Russian

Students considering language study outside the Western European offerings will find Russian a refreshing change. In our first-year sequence we cover the fundamentals with equal emphasis on speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Traditional materials are supplemented by fairy tales, folk songs, rock music video, film clips and internet materials. By the end of Russian 204, students are able to read short prose by Chekhov, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy, and to communicate functionally with native speakers. Language courses beyond 204 address contemporary Russian cultural and social issues while focusing on skill development at the intermediate (205), and advanced level. Students with pre-college Russian, either acquired or native, should consult the department for placement information.

Literature and Cultural Studies

We teach a variety of courses in English translation with no prerequisites (230-295). Courses at the 330-395 level which are conducted entirely in Russian aim to expand students' linguistic range as well as their understanding of analytical techniques and cultural contexts.

Requirements for the Russian Major

  66 credits, including the following:

  • RUSS 205 (6 credits);
  • RUSS 207 or 307 or the equivalent (4 credits);
  • 12 credits in English: Russian courses conducted in English numbered 150 or above or CAMS 237
  • 18 credits numbered 330 or above, six of which will normally be RUSS 395
  • LCST 245 The Critical Toolbox (6 credits)
    In consultation with their advisor, students may substitute a comparable methods course in a different field, including:

    • HIST 298 Junior Year History Colloquium
    • POSC 230 Methods of Political Research
    • RELG 300 Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion
    • WGST 200 Gender, Power and the Pursuit of Knowledge
  • Electives: 14 credits   
    Elective credits may be selected from Russian courses numbered 204 or above and History 240-242; 341
  • the integrative exercise (6 credits)

Courses 101, 102 and 103 do not count toward the major.

Study Abroad: Participation in foreign study programs is highly recommended. Consult the "Off-Campus Studies" section of the catalog for a description of the Carleton Moscow Program. Departmental approval of credit for participation in non-Carleton overseas programs should be sought before leaving campus.

Language House: Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the language by living in Parish International House. A native Russian Language Associate provides opportunities for conversation practice and assists students in organizing a variety of cultural activities.

Requirements for the Russian Minor

36 credits with a grade of C- or better, including:

  • RUSS 205 and
  • 12 credits numbered 330 or above.
  • Elective credits may be chosen from among
    • other offerings in the Russian section,

Courses 101, 102 and 103 do not count toward the minor.

Russian Courses

RUSS 101 Elementary Russian For students with no previous training in or minimal knowledge of Russian. Simultaneous development of skills in speaking, reading, aural comprehension, writing. Students with prior instruction or who speak Russian at home should consult the department for placement information. Class meets five days a week. 6 credits; NE; Fall; Anna M Dotlibova, Laura Goering
RUSS 102 Elementary Russian Continues Russian 101. Prerequisite: Russian 101 or equivalent. 6 credits; NE; Winter; Laura Goering, Anna M Dotlibova
RUSS 103 Elementary Russian Concludes introductory method of Russian 101-102. Prerequisite: Russian 102 or equivalent. 6 credits; NE; Spring; Laura Goering, Anna M Dotlibova
RUSS 204 Intermediate Russian Continued four-skill development using texts and resources from a variety of sources. Emphasis on communicative skills. Prerequisite: Russian 103 or equivalent. 6 credits; NE; Fall; Diane M Nemec Ignashev
RUSS 205 Russian in Cultural Contexts In this course students continue to develop skills of narration, listening comprehension, and writing, while exploring issues of contemporary Russian life and consciousness. The issues are examined from the position of two cultures: American and Russian. The course draws on a variety of sources for reading and viewing, including the periodic press, film, and music. Prerequisite: Russian 204 or equivalent. 6 credits; IS, NE; Winter; Anna M Dotlibova
RUSS 207 Russia at a Cultural Crossroad Program: Intermediate Grammar This course aims at vocabulary expansion and the assimilation and activation of formulaic conversational structures and speech etiquette at the same time it develops familiarity with more complex principles of Russian grammar. This course is conducted by members of Kazakh National University's Philological Faculty and supervised by the program director. Prerequisite: Russian 205 or equivalent. 3 credits; NE; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 208 Russia at a Cultural Crossroad Program: Intermediate Phonetics This course is taken in combination with Russian 207. Students focus on the essentials of Russian pronunciation and correction. Preliminary work in intonation will be offered. This course is conducted by members of Kazakh National University's Philological Faculty and supervised by the program director.

  3 credits; NE; Not offered 2020-21

RUSS 209 Russia at a Cultural Crossroad Program: Intermediate Conversation This course is taken in combination with Russian 207. Emphasis will be placed on socially relevant reading materials. This course is conducted by members of Kazakh National University's Philological Faculty and supervised by the program director. 

