Russian Language and Area Studies

Laurel Brook, Tomson 368
507-786-3383

wp.stolaf.edu/russian

The Russian Language and Area Studies Department, in keeping with the college mission to provide a “global perspective,” offers a variety of courses that build upon Russian language proficiency to give students the knowledge and tools for a successful career. Recent graduates have entered professions in higher education, business, government, the church, law, and the arts.

Russia continues to be a major player in the global community in many areas: politics, economics, space-age technology, and the development of new computer software. As the new Russia opens itself to the outside, college graduates are increasingly sought after for positions in government service, business and investment, journalism, environmental studies, education, and social service.

The department offers a major in Russian area studies and a major in Russian language, as well as courses on Russian literature taught in English. Taking Russian at St. Olaf means more than just studying a language. The study of Russian introduces you to one of the great cultures of the world — the culture of Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Kandinsky, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, and many others. Russian language is the key to reading more than one-fourth of all the published scientific literature in the world.

Students may satisfy general education requirements with Russian studies courses such as RUSSN 265 Introduction to Russian and Soviet Film (in English translation). RUSSN 231 or a higher numbered course taught in the Russian language or demonstrated proficiency satisfies the foreign language requirement for all students. Upper-level students may participate in the CIEE program in St. Petersburg, or with St Olaf programs in Novgorod and Irkutsk (Siberia).

Overview of the Majors

The Russian Language and Area Studies Department offers two majors: Russian language and Russian area studies. The aim of both is to prepare students to understand, interact with, and work in the Russian area from a foundation of cultural literacy. The multidisciplinary Russian area studies major provides students with a comprehensive view of the culture, history, and contemporary problems of the area.

 

Requirements for the Major in Russian Language

RUSSN 111Beginning Russian I1.00
RUSSN 112Beginning Russian II1.00
RUSSN 231Intermediate Russian I1.00
RUSSN 232Intermediate Russian II1.00
RUSSN 251Conversation and Composition1.00
RUSSN 254Russian Culture and Civilization1.00
RUSSN 372The Russian Press1.00
Two additional courses taught in Russian, normally taken in Russia during senior year 2.00

Requirements for the Major in Russian Area Studies

Russian language courses 1
RUSSN 111Beginning Russian I1.00
RUSSN 112Beginning Russian II1.00
RUSSN 231Intermediate Russian I1.00
RUSSN 232Intermediate Russian II1.00
Select five of the following political science, history, literature, or film courses approved for Russian language and area studies credit: 25.00
Imperial Russia
20th-Century Russia
Russian and Eurasian Politics
Topics in Russian Literature (in English translation)
Conversation and Composition
Russian Culture and Civilization
Theater in Russia: Interim Abroad
Introduction to Russian Literature (in English translation)
20th-Century Russian Literature (in English translation)
Introduction to Russian and Soviet Film (in English translation)
Dostoevsky (in English translation)
The Russian Press
Senior project 3
Total Credits9
1

A minimum of four semesters of Russian language is required, though more is encouraged.

2

For students who are not simultaneously working toward the Russian language major, two advanced Russian language courses (RUSSN 251, RUSSN 254) may be counted toward the Russian area studies major.

3

This may be taken for course credit as RUSSN 398 Independent Research. Guidelines are available from the department chair. The project is due on April 15.

RUSSN 111: Beginning Russian I

This course offers an introduction to grammar and reading through oral and written work, supplemented by reading of graded Russian prose. Offered annually in the fall semester.

RUSSN 112: Beginning Russian II

This course offers an introduction to grammar and reading through oral and written work, supplemented by reading of graded Russian prose. Offered annually in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: RUSSN 111 or equivalent.

RUSSN 231: Intermediate Russian I

Students continue their grammar, oral, and written work with an emphasis on conversation and reading selections from classical and contemporary Russian authors. Offered annually in the fall semester.
Prerequisite: RUSSN 112 or equivalent.

RUSSN 232: Intermediate Russian II

Students continue their grammar, oral, and written work with an emphasis on conversation and reading selections from classical and contemporary Russian authors. Offered annually in the spring semester. Counts toward management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: RUSSN 231 or equivalent.

RUSSN 250: Topics in Russian Literature (in English translation)

This course examines the development of differing approaches to some aspect of Russian life and culture as presented in the classical texts of Russian literature. Actual topics vary according to year and instructor. Offered periodically.

RUSSN 251: Conversation and Composition

This course facilitates oral and written use of the language through conversation and composition, English to Russian translation, selections from Russian literature, and original themes. Offered annually in the fall semester. Counts toward management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: RUSSN 232 or permission of instructor.

RUSSN 254: Russian Culture and Civilization

This survey of Russian culture and civilization uses original Russian texts on history, the arts, religion, and education, as well as documentary films and selections from literature. The course fosters the acquisition of the language of Russian cultural and intellectual discourse. Offered annually in the spring semester. Counts toward management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: RUSSN 251 or permission of the instructor.

RUSSN 256: Theater in Russia: Interim Abroad

Students study theater through the readings and attend approximately twenty productions, group discussions, lectures, and tours. Students focus on the staging, acting and audience reactions in the productions. Texts and all lectures are in English. Students look at Russian and Western classics and a variety of theatrical styles from opera to puppet theater. Offered periodically during Interim. Counts toward Russian area studies and theater majors.

RUSSN 261: Introduction to Russian Literature (in English translation)

This course traces the development of Russian literature from its medieval beginnings to the end of the 19th century. Students study a variety of genres including sagas, the novel, the short story and lyric poetry. Major authors to be studied include: Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Taught in English. Offered alternate years.

RUSSN 262: 20th-Century Russian Literature (in English translation)

This course traces the development of Russian literature from the end of the 19th century to the present. A variety of genres are studied, including the novel, the short story, drama, and lyric poetry. Major authors include: Chekhov, Akhmatova, Bulgakov, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, and Nabokov. Taught in translation. Offered alternate years.

RUSSN 265: Introduction to Russian and Soviet Film (in English translation)

This course considers masterworks of Russian and Soviet cinema from the Bolshevik revolution to the present. Students examine significant Russian contributions to world cinema. Readings and topics include basic cinema analysis, Russian cinema criticism, and Russian film theory. Offered alternate years. Counts toward film studies concentration.

RUSSN 294: Academic Internship

RUSSN 298: Independent Study

RUSSN 371: Dostoevsky (in English translation)

Students read and discuss Dostoevsky's major novels from Poor Folk through Brothers Karamazov. Russian majors may take an additional section in the Russian language for major credit in this course. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: BTS-T.

RUSSN 372: The Russian Press

Since perestroika the Russian press covers a variety of topics that are both culturally and intellectually challenging. The goal of this course is to explore a variety of topics significant for Russian society and culture as well as to further develop the language of intellectual discourse through the treatment of complex issues in the press. Taught in Russian. Offered annually in the spring semester. Counts toward management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: RUSSN 254 or permission of the instructor.

RUSSN 394: Academic Internship

RUSSN 396: Directed Undergraduate Research

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.
Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor.

RUSSN 398: Independent Research

Independent Research is required for all students seeking credit for a senior project.

Chair, 2016-2017

Anna K. Kuxhausen

Associate Professor of History

Russian history; women's history

Irina Avkhimovich

Instructor in Russian

Russian language; 18th- and 19th-century Russian literature

J. Patrick Dale

Associate Professor of Political Science

comparative politics; European politics and economics; central European thought

Marc Robinson

Professor of Russian Language and Area Studies

Russian language; Russian film and literature; Russian theater