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Russian

The Department of Russian Language, Literature, and Culture offers a wide range of study for both majors and non-majors. The department's sequence of language courses aims to provide students with extensive training in speaking, reading, and writing Russian and to develop their understanding of Russian culture. For the development of oral proficiency, classes are regularly divided into small conversation groups. Work in the language laboratory is emphasized in elementary and intermediate level courses. Course work in literature, both in the original and in translation, allows students to investigate representative works and significant literary genres of the major periods, as well as to acquire the critical methods needed to analyze them. Students especially interested in the interconnections between culture, history, and politics should consider the Russian and East European Area Studies programs.
A degree in Russian or Russian and East European Studies can lead to graduate work in Russian literature, linguistics, area studies, comparative literature, or a variety of related fields (e.g., library science, linguistics). Russian majors have gone on to careers in teaching at all
levels, government work (e.g., State Department), medicine, law, international business, as well as in charitable or non-profit organizations.
Placement. Incoming students with previous training in Russian should take the Placement Test to determine the level at which study in Russian should be continued. Students beginning at Oberlin should note course sequences, some of which are prerequisite to the advanced level and the major. Participation in a Russian study abroad program is highly recommended, as is residency in the Russian House.
Suggested Course Sequence. New students considering a major should include a Russian language course in their first semester. New students with or without previous training are encouraged to take a related course in translation, such as Russian literature, culture, history or politics during their first year.
Study Abroad. The department encourages all students interested in Russian culture to spend a semester abroad. Oberlin is a co-sponsor of the Council on International Educational Exchange's Semester and Summer Programs in St. Petersburg, one of several programs designed for students who wish to improve both linguistic and cultural competence. Other academic programs providing students with first-hand experience of Russian life include the ACM/GLCA Fall Semester at Kuban State University, the Middlebury College School in Russia and the American Council of Teachers of Russian Programs in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Some programs, including the one offered jointly by the Moscow Institute of Social and Political Studies and the International University of Moscow, accept students without previous language training. Students interested in drama can participate in the Moscow Art Theater Program, sponsored by the National Theater Institute. For further information on these and other programs, contact Ms. Forman, Mr. Newlin, or Mr. Scholl.
Students on financial aid should consult the Director of Financial Aid before planning to participate in any of the aforementioned programs.
Major. Two majors are offered. A basic knowledge of the Russian language is fundamental to both.
1. The Russian Major consists of 24 semester hours of courses at the 300 and 400 levels. Required are at least 5 literature courses: 2 in translation, 3 in the original (including a senior seminar).
Normally, up to eight (8) hours credit may be awarded for off-campus study at an accredited American university or appropriate abroad program in Petersburg, Krasnodar, or other Russian cities. A minimum of 12 semester hours of courses to be applied toward the major must be taken at Oberlin College. Private reading courses, as a rule, do not apply to this category.
Strongly recommended are correlated courses in Russian History, Politics, Sociology, History of Theater, Dance, or Music.
Honors. Russian majors should seriously consider the possibility of participating in the departmental Honors Program. Students will be accepted into the program by invitation. Criteria for admission normally include the following: overall GPA of at least 3.00; major GPA of at least 3.25; completion of Russian 305, 309, 311, or 312, and at least one literature course in translation by the end of the sixth semester.
2. The Russian and East European Studies Major has a multidisciplinary focus, combining courses in language, literature, history, politics, and sociology. The major is administered by the Russian section in consultation with the Russian and East European Studies Curricular Committee. The major consists of two years of college-level Russian (or the equivalent) plus a minimum of 30 hours, which should be accumulated as follows:
A. The Language and Literature component (14-16 hours): completion of the third year of Russian language study (8 credits) with the remaining credits at the 300 and 400 level chosen from literature, culture and film courses taught by the Russian Department. A Russian course at the 400 level is highly recommended. Private reading courses, as a rule, do not apply to this category. Normally, up to 8 hours in this category may be awarded for study abroad.
B. The Social Science component (14-16 hours): completion of at least 14 credit hours chosen from two or more disciplines from the core courses listed in the Russian and East European Studies section of this catalog. Students are encouraged to take at
least 6 hours at the advanced level in history, politics, or sociology (e.g. , 300-, 400-, or, with permission, 900-level courses). Normally, History 107/108 is the prerequisite for advanced courses in Russian history, Politics 115 is the prerequisite for 300-level courses in politics and Sociology 124 is the prerequisite for courses in this area.
Honors. Studies majors should seriously consider the possibility of participating in the Honors Program and are encouraged to speak with a Russian and East European Studies Curricular Committee member about their interests. Criteria for admission normally include the following: overall GPA of at least 3.00; major GPA of at least 3.25; strong evidence of an interdisciplinary focus in courses taken and in the proposed topic of research.
Minor. A minor in Russian consists of 15 hours of work at the 300 and 400 levels. One three-hour course may be in Russian literature in translation; one three-hour course must be at the 400 level Participants in the CIEE programs in St. Petersburg, the ACM/GLCA program at Kuban State University, the ACTR or other programs should consult the Russian staff for a preliminary interpretation of such work in terms of Oberlin credit.
Russian House. Students who wish to pursue their Russian experience intensively are strongly encouraged to take up residence in Russian House, a small coeducational facility housing 18 students and the focal point for most campus Russian language and cultural activities. A native speaker of Russian is regularly in residence. Majors as well as those with a peripheral interest in Russian are encouraged to live in the Russian House for at least one year.
Winter Term. Intensive Beginning Russian is offered each year during Winter Term. Successful completion of this course can lead to enrollment in Russian 102. Faculty are available to sponsor Winter Term projects in the following areas: 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature, literature and the environment, Russian film, Russian theater and dance, translation. Occasionally, the Russian program sponsors a study tour to Russia (two weeks, visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg). The cost of the program is supported by the individual student participants. Additional information may be obtained from the Russian staff.
OCREECAS. Created in 1998 through support from The Clowes Fund, Inc. and a private donation, the Oberlin Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies is designed to promote greater awareness of the region in the Oberlin community. The Center seeks to foster the development of new curricula and to expand summer and post-graduation internship, community service, study abroad, and employment opportunities for students. Under the guidance of the Center's first director, Associate Professor of Russian Tim Scholl, OCREECAS has begun identifying internship opportunities in Russian, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. The Center also seeks to enhance the Oberlin curriculum through on-campus residencies by visiting scholars and artists.
OCREECAS Internships. Qualified juniors, seniors and recent graduates interested in working in a service or non-profit capacity in Russia, Eastern Europe or Central Asia are encouraged to apply for OCREECAS grants-in-aid. For further information, contact the OCREECAS intern at 775-6358.
For further information, consult the Russian and OCREECAS web pages: www.oberlin.edu/~GARD/ and www.oberlin.edu/~creecas/OCREECAS.html).

