Please note: The course descriptions displayed here are current as of Saturday, July 22, 2017, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.
The first course of a three-term sequence. Once students learn the alphabet and pronunciation, they acquire a basis for speaking, understanding, reading, and writing spoken Russian. Cultural information is incorporated throughout the course.
Beginning Russian I
Continued practice in speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension. Cultural information is incorporated throughout the course.
Prerequisite: RUSS 101 or consent of instructor
Beginning Russian II
Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.
Directed Study in Russian
An opportunity for students to apply their Russian language skills in business, government, and the non-profit sector on the regional, national, and international levels. Arranged in collaboration with and supervised by a member of the department. Includes discussion, report, and/or portfolio. Advance consultation and application required. Credit may be given for internships completed during a period of study abroad.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.
Internship in Russian
Students acquire a wider range of linguistic structures, which enables them to start speaking, reading, and writing on a higher level.
Prerequisite: RUSS 102 or consent of instructor
Intermediate Beginning Russian
Grammar review and introduction of more complex grammatical concepts. Students read some authentic literary texts. Cultural information is presented through texts and audio-visual/computer materials.
Prerequisite: RUSS 201 or consent of instructor
Intermediate Russian I
A continuation of Russian 211. More exposure to literary texts, along with newspaper articles. Video clips continue to improve students’ listening comprehension skills and cultural knowledge.
Prerequisite: RUSS 211 or consent of instructor
Intermediate Russian II
A continuation of Russian 212. More intensive reading, writing, and conversational practice to provide a transition to study abroad.
Prerequisite: RUSS 212
Advanced Intermediate Russian
A comparative study of nineteenth century Europoean realism, with readings taken from a variety of national traditions. Authors studied may include Dickens, Flaubert, and Dostoevsky. Collaborative teaching of each text will expose participants to a wide range of critical and pedagogical methods. With instructor approval students may also register for an additional tutorial (3 units) in which we will read and discuss important theoretical works on the history of the novel form.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
The Long Novel (in English)
Also listed as English 245
This course advances skills in reading, understanding, writing, and speaking Russian, with materials from the rich traditions of Russian literary culture. Readings include fiction, plays, and poetry. Conducted in Russian, with frequent writing and grammar assignments, in-class presentations, and occasional translation exercises. May be repeated for credit when topic is different.
Topics in Russian Through Fiction and Poetry
Topic for Fall 2017: Russian Folk Fairy Tales
This course will introduce advanced students of Russian to the rich tradition of Russian folk tales, while developing students’ reading, speaking, writing, and listening proficiency. Specifically, we will concentrate on the advanced skill of narration. Students will read tales about such all-time favorite characters as Kolobok, Yemelia and his Pike, Baba-Yaga, Kashchei the Deathless, Vasilissa the Beautiful, etc. The readings of the course will be supplemented with cartoons and films. Students will write their own fairy tales; as a final group project, students will shoot a fairy-tale film. Units: 6. Prerequisite: RUSS 250 or consent of instructor
This seminar-style course will allow advanced students an opportunity to further develop their proficiency. Materials include memoirs, journalism, and historical texts. Conducted in Russian, with frequent writing and grammar assignments, in-class presentations, and occasional translation exercises. It will prepare students to do more advanced research in Russian, either here at Lawrence or abroad. May be repeated for credit when topic is different.
Topics in Russian Through Nonfiction
Topic for Spring 2018: Russia's Great Patriotic War--History and Memory
In this course, advanced students of Russian will read, watch, and discuss a variety of materials related to the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945)—one of the most traumatic events in the history of twentieth-century Russia. Students will learn about important battles and heroes of the war, read excerpts from war memoirs, look at examples of wartime propaganda, and watch films. We will pay special attention to the question of cultural memory: how is the war remembered and commemorated today? What role does the state play in such commemorations, and how does the society respond to the state efforts? Students will advance their Russian skills through regular reading, writing, and presentation assignments. Units: 6. Prerequisite: RUSS 250 or consent of instructor
This course will examine topics in Russian film. Topics may include specific generes (e.g., the sad comedy), the work of a director or tradition, films important for a specific historical moment (e.g., The Thaw or World War Two), or films devoted to a specific theme. Students will expand their Russian vocabulary, improve fluency, increase speaking confidence and gain cultural knowledge by viewing Russian films and analyzing the psychology of the characters. Throughout this course, students will be introduced to the practice of reading the filmic text using three structuring lenses: 1) history, 2) formal and generic elements, and 3) film criticism. May be repeated when topic is different.
