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Russian and East European Studies

The Russian and East European Studies curriculum is multidisciplinary, incorporating offerings in history, Russian and East European politics and sociology with Russian language, literature, and culture courses (in the original and in translation). A major in Russian and East European Studies can lead to graduate work in any of the above-mentioned fields. In recent years Oberlin REES majors have successfully competed for entrance into graduate school and have found careers in teaching, library science, government work, medicine, law, international business, as well as in charitable or non-profit organizations. A minor, focused on Eastern Europe, is also offered and is described below.
The Russian and East European Studies Curricular Committee serves as the advisory board for the major. In 2001-2002 committee members include:
Stephen Crowley, Politics [on leave Sem I and II]
Arlene Forman, Russian Language and Literature
Heather Hogan, History [on leave Sem I and II]
Shulamit Magnus, Jewish Studies and History
Tom Newlin, Russian Language and Literature
Tim Scholl, Russian Language and Literature
Pamela Snyder, Director of Foundation and Corporate Support
Laszlo Scholz, Romance Languages (away Sem I and II]
Veljko Vujacic, Sociology
Suggested Course Sequence. New students considering a major should include an introductory survey course in Russian history, politics, sociology, or literature in their first semester. New students with or without previous language training are encouraged to begin Russian language
study in the first semester as well. At the time of the declaration of the major, students and their advisors will discuss an appropriate area of focus for the major (e.g., chronological, thematic, methodological, or disciplinary).
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 can enroll in Russian 101 during the fall semester or take the Winter Term Intensive Beginning Russian course. Participation in a study abroad program is highly recommended, as is membership in the Russian House.
Study Abroad. A high priority of the program is to prepare undergraduates for study in Russia or Eastern Europe. Students interested in studying in Russia are encouraged to apply to one of the following programs: (1) the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) semester programs in Petersburg, (2) the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) fall semester in Krasnodar, (3) the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR) semester programs in Petersburg or Moscow (4) the School in Russia program in Voronezh, Yaroslavl or Irkutsk or (5) the joint program offered by the Moscow Institute of Social and Political Studies and the International University of Moscow. Students interested in studying in the Czech Republic can participate in semester programs run by GLCA or CIEE. GLCA also offers a study program in Poland. Students interested in studying in Hungary may participate in the CIEE program in Budapest. Over the past fifteen years more than one hundred of our students have participated in one or more of these highly selective programs. Credits are fully transferable to Oberlin. For further information on these and other programs, contact members of the REES Curricular Committee.
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 internships, 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 Russia, 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.
Major. 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:
Language and Literature (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.
Social Sciences (14-16 hours): completion of at least 14 credit hours chosen from two or more disciplines from the following list of core courses. 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 advanced courses in this area.


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Core Courses

Core Courses. Please consult individual departmental listings for full course description and availability in a given semester and year. Not all of these courses are offered every year.
107 Russian History I
108 Russian History II
223 Ethnic Minorities in Central Europe
224 Twentieth Century Europe: 1900-1945
225 Twentieth Century Europe: 1945-Present
296 Russia before Peter the Great
297 Russia and the Soviet Union Since 1941
298 Russia and the Soviet Union Since 1941 ­ Film
311 Colloquium on East European Jewry, 1772-1939
372 Readings in Russian Women's History
373 Modern Russian Women's History
379 Stalinism
115 Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics
116 Russia and the Soviet Union Since 1941 - Film
211 Political Movements and Revolutions
214 Social Change and Political Transformations in Eastern Europe
316 Seminar: Post-Communist Transformations
239 Marxist Theory
124 Classics of Sociology
230 Social Change and Political Transformation in Eastern Europe
254 Political Sociology
354 Social Movements and Revolutionary Change
431 Seminar: The Making and Unmaking of Communist Ideals
Also applicable to the major are courses taught in the following departments:
226 Political Economy of European Integration*
227 International Trade and Finance*
*Both courses have Economics 101 as a prerequisite
Music History
371 Stravinsky
Courses taught under the auspices of OCREECAS will count toward the major. Other courses that address the region in a substantive way may also count toward the major, upon approval by the REES Committee.
Honors Program. Majors should seriously consider the possibility of participating in the Honors Program and are encouraged to speak with a REES 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 in East European Studies
The East European minor is grounded in social sciences and balances contemporary issues with a knowledge of the region in its historical context. The minor is divided into two parts: 1) core and related courses taught in English and 2) foreign language study. To complete the minor students must take five courses in the first category (of which three or more are from the list of core courses) and satisfy the language component. Study abroad is strongly encouraged. At least three out of the five courses must be completed at Oberlin College; up to 2 courses may come from participation in an approved study abroad program in Eastern Europe.
Part One
Three or more courses must come from the core offerings below:
Core courses:
History 223: Ethnic Minorities in Central Europe
History 311: Colloquium on East European Jewry, 1772-1939
Politics 214/ Sociology 230: Social Change and Political Transformation in Eastern Europe
Politics 316: Seminar on Post-Communist Transformations
Sociology 431: The Making and Unmaking of Communist Ideals
Related courses:
Economics 225: Political Economy of European Integration
Economics 227: International Trade and Finance
History 108: Russian History II
History 224: Twentieth Century Europe: 1900-1945
History 225: Twentieth Century Europe: 1945-Present
History 297: Russia and the Soviet Union since 1941
Jewish Studies 306: Seminar in German Jewry
Politics 115: Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics
Politics 120: Introduction to International Relations
Politics 211: Political Movements and Revolution
Politics 232: European Political Theory: Hobbes to Marx
Politics 239: Marxist Theory
Sociology 354: Social Movements and Revolutionary Change
Part Two: Language Study
A. Students must satisfy the language component in one of the following ways:
1. One semester of intensive language study in Eastern Europe through an academic program recognized by the Russian and East European Studies Curricular Committee (CIEE: Prague, Poland, Budapest or GLCA: Olomouc)
2. Successful completion of Russian 102 or the equivalent.
B. Students who wish to continue language study at the intermediate level may apply credit from up to two appropriate courses towards completion of Part One of the concentration.
Courses taught under the auspices of OCREECAS, or other courses which address Eastern Europe in a substantive way, will count toward the major, upon approval by the REES Committee.
For further information, consult our web pages: www.oberlin.edu/~GARD/rees.html and www.oberlin.edu/~creecas/OCREECAS.html


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