 

 

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Language Courses (Offered Every Year)

101, 102. Elementary Russian 5 hours
5HU, CD
Acquisition of the fundamentals of Russian grammar, with extensive practice in speaking, listening, reading, and writing; development of basic cultural literacy with regard to the Russian-speaking world. Use of language laboratory encouraged. Enrollment Limit: 25.
Sem 1 RUSS-101-01 MTuWThF 10:00-10:50 Ms. Forman
RUSS-101-02 MTuWThF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Newlin
Sem 2 RUSS-102-01 MTuWThF 10:00-10:50 Ms. Forman
RUSS-102-02 MTuWThF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Newlin
203, 204. Intermediate Russian 3 hours
3HU, CD
Review and refinement of the essentials of grammar and vocabulary, and continued development of reading, aural/oral skills, and writing through a variety of texts that further expand cultural competence. Prerequisites: RUSS 102 or equivalent. Notes: Students should also enroll in Russ 205/206.
Sem 1 RUSS-203-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Scholl
Sem 2 RUSS-204-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Scholl
205, 206. Conversational Russian 1 hour
1HU, CD
Regular systematic opportunity to speak Russian. Everyday topics or dialogs. Small groups. Two meetings per week. Required for students enrolled in RUSS 203/204.
Sem 1 RUSS-205-01 TuTh 10:00-10:50 Ms. Monastireva-Ansdell
Sem 2 RUSS-206-01 TuTh 10:00-10:50 Ms. Monastireva-Ansdell
305, 306. Conversation and Composition 3 hours
3HU, CD
Conversation and composition on cultural and everyday topics. Advanced grammar and stylistics. Prerequisites: RUSS 204 or equivalent.
Sem 1 RUSS-305-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Monastireva-Ansdell
Sem 2 RUSS-306-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Monastireva-Ansdell
309, 310. Advanced Conversational Russian 1 hour
1HU, CD
Regular systematic opportunity for third-year students to speak Russian. Cultural and everyday topics. One meeting per week. Recommended for all third-year students. Prerequisites: RUSS 204 and RUSS 206 or consent of instructor. Required for majors enrolled in RUSS 305/306. Notes: Course may be repeated for major credit.
Sem 1 RUSS-309-01 Tu 7:00-7:50 pm Ms. Monastireva-Ansdell
Sem 2 RUSS-310-01 Tu 7:00-7:50 pm Ms. Monastireva-Ansdell
Topics in Translation
110. Russian Modernism: The Aesthetic Utopia 3 hours
3HU, CD
The decades that preceded and followed Russia's 1917 revolution witnessed an unprecedented artistic explosion as Russian writers, artists, composers and choreographers assumed leading roles among the European avant-garde. This course will explore their innovations and the interrelationships among the various disciplines that characterized the aesthetic utopia known as Russian modernism.
Sem 1 RUSS-110-01 TuTh 1:30-2:45 Mr. Scholl
111. Delusions and Grandeur: The Myth of Petersburg 3 hours
3HU, CD, WR
Next offered 2003-2004.
321. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky 3 hours
3HU, CD, WR
An in-depth exploration and comparison of the two giants of nineteenth-century Russian prose, with a primary focus on Tolstoy's War and Peace and Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. We will examine the radically innovative nature of these two "loose and baggy monsters" in terms of form, psychology and philosophy, and attempt to situate them concretely within the fierce artistic, intellectual, and ideological debates of the time.
Sem 1 RUSS-321-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Newlin
325. Literature of Revolution 3-4 hours
3-4HU, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.
326. Literature of Dissent from Stalin to the Present 3-4 hours
3-4HU, CD, WR