Topics in Russian Through Film
Topic for Winter 2018: Kak ya stal russkim
This course is structured around the recent Russian TV series, "Kak ya stal russkim" (“How I Became Russian”). Together with Alex, an American journalist in Moscow, students will discover the complexities of contemporary Russian life. How to relate to you colleagues at work? How to rent an apartment in Moscow? How to interact with police? When and how to give a bribe? What are the cultural norms regarding dating? What are some superstitions that you shouldn’t question? Students will learn and practice a host of colloquial expressions and idioms. The course has a special concentration on the advanced skills of description and comparison. Units: 6. Prerequisite: RUSS 250 or consent of instructor
Also listed as Film Studies 287
The texts studied in this course are thematically unified by their examination of romantic and sexual relationships, many of which are limited by social restrictions. Some works will be studied in conjunction with film versions. No knowledge of Russian required. Offered every other year.
Russia's Golden Age: 19th-Century Literature in Translation
Survey of Soviet and post-Soviet literature from 1920 to the present. Course will explore ways in which writers responded to, helped shape, and reacted against the Soviet system. Works will be set in historical and cultural context. No knowledge of Russian required. Offered every other year.
Repression and Resistance in Soviet and Post-Soviet Literature in Translation
This course introduces students to the rich theatrical tradition of Russia. The readings for the course span over two centuries, starting from the social comedies of the late eighteenth century to the contemporary "New Drama" and documentary theater. The plays are situated within the larger historical and political context of Imperial, Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Lecture/discussion. Taught in English.
Russia on Stage: Three Centuries of Russian Theater
Also listed as Theatre Arts 306
Narratives of WW I and the Russian Revolution. Comparisons, where applicable, with American writers influential in Russian letters. Works of Blok, Babel, Sholoxov, Pasternak, Hemingway, and Faulkner.
Men in the Storm of History
This course explores the works, thought, and impact of two of the most profoundly important writers of the nineteenth century, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Lev Tolstoy. Possible topics include “ Crimes and Punishments, ” “History and Narrative, ” and “In the Writer’s Laboratory. ” Taught in English. Russian majors and minors may participate in a two-unit tutorial in which discussions and some course readings will be in Russian.
Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Their World (in English)
This course examines Russia’s complex debate over the nature of sexuality, decadence, morality and mortality. Themes include the moral nature of procreation, lust, murder, and resurrection. Readings include Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Platonov, and Nabokov, as well as film, opera, paintings, and a television mini series. In English.
Russia’s Erotic Utopia
This course examines Nabokov’s Russian works in the context of the Russian literary tradition. We will read poems, stories, a play, and three novels by Nabokov, as well as a sampling of the pre-revolutionary, Soviet, and émigré works upon which he drew. In English.
The Russian Nabokov
The course focusses on the work, world, and influence of Anton Chekhov. Topics may include “Chekhov and the Russian Short Story,” “Chekhov and Modern Russian Drama,” “Chekhov on the Silver Screen,” and “Chekhov and the West.” Taught in English. Russian majors and minors may participate in a two-unit tutorial in which discussions and some course readings will be in Russian.
Chekhov (in English)
This course explores facets of the development of Russian film in its historical and cultural context. Topics may include: “The Golden Age of Soviet Film,” “The Cinema of Tarkovsky,” and “Film as Propaganda.” Taught in English. Russian majors and minors may participate in a two-unit tutorial in which discussions and some course readings will be in Russian.
Topics in Russian Film (in English)
Also listed as Film Studies 320
An interdisciplinary course examining the relationship between politics and culture in Russia since the 18th century through the close analysis of a specific historical theme. Emphasis is placed on reading and discussing literary texts, historical primary sources, and, where applicable, watching films. Possible themes include: Power and Culture in the Russian Revolution, 1900-1936; The Soviet 1960s; and The Agony of Populism: Terrorism and Literature in Russia's Nineteenth Century. Not open to students who have previously received, or need to receive credit for HIST 423. (G&C)
Topics in Russian History and Culture (in English)
Topic for Spring 2018: Power and Culture in the Russian Revolution
Units: 6. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and one course in Russian language, literature, or history
Also listed as History 323
An interdisciplinary survey course that examines femininity, womanhood and identity in Imperial, Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia. Materials include works of fiction, non-fiction, and film. No knowledge of Russian required.
Through the Eyes of Women: Women and Gender in Russian Culture (in English)
Students watch, analyze, and discuss freshly archived Russian television news. Students will increase knowledge of journalistic vocabulary and reporting styles, and develop an understanding of Russian perspectives on national and international events. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: RUSS 250 or consent of instructor
Russian TV Talk
This course will introduce the student to the rich and varied tradition of Russian and Soviet cinema from the Pre-Revolutionary period to the present. Works by major filmmakers will be viewed and discussed in the context of the culture, economy, society, and politics of the time. Taught in English.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
History of Russian and Soviet Film
Also listed as History 354, Film Studies 354