Slavic Studies



Lecturer:  Ivanov; Adjunct Faculty:  Colbath, Little; Associate Professor Lanoux, chair; Associate Professor (Art History):  Alchermes (acting chair Fall 2013)

The Major in Slavic Studies

The major consists of nine courses beyond the elementary Russian language sequence (Russian 101, 102).  It is designed to bring students to advanced-level proficiency in Russian in four years; to give students a solid foundation in Russian, literature, history, and culture; and to allow students to develop select disciplinary expertise in such fields as film, theater, art history, gender studies, environmental studies, economics, and government.  All students will meet with the Department Chair upon declaring a major to design an individual program of study.  Majors receive ample mentoring throughout their four years to take full advantage of study away, internship, honors study, and fellowship opportunities.

               Normally students will take first- and second-year Russian (Russian 101, 102 and 201, 202), and Slavic Studies 105 as core courses for the major.  Juniors are encouraged to study abroad during the second semester, preferably in combination with a summer internship, CISLA internship, or domestic intensive language program.  Generally, two to three courses taken at universities abroad may be counted towards the major.  Students who do not complete an honors thesis must enroll in a senior seminar and complete a senior integrative project.

               The Russian language program is designed to prepare students to communicate freely with native speakers of Russian, and to give them the necessary background for a wide range of careers or graduate study in such fields as education, literature, linguistics, history, journalism, law, business, environmental studies, and the foreign service.  Language courses are conducted in Russian beginning with the first-year sequence and establish a broad range of communicative skills by the end of the second year.  The Advanced Russian sequence is a series of content courses in Russian on such topics as film, history, and contemporary Russian culture that prepares students for study abroad.

               The Department promotes learning outside of the classroom in our language partnerships with the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg and the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in downtown New London, as well as at Russian language table in Knowlton and on trips to cultural events in neighboring cities.

The Minor in Slavic Studies

The minor consists of Elementary Russian (Russian 101, 102) or its equivalent, Slavic Studies 105, and at least three additional Slavic Studies courses.

Learning Goals in the Slavic Studies Major

  • Intermediate-high to Advanced-mid proficiency in Russian.  After four years of language study, Slavic Studies majors should be able to narrate events in the past, present, and future with a high degree of grammatical accuracy.  Such levels of proficiency make it possible for students to use their language skills in employment and graduate work.
  • Cultural literacy:  foundational knowledge of the major, historical events, political and cultural movements, and canonical texts in Russian culture.  Cultural literacy includes first-hand knowledge, often gained through study and internships abroad, of contemporary culture which enables students to function in Russia as educated, informed participants.
  • Understanding of the historical relations of Slavic cultures and peoples to one another.  This knowledge is gained in the gateway course, ″SLA 105:  Introduction to Slavic Cultures,″ and in other courses and co-curricular events and opportunities.
  • Select disciplinary knowledge drawing upon the expertise of affiliated faculty in History, Art History, Government, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, Gender and Women′s Studies, and Theater.
  • Development of critical and oral presentation skills gained through a multitude of learning opportunities both in and outside of the classroom, such as the language partnership with the Regional Multicultural Magnet School, our partnership with the St. Petersburg Higher School of Economics, and senior integrated projects and honors theses.

In Russian

RUSSIAN  101, 102  ELEMENTARY RUSSIAN  An introduction to Russian language and culture.  Students will master the basic structures of Russian grammar and be able to converse with native speakers by the end of the second semester.  Video iPods with Russian curricular materials (language drills, songs, podcasts, music videos, animated films, and lectures) are provided to help students improve pronunciation and gain knowledge of contemporary Russian culture.  Four 50-minute class meetings per week, plus an additional practicum hour (to be arranged).  Five credit hours each semester.

               Course 101 is a prerequisite for 102.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  P. Ivanov, A. Lanoux

RUSSIAN  201, 202  INTERMEDIATE RUSSIAN  Study of Russian language, culture, and current events with an emphasis on Russian grammar, animated films, newscasts, and the Russian internet.  Students will improve speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing skills throughout the semester.

               Prerequisite:  Three to four years of high school Russian at entrance, or Courses 101 and 102.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  P. Ivanov, A. Lanoux

RUSSIAN  303  ADVANCED RUSSIAN-RUSSIA TODAY  Examination of contemporary Russian culture through analysis of Russian news, television, film, music, Internet resources, critical articles, and contemporary Russian literature.  The course emphasizes the development of conversational and writing strategies across a range of styles with attention to grammatical usage and structures.  Russian 303 prepares students for study in Russia in the subsequent semester.

               Prerequisite:  Course 202 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Staff

RUSSIAN  304  ADVANCED RUSSIAN:  POETRY AND POWER IN RUSSIAN CULTURE  An examination of the role of poets and poetry in Russian political life from the 18th century to the present.  Texts by Pushkin, Blok, Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Brodsky, and numerous underground writers demonstrate how Russian poets have acquired, and have suffered for, their status as a moral authority of the nation.

