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
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
government work (e.g., State Department), medicine, law,
international business, as well as in charitable or non-profit
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.
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
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.
on financial aid should consult the Director of Financial
Aid before planning to participate in any of the aforementioned
Two majors are offered. A basic knowledge of the Russian
language is fundamental to both.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
further information, consult the Russian and OCREECAS web
pages: www.oberlin.edu/~GARD/ and www.oberlin.edu/~creecas/OCREECAS.html).
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Courses (Offered Every Year)
102. Elementary Russian 5 hours
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
204. Intermediate Russian 3 hours
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.
1 RUSS-203-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Scholl
2 RUSS-204-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Scholl
206. Conversational Russian 1 hour
systematic opportunity to speak Russian. Everyday topics or
dialogs. Small groups. Two meetings per week. Required for
students enrolled in RUSS 203/204.
1 RUSS-205-01 TuTh 10:00-10:50 Ms. Monastireva-Ansdell
2 RUSS-206-01 TuTh 10:00-10:50 Ms. Monastireva-Ansdell
306. Conversation and Composition 3 hours
and composition on cultural and everyday topics. Advanced
grammar and stylistics. Prerequisites: RUSS 204 or
1 RUSS-305-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Monastireva-Ansdell
2 RUSS-306-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Monastireva-Ansdell
310. Advanced Conversational Russian 1 hour
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.
Modernism: The Aesthetic Utopia 3 hours
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.
1 RUSS-110-01 TuTh 1:30-2:45 Mr. Scholl
and Grandeur: The Myth of Petersburg 3 hours
and Dostoevsky 3 hours
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.
1 RUSS-321-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Newlin
of Revolution 3-4 hours
of Dissent from Stalin to the Present 3-4 hours
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
2 RUSS-326-01 MW 12:00-1:15 Ms. Forman
Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel 3 hours
and the Woman Question in Nineteenth-Century Russia 3
and the Land: Writing Nature in Russia and America 3
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.
2 RUSS-329-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Newlin
Theater: Imperial to Improvisational 3 hours
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
Advanced Literature Courses
to Russian Literature, I 3 hours
to Russian Literature, II 3 hours
literature. Masterpieces of poetry, narrative prose, and drama
in their literary-historical context and sequence. Prerequisites:
RUSS 204 or equivalent.
1 RUSS-312-01 MWF 12:00-12:50 Ms. Forman
Topics: The Twentieth Century: A Retrospective 3 hours
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.
1 RUSS-433-01 MWF 12:00-12:50 Ms. Forman
Senior Seminar: The Age of Pushkin 3 hours
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.
2 RUSS-446-01 M 7:00-9:00 p.m. Mr. Newlin
in Russian 1-6 hours
of instructor required
Reading 1-3 hours
of instructor required
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