  Prerequisite: Russian 205 or equivalent. 3 credits; NE; Not offered 2020-21

RUSS 226 Moscow Program: Russia's Hallowed Places This course explores localities in Russia that have acquired the significance of hallowed or sacred places, the reasons underlying their designation, and the diversity of belief systems they embody. Localities considered include places in and around Moscow (some holy, others cursed), the routes of literary heroes (and their creators) in St. Petersburg, sites of legendary historical significance in Central Russia, and the "sacred sea" of Siberia, Lake Baikal, and its Buryat-Mongol shamanist-Buddhist environs. Course materials: readings, films, excursions, lectures, and travel. Student learning is assessed through occasional quizzes, weekly discussions, and integrative blog writing assignments. Prerequisite: Acceptance in Russian OCS Program. 6 credits; HI, IS; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 237 Beyond Beef Stroganoff: Food in Russian Culture How did the Russian peasant stove shape culinary culture? Why did Catherine the Great force her subjects to cultivate potatoes? How did the October Revolution change the way Soviet citizens ate? In this course we will study key aspects of Russian history and culture through the lens of culinary history. Topics will include: food and fasting in Russian Orthodoxy; food, class and power under the tsars; high Russian (or is it French?) culture of the nineteenth century; Soviet policies for feeding the worker; non-Russian cuisines in the Soviet Union; drinking culture and anti-alcohol campaigns; food and nationalism in the twenty-first century. Includes hands-on sessions on Russian food preparation. In English. 6 credits; HI, IS; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 237F Russian Kitchen Culture A companion course to Russian 237, with emphasis on helping students develop linguistic and cultural competence in the realm of food. Includes hands-on sessions on Russian food preparation. Prerequisite: Russian 205 or concurrent registration in Russian 205; Concurrent registration in Russian 237. 2 credits; NE, IS; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 244 The Rise of the Russian Novel From the terse elegance of Pushkin to the psychological probing of Dostoevsky to the finely wrought realism of Tolstoy, this course examines the evolution of the genre over the course of the nineteenth century, ending with a glimpse of things to come on the eve of the Russian Revolution. Close textual analysis of the works will be combined with exploration of their historical and cultural context. No prior knowledge of Russian or Russian history is required. 6 credits; LA, WR2, IS; Winter; Laura Goering
RUSS 244F The Russian Novel in Russian Readings and discussion of excerpts from 19th-century novels in the original Russian. Prerequisite: Russian 205 or equivalent and concurrent registration in Russian 244. 2 credits; NE; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 261 Lolita Rejected by every major publisher, first released in France in 1955 by a press known for pornographic trash, Vladimir Nabokov's scandalous novel about a middle-aged immigrant college professor obsessed with a twelve-year-old girl continues to feed controversy as well as to challenge and delight readers with its labyrinthian narrative, endless wordplay, innumerable intertextual allusions, and troublesome eroticism. In addition to reading the novel, we will focus on critical approaches that address the cultural clash underlying the ostensible plot, changing reception, and reception of the novel outside the US. Thus warned, you are invited to join the jury in deliberating the designs and delights of this twentieth-century literary classic. 3 credits; LA, WR2; Winter; Diane M Nemec Ignashev
RUSS 266F Dostoevsky in Russian Readings and discussion of texts by Dostoevsky in the original Russian. Requires concurrent registration in Russian 266. S/CR/NC only Prerequisite: Russian 205 or the equivalent, requires concurrent registration in Russian 266. 1 credit; NE, IS; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 266 The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoevsky’s last novel, The Brothers Karamazov, is many things: a riveting murder mystery, a probing philosophical treatise, one of the best known novels in world literature, and a complex book worth reading and discussing with serious readers of diverse backgrounds. We will familiarize ourselves with the historical and philosophical context in which it was written, while grappling with the fundamental questions it raises: What does it mean to act morally? Why do humans so often act against their own best interest? How do we reconcile a world of chaos and suffering with the notion of a benevolent god? Conducted entirely in English. Prerequisite: No prerequisites and no knowledge of Russian literature or history required. 3 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 267 War and Peace Against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, Lev Tolstoy challenges readers to confront some of the most confounding questions of human existence: How can we reconcile the notion of free will with the seemingly ineluctable forces of history? Is individual moral action possible in war? How can we live a meaningful life in the face of inevitable death? And what might lie after death? In this course we read War and Peace in its cultural and historical context, while also considering how it continues to be relevant to our lives today. Conducted in English. Prerequisite: No prerequisites and no knowledge of Russian literature or history required. 3 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 267F War and Peace in Russian Reading and discussion of Tolstoy's War and Peace in the original Russian. S/CR/NC. Prerequisite: Russian 205 or the equivalent. Concurrent registration in Russian 267. 1 credit; NE, IS; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 280 1917 Short texts in a variety of genres connected with the momentous events of 1917 provide the basis for continued development of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.  Prerequisite: Instructor permission required. Waitlist only. Russian 205 or 293 required. Not open to students who have received credit for a 300-level Russian course. 2 credits; NE, IS; Spring; Laura Goering
RUSS 293 Advanced Russian Skill Development In this course students use authentic materials to learn about selected aspects of Russian culture in global context, while continuing to develop their speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills. For students who have completed the language requirement in Russian.  

