Welcome to Slavic Studies! Our department is known for its innovative course offerings, close mentoring relationships between students and faculty, active co-curricular programming, frequent engagement with community partners, and excursions to nearby cities and sites abroad. We take pride in our faculty’s reputation for excellence in teaching, and we are especially proud of our outstanding, accomplished students.
The Slavic Studies curriculum encompasses a broad, cross-cutting examination of Slavic cultures and the historical relations between them. Anchored in a rigorous Russian language program, our curriculum is designed to bring students to advanced-level proficiency in Russian over four years. Many students also study Polish, Bulgarian, or Croatian through the College’s Structured Independent Language Study (SILS) program, which builds on faculty expertise, technology resources, and institutional partnerships with universities abroad. We are one of the only liberal arts programs to offer a holistic Slavic course of study.
Students play an active role in shaping the department, our courses, and co-curricular activities. Courses are designed to address the needs and interests of current majors. Our Russian Language Fellows organize such events as Slavic Dinner and International Poetry Night, while upperclass students serve as Russian tutors for weekly drop-in study sessions and one-on-one tutoring. Students and faculty cook together for campus-wide events that showcase our passion for the cultures and cuisines of the Slavic world.
Active, engaged learning is at the center of all of our courses. Student favorites include “Second Language Acquisition,” in which students teach Russian to children in grades 3 through 5 in downtown New London; “Global Russian, Local Diasporas,” based on student interviews with local Russian speakers from the former Soviet Bloc; and “From Russia with Love,” which explores the vibrant visual and musical culture of Russia through media, exhibits, and concerts.
Our department is a leader in globally networked teaching and experiential learning: we offer team-taught courses via telepresence with institutional partners at the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, and New Bulgarian University in Sofia. We also collaborate with students and faculty at Trinity College in Hartford, and at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London. In the past decade we have organized four course-based trips to Russia for students in the Elementary Russian sequence, as well as annual trips to New York City to explore local Russian-speaking communities.
Most Slavic Studies majors study abroad during their junior year in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk, or Vladivostok. All students are required to conduct a faculty-directed research project in their senior year based on their individual interests and study abroad experiences. Intensive faculty advising often leads to prestigious fellowships for many Slavic Studies majors, including Fulbright Teaching Fellowships and Critical Language Scholarships, and to post-graduate study at such universities as Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Syracuse, George Washington, Johns Hopkins, Charles University, and many others.