SAS Core Courses
- Intermediate Russian II 01:860:202:01
- Intermediate Russian for Russian Speakers 01:860:208:01
- Love and Death in the Russian Short Story 01:860:322:01
- Tolstoy 01:860:331:01
- Intermediate Polish II 01:787:202:01
- Ukrainian Literature in Translation 01:967:259:01
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Elementary Russian I
MTTh2 9:50am-11:10am, Hardenbergh Hall B5 (MTh), Hardenbergh Hall B4 (T)
Open only to students with NO prior knowledge of Russian. Students with prior knowledge must take a placement test.Open only to students with NO prior knowledge of Russian. Students with prior knowledge must take a placement test.
Elementary Russian is an intensive introductory course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students with no prior experience in the language. It develops proficiency in all four skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing, as well as the basics of Russian grammar. It also introduces students to Russian life, culture, history, geography, and traditions through authentic target-language texts, websites, various media, and other supplementary materials. It is highly recommended that all 860:101 also take First Year Russian Language Lab.
Elementary Russian II
MTTh3 11:30am-12:50pm, Scott Hall 116
Prerequisite: 860:101 or placement.
Elementary Russian is an intensive introductory course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students with no prior experience in the langauge. It develops proficiency in all four skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing, as well as the basics of Russian grammar. It also introduces students to Russian life, culture, history, geography, and traditions through authentic target-langauge texts, websites, various media, and other supplementary materials.
First Year Russian Language Lab
W5 2:50-4:10pm, Academic Building 3100
Elementary Russian Language Lab Intermediate Russian Language Lab is a one-hour course to supplement Russian 102, which utilizes the audiovisual and digital capabilities of the Language Lab on College Avenue. Students will practice pronunciation and intonation, as well as listening and reading comprehension, grammatical control and basic conversational skills in spoken contemporary standard Russian. This course is only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 102. This course also introduces students to navigating Russian-language websites, reading Russian print media, and understanding spoken Russian through authentic audio-video materials such as film and television clips and cartoons. This 1-credit course supplements work in the regular 860:102 course. Work on pronunciation, intonation, and comprehension. It is highly recommended that all students in 102 take this course.
Prerequisite: 01:860:201 or placement. Not for students who have taken 860:107.
Intermediate Russian is an intensive intermediate course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students who have completed Russian 201 or placed into the course by exam. This course is not for students who have completed Russian 207 or those who speak Russian at home with their family. The course develops proficiency in all four skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. It includes a review and expansion of Russian grammar and vocabulary. It deepens students' understanding of Russian life, culture, history, geography, and traditions through authentic target-language texts, websites, media (including films and music) and other supplementary materials. It is highly recommended that students taking 202 also enroll in Second Year Russian Language Lab. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.
Second Year Russian Language Lab
M2 9:50-11:10am, Scott Hall 114
Intermediate Russian Language Lab is a one-hour course to supplement Russian 202, which utilizes the audiovisual and digital capabilities of the Language Lab on College Avenue. Students will continue work on pronunciation and intonation, as well as listening and reading comprehension, conversational skills and grammatical control in spoken contemporary standard Russian. This course is only open to students who are currently enrolled in Russian 202. This course also introduces students to navigating Russian-language websites, reading Russian print media, and understanding spoken Russian through authentic audio-video materials such as television clips and cartoons. This 1-credit course supplements work in the regular 860:202 or 860:208 courses. Work on pronunciation, intonation, and comprehension. It is highly recommended that all 860:202 and 860:208 students take this course.
Prerequisite: 860:207 or placement. Not for students who have taken 860:102.
Intermediate Russian for Russian Speakers is designed for students who learned Russian at home or from family members, and have had some formal study, including Russian 207. This course focuses on improving grammatical control, and expanding active vocabulary for discussing abstract topics. Students will improve their reading skills, through literary and non-literary texts of increasing length and difficulty, and their writing skills, working towards the goal of creating cohesive and organized paragraph-length texts. Students will also increase their knowledge of Russian history, culture, geography and traditions through authentic materials, such as texts, films, music and other supplementary materials. It is highly recommended that students taking 208 also enroll in Second Year Russian Language Lab. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.
Advanced Russian II
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 206
Prerequisite: 860:301 or placement.
This is an advanced course in spoken and written contemporary standard Russian, intended for students who have completed the equivalent of four semesters of college-level Russian, or have placed into the course by exam. The course strengthens grammatical control and develops proficiency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing. Students will learn to summarize, develop narration, and create connected paragraphys in speech and writing. They will also study complex grammatical structures, such as participles and gerunds, and syntactic constructions, such as subordination. They will broaden their vocabulary through the study of word-formation. This course covers many elements of modern Russian life, such as education, employment, leisure and youth culture, through authentic target-language texts, websites, media (including films and music) and other materials.
Debating Global Issues in Russian
TTh6 4:30-5:50pm, Scott Hall 219
Prerequisites: 860:301, 860:306, or placement. May be taken out of sequence with 860:401, 860:402, or 860:403.
Taught primarily in Russian, the course fosters advanced language skills of conversational fluency, listening comprehension, writing and composition, expanded vocabulary, recognition of stylistic registers, and advanced syntax. Special attention is given to developing various questions of global importance: environmental protection vs. economic growth, interventionism vs. non-interventionism, cultural unity vs. cultural diversity, and the value of higher education vs. practical experience. Students will read articles about the issues, listen to sample debates on the topics, and stage their own debates.
