Russian and Eastern European Studies takes a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates Russian language and literature, history, sociology, and politics. Our courses in Russian and in English help you to develop strong speaking, linguistic, and critical thinking skills.

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Faculty

Our faculty are both scholars and teachers who devote their careers to making important contributions to their disciplines through writing and research. They are committed to undergraduate education and teach everything from first-year seminars to advanced courses. Their courses and research include the politics and economy of Russia and Eastern Europe, culture and dance, history and labor movements, and interethnic and transnational connections forged through music.

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Department Overview

If you are interested in Russia and Eastern Europe, especially the interconnections between Slavic art, history, literature, music, politics, and sociology, consider the Russian and East European Studies (REES) program.

You can pursue a major or minor in REES: both paths follow a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates Russian language and literature, history, sociology, and politics. Our courses in Russian and in English help you to develop strong speaking, linguistic, and critical thinking skills. Majors can pursue advanced, independent research through our honors program.

A major in Russian and East European studies often leads to graduate work in sociology, history, literature, politics, and related fields. Majors and minors typically choose careers in teaching, library science, government work, medicine, law, and international business, as well as with philanthropic or nonprofit organizations.  

OCREECAS (the Oberlin Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies) also helps undergraduate and graduate students find internships in the fields of Russian history, culture, and contemporary issues. With connections to numerous nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations in both the US and Eastern Europe, OCREECAS funds fellowships to help students achieve their desired experience and work. Recent internships in the former Soviet Union have been in the areas of environmental pollution, health, human rights, and education among many others.

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Curriculum Overview

We encourage majors to meet with a REES chair to ensure appropriate course selection and to choose an area of focus: chronological, thematic, methodological, or disciplinary.

A chief goal of the program is to prepare you for research or study in Russia or Eastern Europe. We highly recommend study abroad for a semester or a year in one of our Oberlin-affiliated programs in such Russian cities as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladimir, Yaroslavl, or Irkutsk, and in the Czech Republic, Poland, or Hungary. We emphasize building a strong foundation in Russian language and culture so you can function and communicate adequately at home or abroad. In addition, the Paul and Edith Cooper International Learning Center, housed in Peters Hall, provides both the technology and the training for tools that enhance your linguistic skills.

To enrich your academic experience, you can live in or spend time in Oberlin’s Russian House, a small coeducational residential hall for up to 15 students. Russian House serves as a campus hub for all things Russian: concerts, discussion groups, lectures, symposia, and other programs for those studying Slavic cultures. Native speakers of Russian participate as visiting scholars or artists-in-residence, giving you keener insight into the language and customs.

As an REES student, you can benefit from OCREECAS, which promotes awareness of the region to the Oberlin community. The center’s director works with the REES Committee to develop curriculum and supervises internship, research, service, and employment opportunities for qualified students and recent graduates.