               Prerequisite:  Russian 202 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  L. Little

RUSSIAN  305  ADVANCED RUSSIAN THROUGH HISTORY  Improvement of reading and listening comprehension skills, speaking ability, and expansion of active vocabulary through the study of Russian history.  Research will be conducted throughout the semester on a historical period, figure, or event culminating in a final paper and in-class presentation.

               Prerequisite:  Course 202 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Staff

RUSSIAN  307  ADVANCED RUSSIAN - FILM  Advancement of listening comprehension and conversational skills by viewing and discussing popular Russian films and cinematic classics.  Emphasis on contemporary culture and student participation with frequent written assignments.

               Prerequisite:  Course 202 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Staff

RUSSIAN  493, 494  SENIOR SEMINAR  Analysis of literary and cinematic texts to promote advanced proficiency in Russian.  Topics vary from year to year, but may include Russian poetry, children′s literature, film, emigration, digital media and social networking, or post-Soviet society.  Frequent written assignments and oral presentations.  This course may be repeated for credit once.

               Open to seniors and to students with intermediate-high proficiency in Russian, and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  P. Ivanov

Foreign Language across the Curriculum (FLAC)

RUSSIAN  320f  THE NET GENERATION:  CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN YOUTH CULTURES  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in Russian.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing Course 320f must concurrently register for Slavic Studies 320.  A. Lanoux

RUSSIAN  375f  TOLSTOY AND DOSTOEVSKY  This optional section will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental texts in Russian.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.  Students electing Russian 375f must concurrently register for Slavic Studies/English 375.  A. Lanoux

RUSSIAN  291, 292  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Independent work with a selected faculty member.  Course may be taken for either two or four credits.  The two-credit option requires the student to commit to four to five hours of independent work per week.  The four-credit option requires the student to commit to eight to ten hours of independent work per week.  Staff

RUSSIAN  391, 392  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

RUSSIAN  491, 492  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

In English

Courses in English may include a one credit Foreign Language Across the Curriculum (FLAC) section.

SLAVIC STUDIES  105  INTRODUCTION TO SLAVIC CULTURES  Introduction to the major geographical regions, peoples, language groups, and historical events that have defined the Slavic world:  pagans, myths, saints, tsars, insurrections, empires, revolutions, communists.  

               Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7 and is a designated Writing course.  P. Ivanov

SLAVIC STUDIES  106  INTRODUCTION TO EURASIAN HISTORY:  FROM THE MONGOLS TO THE SOVIETS  This is the same course as History 106.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

SLAVIC STUDIES  164  THE RUSSIAN NOVEL  Development of the Russian novel as a literacy form and cultural institution from Pushkin to contemporary authors.

               Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4 and is a designated Writing course.  A. Lanoux

SLAVIC STUDIES  220  EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINE ART:  FROM CONSTANTINE THE GREAT TO MEHMET THE CONQUEROR  This is the same course as Art History 220.  Refer to the Art History listing for a course description.

SLAVIC STUDIES  226  LANGUAGE IN CULTURE  Introduction to linguistic anthropology with a focus on language use in society.  Topics include language ideology, pragmatics and metapragmatics, language as an identity marker, language differentiation (e.g., class/race/gender stratifications), the social life of utterances from speech genres to textualizations, indexicality, the dynamics of language change, and language as a detonational code and system of signs.  Readings include de Saussure, Peirce, Boas, Sapir, Bakhtin, Jakobson, Austin, Searle, Bourdieu, Anderson, and Silverstein.  This is the same course as Anthropology 226.

               Open to juniors and seniors,  and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  P. Ivanov

SLAVIC STUDIES  230  GENDER IN COMMUNIST AND POST-COMMUNIST SOCIETIES   Examination of social policies, cultural artifacts, and gender politics in communist China and the Soviet Union.  Topics include revolutionary movements, state feminism, labor and marriage laws, reproductive rights, and post-communist legacies.  Comparative analysis of historical documents, literary texts, political posters, visual art, and film.  This is the same course as East Asian Studies/Gender and Women's Studies 230.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors; and to freshmen with permission of the instructors.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4 and is a designated Writing course.  A. Dooling and A. Lanoux

SLAVIC STUDIES  247  THE SOVIET UNION AND ITS LEGACIES  This is the same course as History 247.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

SLAVIC STUDIES  247f  THE SOVIET UNION AND ITS LEGACIES (in Russian)  This is the same course a History 247f.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

SLAVIC STUDIES  251  ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM AND ITS POLITICAL IMPACT AROUND THE GLOBE  This is the same course as Environmental Studies/Government 251.  Refer to the Government listing for a course description.

