Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Wednesday, November 21, 2018, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2018-2019 Course Catalog

Required for the major in Russian studies

Students who complete the major in Russian studies will demonstrate competence in the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) at the intermediate-high to advanced-low level according to the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) guidelines. They will situate major figures, events, and institutions from Russian culture within their cultural and historical contexts. They will marshal and interpret historical facts about Russia and deal independently and critically with complex fictional, nonfictional, and filmic texts in Russian.

  1. First-year: RUSS 101, 102, 201 (or the equivalent)
  2. Second-year: RUSS 211, 212, 250 (or the equivalent)
  3. Two courses in Russian literature and culture, 300-level or above
  4. Two courses in Russian history
  5. One course that allows students to understand Russia in a larger context, either by studying the literature or history of a neighboring country or countries or by placing Russia in a broader political and economic context as an important participant in international affairs. Consult faculty for approval of specific courses.
  6. A senior-level independent study that results in the completion of a substantial research paper. In most cases, this project will be completed in RUSS 650, the senior seminar.  Students are expected to use some Russian language sources in conducting their research. Topics for this capstone experience are to be derived from work done in one of the following courses: RUSS 300, 305, 330, 335; HIST 315, 320, 325; GOVT 330. Other topics could be approved through consultation with program faculty.

In addition to the requirements listed above, majors are encouraged to further strengthen their Russian-language skills by taking RUSS 280, 281 and 287, studying in Russia and/or in an intensive summer language program offered in the U.S., and attending weekly meetings of Russian Table and RUSS 340, a conversation-based current-events tutorial.

Students with prior background in Russian who place out of the first-year sequence are required to complete additional language study for the major.

Required for the major in Russian language and literature

Students who complete the major in Russian language and literature will demonstrate similar language competence as the Russian studies major, with a greater emphasis on literary versus cultural-historical study.

The major in Russian language and literature requires the following:

  1. First-year: RUSS 101, 102, 201 (or the equivalent)
  2. Second-year: RUSS 211, 212, 250
  3. Two courses in Russian literature taught in translation, level 300 or above
  4. Two courses in Russian literature taught in the original, level 300 or above
  5. A senior-level independent study that results in the completion of a substantial research paper. Students are required to analyze some work or works of Russian literature, to be read in the original.

In addition to the requirements listed above, majors are strongly encouraged to further strengthen their Russian language skills by studying in Russia and/or in an intensive summer language program offered in the U.S.

Students with prior background in Russian who place out of the first-year sequence are required to complete additional language study for the major.

Senior Experience in Russian

The Russian department’s Senior Experience consists of a senior-level research project that further develops work done in another course. Students complete their projects in RUSS 650, the senior seminar.

The research project allows students to explore a problem or question deeply and over an extended period of time. While completing this project, students marshal the linguistic skills, cultural and historical knowledge, and analytical methods they have developed while pursing the Russian major. Finally, students present their research to the larger community at the Harrison Symposium, lecture recitals, theatrical productions, poster presentations, and other venues.

As part of the process of reviewing their work as Russian majors, students are also asked to submit a portfolio in the second week of their final term. The portfolio consists of a list of courses and brief statement in which students evaluate their development as Russian majors.

In addition to a copy of the capstone project and the Russian language portfolio, the senior portfolio should contain four course papers, including at least one from a history course and one from a literature course. The complete portfolio will be reviewed and approved or returned for revisions before the end of the term.

Students who are pursuing a double major or teacher certification should work with all concerned departments to assess the feasibility of an interdisciplinary capstone.

Required for the minor in Russian

  1. First-year: RUSS 101, 102, 201 (or the equivalent)
  2. Second-year: RUSS 211, 212, 250 (or the equivalent)
  3. Two courses in Russian literature, culture, or history, 300-level or above
  4. C average in the minor

Teacher certification in Russian (K-12)

Russian majors can seek certification to teach Russian at the elementary and secondary levels. To be certified, students must spend a term in a Russian-speaking country studying the language and culture and must pass an oral and writing proficiency test. Students can add an endorsement in a second area (such as another language or English as a second language) by completing the appropriate minor. Students who plan to seek teacher certification should review the requirements in the Education section of the catalog and meet with the director of teacher education, preferably before the end of the sophomore year.

International and off-campus study

After two years of language study on campus, majors are strongly encouraged to spend a term studying in Russia. Study abroad provides an unparalleled opportunity to make gains in language proficiency and to become familiar with Russian life and culture.

Most Russian majors and minors who choose to study abroad do so through the Lawrence affiliated Bardy-Smolny exchange. This Bard College program partners with Smolny College in St. Petersburg to offer students a comprehensive Russian as a Second Language program in combination with Russian-taught elective courses. The elective courses are integrative and taken with Russian students who are regular degree-seeking students at Smolny.

Students are also encouraged to participate in intensive summer language programs offered in the United States, especially immediately prior to spending a fall term in Russia.

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