A survey of literature from the Stalin era to the present day. Reading and discussion of works by official Soviet and unofficial (dissident and émigré) writers, including Akhmatova, Pasternak, Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn, and Aksyonov. The course will examine both the ideological and aestheic implications of these works. Lecture and discussion format. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 2 RUSS-326-01 MW 12:00-1:15 Ms. Forman
327. The Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel 3 hours
3HU, CD, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.
328. Literature and the Woman Question in Nineteenth-Century Russia 3 hours
3HU, CD, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.
329. Literature and the Land: Writing Nature in Russia and America 3 hours
3HU, CD, WR
An examination of nature writing and forms of literary pastoralism, agrarianism, and primitivism in Russia and America. Topics include: the psychological and historical roots of the dream of an earthly paradise; the forms and evolution of nature writing; literature and the rise of an environmental consciousness; models of nature as garden and wilderness; literary constructions of 'natural man' and 'natural woman'; the literary and cultural feminization of nature; the politics of landscape; environmentalism and nationalism. Readings will include poems, novels, short stories, essays, and literary and cultural criticism. Identical to CMPL 329.
Sem 2 RUSS-329-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Newlin
330. Russian Theater: Imperial to Improvisational 3 hours
3HU, CD, WR
This course surveys the history, practice, and theory of Russian theater (including drama, dance, and opera), focusing on its most important innovations and contributions to the world stage. We will consider signature works of Russia's most influential dramatists and directors, choreographers and composers. Special topics will include the 'discovery' of Russian folk theater; the rise of Russian opera; Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; Chekhov, Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theater; Meyerhold and Russia's 'new' theater; Soviet mass spectacles; contemporary drag performance. Identical to THEA 330.

Sem 2 RUSS-330-01 TuTh 1:30-2:45 Mr. Scholl

 

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Advanced Literature Courses

311. Introduction to Russian Literature, I 3 hours

3HU, CD
Next offered 2002-2003.
312. Introduction to Russian Literature, II 3 hours
3HU, CD
Twentieth-century literature. Masterpieces of poetry, narrative prose, and drama in their literary-historical context and sequence. Prerequisites: RUSS 204 or equivalent.
Sem 1 RUSS-312-01 MWF 12:00-12:50 Ms. Forman
433. Special Topics: The Twentieth Century: A Retrospective 3 hours
3HU, CD
This course explores areas of special interest in Russian literature. The subject matter varies from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit. Topic for 2001-2002: Russian Literature in the Twentieth Century: A Retrospective. Focus will be on poetry and short fiction. Prerequisites: RUSS 311, 312, or consent of instructor.
Sem 1 RUSS-433-01 MWF 12:00-12:50 Ms. Forman
446. Senior Seminar: The Age of Pushkin 3 hours
3HU, CD
Pushkin, the so-called "father of Russian literature," occupies a central place in the Russian literary and cultural imagination. Paying close attention to the interconnection between his formal innovations and his philosophical and psychological insights, we will examine Pushkin's major works (with special emphasis on Eugene Onegin) both in the context of the Romantic Age and in light of the enduring myths that grew up around him in the century and a half following his death.
Sem 2 RUSS-446-01 M 7:00-9:00 p.m. Mr. Newlin
505. Honors in Russian 1-6 hours
1-6HU
Consent of instructor required
995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
1-3HU, CD
Consent of instructor required

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