is an interdisciplinary program affiliated with the Departments of History, Political Science, Comparative Literature, Art, and German/Russian/East Asian languages. The focus of this program is the region that stretches from Central and Eastern Europe through the breadth of Russia and Central Asia into northeastern Eurasia. We study the histories, languages, politics, economies, and cultures of a significant part of the world long obscured by the intellectual and methodological tensions of the Cold War. The program provides a background for careers in law, teaching, public and foreign service, international business, and the domestic and international nonprofit sector. It also prepares students for graduate training in area studies and language instruction. RES sponsors a variety of activities such as a speaker series, films, and other cultural events associated with the Russian language house. For more complete descriptions of the courses noted below, please refer to the catalog entries for the appropriate departments.

Major Requirements

To fulfill the program major, students must complete a total of 12 units:

  • Four units in a relevant language and two units in literature;
  • Three units in related courses in the Social Sciences division (at least one of these courses must be in the area history);
  • Two units in related courses in any division;
  • All majors are strongly encouraged to take relevant courses in other disciplines beyond the immediate requirements of the program;
  • Capstone requirement: Advanced Seminar in Russian and Eurasian Studies (RS400 or PS tutorial: PS410; PS412; PS470). This course is required for all majors, and will result in the completion of an extended essay or independent research project, based on a significant body of original research and/or the student's internship experience in the region. Students will present this essay at an annual faculty-student seminar.

Essay Guidelines

The extended essay, 30-50 pages, can focus on any topic pertaining to the Russian language, literature, and culture, as well as to Russian and Eurasian history, politics, and economics. The essay must demonstrate:

  1. Student's command of primary sources in the original language (Russian and/or other languages of the region);
  2. Knowledge of the current state of research in the chosen subject,
  3. Competence in crafting an argument supporting one's own view of the chosen subject.

It is strongly encouraged that at least one section of the essay (approximately 10 pages) be written in the target language.

Essay should be printed double-spaced throughout, including footnotes, endnotes, and list of references.

All citations or paraphrase based citations must be documented.

In matters of style, follow the latest MLA standards (e.g., http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/mla/index.shtml)

Essays are due by 3 p.m. on the first Monday of Block 8.

Minor Requirements

To fulfill the program minor, students must complete a total of 6 units as follows:

  • Two units of relevant language;
  • One unit in area history
  • Three units in related courses in any division;

Courses

Russian and Eurasian Studies

This half-block course is aimed for those students who want to improve their Russian communication skills and are planning to study, work, or travel in Russia. Using the Communicative Approach, the class will aim at Intermediate or higher level of fluency (ACTFL scale) in speaking, listening, and reading comprehension. Through viewings and discussions of popular Russian films and texts on cultural studies (The Russian Context; The Russian’s World), the class will explore the salient differences between Russians’ and Americans’ cultural and historical background knowledge and assumptions. The students will learn and practice the Russian norms of conduct, such as proper ways of greeting, negotiating levels of formality, and the etiquette of telephone and written communications, as well as appropriate language and protocol for expressing gratitude and lodging a complaint. By the end of the course, students will have broadened their understanding of Russian grammar, vocabulary, and norms of conduct; they will have learned more ways of accurately expressing and conducting themselves in a broad range of situations. (Not offered 2021-22).

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Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

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Survey of the Soviet and Russian Cinema by (or about) Russian women, starting with the early Soviet propaganda films and ending with the present Russian version of hyper-realistic films. The course traces the evolution of Russian women, their changing self-awareness; it explores the conflict between the externally imposed role, and the women's own conception of her self and her destiny. The movies are analyzed through the prism of semiotic and discursive approach. (Those students who wish to advance their Russian proficiency and have the competency to watch, read, write, and talk about these films in Russian my sign up for this course under RU311 after consultation with the instructor.) Prerequisite: None. 1 unit.

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This course is required of all majors, and will result in the completion of an extended essay or independent research project, based on a significant body of original research and/or the student's internship experience in the region. Students will present this essay at an annual faculty-student seminar.

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Russian

Introduction to the Russian culture, history, and current affairs through the study of the Russian language. This course focuses on the development of functional socio-cultural competence in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Meets the Language Requirement requirement.

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This course is designed to build on competencies and skills acquired in RU101 and to prepare the students to continue with the Intermediate Russian (RU201). Meets the Language Requirement requirement.

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Review and maintenance of existing skills through readings and conversation until the student is able to progress to Russian 201.

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Review and maintenance of existing skills through readings and conversation until the student is able to progress to Russian 201.

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Focus on development of four communicative skills (speaking, aural comprehension, reading comprehension, writing) through interactive activities and integrated use of popular Russian films. (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement.) (This course is also offered during the CC program in Russia.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. Meets the Language Requirement requirement.

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Emphasis on active control of basic grammatical structures, readings, short essays, and discussions based on popular Russian films. (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement.) (This course is also offered during the CC program in Russia.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

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Survey of historically significant narratives representing Russian literary tradition preceding the Age of the Novel: from the ecclesiastic texts of the Kievan era, through baroque, the Schism, first biographies, secular tale, Russian Enlightenment (emergence of satire), to Russian Romanticism and the beginning of Realism (Pushkin, Lermontov, and Gogol). (Taught in English.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

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Sequel to RU255, this course examines post-Emancipation Russia (1861) through the lens of Realism, as well as the Soviet and post-Soviet periods as represented in Russian Modernism, Socialist Realism, and Postmodernism (Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gorky, Platonov, Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn, Tolstaya and others). Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

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Intensive practice in oral self-expression and comprehension based on literary and audio-visual sources of modern standard Russian. (Taught in Russia.) Meets the Language Requirement requirement.

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Continued work toward proficiency in spoken and written modern standard Russian. (Taught in Russia.) Meets the Language Requirement requirement.

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Review and maintenance of the existing skills in conversation, listening comprehension, reading, and writing.

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Review and maintenance of the existing skills in conversation, listening comprehension, reading, and writing.

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For students wishing to read literature not covered by courses they have taken or to bridge scheduling difficulties.

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For students wishing to read literature or to enhance their individual skills in Russian. (May be taken as one block or half-block or as an extended format course for one semester each, i. e., 311, 312.)

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Readings, discussions, and comparative analyses of Russia’s two greatest novelists. Cast as irreconcilable geniuses already by their contemporaries, Dostoevsky as “the seer of spirit,” and Tolstoy as “the seer of flesh,” their texts continue to challenge us with their controversial artistic methods, provocative questions, and divergent statements about Russian identity, Russia’s historical mission, the West, and the nature of Christianity. (Taught in English.) (Not offered 2021-22).

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