How To Read A Russian Novel (7 Weeks: March 7 - April 30)
Emily Van Buskirk
MW5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 121
This course takes a slow journey through one famous Russian novel. It guides students in the basics of reading a literary text from a culture different than our own, providing the rudimentary cultural and historical context. Some of the questions we will tackle are: how to keep track of many characters whose names have multiple versions? What exactly is a religious “icon,” and why do people carry them around? What was unique about daily life in the Soviet Union? How do Russian attitudes towards money, family, faith, and art differ from our own? Our novel this semester will be Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita (1940) – a fantastic account of 1930s Russia under Stalin. Its primary characters include an imprisoned novelist, his witch-like lover, a talking cat who wields a gun, and Satan himself. The novel blends magical elements with Soviet history, philosophy, and slapstick comedy, making it an enjoyable and accessible entry point into Russian culture.
Love and Death in the Russian Short Story
TTh5 2:50-4:10pm, Scott Hall 216
In English. No prerequisites.
A brilliant counterpart to the expansive Russian novel, the Russian short story has long been praised by connoisseurs and practitioners of the genre. In this course we read both the classics and the hidden gems of the Russian short-story tradition from the 19th century to today. We will focus on the most universal themes of story-writing: love and death. We will also pose the following questions: What is distinctive about the short story form? How do stories "talk to" other stories in a tradition? What narrative twists and complications do authors use to keep readers hooked and spellbound? Since the readings cover most major Russian writers and movements, the course will appeal to those who wish to get an overview of modern Russian literature. All readings and discussion in English. Fulfills SAS core goals AH o, p; WC d.
TTh6 4:30-5:50pm, Scott Hall 205
All readings and discussions in English. No prerequisites.
What do I believe in? What is art? What, then, must we do? Each of these questions is also the title of a work by Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), author of the great novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. A master novelist who vigorously denied the value of high art, an army officer who became a radical pacifist, a nobleman who strove to free himself of wealth and privilege, a Christian who wrote his own version of the Gospels – throughout his voluminous writings and long life, Tolstoy fought like few others to define, communicate, and realize his evolving vision of the world, and the place and purpose of human life and death within it. This course invites you to respond to that vision, as we trace the length of Tolstoy’s transformational career as an artist, thinker, and teacher. Readings include Anna Karenina (1875-77); selections from Tolstoy’s short fiction (“Sevastopol in May,” The Death of Ivan Ilyich, and more); and selected letters, articles, and essays. Fulfills SAS Core goals AH o, p, and WCd.
MW4 1:10-2:30pm, Hardenbergh Hall A3
Course taught in English, Readings in Russian. Prerequisites: 860:202, 860:207, or 860:208
Tolstoy and Dostoevsky may be the best-known ambassadors of Russian literature, but at its heart, it 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: Blok, Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Mayakovsky, Pasternak, Tsvetaeva. Our major day-to-day focus will be on reading, translating, understanding, and appreciating Russian poetry. All readings will be in Russian.
Gender and Sexuality in Russian Literature
TTh4 1:10-2:30pm, Scott Hall 202
All readings and discussions in English. No prerequisites.
In this course we study questions of gender and sexuality in modern Russian literature and culture through close readings of novellas, short stories, poems, films, essays, and memoirs. How have gender and sexuality been constructed in different periods of Russian history? What erotic utopias did radical thinkers propose? How did Soviet ideology build on traditional myths and images of femininity and masculinity? How have gay and lesbian love been represented, given the enduring presence of cultural taboos? The course will move from key (pre-)19th-century predecessors (fairy tales, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy), through the turbulent decades surrounding the Bolshevik Revolution (symbolism and decadence, socialist realism, and various avant-garde movements), and on to contemporary literature, including Pussy Riot's performance art and the journalistic prose of Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich. We will broaden our study through encounters with influential theoretical and critical texts, both inside and outside the Russian tradition.
Elementary Polish II
MTTh4 1:10-2:30pm, AB-2200
Prerequisite: 787:101 or placement.
Elementary Polish is an introductory course intended for students with no or minimal prior experience in the language. Students will learn the Polish sound and spelling system. They will develop proficiency in listening, reading, speaking, and writing. The basic of grammar and core vocabulary are introduced. In addition, the course provides an introduction to Polish culture, including geography, history, literature and practices through authentic texts, maps, websites and other supplementary materials.
Prerequisite: 787:201 or placement.
Intermediate Polish is intended for students who have completed Elementary Polish or have placed into the course. Students will continue to develop proficiency in four skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Orthography drills reinforce the sound and spelling system. This course will broaden students’ grammatical understanding and vocabulary. Students will read an authentic literary text, view a Polish film, and discuss current events in Poland, which will deepen students' knowledge of Polish history and culture. Fulfills SAS core goal AH q.
Ukrainian Literature in Translation: Literature and Identity in Contemporary Ukraine
TTh6 4:30-5:50pm, Campbell Hall A5
In English. No prerequisites.
The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, preceded by a wave of public protests and civil unrest during the Euromaidan Revolution of 2014, highlighted for Ukrainians the question of their identity as never before. This course examines how the dilemmas of Ukrainian identity became formulated in the literature of the first two decades of Ukraine’s independence. We will pay special attention to social and cultural shifts that followed the fall of the Soviet empire. We will also ask how various identities—national, linguistic, ethnic, territorial, religious—are reflected in literary works of some of the most representative authors in post-independence Ukraine and how these identities interact in society at large. Fulfills SAS core goal AH p.