SLAVIC STUDIES  260  REVOLUTION AND CULTURE  An interdisciplinary examination of the revolutionary impulse in Russian history.  The course focuses on four distinct historical moments:  the reign of Peter the Great (1682-1725), the Decembrist uprising of 1825, the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and includes analyses of memoirs, historical accounts, secondary literature, prose fiction, poetry, films, propaganda posters, and visual art.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  C. Colbath

SLAVIC STUDIES  264  THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE, 1700-1920s  This is the same course as History 264.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

SLAVIC STUDIES  288  THEORY OF FILM  A study of selected problems in the aesthetics of film:  narration, montage, the illusion of space and time.  This is the same course as Film Studies 288.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  C. Colbath

SLAVIC STUDIES  307  HISTORY OF RUSSIAN AND SOVIET FILM  A survey of the radically innovative cinema of Russia and the former Soviet Union.  Emphasis on theory and practice of Eisenstein, Pudovkin, and Tarkovsky and on the genres of science fiction, documentary, melodrama, autobiography, action, and war films.  Films are in Russian with English subtitles.  This is the same course as Film Studies 307.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors; and to freshmen with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  C. Colbath

SLAVIC STUDIES  309  SEMINAR IN LITERARY TRANSLATION  Students develop translation skills and study translation practices for poetry and prose.  Workshop format with regular translation practice from a foreign language into English.  This is the same course as German Studies 309.

               Open to juniors and seniors with advanced knowledge of a foreign language, and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  A. Lanoux

SLAVIC STUDIES  320  THE NET GENERATION:  CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN YOUTH CULTURES  Examination of contemporary Russian and American youth culture, with weekly teleconference sessions between Connecticut College and the St. Petersburg School of Economics.  Topics include music, television, film, popular culture, social networking, children′s literature, education, recreation, and politics.  Students will discuss critical readings and conduct targeted research with overseas partners.  All course materials and class meetings will be in English.  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in Russian.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.

               Previous background in Russian cultural history is recommended.  Enrollment limited to 15 Connecticut College students and 15 students from the St. Petersburg School of Economics.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  A. Lanoux

SLAVIC STUDIES  326  SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION  Systematic examination of how languages are learned.  Introduction to theories of second language (L2) acquisition and strategies for learning and teaching foreign languages.  Readings explore paradigms of effective L2 teaching (behaviorist, communicative, socio-cultural); pedagogical approaches (error analysis, input hypothesis, scaffolding); and significant contributions to the field.  Includes practicum sessions at RMMS school in New London where students will teach foreign languages to children in grades 2-5.  This is the same course as Linguistics 326.

               Prerequisite:  Open to students with intermediate or advanced knowledge of a foreign language.    Enrollment limited to 30 students.  P. Ivanov

SLAVIC STUDIES  375  TOLSTOY AND DOSTOEVSKY  A critical examination of the major works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, and their contributions to world literature.  This is the same course as English 375.  This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in Russian.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors; and to freshmen with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  A. Lanoux

SLAVIC STUDIES  412  CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGE IN THE MIDDLE AGES:  RITUAL, ARCHITECTURE, AND URBANISM  This is the same course as Architectural Studies 493R, 494R/Art History 412.  Refer to the Art History listing for a course description.

SLAVIC STUDIES  446  VLADIMIR NABOKOV  This is the same course as English 493Q, 494Q.  Refer to the Literatures in English listing for a course description.

SLAVIC STUDIES  448  EMERGING MARKET ECONOMICS:  BRICS  This is the same course as Government 493E, 494E.  Refer to the Government listing for a course description.

SLAVIC STUDIES  449  WORLDVIEWS OF JEWS IN EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST  This is the same course as Religious Studies 493N, 494N.  Refer to the Religious Studies listing for a course description.

SLAVIC STUDIES  493, 494  ADVANCED STUDY SEMINARS  The topics are subject to annual change, although some may be repeated in alternate years.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors; and to freshmen with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment in each seminar limited to 16 students.

SLAVIC STUDIES  493B, 494B  ART, PHILOSOPHY, AND LITERATURE OF RUSSIAN MODERNISM  The cultural outpouring in Russia in the decades preceding and following the Boshevik revolution reflected by an obsession with death, decay, apocalypse, transfiguration, and cultural rebirth.  This cultural paradox is examined through works of art, literature, philosophy, and religious thought by such writers as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Solovev, Bely, Blok, Rozanov, Mayakovsky, and Berdiaev, and such artists as Kandinsky, Changall, Malevich, and Rodchenko.  This is a designated Writing course.  C. Colbath

SLAVIC STUDIES  291, 292  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

SLAVIC STUDIES  391, 392  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

SLAVIC STUDIES  491, 492  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

SLAVIC STUDIES  497-498  HONORS STUDY