  Prerequisite: Russian 204 or instructor consent. 6 credits; NE, IS; Winter; Anna M Dotlibova

RUSS 301 Current Events in the Russophone Media In weekly meetings we will discuss in Russian current events taking place in Russia and around the world as reported by the Russophone online media. Emphasis will be on reading, listening, and conversation. Vocabulary building by topics; grammar as needed. Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent registration in Russian 205 or instructor consent. 3 credits; NE, IS; Winter; Diane M Nemec Ignashev
RUSS 307 Russia at a Cultural Crossroad Program: Advanced Grammar This course combines advanced work in Russian grammar (largely corrective) and fundamentals in composition, with conversational Russian. Prerequisite: Six credits of Russian at the 300 level and participation in Russian OCS Program. 3 credits; NE; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 308 Russia at a Cultural Crossroad Program: Advanced Phonetics and Intonation This course is taken in combination with Russian 307. Students focus on corrective pronunciation and theory and practice of Russian intonation. This course is conducted by members of Kazakh National University Philological Faculty and supervised by the program director. Prerequisite: Six credits of Russian at the 300 level and Participation in Russian OCS program. 3 credits; NE; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 309 Russia at a Cultural Crossroad Program: Advanced Practicum This course aims at skill development in speaking and oral presentation as well as in limited forms of composition. It is taken in combination with Russian 307 and conducted by members of Kazakh National University Philological Faculty and supervised by the program director. Prerequisite: Six credits of Russian at the 300 level. 3 credits; NE; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 341 From Folktale to Fanfiction: Russian Short Prose In addition to its well-known “doorstop novels,” Russia has a rich tradition of short fiction. This course presents a sampling of prose genres, from nineteenth-century classic folktales and short stories to contemporary works in which twentieth- and twenty first-century writers play with tradition. Conducted in Russian. Prerequisite: Russian 205 or the equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 342 Post-Soviet film A study of selected post-Soviet films in their historical and cultural context. Conducted in Russian. Prerequisite: Russian 205 or instructor consent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 345 Russian Cultural Idioms of the Nineteenth Century An introduction to the names, quotations, and events that every Russian knows--knowledge which is essential to understanding Russian literature, history, and culture of the last two centuries. We will study the works of Russian writers (Griboedov and Pushkin, Leskov and Dostoevsky), composers (Glinka, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-­Korsakov, and Tchaikovsky), artists (Briullov, Ivanov, the Itinerants) and actors (Mochalov, Shchepkin) in the context of social thought and the social movements of the nineteenth century. Conducted in Russian. Prerequisite: Russian 205 or permission of the instructor. 6 credits; IS, LA; Not offered 2020-21
RUSS 351 Chekhov A study of Chekhov's short fiction, both as an object of literary analysis and in the interpretation of critics, stage directors and filmmakers of the twentieth century. We will also examine the continuation of the Chekhovian tradition in the works of writers such as Bunin, Petrushevskaia and Pietsukh. Conducted in Russian. Prerequisite: Russian 205 or permission of the instructor. 6 credits; LA, IS; Fall; Anna M Dotlibova
RUSS 395 Senior Seminar: The Cult of Stalin Drawing on materials from film, literature, architecture, and mass culture, we will examine the cult of Iosif Stalin during "the Leader's" lifetime and continuing into subsequent eras through both repudiation and periodic revivals. We will address the pagan and Christian foundations of the Stalin cult, as well as its connections with the cult of Lenin. Conducted entirely in Russian. Prerequisite: At least 6 credits at the level of Russian 330 or higher or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Spring; Anna M Dotlibova
RUSS 400 Integrative Exercise 1-6 credit; S/NC; Fall, Winter, Spring; Laura Goering